What the heck I have been here for an entire 3 weeks and can't believe in another 3 weeks I'll be flying to Manila! Time goes by so fast here and I can't believe I'll be in the Philippines so soon! The Cebuano district in our zone LEAVES TOMORROW! I'm so so sad because I love all of them so much but I know they'll be incredible and I can't wait to hear about all of their adventures in Cebu. Haha the other day we were all sitting in our dorm room and Sister Matautia was like, "Sister Rainey, would you ever marry an Island boy?" and I was like "ummm heck yes." So the current plan is a post-mission reunion trip to Australia Summer 2018 and she said she'll introduce me to some Samoans. Plus a quick detour to Kiribati BECAUSE ALL OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE LIVE THERE. They are literally the nicest, funniest people that I have ever met and most of them are leaving tomorrow and it makes me so sad. One of the sisters from Kiribati runs up to me and my companion every time she sees us and says "MAGHANTA" which I think I just spelt wrong, but means beautiful in Tagalog and she's low key the most incredible person that I've ever met.
Since the Cebuano kids are leaving tomorrow, another 15 are coming in! They just reorganized the zone and I get to be the sister training leader AND we're getting 3 new sisters - one from Tahiti, one from Arizona, and one from Samoa. We're so so excited to meet them and all of the elders (a couple are from Australia, but most are from West Coast U.S). It's going to be so fun
Our district has been working really hard this past week on SYL- speaking our language ALL THE TIME. For the most part we just try to use conjugations and the right grammatical order even if we don't know what the verbs or nouns are in Ilonggo. We're still not even close to perfect, but we're for sure improving a lot and I love the language more and more every day. One of the Elders in our district is the Ilonggo police and if he catches you talking in English he yells "Oy! Ilonggo!" so loud. He scared me so bad one time I literally almost fell out of my seat because I wasn't expecting it. Nice to have a constant reminder. Haha on Friday they brought in a bunch of volunteers from around the area that speak our language so that we could practice talking to people. Sister Fawcett and I got to talk to a lady that was actually born in Bacolod and lived there for most of her life and speaks Hiligaynon fluently and after I said my first thing she busted out laughing and said she was sorry because she could understand what I was saying and I was using the right words but MY ACCENT WAS SO BAD. I literally can not roll my r's if my life depended on it and I sound so dumb when I talk because even though I know a lot of words I can't pronounce them anywhere close to right. Ilonggo is super sing-song-y and sounds SO pretty when a native person speaks it, so I guess I'll just keep trying. Hopefully it will be easier when I get to the Philippines and am fully immersed. The good news is that she said my accent was "very cute" so that's cool I guess maybe the people in the Philippines will think so too.
I LITERALLY LOVE THIS LANGUAGE
We had a lesson last week about how you really can't understand a culture until you understand the language, and that's why it's so important that we do everything that we can to learn the language the best that we can. Our teacher was talking about how you can learn SO much about the people just by learning the language. So cool things about Hiligaynon- 1. If you want to say tomorrow you just say "buas" but if you want to say today you have to combine the word for right now with day and it ends up being long and annoying and my teacher told us that as a culture Filipinos can sometimes be procrastinators (I am literally so happy because that means I already have so much in common with them) 2. There aren't very many negative words, most of the time if you want to say bad or sad you just say not happy or not good because the positive words are SO much more common and then my teacher talked about how positive Filipinos are as a people and so happy and IT MADE ME SO EXCITED TO MEET PEOPLE IN BACOLOD IN 3 WEEKS. 3. And the other thing I love about this language is that so many of the words are combinations of other words in English since they don't exist as a single word in Hiligaynon. For example atonement is pagbayad-sala (payment of sin), charity is putli nga palangga (pure love), eternity is walay katapusan (without end), agency is kahilwayan sa pagpili (freedom to choose), etc. It's been so cool to learn all of the different words and how they connect to each other and how to use them correctly in a sentence and I'm so excited/nervous to get to actually use them in the real world soon-ish. Literally everyone go learn Ilonggo, it's the best.
OTHER FUN THINGS
We got to clean the temple again this morning and we spent 3 hours polishing the crystal of the chandeliers. I didn't realize that chandeliers were made up of tons and tons of tiny rods and chains of individual crystals. We had to take them all off and then polish them and then put them back and it took forever but it was so fun. The lady in charge told us that they were imported from Europe and the nicest type of crystal in the world. I've never been so scared to touch anything in my entire life, but me and my companion spotted each other really well and we didn't end up breaking anything so it was good.
Learning the Kiribati song has been going well and I can sing the whole first verse from memory now even though I have no idea what it means in English. Since Sister Terririke taught me her song, I'm teaching her the song "Glorious" and we practice every day and it's so fun. Haha the first time I sang it I was just messing around and was pretending to hit a high note I for sure couldn't reach and had a voice crack and she looked at me and was like "Sister Rainey- you like Celine John?" We almost died laughing and she thought it was because I didn't like Celine Dion but then we had to explain that we do like Celine Dion, but she is just a talented singer and I'm not. It's whatever though, at least one person likes my singing.
Everything else is going well, I'm learning so much about the language and the gospel and God's love for me and everyone else and I couldn't be happier. Our district's motivational panghunahuna (thought) of the day yesterday was "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." An olympic runner said it at some point, but it was quoted at a devotional this past week. Working so hard to do my very very best so that I'll be as prepared as possible for the Philippines in t-minus 3 weeks and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.
Anyways, out of time, sorry this is long, but I'm sure at least my parents will read it. HOPE YOU'RE ALL DOING WELL! Love and miss you all so much:) Also, I haven't gotten mail since Saturday morning so sorry if you sent me something and I won't be able to respond until next Tuesday. Love you, thanks for all of the love and support. AND HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!
2005 N 900 E Unit 36
Provo UT 84602
^use that for dearelder
p.s I just reread this before I sent it and there were a lot of mistakes I didn't get a chance to fix so sorry but I speak Ilonggo now so excuse the bad Ingles