Haha the language is coming very slowly but surely. I'm very grateful for the 6 weeks that I had in the MTC because even though it's really hard right now, I can understand WAY more than I would have without it. I can understand people when they're talking about religious things pretty well, I just have a hard time responding and putting my own thoughts and sentences together. I have a much easier time understanding people who's second language is Hiligaynon- so people who learned it either from Tagalog or English, because it's harder for me to understand native people's accents because they talk so fast (haha karma for me for talking so fast my whole life). Comprehension of regular conversation and small talk is wayyyyyyyy worse. I can sometimes get the gist from picking out some words that I know, but usually I'm just really confused. My companion is a true friend and translates for me though. Basically, however many people there are in a conversation, I'm that number wheel and I just try to listen really hard and figure out what's going on. I literally have this exact conversation at least once a day:
me: "kumusta! ako si Sister Rainey, Taga America ako, bago gid nga misyonera ako"- hi I'm sister Rainey I'm from America, I'm a new missionary
person: intyende ka ilonggo?- do you understand ilonggo?
me: uhhhh jiutay lang, una semana ko sa Philippines- just a little, my first week in the Philippines
person (to my companion)- intyende sia!! sagad gid sia!- she understands! she's so talented!
Then they keep talking and I have no idea what's going on. They are literally so impressed by my ability to understand that one sentence and it's so funny, little do they know that that's about it that I understand. Haha it's super fun trying to learn though, I've definitely gotten a lot better since I've been here with the full immersion. I just need to work a lot on my accent because even though my words will sometimes be right, it's still hard for people to understand me sometimes because my accent is so thick. I get made fun of because I still have a hard time putting together sentences so sometimes when people ask me questions I just say "nami gid!" with a really big smile and a thumbs up. I'm still really bad at teaching lessons, but I'm slowly getting better. My companion leads and I just fill in the gaps whenever she wants me to with whatever comes to mind. Gift of tongues is so real because I say so much that I didn't even know that I knew. It's so cool to be able to feel the spirit so often even when I have honestly no idea what's going on.
Sipalay is so pretty and I'm so close to the beach and I'm so excited to do some hikes and see stuff next week. The past 2 weeks we've had meetings in Bacolod so I've spent my P-days taking 6 hour bus rides up to the city which is fun. And I washed my clothes for the first time this morning! Haha domestic gid. (gid is just an emphasizer, it's like very or really). Ummm yeah, the little timer thing is telling me it's time to go. Love you all so much, hope everyone is doing well. The mission is really hard but I wouldn't change it for the world, I"m so blessed to be here with some of the most incredible people in the entire world. It's cool seeing people come unto Christ and improve their lives and grow closer with their families through our message. Love you all!!