Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week three!

Elders Cook, Hubbard and Minors at the MTC. Elder Cook and Elder Minors have left for Toronto Mission. Elder Hubbard has 6 more weeks left. All have the short mission hairdo's!

Kumusta po pamilya ko?

Haha Hey everyone! It's been a great third week here at the MTC. Time is going by so much faster now that I am acclimated to the culture and food here. Well, the food is still questionable, but I've got the culture bit down for sure, haha. 
First things first...yes Dad, there are definitely mini wheats here, although they aren't as good as the ones back home (they are some cheap generic american brand). The best cereal here is Blueberry Muffin top. It's like cinnamon toast crunch but flavored like blueberry muffins. I usually just stick to my boiled eggs and cracked wheat though. 

I really miss our vegetables back home. Especially our summer squash, potatoes, and (I never thought I'd say this) zucchini. The veggies here taste like plastic, and I've been having daydreams about sauteed beans and zucchini and mushrooms. The potatoes and refried beans here are definitely from the church cannery, haha. I miss your spices and stuff Mom! That's great that you guys are almost done harvesting. Save some for me. :)

This week has been great. Elder Williams and I are now teaching two 'investigators'. We have been finding more success with the language and try to speak Tagalog as much as possible (SYL) throughout the day. The word of the week is Ano Baiyan?! (literally...What The?!) There are always some appropriate instances where that phrase is used. We have committed one of our investigators, who is Roman Catholic, to read the BOM and pray about it. We realized that we had forgotten to teach him how to pray...because when we asked him to close with a prayer, he said the Lord's prayer. It suddenly made sense, because when we opened with a prayer, he would give us a loud 'Mmhmmm' or 'Yes Jesus' every couple of lines. I guess we still have some work to do. 
We were able to share our testimonies with him, and the spirit was very strong. I could tell that he was feeling it to, even though he isn't a real investigator. It's amazing how far we've come in the language. We were able to go in there without any notes and tell him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We were able to remember a lot of stuff in the moment that we needed it. One of our goals is to intensively study and speak the language so that we can qualify for the Gift of Tongues. I can't wait to get to the point where we have enough Tagalog in our heads to be able to teach any principle on the fly, with the guidance of the spirit. 

I'll have to tell you about our other investigator next week. He is a lot more difficult to teach, haha. Hopefully we'll have made some progress with him. 

We had a pretty cool experience as a district that Tuesday night. We have a General Authority devotional every Tuesday, and then a district meeting to discuss it. We all bore our testimonies at the district meeting, and many tears were shed. Afterwards, we formed a circle, and we gave blessings to five of the elders in our district. It was an amazing experience, and everyone in that room felt the spirit. I feel so blessed to be part of a district that is close with each other. We are all great friends and have awesome times together. 

The older missionaries left yesterday for the Philippines. 74 of them left, so there are only about 80 Tagalog speaking missionaries left here now. We really miss those guys. They were a great help to us when we first settled in. 
They passed the sacred wrench down to another elder in another district (the sacred wrench has been handed down and signed by several generations of Tagalog speaking missionaries...apparently a missionary swiped it from a plumber a few years back and started the tradition) The rule is: the missionary with the wrench has to wake up at 3:00 every Pday morning and use the wrench to pound on the doors of the newest missionaries while yelling "Magandang Umaga mga Misyoneros! It's PDAY!!" That would explain our lack of sleep in the first week, haha. 

Thank you all for the letters and support. I love you all. Totoo ang simbahan ni Jesucristo. 

Mahal kita.
- Jared.    

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