When I first got here on Wednesday, they gave me a brief orientation and then threw me straight into language studies. My teacher is Brother Ah Mu, and he didn't speak a word of English to us for the frist three days. When he finally did, I was so surprised. I didn't even think he knew English. I've been enjoying learning the language. Tagalog is very challenging, but extremely fun to speak. There aren't a whole lot of grammar rules so far, so I've been able to pick it up at a fairly good pace.
My companion is from Sacramento California.
His name is Elder Williams. He plays percussion and tennis. He's a good guy. We get along real well...in fact, our whole district gets along
really well. I am in a room with Elder Williams and two other elders (Elders
Clark and Morgan from Utah). We have a lot of jokes and manage to ease the
tension every day with Tao po.
Tao po (tie-oh-poe) means 'Human' in Tagalog.
For some reason, the Elders in our district use it for everything from a
greeting to a curse.
I've learned how to have a pretty
primitive conversation in Tagalog, as well as ask people if they have something
(mayroon po ba kayong bacon?) (Wala pa akong bacon - I don't have any bacon) I
can also pray pretty well in Tagalog and bear a small testimony. The language
program here is amazing.