So we have devotionals every Tuesday and Sunday, and guess who came this week? Linda K. Burton, the general relief society president. She has such a great spirit, and this is one example of how God answers our prayers. We have been teaching lessons everyday in Illongo,which has kicked my butt, but when Sister Burton came she totally helped me to remember why I am here. Not to teach lessons but to help other to come unto Christ (3 Nephi 5:13). This says that we are all disciples of Jesus Christ, and we need to declare the gospel boldly, and the Lord will help with the rest. I love this so much, and just reaffirms that this is the Lord's work.
We just had TRC this week for the first time. Essentially this is where you do visiting teaching with members that either are RM's or speak Ilongo. The funny thing is that one of the volunteers named Nananay(which is mom in Ilongo) actually knew who I was! She is in the same ward as Aunt Dawn, and Aunt Dawn had told her to look for a red haired missionary going to Iloilo. She specifically asked the teachers if she could have me and my companion teach her.
They gave us some good advice, and was great just to have someone to talk to that actually gets the struggle with the language.
I have to say that we have improved lengths and bounds from when we got here,and the gift of tongues is real. The great thing is that we can have fun learning the language. Just the other night we played a game that they play in the Philippines. I forget the name, but you pick your favorite word from the language, a fruit, or whatever, then you have to say it twice without showing your teeth. Then you have to remember another person's favorite word.My favorite word is Manluluwas(Savior), and for some reason that was the only one that people could remember. It was so much fun, and Elder Tuomola was actually crying he was laughing so hard. Do you realize how hard it is to say things without showing your teeth? Apparently they play that game in fa
mily home evening all the time, so I'll be an expert before I come home.
The crazy thing is that this week we had 650 new missionaries come to the institute on Wednesday. We had the pleasure of hosting the sisters even though we have been here for only a couple of weeks. It's actually more heartbreaking to watch the farewells than to experience my own. There were some moms completely sobbing as they drove away. It was lots of fun to be the person to welcome them to the MTC and I now know the MTC a little bit better. Now they have split lunches so that we can all eat in time.
On Thursday there was a super long line, and the MTC is more crowded. But it's nice to see so many new faces so excited to be here. Plus all of the new Elders are perfect gentlemen, always holding doors open and saying HI. I was able to see some people that I knew from Northridge , and I can't tell how nice it is to see a familiar face.
I wrote a letter to each of you individually, so that should come either today or tomorrow. Sorry I didn't send one sooner, but there never seems to be a spare moment here for writing letters.
If you could send the family pictures ASAP that would be great. Our zone includes the Cebuano district,and they are leaving in two weeks, and I would like to show my cute family to them before they leave).
Palangga tako pamilia,