Monday, November 22, 2010

Verbs are super hard in Tagalog

November 22, 2010
MTC, Provo, Utah
Well, what a week.  Elder Peterson and I did very well in the TA.  (That's where you go and practice discussions.)  He has always been reserved and didn't talk much, but this time everything clicked and we did very well together.

There is a Sister McDonald in our zone.  She plays the fiddle and studied international development at BYU.  She is a lot like Sarah, and I asked her if she knew Sarah. She said “The name sounds familiar, but show me a picture.”  So, I got the one from my residence and showed her.  Her response was "Oh, your sister is so sweet!"  She then proceeded to tell me how they used to say “hi” to each other.  I asked Sarah about her, and Sarah sent me a picture of Sister McDonald to confirm.  I opened that letter while sitting with my district, waiting for the Tuesday fireside to start.  Bad idea.  I heard, "Nate!  Why do you have a picture of Sister McDonald?!"  Oh boy.  I had them read the letter, but they teased me endlessly.  I thought it was best to give the photo to Sister M.  I really shouldn't have it.  It was really embarrassing, but all in good fun.

Elder Waggoner's arrangement
We sang “Nearer My God to Thee” in Sacrament Meeting.  We practiced quite a bit.  We brought one sister to tears.  I guess that means we did well.  Elder Stover (our zone leader) played piano, Sister McDonald on violin, and Elder Thayne and I sang.  We sang the last verse in Tagalog.

I still love pranks.  Our teacher walked out of the room, and before he did he said to us (he doesn't know I'm the prankster) "Don't hide my food".  What an invitation.  So, I hung it from the ceiling.  When he came in and saw his food was gone, he said "OK, very funny, who hid my food?"  It was dangling right above him.  Later in the week, we stuck his Pringles to the wall.

I have a great prank planned that involves dental floss.

Elder Peterson and I have a progressive investigator.  Her name is Jana.  We went into it ready to teach the first lesson about the restoration. Instead we taught about the atonement.  We had never taught that before, but it went well.

When it was time to stand up and stretch in our large group meeting, they asked if anyone had a joke.  I did.  The guy handed me the microphone, and I told to one about the trailers and divorce.  (Dad’s note: The joke is “A hurricane in Florida, a tornado in Kansas, and a divorce in Kentucky - What do they have in common?  A: Someone is going to lose a trailer.”)  Later in the meeting, the same thing occurred.  After other jokes, they passed the microphone back to me.  I thought it was appropriate to follow it with another Kentucky joke.  I told the one "If two people get divorced in Kentucky, are they still brother and sister?”  That also went over well.  It was pretty funny, although slightly irreverent.  I seem to have the reputation that I'm funny, but I am well behaved.

Last Tuesday’s devotional was ok.  Elder Pearson from the 70 came.   I was really turned off when he cited why, statistically, you will have a better life if you go on a mission.  In the words of Han Solo, “Never tell me the odds.”

Mom!  I had to sow my own pants.  The pocket was coming undone from the waist.  So, I sowed it back together.  Go ahead and praise me.  Really, go ahead.

Verbs are super hard in Tagalog.  They change with every tense.  So like past tense, future,..... You have to take the word apart sometimes and stick other letters in to conjugate it. It's quite hard sometimes.  I've kind of hit a roadblock with it.

Yesterday was temple walk.  It was snowing, and only Elder Thayne and I wanted to go.  So we did.  As we left, we decided to throw snowballs at our class room window.  All the other folks in our district were in there at the time.  It was funny until we got balled out by a branch president.  Yeah, apparently you’re not supposed to throw snowballs.  Hmmm.  Then we went to the temple, and we made a snow angel.  Some elder came up and told us "Thanks a lot, now we won't have temple walks anymore; you’re not supposed to make snow angels."  We didn't know that it was against the rules.  He walked away without giving us time to answer back, so I called after him, "What about smiling? Is it against the rules too?"  Oh, man. This place is tough.
Today as we walked to the temple, it was freezing!! No, it was frozen.  We ran across the street because of how cold it was.  I slipped on some ice and fell onto the sidewalk across the street.  I banged my knee up real good.  I rolled and got back up real quick. I'm just glad that I didn't eat it in the middle of the road.  

So Dad, I went to the temple and asked around for the names you sent.  They said they don't do that and that you'll have to send them directly to me.  They sounded sure about it.  So please write me and tell me what's up.

I won't be able to call on Christmas.  You can't while you’re in the MTC.  Sorry, but I will call two days later in LA while I'm on layover.

Elder Tran

Elder Tran is from California.  He's a really good studier.  I enjoy him.  He's usually upbeat and really pleasant to be around.  We tease him about his friend Jenny.  He gets like a letter a day from her.  He's a great guy.

Elder Peterson is really doing well.  He's opened up and is fun to be around.  He snores really loud.  In, fact last night Elder Tran got out of bed and woke him up and told him to shut up.  Elder Peterson likes classic rock, and he's done theater.

Elder Doig

Elder Doig is from Canada.  We tease him about it endlessly.  He is pretty wild sometimes and he falls asleep in class.  He only falls asleep for periods of five minutes, but then he wakes up and can answer Tagalog perfectly.  He has a gift.  If he could focus and stay awake, he would be a genius.

Sister Danner is from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.  She's pretty cool.  She's a lot like you, mom. She explains things until she gets exactly what she means to say.  She's really bright and I enjoy talking to her.

Sister Lyman is really cool too.  She's from a small town in Utah, and her dad makes buffalo jerky.  That day we were her biggest fans.  (Dad’s note: when she received some?  Some scout leaders must be smiling as they read this and remember Nate’s vegetarian days.) She is concerned about how I'm going to raise my kids.  She says I am too serious when I'm joking, and that my kids won't be able to tell when I'm really mad.

Elder Thayne is really cool too.  He likes Henry David Thoreau.  We run together every so often. I enjoy his company a lot.

Elder Ball is our district leader.  He's really good at being around for us if we need him.  He's a pal.  He's from Idaho, but he doesn't believe in dinosaurs.  So, I don't know if we can really be friends.  Joking!  He's a pal.

I love you!  Thanks you for the letters.  I miss you.

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