The Tongans. We have the wildest zone in the MTC for two reasons - Tongans and Samoans. They are super funny, super crazy, but still super relaxed. They don't really work too hard, but I really like them. We have a lot of them for some reason, and then all the other Tongans and Samoans from other zones come and hang out in our dorms. Last Tuesday night one of them was leaving and they sang. It was the most beautiful music I had ever heard. They sang in the stairwell so it echoed real well, but still. They sang some hymn that US hymn books don't have. It was so cool. About 12 islanders were singing. I went to bed in musical exultation. They said they'll sing again tonight, too. I'm really looking forward to it.
I started singing in the MTC Choir. It was ok; it's something different, so it was fun to do. Apparently I was on camera close up for a while when we were singing.
So whew! Elder Peterson and I had a hard week, but I think we've reached an ok spot. But man, it was a trying week for sure. He wasn't talking to me for a day.
|single bed design|
The Hawkins sent me a package. What pals! I put the stuff under Elder Thayne and Ball’s mini Christmas tree that is sitting on their upside-down trashcan. That was really sweet of them. I need to write them and tell them thank you. Hopefully I can get to it. I might not. P-day has been so stuffed so far.
This week, Elder Peterson and I taught in the TA second lesson full Tagalog. LET ME TELL YOU. The Plan of Salvation has some crazy words in Tagalog. It was tough, but we got through it fairly well. We did the best we'd ever done for teaching to someone’s needs. At this point, it's usually short sentences that make up most of our lessons. It's hard, but I'm getting it – until I get to Iloilo and they don't even speak Tagalog!
We have a progressive investigator. Her name is Jana. It's a teacher pretending to be an investigator. This week, because Brother Welch left and because of the sun issues, the time for class changed and we couldn't go and do it. We asked Sisters McDonald and Salway to do it for us. They accepted, and committed her to baptism and to give up smoking. Those dogs! We'd taught like 7 lessons already and the one we can't make, she commits to baptism. It's super cool though - I'm not bummed at all. This week we're teaching her again, and the sisters are coming too. We're teaching about chastity and tithing- we'll let the sisters handle chastity.
I make worksheets, as you know. This week I made two; one for health and body vocab, and one for tithing and second lesson vocab. There's a new Elder who wants to work for Pixar. His name is Elder Gillette, and he is super cool! He helped me make them. He drew the human body and a face so I could label parts of the body in Tagalog. It looks so sweet! He's totally cool. A lot of the new elders are super cool. One elder from Southern Wisconsin went to the same scout camp as me when I was thirteen. The first one Jake Webb went with me. He doesn't remember me selling walking sticks, though.
We have an Elder Coakley in our zone. He's the best piano player ever. I asked him to show me some ragtime music. So yesterday we went to a piano and he showed me four ragtime songs. It was so awesome. He's so good, and it's so fun to listen to. Well, just as he finished his last song a Branch President came in and balled us out for inappropriate music. Ragtime?! It's from the 1920's! Seriously. That Branch President is stuck in the late 1800's. We're not monks - we can listen to good music. It ticked me off.
I officially got into the talent show despite my bad, sick voice.
We cleaned the temple this morning, which is why I'm late for writing. I'm doing laundry right now. It was ok, but I cleaned the girls dressing room. It was terrible - there was so much hair! It was really cool because I got to walk around the temple anywhere I wanted alone. That part was awesome.
Sunday I taught district meeting (Sunday School), sang in Sacrament Meeting, passed the Sacrament, and gave a talk. It was crazy. My talk was 60 percent Tagalog and 40 percent English so that people could actually get something from my talk. It was a cool experience because I was able to show my personality even though I was speaking Tagalog. That's a big step.
Our district sang “Away in a Manger” in district meeting. Elder Peterson and I taught about the Holy Ghost. It was a busy Sunday.
Last night we had an awesome devotional. A guy came and gave a 50 minute monolog as if he were Willard Richards. He talked about Joseph Smith and the days before his martyrdom. I learned a whole lot that I didn't know before. It was really cool. At the end of the meeting, we sang “We Thank Thee, Oh God, for a Prophet.” Some sister stood, and then everyone followed suit. We're not supposed to stand, but I thought it was cool she did. It was brave, and she was doing it out of respect.
Thanks for the Christmas stuff. I hope you guys have a great one. Dad, I really want that Christmas story. I love you guys soooooo much. I miss you. Tell Ben Happy Birthday!!!!! I think it's his tomorrow. I don't think I'll have time to write him!