Friday, September 27, 2013

MTC Week Two: Gift of Tongues, Apostolic Promise, and Rain

Hey family!

Bear with me with all the grammatical/spelling errors and what not, but I try to type fast so I can get more info in, so that's why it's like this. Don't worry, I'm not stupid :) [Besides, I know Mom will make any corrections before posting my letters on the blog haha].

So this week has been much better. I'm adjusting well and getting used to the demanding schedule. I was quite shocked to learn that many of our study times are actually not teacher led. It is also purpose centered. They'll teach a grammar set and then we have like 3 hours to study. But we don't study just to learn Tagalog. We study for our purpose which is to bring others unto Christ. Tagalog is merely a tool to achieve the purpose. So when I study, I don't study practical words that'll help me with speaking with everyone (at least not yet). How I choose to study is as follows - my companion and I evaluate the needs of our investigator. So for example, we will teach Lucilla Casalan tonight. She is super poor and doesn't think that God loves her and all that kind of stuff. So we prepare something faith related and then study words and phrases focused on that need or concern. So if someone came to talk to me about everyday life in Tagalog I would have a hard time. But the Gift of Tongues is so real. I can now nearly do a whole lesson in Tagalog without a script or notes. But it's crazy cause going in I'm nervous about the words I'm going to say and grammar, but when I go in the words come. And although it is very poor semantics they can at least understand what's going on and at least I think they understand mostly what message I am trying to convey.

My companion is a stud. He is working hard and getting better. he is still struggling but the district is very helpful and encouraging to him, so he gets help all the time. I quiz him on words as we walk around the building and he is doing better. He can now say a prayer with just notes, which is a long way from last week...This week's goal is to get his pronunciation down. Every morning and night this week I'm going to have him recite the entire alphabet through the vowels. So AEIOU, he'll say BA BE BI BO BU then DA DE etc and I'm hoping that extra coaching will help him get the pronunciation down. Also with the language lesson we saw a video of Elder Holland promising that if we read the Book of Mormon alongside our language we will have enhanced learning. And so a promise from an apostle is something that I will definitely be following up on.

Funny of the week - I was making some announcements to our district. One of the announcements was that we had dinner clean up this week. The 2 New Zealanders at the same time said, "Dayummm" and all the sisters started like crying. I was doing my best not to laugh and try to make it seem serious, but it was hilarious. It is a common word apparently in New Zealand, but I'm not sure. I thought it was funny at least.

Food is good. We get rice every day. We had cereal once and pizza once, but besides that it is rice every meal. One day we got handed a straight fish! Head, fins, scales, eyes and all! It actually was super good! The weather is crazy. I've seen the sun I think twice? Maybe? It is raining all day and if it's not raining, clouds are every where. So it's not too hot but it's super humid; just walking around is moist.

 I'm getting better at gym time to be less competitive. We aren't allowed to keep score haha. So now I just shoot around with the sisters ;) jk...I'm focused on purpose :) although it was kinda funny, the RTM missionaries (the natives) left this Wednesday and like a bunch asked for my email ;) gonna be mailing a bunch of Filipinas! ha jk jk don't worry fam, all is well :)

I'm loving it here and miss you guys but I'm not very homesick (I miss Mom more than anyone). It's just a good miss :)

Love you all! Mahal kita!

-Elder Watkins

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