So we are now the senior batch here in the MTC which means in less then 2 weeks we will be leaving and entering the Manila Philippines Mission!!! Im so excited to get out into the field especially after proselyting the other day! We traveled out into the Quezon City mission and met up with some elders that had been in the field for a while and went out with the in their areas! I went with Elder Anderson who is from Canada and we rode in a jeepme! My first time riding in one and it was sooo fun! HAHA! They are extremely hot though and the weather was crazy that day! It was reaining when we left the church building and then stopped raining about 20 minutes into the proselyting! It got super hot. Then later it started raining again and then stopped and got super hot again! The weather changes so much here and so fast. Anyway we went into an area where people live in homes the size of Cadens and Devons room that has a uneven concrete floor with dirt and the foundation is built out of woot that is now rotten and held together with rusty nails and screws! Then they will put metal slats on the outside of the home for walls! No carpet, hardly any lights, a floor that is falling apart, and walls that are made of rotten wood! It really makes you understand how lucky we are for what we have. I cant believe some of the living conditions here. OHH and lots and lots of cats! I saw about 30 to 40 cats in that one area that were all just skin and bones! Thats like the really poor area of the philippines but still just a humbling experience! Elder Anderson and I had the opportunity to actually teach a lesson to a women and her granchildren! He taught most of the lesson but I said the opening prayer and shared a little bit with her in tagalog!
Learning the language is actually getting much easier! Im able to learn words, memorize commintments and learn the sentence structures a lot faster than before. Yesterday I memorized "Susudin mo po ang mga bawat ng diyos?" which is "Will you follow the laws of God?" and "Luluhod ka po at mananalangin araw-araw nang mag-isa at kasama ang pamilya?" which is " will you kneel and pray with your companion and family everyday?" It only took me 5 minutes to memorize both of those! Then I used them in our lesson with Adam which went great! He has commited to a baptismal date and our lessons have really gotten better. Our first lesson stunk and now we are confident and are really able to teach well and in taglish. Which is tagalog and english mixed! My companion has improved a lot this week. He uses his time more wisely and has really improved in his tagalog! Its really nice because I see a difference in our lessons now that he is just as focused as Iam! We are both learning a lot and Im glad that we are MTC companions.
Im not one of the shortest ones here! IT just depends the missionaries from all over the world are usually the same height as me. some a little taller and some are shorter. But the Philippino Elders are all really short! When we went proselyting I felt so tall beacuse everyone was only like 5 feet tall and some were like 5 foot 6 inches but most of them are shorter then me! And when we went proselyting we just cross roads as we wish. There are no stop signs or cross walks so you just cross and everyone who is driving just stops. So we were walking in between moving cars that were inches away from us its crazy! HAHA! But its also really fun to be out in the city!
There are some historical sights here a couple weeks ago we went to a cemetery for American soldiers from World War 2! There was 17,097 soldiers buried there and a wall of rememberance that had 36,286 names of soldiers who went missing in action! It was crazy! It was called the Manila American Cemetery and Mermorail. It was really cool to get to go there.
Oh so we all feel like were are in the CIA here! We have security cards to get into the buildings and basically all the doors have a scanner that requires a security card in order to get past. Plus we walk around in ties and collared shirts all day and we use our security card as gun since it hangs from our belt on a string that retracts. Its so fun here at the MTC. Im learning so much and I love every minute of it. We have a lot of fun and a lot of good conversations. I love my district which I sent a picture of us all right after our temple session today. Our teachers are also way awesome! There are both super funny and are really good at helping us understand the language!
The old senior batch just left on Wednesday which stinks because we really got to know all those Elders and had good friendships with them all! Mof them also played basketball so now we are down to about 12 people that play instead of 25. But the new batch just came in today and hopefully some of them play ball. But this new batch was actually really small which was very surprising! So the night before the new batch left some of the seniors had a testimony meeting in their room! It was amazing and definitely one of my most spiritual experieences this week. Over 20 Elders crammed themsleves in this tiny room and we started with a song and pray then some of the Elders from the senior and middle batch shared their testimony. Its amazing to hear what some of these guys have gone through and to hear their testimony just strenghtened mine! It was a great time and a memory that I will never forget. After the testimony meeting there is something here called the brotherhood that a senior batch started 8 batches ago. Basically your initiation is a hand shake and once a member of the brotherhood always a member. And the brotherhood is basically we are all brothers and no matter what you are going through at any moment in your life you always have your brothers to back you up even though we here at this MTC are from all over the world! Its way cool!
I baught a book of mormon today thats in tagalog it also came with the doctrine and covenants and pearl of great price. It cost me 21.00 pisos which is about 48 cents. Its so cool how I was able to get it for so cheap along with everything else here. I spent 81 pisos today at rustans super market which is about $2. Its so wierd to look at skittles and see a 38.00 on the price. It seems like its so expensive but when you do the math its only like 90 cents. Its crazy!
Well we have dinner now so I have to go! I still have a bunch to tell you all but I write in my Journal daily so you can read it when I get home! I will write you all again next week! I LOVE YOU ALL AND PRAY FOR YOU EACH AND EVERYDAY!! Good job on everything you are doing! I wish I could see your new trick Rylee! I LOVE YOU CADEN, DEVON, RYLEE, TAYLOR AND MOM AND DAD!!! I MISS YOU ALL A LOT!!!