Kumusta Po Kayo pamilya? (How are you, family?) Finally, I can write you a long letter! P-day this week couldn't come any sooner! Whew, what a week! Straight up learning Tagalog and speaking Tagalog, from teachers who only speak Tagalog... But I really do love it here! I can't think of anything I would rather be doing right now. This is such an amazing experience and I'm just happy to be a missionary!
So, I wrote you about our investigator Ramir. Well, he became our new Tagalog teacher! At first it was a little stressful because he knows how terrible we all are. He is the most sympathetic, spirit led teacher I have ever had though and I am so glad he is teaching us. We are still teaching "Ramir" but we have a new investigator to teach on Monday. 2 investigators already and I've only been a missionary for 2 weeks! :D
My district leader is amazing! He is really prayerful about everything we do and thinks about everyone. He is really inspired and I'm grateful he's in charge. He has a twin and I like to call him "Fake Elder Burbidge" because I have been following his twin before, not realizing that I was going with the wrong district. His twin is also serving in the Philippines though and he is also the district leader. Cool, right?
So... I love Gym time and my district has made it traditional that the last 40 minutes or so of Gym we play a game of volleyball against one another. It's pretty fantastic. I have a reputation in our little volleyball games. I don't know if you have ever played volleyball with me, but I can only hit it one way- punching it with one fist. I can always hit it right into the other teams court, but I just can't seem to hit it like a normal person. Of course, everyone teases me because they all say I go from angel to demon in three seconds in my volleyball-punching technique. Last time they tried to train me to hit the ball the right way, and It went completely awal- all the way across the gym. Just because I had hit it though, everyone cheered and gave me apir- "up-here" or high-five in tagalog. I've never got so much support for loosing a point!
Speaking of the language though, my kasama and I have been saying "Kahunga-hunga" which our teacher has said meant wonderful. Our investigator/teacher Ramir told us that we were actually saying it wrong, because it means wonder-ful. Like to be in wonder. So when he said he prayed and we said "Kahunga-hunga"... well, you can just imagine how that went.
Also, for my brothers, if you are asking someone if they are going down you say, "bababa ba?" and then to answer you say, "bababa." :D .
So I performed on Sunday a musical duet of Nearer my God to Thee. It was so beautiful and all in tagalog! Woohoo! Of course though, right after we sit down the ward next to us started the same musical duet- in tagalog! It was a little funny and everyone was snickering.
I also joined the missionary choir and I love it. We sang a beautiful song- Precious Savior, dear Redeemer. When we first went to choir we accidentally sat in the wrong section so we were really out of tune. ;) To make things worse, the girl behind my kasama and I was really mono-tone off tune. We were already having a hard enough time!
Also for Sunday, they took a Sister missionary picture to seal in a time capsule. My kasama and I are on the second row of the middle section, near the right side end. Can you believe it? We are so close to the front of the picture- how cool!
So we went to the Provo temple. It is amazing inside- so,so beautiful. Of course the outside isn't all that much to look at, but I was told something really cool about it that makes it kind of beautiful. It is one of the few temples that aren't symbolic of the mountain of the lord. Rather, it is symbolic of the Israelites traveling through the desert. The bottom is there tabernacle, the middle section is the cloud that guided them by day and the long spire is the pillar of fire that guided them by night. Cool right?
By the way, despite all of this Tagalog, I found that I still have a little French left. A missionary stopped us and bore his testimony to us in French and I understood it all!
I challenge everyone to read/listen/watch the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. It completely changed my life. It is seriously, the most beautiful life-changing talk I have ever heard. It was given to the missionaries on Christmas day at the MTC. Imagine being a new missionary on Christmas! How sad! But the talk is just amazing. Please watch it! :D
I love my district, they are so amazing and really funny. My favorite is sister Seastrand. She is absolutely hilarious! Last night we were saying the closing prayer as a district and something stuck one of the elders as funny and soon half the circle was laughing. Sister Seastrand, who was praying said without missing a beat, "please help us all to be reverent during our prayers" and that got everyone but the District leader laughing. He caved in at the end with a loud snort though. Too funny!
I just love my district. I wish you could meet them!
Love you all and I want you to know I think about you when things get rough and remember that you are all my reasons for being out here.