This first week has been awesome. The spirit is so strong here I can't really explain it! I have been doing well and having lots of fun! After I got dropped off they just threw me into things! I walked into a classroom with a teacher speaking full on Tagalog! By day three my companion and I were already giving a lesson to our investigator Anna in Tagalog haha!
My companion is named Elder Eli Carter and he is from Southwest Missouri. There are about 175 people in the town he is from! Haha he's pretty quiet but we are getting along really well. He enjoyed working at a scout camp, playing iPad, watching TV, and taking band through high school. He also really enjoys languages and wants to go to a language college one day. I asked him what state it was in and he wasn't quite sure haha! He took Spanish in high school and tries to speak it to anyone who speaks here. He's a great example and I love him so much! He's taught me alot. Fun fact he can haul down stairs faster than anyone I've ever seen! He turns sideways and next thing you know he's at the bottom of the stairs. I'm trying to learn his skills and become more like him haha!
The language is totally crazy! I seriously just start laughing in the middle of class when I hear how some things are said. Like for example, faith is pananampalataya and humbling is nakakapagpakumbaba! It's soo fun to learn though. Some days it's kinda confusing but we've been staying positive as a district! I can say I know for a fact the gift of tongues is real!! If we have faith we will be able to accomplish anything. Elder Carter and I have taught Anna five lessons and committed her to baptism yesterday! These lessons have been so awesome because we constantly surprise ourselves with our Tagalog! Each lesson we use less and less notes and it's totally crazy how fast we've learned! Everyone in our district can say full prayers and we can all testify of things pretty well. We still have lots to learn so we'll continue to work hard!
I found out I'll actually only be here in Provo for six and a half weeks. Then we will go to the Manila MTC for a week so seven and a half weeks total! Which is really nice because I know I'll be wanting to get in the field by then haha. But this week honestly flew by and they say the first week is usually the worst!
As a district we all get along really well!! Everyone here has a different background and has been raised differently so it's fun to see how different yet similar we all are! We've had tons of fun so far and find funny ways to have fun. Elder Bottema from St. George has a nerf hoop so we go crazy tryin to ball at night during free time haha! We've also had lots of some sweet rap battles and like to tell funny stories and stuff. For exercise time we've mostly played sand volleyball which is super fun. Life in the mtc is pretty great haha! We've had tons of fun.
Like I said before, the spirit here is soo strong!! I've seen so many small miracles each day. On the second night I had the opportunity to give my comp a blessing! It was so cool and strengthened my testimony of the Priesthood a ton! The next morning he was doing so much better and it was cool to see God do his work. Another cool tender mercy was one day after class I just decided to bring my camera to the cafeteria which I hadn't done before! Sure enough, I saw two of my best friends, Elder Cheney and Elder Lloyd, at the same time and was able to take a pic! That's the only time we've been together at the same time and I didn't realize that little miracle until later that day! My branch president told us miracles are the same today as they were during Joseph Smith's time, and even during Christ's time! That really struck me and I know I'll see that throughout my experience as a missionary!
I've learned more this week than I would normally learn in a few months I feel like. One thing I liked is was a quote I heard during one of the devotionals. A pioneer said, "We came to know God during our extremities. The price paid was a privelage to pay." I know that God is always watching over us during our hard times in life! We grow so much during these times. The reason we came to earth was to be tested right? I know that if we can endure to the end and always stay faithful, we will be blessed more than we know and it will all be totally worth it! Thanks everyone for your support! I'm so lucky to be blessed with the fam and friends i have. Have a good week!!