This week has been a blast... I have to say that this week has been my absolute favorite so far. With me falling out of my chair during a lesson, mattress surfing in the residence hall, and snipe hunting- its been a full week. Of course there is also all the amazing religious experiences with a temple across the street and general conference weekend.
First things first, "The Chair Story." (As it is referred to by my entire zone.) So first off you need to understand TRC. I have no idea what it stands for, sadly, but its when we teach members in Tagalog. The first few weeks we taught members live here at the MTC- that's how I got to meet with Phil Atoigue- and last week we got to Skype with members in the Philippines and teach them a lesson all in Tagalog. Since we already had a lesson plan for the Atonement we decided to do that. We all had our portions set and our words and vocabulary down and we were ready. Nervous, but ready.
So as soon as the Skype lesson started I could tell that I had no idea what we were talking about. I scrambled over my notes trying to recognize what we were talking about and then it was my turn. Sister Rosser and Banham had been talking about the Atonement and how through baptism we can be made clean- no matter our past. So now it was my turn to talk about how the sacrament acts as a renewal of the baptismal covenants and, when taken right, can lead to a fresh clean slate at the beginning of each week. Kyle, our Skype buddie, said that he could not see all of us- I think he was skying from his phone- so I do my best to scoot in and Sister Rosser pulls me in.
Something happened. I honestly could not tell you what. But the chair slipped and I was down. I can only imagine how that must have looked on the screen to Kyle! So I pull myself up from off the ground and I simply cannot remember a single word in English. It actually took us several minutes to recompose ourselves because we were all laughing soooo hard! Our teacher, Sister Cope is doing her best to stay in her own chair because she is laughing so hard as well! And all the Tagalog left me! It all left me! I had no idea what anything was. What's Hindi? I don't know! (it means 'no' and pronounced hin-dee) And Kyle was doing his best to keep a straight face and I just look over to Sister Banham for help- I literally could not think of any words, English or Tagalog- and she just looked at my chair that was lying there on the floor and we all just lost it again. I don't think I have laughed so hard in my life.
Next on the marvelous world of wonder is General Conference!! So, for those of you that you don't know, at the MTC we listen to devotionals Tuesday and Sunday nights in the gym on the collapsible risers/ stands. So for General Conference we were going to do the same thing! Sit for six hours in the gym, go eat lunch, sit go eat dinner and sit... We could only hope that we would not:
1) loose feeling in our feet from being cramed into these tiny risers
2) fall asleep due to the inability to stand and miss out on the blessings
3) or wet your pants from the inability to get to a bathroom from being crouded in those stands. So the night before- friday night- I talked with my branch President, President Howard, if we could simply pull the conference up in our language class and watch it there. He was all for it, because we would be more likely to get stuff out of it if we were
1) comfortable and not in pain from being crammed into the risers and
2) able to stand if we got sleepy!
So For general Conference we (Sister Banham, Rosser, and I) brought all the food we had hoarded in the last four weeks to the class room and shared with the Elders in our district. We ate and had the most amazing conference experience we could ever have hoped for. Durring breaks we would clean up the classroom, and discuss what we had learned from that session.
If you have not watched General Conference just youtube "General Conference April 2016" and it should come up on the Mormon Chanel.
My favorite talk was the very first talk of the Saturday Morning Session. I wish I had thought to bring my notes and then I could tell you all about it. Too bad you'll have to go and experience it for yourself!! Seriously though, I received personal revelation for myself, for my investigators, for my district, and for my Zone through General Conference. And remember, after watching it, apply it. Think of it like this: If you were a turkey and you went to a meeting about how one turkey had learned to fly, and you learn all these amazing things that can not only impact, but save your life at that meeting; and then at the end of that meeting you walk home? What was the point? Why bother even attending? You've got to apply this stuff to your life! I for one will work on being of a more gentle nature.
This comes from the fact that I instill fear into the hearts of men. I'm kidding- though, all the Elders in the newest district are terrified of me. I haven't the foggiest why, but they are. Well, I do. I talked with a few and it's because I am so quick and demanding when we are trying to do our opening exercises. (Opening Exercises is where we have a prayer, sing a hymn, and read a section from the White Missionary Handbook then we close and go to our personal study.) I like to start on time, and I have a lot- and I mean a lot- of studying to do. So I am a little brusque with them in the mornings about starting and I guess the Elders assumed I was like that all the time! So I have been working on being nicer in the morning and throughout the day.
For our Sunday Devotional we had Vocal Point come and sing and it was the absolute best! After we had the oprotunity to either go and listen to some prerecorded talks or watch a church movie called The Testiments. We, as a Zone chose The Testaments, and when it started it started in Korean!! We all sat there for a bit and wondered if we should try going to a different recording- perhaps Characters of Christ by Bednar- but I got up and went into the sound box to find it empty! I called in a Brother who worked there and explained that it was in the wrong language. (Every week they play this movie in Koran but had changed it up to English that day) He didn't even realize! Once it was fixed we went back into the main room an everyone applauded me because they thought I had fixed it! I have to admit I did give a little bow. Now, because I made it possible for us as a Zone to watch General Conference in our respective class rooms AND I fixed the movie they call me Get It Done Eldredge. Well.. They did for that weekend but I still call myself that when I'm struggling with a language concept...
This week I was also sick. It was rough and all I wanted to do was sleep and cry and be sick- and it wasnt even that bad! I just had a bad headache and a stomach ache. But I pushed through- I prayed and told God that I could not do it alone, but through and with Him all things can be done. The lesson we had that day with our investigator Lani was litterally the best. Because we, as a companionship, relied on the spirit so much we not only could speak the language but we could also understand her needs and what she was saying. The Lord will provide a way.
I also got to meet -again- the Elder that Joe went on exchanges with in NZ! His name is Elder McCarthy and he is serving in Kiribati!! What a small world.
So today we went to the temple across the street and did sealings, though only children sealings to their parents, and I brought names that Grammy gave me and I had the COOLEST experience. So beforehand I thought we were doing endowment sessions so I had brought a huge load of names for everyone and while we were eating in the Temple Cafeteria (ISN'T THAT SO COOL THAT THEY HAVE A CAFETERIA?!?!?! Their waffles are the friggin best) everyone talked about how they wanted to either do initiatories or to do sealings. So I shuffled through my names and found 9 males that needed to be sealed to their parents so I thought heck yeah! But only 6 Elders were going to go so I was going to leave the other three names in the locker room but I had the impression I should bring them. So I stuck them in my dress pocket and we all went to the sealing room. The guy who was leading the session first asked if there were any of us for whom this would be their first time and everyone but me and one other elder raised their hand. He then gave us this really cool introduction about the history of the ordinance and the meanings behind the things that he would say. Really cool. So then he said that we were all going to do 2 names each. Instantly my pocket began to burn. I all but leaped out of my seat and handed the extra three names over as fast as I could. I got to stamp the date that they were completed on the card after he put them into the computer.
After that we all went to the Celestial room and it was seriously the most amazing experience I have had to date in the temple. One of the older sisters that had sat as proxy for the moms came up to me and thanked me for the great spirit that the Elders and Sisters of my zone had brought to the session. What an amazing experience.
So after General Conference on Saturday we went back to the residence and mattress surfed. INSERT PICTURE OF ROSSER BIFFING IT its not as bad as it looks, as the mattress stopped sliding half way down the stairs and Sister Rosser decided to army crawl the rest of the way down! We were all dying it was soooo funny. And only last night we went snipe hunting with all the Kiribati sisters, who had never even heard of it. Sister Brown and I went and hid in the bushes and jumped out and scared the girls. It was the absolute best. They were a little upset but now they all think it was hysterical.
I have grown so close to these missionaries, Sisters and Elders. It will be hard to leave them but since we are on the Lord's mission it will all end well! I love you all!!
Fun Tagalog words!!
Dalas- (da-lass) meaning 'often'
Kaligayahan (cali-guy-ah-han) meaning 'Joy'
Lori, that one is for you.
Pusa (poo-sa) meaning cat
Puso (poo-so) meaning heart. Dont mix them up!! You dont feel the Holy Ghost in your cat!!