WOWWWW, has it really already been one week?? Time has been flying, well, except the first day. No, but really I feel like just a few hours ago Mom, Dad, and lil' kenny were sending me off. But really, the first day was crazy haha. Right off the bat they threw me into a classroom and these two sisters just started blabbering Tagalog at me. I kinda just looked at them and started laughing.. couldn't understand a word haha. After that it really just felt like the day went on forever. (Food wasn't very good that day, so that didn't help.) But I really got lucky with the people who are in my district. My companion is a cool guy. His name's Elder Wineberg, from Mesa AZ. I easily got along with him from the start. My district is filled with guys that are easy to talk to and get along with, which is suchhhh a blessing. My comp and I are the only 2 elders in our district going to Laoag. Everybody else going to San Pablo. We all get along really well though. One thing I have loved so far is all the friends I've made here. I never realized how much I enjoy making new friends.
Provo Temple with roommates
Haha it was funny, right off the bat my missionary work started on Delta Airlines. This lady sitting next to me on the plane was sooo talkative for 6am, and at one point started asking about the gospel and had a bunch of questions. Talked to her for a solid hour and then made my way to the MTC (Missionary Training Center). Was a good start to these next 2 years.
So I'll talk about the language for a bit because I'm sure you all are curious how I'm taking it. So I took 2 years of Spanish in high school and came out of those classes with about 2 or 3 phrases I can remember..... I have been learning Tagalog for a solid week, and can say a prayer, bear testimony, can almost teach a full lesson off the top of my head, and much more. It is INCREDIBLE how much I've learned. I'll tell ya about this lesson we gave on Tuesday to our "Investigator"(Actor). Best experience I've had so far.... So after we gave a lesson on Monday, which we struggled a bit on, one of the elders that has been here about 4 weeks came into our classroom and told us that for our 3rd lesson not to bring a script of what to say. Instead to just bring a small piece of paper with the lesson plan on it in English and nothing else; that we should go in there with complete trust in the Spirit, that it will help us know what to say. So my comp and I decided we would do that. We said a quick prayer before entering our lesson, and went in there with confidence, and it was Incredible how the lesson went. I was speaking words that I didn't think I would be able to remember and putting together sentences like I knew the language. THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL!!
Oh, for our Tuesday night devotional, Elder Uceda from the Seventy came and spoke to us. He talked about missionary work from the investigator's point of view. (Him being a convert as a child.) The Spirit was incredibly strong as 1500 elders and sisters listened. That was another highlight of my week. Other highlights of the week included going to sleep on Wednesday night (my first day here), crossing an elder up and making him fall during basketball in the morning, and when President Smith announced the elders that were speaking during sacrament meeting and I wasn't one of them. Oh, and I dont know if you know who they are but "The Nashville Tribute Band" played for us on Sunday night and it was Amazing!! They were all sooo good and had such good voices. Anyways, it has really been a great 8 days here so far. Being with a ton of other people all around you who are servants of the Lord is a good feeling. It blows me away how strong the Spirit is here. I'm going to miss it when I leave in 6 weeks. Thank you for all of you who wrote me. I love hearing from you guys. Only thing I love more is getting packages (mailing address on right.)
Love you all, Talk to you next week.
Elder Mortenson - one of cousin Mitch's friends