"Hi Sister El Bano."

November 21, 2015

I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU SENT ME MUNCHERS! [deep-fried cheese potatoes we used to get at the Menan gas station] I about cried I was so happy! And even the half n' half packets! I've already used two. (; I got a lot of weird looks from my zone, but I was so happy I didn't even care. Then they all got mad I wouldn't share with them (; I love you parents of mine SOOO MUCH! THANK YOU! [at the Pop Stop you can get creme shots added to your soda]

So! I'll start off by answering your questions. [Is your companion/district all going to Urdaneta?] My companion is not going to my mission with me (which actually really sucks). There are six Elders in my District and three of them are going to Urdaneta with me. I really like those three, but they're actually the three I talk to least.. They're all SUPER nice though so I am happy they'll be in my mission. There's a sister in a different district (but still in my zone) that's going to Urdaneta and I really like her so that's pretty sweet. 
Elder Wu, Elder Cook, and Sister Calica.

[What is your schedule?]My schedule is usually pretty much the same everyday. We have two three hour classes where we learn how to make sentences in Tagalog. You would think they'd teach us how to be a missionary and how to teach with the spirit or learn doctrine/principles.. But no. We just learn how to speak Tagalog. And you would think six hours a day of Tagalog lessons would be helpful, but I don't think it is.. Haha. I mean, yes it helps but the teachers only speak in Tagalog so more than half the time I have no idea what they are saying. Luckily my companion, Sister Murray, has been picking up the language pretty good so I can ask what the teachers are saying. If we're not in class we're either doing personal study for an hour, companion study for and hour, and then some personal language study for an hour. 
Thank you SO much!

Tuesday's we have devotionals by people high up in the church which are super awesome! Sunday's are really good too. We have sacrament meeting with the zone and our Branch Presidency and then Relief Society with the sisters in the zone and the Branch Presidency's wives. My Branch President also requires my whole zone to be in the MTC choir, so every Tuesday and Sunday nights we have practice and then sing at the Tuesday night devotionals. I actually really like choir practices, it's just a time to have fun but also feel the spirit very strongly because of the songs we sing. 

[What is the MTC doing to celebrate Thanksgiving? Anything special?] I'm not sure what we're doing for Thanksgiving.. But my guess is that we'll have a turkey dinner type thing the day before or after Thanksgiving because I doubt that there's anyone that will be working that day. Hopefully we'll have a devotional of some kind though, that'd be really nice. 
A surprise text from Brother and Sister
 Ron and Shauna Peterson

[How is the language coming?] I'm not sure how the language is coming.. I'd say I'm one of the slowest learners in the class. Elder Taylor-Jenson whose in my District took Tagalog for four years in high school so he's pretty much a champion and likes to help me out. I appreciate that a lot more than he realizes. I'd say I'm having a hard time memorizing vocabulary because when Sister Bates (my teacher) asks a question or what a word is, someone will yell out the answer before I can figure it out. So pretty much I'm just always given the answer so I'm not doing very good at learning. So.. Don't cheat in school kids. You won't learn anything. (; 

[Any advice for Trace Barney? (Going to Alaska via the MTC Dec. 2nd)]I don't have any specific advice for Trace.. But make sure he realizes that it's mostly sitting in classes. I'm sure it will be a lot less stressful and more fun when he doesn't have to learn a language, but no one ever gave me a heads up on how much sitting in class it would be. But when we do have free time, it is SOOOO much fun hanging out with everyone in your zone. Also! After you get past the first week life gets SOO much better. 
(Left to Right) Elder Budge, Edgley,
 Morris, Garrett, Taylor-Jenson, Sister Murray.
This is my district minus two Elders.

With that said, I'm really enjoying life at the MTC now. I don't get homesick at all anymore, which is super nice. I have a lot more fun now. I also saw Chance at breakfast the other day and that was so fun! I'm bummed Brayden and Sadie weren't with him but oh well. So! Funny story.. I'm pretty sure everyone has heard about someone mixing up two words that sounds the same in the language they're learning to speak. Well.. I totally did that in a lesson with my investigator. We were have a very spiritual lesson (and these lessons are all in Tagalog too) about the Plan of Salvation and I went to say something like  Alam ko po na totoo ng ebanghelyo ("I know the gospel is true") and instead of saying "ebanghelyo" I said "el bano!" and oh my gosh.. I literally lost it! I've never laughed so dang hard in my entire life! Even Ignacio (the investigator) laughed so hard that he cried too! Oh man, Sister Murray and I literally died! And then to make it even better.. The next day (a complete surprise) "Igancio" became my District's new language teacher and when he walked in to say hi to everybody he shook my hand and said "Hi Sister El Bano." I lost it.. Oh man, I will never be able to live that down! ;D (el bano means bathroom)
Budge, Taylor-Jenson, Edgley, Murray

Also! I laughed really hard at the 1/2 tree getting the last laugh! That was super funny! I could just imagine the whole thing perfectly. ;D I'm really excited for Tyrel and Morgan there's lots of fun stuff coming up for them (: [So Faylynn Barney and I decided to get her future daughter-in-law a fake Christmas tree for a shower gift so we looked them up on Amazon and Walmart.com.  "We started laughing at what we found.  Get this...they now sell 1/2 a tree!  They look so funny! They're fake trees that are flush so you can push it up against a wall.   So anyway, we found a tree and ordered it on Walmart.com.  So I look up the email to confirm the details only to find that I accidentally ordered one of those retarded 1/2 trees!!!  Haha!  Dad thought that it was so funny that Faylynn and I were mocking the 1/2 tree only to find that the 1/2 tree got the last laugh when I stupidly ordered one.]

And dad.. I LOVE YOUR JOURNAL LETTERS! Keep that up, those are my favorite. I love you guys a lot more than you'll ever know! And thanks for all the letters and packages from everyone! Telisha sent me a box of Krispy Kreme and I about died.. :D And Sister and Brother Wood sent me a very generous card. And the Rockwell's sent me an MTC survival kit that was very appreciated! I just love everyone so much. (:  
Chance ran into Sister Fivas while at work at the MTC

Kjar (Light blonde in the back), Goodwin (Other tall blonde in the back) Aquino (front row with the scarf), Piutau(gang sign (;)Aguustin, Calica (black dress), Romrell, Murray (blue skirt),
 Sulunga (flowery dress). These are all the girls in my zone.