I hope everyone had a good week! I can't believe it's already been over a week in the MTC! I have now done everything at least once: service project, laundry, email, devotionals, and participating in the choir! It's pretty funny what is considered cool in the MTC that isn't really cool most other places. For example, in the MTC, everyone wants to be in the choir (they broadcast us to MTCs across the world) and missionaries all have clip on keychains that they put their card, key, and if their studying language, some flashcards. You'll see people studying anywhere and everywhere, myself included.
Some cool things happened this week: for one, we have some local celebrities in our district! When I say celebrities, I mostly mean in the Philippines and at BYU haha.
One of our teachers is Brother Blount, who is a member of the HeyJoe!Show which is a youtube comedy channel that some RMs who served in the Philippines created as a way to stay in touch with all their investigators and the people in the Philippines that they came to love so much! So it was cool to meet him! Their show went viral in the Philippines! Another one of our teachers Sister Schaap, was one of the sisters in the famous new article about a year ago, about the missionaries in the Philippines that barely survived a major typhoon! It's a pretty cool story, feel free to look it up! And third, one of the elders in our district is the second missionary ever to come from Bangladesh, ever! So in other words, our district is great, and I'm inspired by them (all of them) everyday!
Another butang mga nindot (cool thing): Brooke works as a teacher in the MTC so one day she cam into my classroom, right as we were about to start one on one coaching with our teachers, so Brother Johnson let her coach me and my companion Sister Ross! It was fun to both be wearing nametags that read Sister Bertoldo, and it's fun to call her Sister Bertoldo when she is also my literal sister!
The language is getting better kada adlaw! The rule here is SYL, speak your language, at every chance! We've already taught 4 lessons in Cebuano! We still have a LONG way to go, but it's incredible how much we've learned in just a week. The MTC in amazing at teaching language. The government does so many studies, trying to figure out how we get droves of young 18-25 year old fluent in other languages in just 6-9 weeks. They ask, what are your methods? How much of the language did they know before? I'll tell you all the answer. The MTC teaches us language so effectively and so quickly by teaching everyone here (even those serving missions in their native language) yet another language: the language of the Spirit.
For example, the temptation is to study nothing but the language during personal and companion study because the language is the obvious barrier between us and success as a missionary. But they teach us to use our study time to study the gospel and to read our scriptures and our Preach My Gospel manual in English. Of course, yes, we study and learn the language A LOT! But instead of just memorizing words and phrasing when teaching, they want us to speak from the heart, even if it means our sentence structure or grammar is off. As teachers, we invite the Spirit when we are kinasingkasing (sincere, heartfelt) and that is the key to success as a missionary. (D&C 100:7-8).
I loved being a swimmer, but I LOVE being a part of something so much bigger than myself, this wave of missionary work (Moses 7:62). I know this gospel is true. I would NEVER have done this if I didn't know it was the truth. I know that Christ is our Savior (Romans 5:8). I know that his command for us to be perfect, even as God is perfect (Matt. 5:48), can seem like an impossible task. But that is why we need the Book of Mormon, because it explains to us how we can do that (Moroni 10:32). I'm so grateful for how deep and profound this gospel is, and at the same time how simple and clear cut it is. I know that it is true!
Okay, I have run out of time, but I would like to invite you all to read Mormon chapter 7. In verse 7, it paints a picture of our ultimate goal! Let that motivate you to learn more about the gospel, deepen your testimony and come unto Christ! Love you all!
(sorry there are no pictures, my camera is not working)