I can see everyone's email address when they send me mail. MyLDSMail is just Gmail with a different logo. So you don't have to worry about it being handicapped or something.
So, the first day. After I was dropped off, I got all of my supplies and my name-tag was put on by Sister Bills, Susan Fry's mother. She said she remembered me playing with the kids and that was pretty awesome. And Sister Starley was there with her, they had a bit of a fight as to who would put the name-tag on.
We then entered the class, and began the Tagalog emersion. The teacher, Sister Stonick (who says she knows a Kelsea Kocherhans but I don't know if that's you, Kelsea, or cousin, Kelsey.), spoke only Tagalog to us. I could actually understand more than I thought. For instance, she asked me where I was from and I was able to respond in Tagalog. So that was cool. Elder McCausland, the one we met at Rumbi's, is in my district. His companion is Elder Sefita. He was born in Samoa but most recently has been living in Hurricane(Hurrkin), Utah. I am in a tri-force-- I mean, a threesome companionship. Elder Rogers and Elder Peterson are my companions. The first day was so jam-packed it seemed like a week. Our Branch President put it like "Well, the moment you step through the door, it's like drinking from a fire-hose". It sure is. And you can see how it has affected the Elders who have been here only four weeks. For example, our Zone Leaders, Elder Mackenzie and Elder Topham. They're our age, in fact, some of them may be younger than us, but they seem like they are in their 30's. They're speaking Tagalog like they've known it their whole lives, and their disposition is so matured. Yet, they've only been here a month. It's incredible. No day at work I've had compares even a little to the amount we're able to put in here. It is truly an astoundingly effective missionary training center.
Everyone around the campus speaks their language. It's awesome to see the diversity. Elder Rogers is really good at adlibing Tagalog so he'll pretend to speak it fluently when we pass people. It's hilarious. We also occasionally call him Tsokolate(Ts makes the "ch" sound sa Tagalog) Rogers because he drinks inhumane amounts of chocolate milk at every meal. I have acquired the nickname Kocherhantas because apparently I have a tendency to explore. The sisters call me that, too. The sisters in our district are Sister Murdock, Sister Davis, Sister Shaw, Sister McClain, and Sister Ramsey. They are all awesome. We sang a hymn on the second day, and when I went down to the bass part, Sister McClain and Sister Davis started singing alto, and Sister Shaw ripped out her opera lessons with a manganda(beautiful) soprano. We sounded really good together, so that has become a favorite pastime.
Language is coming along well. I can bear my testimony sa Tagalog, and I've learned more than any other class could have taught. The gift of tongues(kaloob ng mga wika) is strong in these halls. How else could a ton of 18-year-old's pull off very reasonable comprehension being thrown into an AP Tagalog class?
Elder Sefita has a crush on a sister in another district. He gets so nervous around girls. It is hilarious to see his face every time she comes near by. Don't worry, he hasn't flirted. He's too scared, anyway.
I was called to be district leader. Right now, my only duty is to get the mail and such, but I'll learn more about my other responsibilities bukas(tomorrow). The Branch Presidency wanted me to tell you that all three of them marked an X over my picture during our first Branch meeting when I bore my testimony. They knew I was to be the leader and that my mom should be proud to have raised me. So, thank you(salamat) Mom!
So many kids from Mountain Ridge have been here. One sister from Maeser, Sister Miller, was here. She freaked out when she saw me, as expected of her. Haha. I've seen Coleman Webb, Ty Curtis, and some other familiar faces.
Elder Rogers and Elder McCausland freak out about the mountains every time they see them. Rogers is from Arizona and McCausland is from Florida, so mountains are fascinating to them. I feel our district is really close. Maybe a bit hyperactive at times, but we get along well.
When we have gym time, we will work out and count sa Tagalog so we can solidify the language. Our Zone Leaders are really cool and visit us often. They are always helpful and kind. I'm really excited to get to their point in about a month. And then, on top of that, live in the Philippines for a few years! I can't even imagine what I'll be like then. Well, I know I'll be ready and worthy to go on with the rest of my life as an effective father, husband, and man. How great is this work! I'm so excited to meet the people I am being prepared for, and who are preparing for me!
Alam ko po na totoo ang Aklat ni Mormon, at alam ko po na mapagmahal ang ating Diyos sa Langit. Sa panagalan ni Jesucristo, amen. (I hope I said that right.)
PS Thank you for the package! I loved Kaylee's drawing! Tell her I miss her! I told my companions about the pillow room and they didn't seem excited... so that's lame.