Monday, April 9, 2012

Gandalf the Gray can become Gandalf the White through conversion to Jesus Christ.

 Hello everybody! Boy did this week go fast! All of a sudden it's P-day again!
On Wednesday this week there were rumors going around the MTC that Elder David Archuleta was entering the MTC today!I heard all different sides of the story! "Oh, that rumor's been around for weeks!" "Oh yeah, he lives in my building!" "I think he's going to Chile!" Well I can confirm the rumors that it is in fact true. Our very own runner-up of American Idol is on a mission! I saw him at dinner that night. He didn't have a body guard on him, and he didn't even have a huge companion to protect him. He was with another little guy for a companion. Whatever. I think he's going to Chile, but I've heard no conformed reports.

On Thursdays I get to participate in what is known as "Service." I call it "Earn your keep, you lazy missionaries, slave labor time." You spent 75 minutes doing chores, pretty much. For the past two weeks I've gone to the same women's residence building and vacuumed, wiped bathrooms, etc. This week I cleaned sinks. To help me with proper technique, a Sister from my zone/branch, Sister Tioti helped me out. QUIZ TIME! How do you pronounce "Tioti?" Here's your clue: she is from the Pacific island nation/principality? of Kiribati, which I've never heard of before, I think (which is quite something, because I'm decent at geography). If you guessed "tee-oh-tee" then you aer WRONG. If you guessed anything along the lines of "sauce" or "sose" then you are right! Good for you! Just pretend the "ti" is an s, and you've got it.

Choir has been intense this week. I can officially say now that I am performing in General Conference on Saturday during the afternoon session! I am on the alto 1 section. The sisters are wearing what mom would call "Easter egg themed" colored shirts. I'll be wearing pale green. So keep your eyes out for me during all the songs! I cannot tell you wear I am, because I don't know! I think it's by the height we listed when we filled out our mission papers, so it's likely I'll be in the back, unless there are some good, tall altos. Look for green! Again Mom, provide times and websites and stuff for people here so they can watch! Also, load a link of the songs from YouTube onto all my blogs! The songs and talks will all be uploaded to YouTube by the church in the days following Conference.

Anyway, choir. Practice is every morning at 7. Fun fact: I am still not a morning person. I don't think I've been a morning person since I was in elementary school, when I would wake up early so I could watch "Goof Troop" with my sister before school. Those days are long gone. After 2 weeks I still struggle to get out of bed at 6:30 and to sleep at 10:30 at night. I lie in bed restless all the time. Sigh. Anyway, back to choir. Choir rules are strict. If you miss a rehearsal, you're out and replaced. People sit outside the rehearsal begging to be in the choir. But guess what, there's a new member of the choir. Can you guess who it is? If you guessed Sister Tioti, you are wrong,. If you guessed Elder Archuleta, then you are right. I frown at the injustice (because seriously, he just got here, and he's missed a bunch of rehearsals), but I won't let it bother me. He may have sung with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir before, but he's never sung during General Conference! And neither have I! I'm so excited to be able to sing for my biggest audience ever. My audience is... the world. That's a lot of people. I'm sure David Archuleta didn't ask to be in the choir either. I'm sure it was offered to him, so I hold no hard feelings against him. So when you're not looking for me in the alto section, you can look for him in the (I'm assuming) tenor section!

It took me nearly 2 weeks, but I'm finally getting the hang of studying for Tagalog. At first I think I was in too much shock to study properly, but now I'm getting the hang of it.

Tagalog Lesson for the Day
Tagalog grammar is very backwards from English or Spanish. Tagalog follows the basic sentence structure VAOL: Verb, Actor, Object, Location, in that order. If any of the parts are missing, just skip it.
English: The boy threw the ball to the girl.
Tagalog: Threw boy ball girl.
English:Missionaries teach people gospel principles.
Tagalog: Teach missionaries gospel principles people.
Fun isn't it?
In Tagalog there is no verb -to be, nor do they have any articles like "the" or "a." So you may be asking yourself, how would one say such things as, "Jesus is the Savior" or "The church is true?" The answer is in the markers. Tagalog uses marker words like "ang" "ng" and "sa" to draw emphasis to words.

Tagapaglitas ang Jesucristo. (Jesus Christ is the Savior.) Literally "Savior is Jesus Christ." In this example 'ang' is used to mean is.
Totoo ang simbahan. (The church is true.) Literally it means "True is church." Ang is "and" again. This is not always the case. Fun fact: Simbahan is one of my favorite words in Tagaglog because it reminds me of The Lion King.

Ang Aklat ni Mormon. (The Book of Mormon) In this sentece "ang" means "the." It's very confusing.

On Sunday afternoons we take trips to the temple grounds! So in Sunday I may be at the temple grounds between Conference sessions! Look for me! I'll even bring my coat to hand off, Mom!

All the sisters in my apartment are leaving on Monday, and Sister Arnold and I are getting new international roommates on Tuesday! Our roommates are flying to the Philippines via Los Angeles and Hong Kong! How cool is that? It's very likely I'll be following the same route. I'll be sure to buy a phone card so I can call the family from the airport(s) whilst I travel. But we don't have to worry about that for another 3 weeks. I can't believe time is going so fast! I leave the MTC on April 23!

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