Woah. Another week down, already? Time is flying. I'm getting good at teaching. And I can Tagalog. In my humble opinion.
With only two weeks to go, this kinda puts pressure on the missionaries to decide whether they will slack off and accept where they are with the language and the gospel, or whether they will kick it up and put all they've learned about teaching and planning and learning to the test. I chose the latter. I honestly feel like I haven't wasted a moment the last few days. Between making lesson plans in Tagalog, practicing teaching lessons, my frantic reading of the Standard Works, and everything else that goes on here, I am busy. Which is good. Something changed. I'm not sure exactly when, but it was this week for sure. I'm just much more motivated. I think that getting this close to teaching real people, with real needs, with real souls, is helping me realize just how much they need me to be prepared. So with that said, life is good here! I love the learning. I love the teaching. And I seriously love the people. The members of my zone, the teachers and leaders, but especially the people of the Philippines that I haven't even met yet. I just know that I am going to be the tool in the Lord's hands that brings them His gospel, and a joy in life that they could have through no other means. Not to mention the eternal blessings.
We got new missionaries this week! Finally. Christmas is a slow time for the MTC, so we didn't get new Elders when we were here for 3 weeks, like usual. But at our 6 week mark, we finally got 17 new missionaries in our zone. Awesome! It's fun to show them all that we know. The things I wish the older elders would have taught me, and the things I learned on my own. I just want to make sure that they end up leaving the MTC better than me, if at all possible. I think that's how you must feel, parents. It's really good though, I love it.
I was in the sacrament meeting program way too much this week, but it was so much fun! The elders in my room and I practiced a version of "Come Thou Fount" in 4 parts, and of course I pulled the bass ;) I got to bless the sacrament (in Tagalog! super difficult), it felt like I was 16 again blessing for the first time. Tagalog is more difficult though, let's just say that. And of course, I played the piano for the hymns. I'm improving there, too. The first week I played was horrendous. But now it's good. And apparently they've got pianos in the Philippines too!
My favorite thing here is teaching. But even better, is teaching a Teacher who is pretending to be a progressing investigator. My companion and I have two, Elena and Charlie. (not related). They are both portraying real people, Elena is herself before baptism, and Charlie is his favorite investigator. We teach to their real needs, and they feel the same spirit that they did 2-3 years ago. It's is easily the best part of the week. We also get to prepare as a companionship to teach these people. We pray about what they need to here, we prepare a plan to teach them that, and we learn the Tagalog necessary to do that. The Age of Preach My Gospel really is amazing. Sorry, old-timers, but I am so grateful that I get to teach by the guidelines established in that book.
I am still reading a lot. I'm in Isaiah now. I loved 1&2 Samuel. I loved Psalm 51 about David's repentance. I think the people of Israel are insane. But it is super cool to read that account. Isaiah is fun haha. But I'm learning a ton!
All is well with me, what about you? Write me. Put your address and please date the letter or email cause I never remember to!
Elder Trevor Todd Brown