How is everyone? This week has flown by! Next week we host the new missionaries (show them where they need to go, and meet them when they are dropped off). We are now the oldest district in our zone, it's crazy we have been here for 4 and 1/2 weeks already. Next weekend I should get my travel info.
Last Saturday after p-day was over we went to a weekly meeting we have called TRC. It’s where we teach a lesson to church members who speak Tagalog. It was a really great experience. Our member was a BYU student who just got his masters in social work and is looking for a job, his wife is also pregnant. He said that he was struggling a lot because it is getting to the time where he really needs to find work. We had a lesson on the fundamentals of the gospel to teach him, but the Spirit told me to just focus on faith. It was tough to try and convey my thoughts and feeling to him in Tagalog so I ended up saying a lot in English, just about how I know if he has the faith that God would guide him, he will find the right job for him. I had him read in 1st Nephi about when Nephi went to get the plates and went into Laban's house without any idea of what to do, but the Spirit guided him. I did say a lot in English but I didn't really care, it reinforced to me the idea that the Spirit is much more important than the language, and that the Holy Ghost is all that matters.
On Tuesday we went to a devotional in the Marriott center. I guess that is the first time that’s ever happened. It was crazy to see all the missionaries walking; it reminded me of the 2000 stripling warriors.
A quick funny story, during the first two weeks here we taught an "investigator" who was really just a teacher acting. This past week the teacher who had played the investigator walked into the class and said hello. It was funny to see him as a teacher instead of the non-member he played. We asked him if we had said anything funny or embarrassing in Tagalog. He laughed and said that I actually had. When we were teaching the law of chastity (the one lesson where you DON’T want to say the wrong thing) I had tried to ask him if he had a girlfriend. But I didn't know how to say girlfriend. So instead I thought I could just ask if he had a woman. Which sounded normal in my head "do you have a woman?" normal right? Well it turns out that when I asked him that it translated into "do you own a woman?"... something that a person might ask a pimp, nakakaawkward(awkward in Tagalog). We all got a good laugh, and now at least I know not to ask that in the Philippines.
The more we learn about Tagalog the stranger it becomes. It’s a big mix of lots of languages. For example numbers….counting numbers 1,2,3 but in Tagalog it’s Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo. Time is in usually in Spanish or English and dates or any number above 100 that isn't a multiple of 100 is in English! So you would say " Noong Eighteen twenty buhay si Joseph Smith" Joseph smith lived in 1820.
Mom and Dad - Happy Anniversary (last week)! Marlee - I am glad you had a fun time at girls' camp! Riley - Good job working out with weights at the Y! Ady - Sounds like you are going to be an amazing gymnast!
Also, Congratulations to my cousin Brock for getting engaged and Happy 75th Birthday to Grandma Brock!
I miss you all!
Mahal Elder Hayden Merrill
Elder Hayden Albert Merrill
MTC Mailbox #15
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Utah 84604-1793