Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hey Everyone Almost There!

Flight plans for the Philippines, Great moments speaking in Cebuano, and a great story about speaking by Skype to a Philippine. 

I am so thankful to all of you for the prayers given for me, and the letters I have received. Prayers are so much help when I am learning the language, I feel them as words are brought to my remembrance, it is super cool.
I have been asked what is the best way to contact me next week and beyond, when I am in the Philippines, I honestly don't know, when I get there I'll do my best to let everyone know. Thanks so much for caring about me so much :D

Last Friday Night we got our flight plans, we are to be ready at 6:00 AM on Sept. 4th and we leave from Utah at 11:15 AM for Tokyo, from there we have a 2 hour lay-over, then a flight to Manila, Philippines, and arrive at 10:20 PM ... on Sept. 5th. So a crazy long flight.

This week I had some great moments speaking Cebuano. Our distract has been going to choir every week practicing singing songs for the devotional and listening to great stories from the choir director (they are about how the Mormon Pioneers set up the church, and the crazy struggles that they faced, or about where the song we were singing comes from). They're awesome. Last week I didn't really want to sing, and choose to study in the same room as choir practice because my companion still wanted to sing in the choir. Well, I guess I wasn't supposed to be there if I wasn't singing, and was asked to leave by a security guard, who put me in a courtyard with a bunch of missionaries learning Spanish. They had done the same thing as me, and explained to me that the security didn't want us just roaming around. Then, I started talking with them for a while.

This is where the story gets good. I saw my teacher Bro. Johnson, in street clothes, as he said "Kumsta" to me. We had a conversation in Cebuano him asking what I was doing, and about my day, etc.. then said goodbye to each-other. Then I turned around. Those missionaries faces...priceless, I was was trying not to laugh at there faces, they looked in awe and super scared at the same time. They were scared, because every Spanish Missionaries fear is that the Spanish they are learning won't match to where they are going (Spain Spanish vs Mexican Spanish) And they thought I was speaking American Spanish because they heard "Como Estes" instead of "Kumusta" on top of that I have an English name-tag, instead of a Cebuano Name-tag. So they thought I must have already known Spanish before my mission.

It was so great, I was laughing all night about it, and the next day with Bro. Johnson. After I explained to them that it wasn't Spanish, Instant relief followed by confused looks, they were still surprised that I could speak Cebuano so well, and had been learning it for just as long. Then as we were walking into the devotional, some old man, asked if I wanted a front row seat, I of course said yes, and got a reserved seat, it was pretty cool, but I still don't know why I got it.

During weeks 5 and 6 at the MTC, if you are learning a language you get to Skype a person from where you will be going on your mission. Me and my Companion were skyping a philippine, and we were sharing favorite scriptures. He shared 1 Nephi 2:15 "He dwelt in a tent." I thought he was joking because he was a pretty cool dude, and I have never taken this scripture of much value before. After reading it, he then explained that it was his favorite scripture because Lehi had given up all his gold and silver to obey God, that he gave up everything and now was dwelling in a tent, in the middle of the wilderness, waiting for the next thing. It was such a cool testimony, and even cooler that me and my companion understood it. What a great guy, his name was Gurcov Wong.

I thank you again for the prayers you give me, I can't believe next week I will be in the Philippines.

Elder Remer