Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Training Elder Simmons March 18th
This week has been AWESOME! Most of it has basically just been characterized by how much I love training my new comp.... Elder Simmons from Layton, Utah! But here's what led up to that:
Tuesday morning my old companion, Elder Balanon, and I went to the transfer point where he would be taken to his new area. From there, Elders Alldredge and La'Ulu (the Polynesian in some of my pictures) came back with me to Baao since they are also training as well. We worked in Baao, then on Wednesday, we got up early in the morning and went to Naga! Naga, if you remember, is not only where the Mission Home and SM (supermall) are, but also that was my first/previous area! We spent the day taking in the luxories of the mall, shopping, and even seeing a few people I used to teach (a lot are baptized now!). We also saw at SM my old comp, Elder Balanon. He is assigned in my old area, and guess what, his companion is my trainer! Hah my trainer, Elder Fronk, has now been in the same area for six months. Wednesday evening, we reported to the Mission Home for some training. President Bliesner did a workshop and we got to have a taste of what I used to enjoy... air conditioning! And on top of that, a hot shower, with a real shower head! How exciting.
Thursday morning, we had more workshops until lunch. But at 8:00 AM all of the new kids arrived. We were given a few minutes to welcome them and I met a kid from Orange County! I thought that maybe we'd become companions but nope. After lunch, the trainers and trainees were all brought into the same room where the new companionships were to be announced. We all were pretty anxious. I was assigned with Elder Simmons, we had one more hour long wirkshop, then we were off in the vans to our areas. We got back to our apartment in Baao around 3:30, discussed our plans for half hour then were off to work!
Basically, since then, we're been doing great! I'll admit, it was a little stressful when I gave him a turn to teach (like I normally would with any companion) then realized that he didn't understand a single thing our investigator said. Hah the language sure has made for some great adventures (: Elder Simmons is awesome though. He has a great desire to learn and must have just been nervous the first few days because on Sunday he gave two great talks (in the Group + Branch) for "Missionary Sunday" (every 3rd Sunday). It's interesting - you take a kid fresh from the MTC, turned 19 only a few weeks ago, can hardly understand anyone, and put him in front of a bunch of people, and even in his broken Tagalog, he will give the most heartfelt testimony you ever heard. Although we didn't quite understand his staggered words, there was an undeniable spirit in the air radiating from him and put tears in several of the congregation (including myself).
In short, training is the best thing. In just three and a half days together, we've found more people to teach than I did in months with my last companion (and I thought we were pretty decent!). Sometimes I get in autopilot mode and assume he knows everything. Hah, I forget that this really is a new world for Elder Simmons, but I've been there too. I loved it then, and I love it more now. I'm happy (:
Hope everyone is doing as well as I!
Love, Elder Shane Scully Brown
1. Getting taught to cook a Filipino meal
2-4. Fun. (we didn't actually teach like that)
5. This crazy lady we used to teach in my first area
6-7. Some of the trainers at trainers training (breakfast at a nice restaurant in Naga)