It's my first P-day and I can't believe it has only been 6 days since I last talked to you. Time goes by really slow cause our days are so jampacked full of stuff, but I am LOVING it. I have learned so much in the past week, it's unreal. From day 1 when everyone was freaking out apparently I just felt so good being here and so excited to learn this awesome language and get to know all these amazing missionaries. First off, I have not one but TWO mga kauban (companions) and I love them to death already. Ironically, Sister Schaap, from California, I met the day BEFORE I went into the MTC when we were shopping at Macy's. We knew we were going to the same place on the same day, but I can't believe we're companions! And Sister Bingham, from north Ogden, Utah, and I have been Facebook friends for the past month because on a Sister missionary page on Facebook she also knew we were going to the same place at the same time. And my roommates and the other two sisters in my district are also so amazingly awesome, Sister Gaono from Samoa and Sister Kramer from Kaysville, UT. We spend ALL our time together and we have so much fun. It's hard to believe we met less than a week ago. I can only imagine how good of friends we'll be after 6 weeks! We were talking about how awesome it is that we are all such great friends already and Sister Bingham said, yeah it's like Heavenly Father put us all in this room together cause he knew how fast we would love each other and how helpful that would be to all of in our learning and growing. This seems to happen to me ALL the time as far as roommates go, and I love it so much. I feel so blessed. Our district is also awesome, 8 elders (HUGE DISTRICT!) all going to Cebu City and all but one of them are 18 but they don't act any younger, we all work really hard and while talking to my Branch President, he said our district was really unique in that respect and he could tell we were going to do great things. My companions are 20 and Sister Kramer is 19, but I am strengthened everyday by their testimonies and their complete obedience. It makes life 100x easier.
I have learned SO MUCH about the language, I can't even believe it. We have already taught two lessons to our investigator in complete Cebuano (Friday and Saturday). We got to use some notes, but we know how to bear our testimonies and pray without looking which is really awesome. From day two our teachers made us promise to say all our prayers in Cebuano from now on and it's been a really great experience. Speaking of teachers, I have the BEST! Brother Elmer and Brother Pasikala both served in Cebu and got back like 6 months ago and they are excellent. Very funny and it makes a three hour class go by so fast. Also crazy, my good friend Trenton Daniels is going to be our teacher once a week! CRAZY! Oh and I forgot to mention that from day one, our teachers only talk to us in Cebuano, there were a lot of charades going on, but I can already see the helpfulness of immersion and it's already SO much easier to follow what they are trying to tell us to do. It's weird that my friend can only talk to me in Cebuano though, someday we will be able to have an actual conversation before I leave. Oh and did I mention that I love this language so much! It is really fun to say, I wish their was some way I could talk to you so you could sound what it hears like cause writing it just doesn't do it justice. Some of my favorite words are kukgi, panalangini, nga, Manunubos, Manaluluwas, ebanghelyo... haha it's fun (diligence, bless, a, Savior, Redeemer, gospel.)
We have gym almost everyday and our zone's coordinating sister, Sister Mckown, LOVES basketball almost as much as I do so we're going to play with the Elders everyday and I love it so much. I have ran into a ton of people that I know here so that's been super fun. I ran into my bestest friend Sister Jennifer Johnson who left to Tennessee last night and we got a picture and got to have lunch together and it was the greatest. I've also ran into some people from my ward that are MTC teachers and other various Sister missionaries that I've known over the years. Sister Kristin Ricks (my other bestest friend) gets here on Wednesday and I'm so excited!!!
Yesterday was fast sunday and so we had fast and testimony meeting (which is usually in your language but my zone is huge and has 4 different languages so they JUST decided to make it all english so everyone could understand everything, but I was kinda disappointed cause I think it will help us learn way faster! Especially when we have to give talks. Our zone includes Cebuano, Illongo, Cantonese and Japanese). And then we had the first ever mission conference with our new MTC presidency which was really good. Sunday was probably the best so far just because teaching the investigators the days before was just a little stressful, but it has helped us improve lots and I like it a lot.
Nasayud ko ng tinoud ang ebanghelyo ug ang Basahon ni Mormon. Nasayud ko ng gihigugma kita sa Dios. Nasayud ko ng Manunubos ug Manluluwas si Jesukristo. I have a testimony I know (in my heart) that the Book of Mormon and the gospel are true. I know that God loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. The fact that I am spend 24/7 learning this language for the soul purpose of inviting others to come closer to Christ makes me so happy and makes everything so worth it. I love you all so much!!! Just know, you don't have to worry about me at all, I'm doing fantastic:)
Love, Sister Pike
P.s. some funny stories: Our classroom (aka our lives) is in the Spanish building and so we are surrounded by spanish speakers all the time! And how you say hello is "Kumusta" which sounds like "como estas" so they say Hola, we say Kumusta and they say Bien! and we burst out laughing every time. Silly spanish speakers.