Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pronouns, Payong, Pot-Pot‏

Dear family and friends,
I hope life continues to treat you well. It'll be an exciting upcoming week here on Negros with district conference and some additional training for us. We've had a great week, with people actually wanting to read the Book of Mormon- this is really rare in a non-reading culture, or actually a non-written language. 
Here's a picture of my new cute umbrella (payong), plus Cristina our recent convert who worked with us. And we found a cool family in the back roads of the rice fields who wanted us to teach them. 

Last week, I forgot to tell you about typical transportation here in Bayawan. First, there are pot-pots everywhere, which are bikes with a side car for two. But we can't ride those, because we're three of us. There are also a million scooters- and somehow they fit 5 people on all of them. Mostly, we walk here, but if we're going far away, we take a tricycle. This is a scooter/motorcycle with side car, and somehow, we fit 12 people on to it. I don't understand the physics of it, but it's fun. And us dako Americans are always amusing to the tiny Filipinos.

And there's me with a caribou, really close. Exciting moment! 

One funny moment of the week: We have this investigator who isn't progressing at all, she sort of just listens because her husband wants her to get baptized, and she'll text or try to watch TV during our lesson- so we had to give her some ultimatums. But before that, we asked her how she felt about the blessings in her life. She looks at us with the sassiest face and in this dead pan voice says "malipayon" which means happy. I wanted to crack up, but I couldn't- it was just so funny. Really, malipayon? But that's what the gospel's supposed to bring, and it does if we follow it! And that's what we're really seeing in our investigators who are trying and progressing and who want to learn! Malipayon gyud!

It's been a while since I've sent you a linguistic spiritual insight and I've had one bouncing around my head. This is certainly a way that I understand things. As a non-fluent speaker of this language, or at least some days I can call myself a speaker, I have to pay so much attention to pronouns. (This is compounded by the fact that Visaya has 4 different forms of each pronoun, and 3 are interchangeable, but one can't be switched for the others.) There are pronouns that I'm not used to, like the we (inclusive) vs. we (exclusive)- I'm pretty sure that I constantly tell people that we, the three missionaries, can be saved, but exclude them, or that we (all of us there in the lesson) went grocery shopping yesterday. But I'm getting better at it. In noticing pronouns more, I've seen this also in the scriptures and in my journaling. (especially the possessives because these are the same as normal pronouns in Visaya) God will be our God, if we will have him. He is my Savior. At the last day, we will be His. I think that's really our journey here- making Him my God, and becoming His. And then, we will know him, because we are his. 

I'm so grateful that you are all mine. That I get to claim you as my family and friends. Thank you for your prayers for us and for me. I can't thank you enough for that. 

I love you all! 
Sister Tueller

1 comment:

  1. I'll tell her in my weekly e-mail, but the animal is a carabao (a water buffalo) not a caribou (an arctic deer).