The following is a copy of the first email we received from Tyler, dated September 4, 2012. It was so exciting to hear from him. He sounds happy and filled with purpose!
"Kumusta! The MTC is good. My companion is Jacob Campbell's twin both in looks and talk. So we get along great. His name is Elder Wilding, from Alabama. He says Roll Tide a lot and everyone else responds THE SWAAAMP. ha
Since the first minute of class on the first day, my teacher Brother Ah Mu only speaks Tagalog. So that's interesting. It was really hard the first few days but once I started understanding how the grammar works a little better (with the help of the Lord) it became a bit easier. Still hard though. Knowing spanish helps a liiittle bit. Quite a few nouns are the same, but sentence structure is a bit different and verb conjigation is different.
This keyboard is awful so we'll see how much I can type.
My whole district has a really positive attitude and we all get along really well. There are 10 elders and 3 sisters. All of us are either going to Baguio or Angeles, which is southwest of Baguio. I think. It's weird to not be able to look up Google Maps stuff.
Because of the difficulty of the language, all of our feelings are on a roller coaster. The language learning can be pretty discouraging and it makes me wonder why I ever wanted to go foreign (haha), but then all the other things that happen here totally bring the spirit so that makes it all worth it/gives motivation again for learning Tagalog.
We get mail twice a day, right after lunch and right after dinner. So... DearElder is free and I'll get a letter from it a couple hours later. Also you can send me Krispy Kremes through that. hiiiiint.
It's weird being a mile from where I lived 3 weeks ago.
The food is good. I don't understand why people complain about it? Or complain about anything, really.
I went to the temple this morning and did a sealing session. Missionaries can only be sons/daughters now.
Sundays we go on temple walks but I'm not aloud to tell you what time I go. haha
Sunday night we watched Pres. Monson's birthday celebration.
There's a lot of Polynesians/Islanders in my zone. That's cool.
Did you get the picture of me with Bro/Sis Childers? That was cool.
I don't know what else to say. Ask me questions! I'll email again next Tuesday.
Love you bye."