Monday, August 5, 2013

In the Philippines

Monday, August 05, 2013
The Philippines is almost the complete opposite of America!  After I finished talking to everyone (except for David....) I boarded the plane and 9 hours later we landed in Tokyo where everyone had to try the badae's!  I don't think I spelled it right but it's the toilets that shoot water!
We were only there for a few min when we had to board another plane and head off to Manila!  When we landed in Manila and got off the plane, it was an eye opening experience!  Cars, motorcycles, and people everywhere!  It was mass chaos!  It stunk so badly and it made me super happy that I wasn't serving in Manila.  I'm pretty sure that Filipinos have an immunity to car exhaust.  It was sooo hot and it felt like I was breathing clouds of smoke!  We all waited at the airport for an hour and then we headed off to a hotel for the night.  At the hotel when we arrived I asked the driver if it was a nice hotel and he said "5 star." The standards are different here for what is nice!  The hotel I worked at was way better than the "5 star" one in Manila!  (At this time I didn't realize what I’d be living in) After about 3 hours of sleep we left and went to the airport again to fly to Cauayan!  It was only a 30 min flight which was good because I’m sick of planes for 2 years! From the airport the AP's and Pres. Ralf came and picked us up.  We went to the mission home where we talked for a while and ate some really good Filipino food!  (I should have taken advantage of that food)  When we finished eating we got to see our new companions and mine is a native Filipino from Manila! His name is Elder Guevarra.  He's a pretty cool Elder and is trying his best to teach me Tagalog! When we left the Mission home that's when I realized I didn't know what I signed myself up for!  After a 20 min ride in a van we got out and had to take another 20 min ride on a triky. A triky or tricycle is a motorcycle that has a little side car on it that is made out of whatever the people who are driving them can find!  It was kinda scary at first because people were driving so close to us and so fast!  Finally we got to our apartment, just Elder Guevarra and I live there.  The area is called Da Gupon.  It's the only area that has bikes because it's out in the middle of nowhere!
There have been a lot of first time experiences here so far!  I took my first bucket shower that day and my first no toilet paper experience!
That night I wasn't feeling really well and we went over to a members house for a dinner appointment.  We went to their house that is only 3 rooms and is the size of half our garage and 12 people live in it!  We sat down at a table than wasn't any bigger than the size of a monopoly board and it didn't come past our shins!  I felt bad when I didn't eat all their food because I felt sick but she was nice and understood. 
That night was probably the worst night’s sleep I have ever had!  I'm still pretty jet lagged but that night I woke up at 4 in the morning and couldn't fall back to sleep!   I was just lying there and then all of a sudden about a million roosters start crowing! (They do this every morning)  It's the most annoying thing in the world! 
We stayed in the house till about 2 studying and confirming appointments and then we finally set out!  The area I’m in is pretty low class!  Most of the houses have straw roofs or are just made out of cinder block but the people are so nice and give a lot to us!  Every lesson we have with member or non-member they always give us some food and Pepsi/coke!  All they drink here is soda and they don't drink it in bottles!  They pour it in a sack and you drink it with a straw! 
The same thing happened the next day but we got a text saying "I want to be a member of your church" I thought it was a joke because I thought that this never happens! It wasn't a joke. I challenged 3 people to baptism the next day and they all said yes and came to church the next day!  I bore my testimony in sacrament and in class about prayer and families!
That Sunday we went out and taught 3 families.  In the middle of the lesson I saw a rat going through the person’s food and plates.  I didn't tell them because I didn't want to distract from the spirit and I also thought it would have embarrassed them.  So I just watched it run around and have fun.  We taught a newly-wedded couple that were recent converts and they said that sometimes they yell and get mad at each other.  They asked ME what they should do.... (For some reason people think I know everything because I’m American)  I had no idea what to say because 1. I’m not married and 2. I’m only 20 years old!  So I just shared a verse in 2 Nephi about patience!  They seemed to like it and then my companion took it from there! Now its p-day on Monday here.  I think it's midnight in Utah!  I'm slowly learning the language and how to survive. I love you all so much and I was so happy to talk to you!  I can't wait till we can talk again!

Mahal Kita, Elder Tribe 

Our apartment

Our kitchen


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