I am here in the Philippines whooo!! It's about 5:30 pm right now and its probably in the middle of the night over in America. Boy, it feels good to say that! So you want to know about the Philippines ay?
Well let me tell ya....
So for the family the best way to explain it is that it looks and feels exactly like Jamaica!
The flight to Tokyo took forever!! especially since you couldn't watch any movies. I stayed up the whole time so I could defeat the jet lag, whiched work later on and I slept great while everyone else had a hard time sleeping cause they slept the whole flight.
Anyways the Philippines!
So this place is freaking crazy slash cool at the same time! I would send pictures but the internet cafe that I am at won't allow USB. So first off the land here is beautiful there are just so much green everywhere there isn't industrialness. It is very hot and Humid here! it sucks! hahaha Your not always sweating but you always feel like your about to sweat and you are always sticky. If you do anything physical or crammed in a Jeepney you get real sweaty real fast. Jeepney's and Trikes are what we use to get around my area. Look them up on the internet and tell me if you think I can fit in those. We got 6 people on a trike and I have seen 9. The driving here is insane, its like Jamaica's driving its so scary! They have no street lights, Barely any street sings, and no speed limit. So if you want to pass someone, you just go ahead and drive into on coming traffic to pass someone. The rule here is.. Big always wins hahah. I have adjusted to it very fast and now I think its fun everytime we drive.
The thing is though. The people here are so curtious! it may be crazy driving but if you have a bigger car then the person you a barreling towards too in the wrong lane they will move out of the way for you to squeeze by. If you were to walk out in the street people will almost stop traffic for you to cross, or just move over a little bit and wizz past ya. No biggy just walk in the middle of traffic everyday. The people are awesome they are so funny, they look at me and just laugh and are so amazed about how tall I am. It's been pretty lonely over here because I left all my family from the MTC but the members of our ward have helped alot with that. They always so suprised to hear that I have only been in the country a few days and that this is my first area! So they help out a lot and make me feel welcome. To my suprise everyone here speaks a lot of english and most of them really good english its crazy. So I try to speak in as much Tagalog as I can but I can still speak english and they will understand me.
So my companion Elder Mack. He is a pretty cool guy, he has been in the field for 7 months now and knows the language very well. It is hard working and diligent, and I am grateful for that. He has told me that he has had a lot of troublesome companions that he hates and never had a good time So I do not want to be that way with him and I think he is going to be a great companion. We get along very well. He is way to caring haha. He says he usually gets up earlier in the morning to study and do other things but he didn't want to cause he thought I would get mad. Psh.. he thought I was a mean guy hahahah.
So Elder Mack and I are re-opening the Santa Rosa ward 2a, In the Cabuyao area. So we have had a struggle trying to find new investigators and teach those who are in the area book. We have been tracting a little bit but thats been alright. We have gotten 3 return appointments. 3 of our investigators have a baptismal goal date for next month so that is pretty cool. Teaching is awesome it is really cool to experience the real thing and just knowing that how important the work we are doing is. We are starting to get more referals and are getting more lessons so hopefully things will start to pick up!
Things have been pretty good over here so far. As expected the Language is very frustrating. I can''t understand a thing people are saying to me. They speak it and pronounce it differently then the way I learned it in the MTC. So I am trying to focus on listening to them speak and how they say things and figuring out what words or sentences mean. During the lessons they we teach I try to particpate as much as I can. Older people who know better english can usually understand what I am trying to say in Tagalog and younger people just think I am an idiot haha. I am trying my best to not be shy and just open my mouth even though I can barely say anything in everyday talk in tagalog. I just keep reminding myself that I have only been in the country for about a week and its going to take patience, and faith. I know I can learn this language. Another thing is and I am going to be blunt. I have had diarrhea every single day since I have been here, and the worst part is that my apartment does not have toilet paper so I have to splash my bum with water from a bucket and then wipe with my left hand. Yup, thats real fun to do. and to top everything off the toilet doesn't flush in our apartment so we have to fill up a big bucket of water and force it down the toilet but dumping the entire thing into the toilet. The same bucket that I have to fill up everyone morning and take a shower with! Oh, the water is so cold in the morning. We just had a pretty big rain storm come in last night and our apartment has leaks everywhere! The elders before us didn't even bother to clean anything before they left so we came home to a big trashy mess which made me mad, it stinks so bad. haha The beds are super tiny and I can barely even fit but I sleep all right. On the bright side I am enjoying embracing myself in the culture. The good part is that I live in a pretty wealthy area so most of the members invite us over for dinner appts, and they literally shove the food down your throat if they have it hahaha its freaking awesome! the food here is so good!! Pandesal is what I eat every morning since there is a Tindahan right next to our appartment that sells it. Pandesal is like hot rolls. Something about it is so good!! I just love it. Everything here is just so cheap its crazy. You go in some areas and the poverty is really bad. It is very humbling to see what these people have to go through or the living conditions the live in. At church the people like to call me Elder Pogi. Pogi here in the Philippines means good looking, and since I am new they don't think I know what it means so they say it and just laugh at me hahaha. What evers. Over all I am loving it down here and the experiences are great. I haven't had anything huge yet but I will let you know when I do. They work is awesome and during lessons I just smile cause you can always feel the spirit and even though I don't know what anyone is saying I know that the Holy Ghost is helping us.
So I hope you have the Mailing address for my mission cause I totally forgot to bring the paper that had it on there and so I can't give it to you today. but, I know it takes like a month or so to recieve packages and letters. Cause they only give is our mail and packages every time we meet which is for like when we have transfers and zone meetings and stuff like that. So it will take a while to recieve letters and packages and any other items. but, they will make sure that I get it. I hope all is well at home and I am very excited to spend the next 2 years in my new home here in the Philippines. I can't wait to know the area and know the language so I can truely put forth the work. I love you all and I miss you all. I got a lot of e-mails from friends from home and I loved it so much I love hearing from you it makes my day!
Oh and my apartment is in Santa Rosa homes block 4e. So that won't give you that exact apartment but you know the location I am at. Good luck finding it haha.
I hope I remembered to type everything that I had on my mind! and I hope I answered all of your questions! Love you so much!