Monday, January 11, 2010
1st Week EB Magalona
Grabe naman! I am in the Philippines. There is so much to tell. I got here on the 7th late at night. Traveling here was a blast :). The fourteen hour plane ride to Taiwan wasn't too bad. It didn't really feel like 14 hours. I pretty much slept the whole time. It was sooo weird arriving in Taiwan. Everyone was Asian! And I couldn't understand anything. It is fun being the only white American. Everyone stared at us. We had a little while to kill in Taipei so we walked around.
The flight to Manila was the best flight of my life.
I sat next to this super friendly Filipino lady on the plane. It was my first experience with a Filipino and she was extremely nice. She laughed at everything, and when she laughed she would cover her mouth to hide her smile. She was a really cute lady. We talked the entire flight. I showed her pictures of you guys and she shared some of her Asian food she was bringing home to her kids. We finally got on the topic of the church and she had a bunch of questions about the judgement and what happens when we die. I talked to her about the resurrection and how everyone is resurrected and receives a perfect body. I told her about how we would be accountable for our works here on earth but we could be forgiven. She was really scared of the judgement so I told her about repentance. It was just a really natural conversation. By the end of the plane ride I had gotten her address for the missionaries and gave her my Book of Mormon and committed her to read 3rd Nephi 11 and Moroni's promise. She lives in the northern part of the Philippines so I probably won’t see her again, but it would be cool if the missionaries could teach her.
So when we got here we stayed the night at President Tobias house. We had a lovely Filipino dinner. And yes I ate fruits and vegetables and all that gross stuff.
I am over that. There are grosser things to worry about like the raw crab someone gave me. I had to split the head of the crab open and just go for it.
The next day we had an awesome breakfast and went to the transfer meeting where we met our companions. My companion is Elder Torio. He is such an amazing guy. He is a Filipino. He is really good with the people. He gives everyone high fives and is really chill.
We rode a Ceres (bus) to our area EB Magalona. It felt like a dream. It was so beautiful. Palm trees, jungle huts, little Filipino kids running around everywhere. It is unreal. It has been such a rush. The Philippines is the most beautiful place!
Alright, so we got to our apartment and It ROCKS! It is super ghetto. It is a mess but I quickly got used to it. The coolest thing about it is there is a wicked spider in the screen door smashed. The bathroom consists of a toilet with a broken lid and a shower that drips rusty water and a sink that might be mistaken for the toilet. The shower is in between the sink and toilet and just dribbles water, cold water. It feels good though cause it is so hot and humid. It is so small that I pretty much shower over the toilet.
I don't dare take off my sandals when I shower. Oh yeah and no toilet paper. We won't go into that. The gospel is true.
So we have 5 baptismal dates coming up and around 4 more progressing investigators. The first lesson I taught was in a bamboo hut with a bunch of little kids running around. We sat cross-legged on the ground and showed them the restoration video.
All the little kids just stare at me. They see very few Americans. When we walk to other appointments the little kids gather and give me high fives and call me Joe. I guess Joe is the American name to call Americans.
HEY JOE! I just give them high fives since I can't understand a word they say. Ilonggo is completely different than Tagalog. I am definitely lost. So I feel like I am in a movie or something.
There was one time I was walking down this village path and 10 little kids come up to me and started talking to me. They kept on following us. I was like the leader of the pack. It is so fun. I feel like a celebrity. Oh man the little kids are the cutest.
You can tell a big difference in the families that have the gospel and those that don't. They need the gospel so bad. I wish I was able to speak.
On Sunday I bore my testimony in church a few times. When they called me up to the stand they can barely say our last name. It’s funny.
I was able to play the piano for Sacrament Meeting since nobody can play. You were right mom. You knew that would happen. It was good though. I didn't mess up too badly.
Well I am doing awesome. I am a little sweaty and tired and itchy and I have rashes and other diseases but I am doing good. The space Olympics is not canceled in the Philippines because they are that awesome.
I love you all so much and I hope you are doing well. We are so lucky to have the gospel like we do. It makes such a difference in the peoples lives here and I know it makes the same difference in America.
Kabalo ko ini.
That is the extent of my Ilanggo now. Love you.