Monday, April 5, 2010
Week 13 Iloilo Mission - Estancia
So I got transferred to a new Island, Panay. I will probably spend the next two years here in Panay because the mission is splitting. I will be in the Iloilo Philippines mission now. So I finally got my true mission call. Philippines Iloillo Mission, Illongo, Kina Rai-a, Aklanon , Hiligaynon, Cebuano speaking. My new area is in a place called Estancia. It is way far away from the big city of Iloilo (eelo eelo) 67 miles. It is right on the ocean and it is super mountainy. It is really awesome. We just have a branch here with about 40 members that are active.
Oh man our apartment is crazy! It is super haunted. The electricity only sometimes works. The lights I guess ground out and don’t work. My companion keeps our bedroom door locked in case someone comes in our house. One more thing we have tons of huge rats. They poop everywhere. They are super loud too. You can hear their tails pounding against the walls when they run. It’s pretty exciting.
My new companion’s name is Elder Budy (Boody) He is a pinoy (filipino) again. I don't have the most obedient of companions right now. He is way cool though. My companion now really likes “Boys like Girls” and so this morning he was blasting it thru the house. He also scheduled an Island Hopping trip with some members where you get on a boat and go from island to island. I told him we probably maybe shouldn't do that. :)
So yeah being on a mission isn't at all what I thought it would be. Everything so far has just been a rush of culture and every other change. There has been a few times during these last 4 months that I would stop and think to myself "What the crap is happening, this is so weird driving in this bus with all these little foreign people listening to “shorty hit the floor”. "Am I really sitting cross-legged in a Bamboo Hut teaching about Christ in this Illango language?”. A mission is a lot harder than I thought it would be too :). It is a lot more free than I thought it would be too. It's me and my companion in some random house 5 hours away from anything, and we have to some how convert others to the gospel while we maintain the few members that we have. There is a lot to do, and some how it all gets done and ends up being successful in the end. As of right now I would have to say it has been more difficult than rewarding but I know the best is yet to come. I have definitely learned a whole lot though.
It is weird comparing how we think our mission is going to be when we are 17 years old and then actually being on one. I imagined myself some hugely changed man. I am just the same Garrett, but only now I am Garrett, on a Island. I guess changing takes time and the only way to become anything is through the Lord. I have a long way to go. I have a lot to learn, about myself, about the language, about being social and good at teaching, faith, loving, teaching with the Spirit, being obedient. But I guess what is the most important is I just make the best of who I am right now.
...Anyways my new area is great :). My Illango is getting better. I just need to work on my confidence in speaking it.
I love you all. Now more than ever I want to spend time with all of you. I guess you really appreciate your family while you’re on a mission. Hopefully the same feeling will stay even after the mission ;). I know only through this Church and the knowledge we gain from it, we will become the happiest and most importantly we will be able to live together forever with our families forever. I love you gid (alot).
-Elder Garrett Kirschbaum
P.S. Estancia is called "the little Alaska of the Philippines" because of it's fishing industry, salmon, crab, shrimp. . .