Where to begin.....So there were no problems on the flight from slc to la, normal flight and what not we landed at like 9. Once we got to la we had like a 30 minute walk to the international terminal and then had to go through customs and what not and elder phippen lost his ticket so by the time we got to the gate it was like 11:30 and there was no food stores in the international section so it was not fun. The 14 hour flight from la to hong kong was even less fun, i slept for like seven hours and the other seven read that SI and tried to not watch the avengers. it was the longest boringest thing ever. once we got to hong kong we had to go through security again and walk like a mile to our manila flight gate and had like 20 minutes before we boarded. then once we got to manila customs was way easy, nothing like costa rica. then we met some guy from the church office and all 24 of us from america split to our separate missions. Those that were going to cauayan went to the mtc for a few hours and then with the filipinos that were new we caught a bus to cauayan, we were supposed to catch the 830 but because of the monsoon we had to catch the 10 and that was the longest ride ever. we had to sit on the packed bus with people standing in the aisles for 10 hours! i tried to sleep but maybe got two hours. so getting off that bus i was in a daze and then I met the shaners and president carlos and then went through the new missionary thing and sister carlos's cinnamon rolls are really good. then there was a transfer meeting in which he assigned me to elder llorin and then all the missionaries went to some chicken and rice restaraunt which was pretty good. I'm in tuguegarao south zone in the cataggaman area and then we had a three hour bus ride to here from the mission home and by then I was so tired i could barely stand without falling asleep. luckily there were no appointments scheduled so i just slept for like 12 hours. I left the mtc on monday and 430 and got to my area on thursday at 730, the longest i have ever traveled and have never been more tired. and on friday my mission started, in the morning we have an hour of personal study, two hours of comp study because theres this new training manual in which we do an extra hour of comp study and then we have an hour of language study where i learn tagalog and elder lorrin learns english. then we have lunch then go out and work. so the work is hard of course, we walk he whole time and prolly walk 6-9 miles a day. the culture shock was more than i expected it to be, super poor and there are cows and chickens and dogs everywhere! there are few streets and houses are like piled back behind each other so we have to walk through houses to get to other houses. there are cornfields we walk through and there is no trash service so everyone burns their trash so there is smoke everywhere. No paved roads, very few cars and a lot of dirt bike things with side cars which spew out exhaust that is really bad and there are tons of them! This place is just so much different and it will take some time to get used to. the language is a joke because i have no clue what anyone is saying or what is happening unless elder lorrin translates for me. which he doesnt do often. And the heat...oh the heat. it is so hot and humid that i haven't stopped sweating since i left the mission home, there is no ac and the best i can get is when i sit right in front of the fan. I have prolly lost weight this week because of how much i sweat and no matter how much i drink i prolly can't replace enough water. so work wise there were no investigators when i first got here but now we have like 5 new ones, i have no clue who is inactive, investigating and a member, they all act the same. when we are not teaching we are walking basically and everyone stares at me cause i am the only american within miles so i just say hi to everyone and they are thrilled that they spoke to an american. food wise, i tried intestines on saturday and got ridiculously sick yesterday cause i guess they were bad and still had food that the pig ate inside of them! so from yesterday at like 4 to when i went to bed i couldnt leave the toilet or move or i'd be sick. and there is no flushing here, just taking a bucket of water and throwing it in the toilet to flush it outside into the drain. there is no shower so i shower with buckets of water and it is cold so yeah. it is really hard to be in a positive spirit because everything is just so different and i got sick my first week here and everything else and if it continues it will be a long mission. the members are of no help either, they gossip about everything! even investigators who come to church and there are kids running around in sacrament meeting like crazy and they teach false doctrine and what not, it's nuts. this has not been easy and it's really easy to think if it's even worth it being all they way out here to teach people who have no clue what I am saying, but if thousands of others have done it then so can I. How is everyone doing? that's awesome dwight howard is a laker! steve, kobe, pau, and dwight! oh boy it should be really interesting season, hopefully they'll bring home ring seventeen! I wish I could watch this next season. Almost time for school! the kids here all have to wear uniforms. hopefully everyone is doing well and glad to hear that the golf is coming along very well, I am going to be terrible when I get home, also I am going to have a really bad spine, because I have to bend over all the time to get into houses and there are no chairs with backs and no cushions. There will be a lot of asking for strength these next few weeks from me and hopefully he gives it to me. anyways, hopefully everyone is doing well and enjoying the comforts that america has. pray always and read the book of mormon. someone said that no one will ever go astray if they read the book of mormon for ten minutes everyday and pray in the morning and when they go to bed. have a good week! I forgot my camera so I'll have pictures next week and i have taken quite a few, plus i need to get a converter thumb drive so I can put my pictures on the computer. until next week!
Mahal Ko Kayo,
|President and Sister Carlos|