Oh. man. I'm alive! hahah I'm like shaking right now because I have so much to say. I'm in the Philippines! hahaha ok lemme break it down. First off, we get to baggage claim in Cebu and I realize they lost one of my bags...the one with a LOT of important stuff in it. I still don't have it. They said they might know where it is and deliver it to the mission office asap..but no word. Hahaha I was like "OH WELL it's an experience right??" haha. So first day we met President and Sister Schmutz and I love them. Theyre so awesome. First night we all spent at the mission home but the next morning, we met our Trainers and they sent us off right away. My companion is Elder Fudge from Texas. He's been here for a year and we're assigned to OPEN an new area in Canduman, Lil-on.
So from the moment I step out of the mission home and into the city, I go into shock. Cars beeping and weaving in and out and speeding -- all the Jeepneys have a sticker that says "How's my driving? call this number" and I'm like... for real...? Swerrrvin everywhere, I was so on edge. Then we get to our apartment and the shock continued. Small small apartment about the size of my room at home. The shower is a bucket of water. There is no toilet paper (seriously...you just use water). Then we just went out and worked and there's people screamin this language Ive never heard. Apparently it's Cebuano. Oh man. There' chickens and dogs everywhere and I wanna pet them but I feel like I'm gettin diseases just lookin at them..they look like the dogs from I Am Legend... Anyway, our first day, we were lookin for the church and we got lost..of course..because its a new area and we have NO idea where anything is. Then it starts to rain...then pour...and my umbrellas in the other suitcase that was lost. we were drennnched. so we found the bishops house and the wife is like "AYY KALOOOOY dsak;sdffdjkfhkdsjhjdfh" and of course I cant understand a word but aparently she was giving us directions. Then we found the church. There was a baptism. I had to give a talk in Visayan. ohh...
So then we're walking on the streets again and everywhere I go there's people starin and little kids yellin AMERIKANO!! and grabbing my hands and people yelling at me. hahaha guys, everywhere I go, it looks like I just stepped into a National Geographic magazine. it's unreal.
The first Sunday was terrifying as well. Everyone tries to talk to me and they talk SO fast and I'm like "Unsa? Unsa? What? what? what?" and everybody's laughin at me. It was very very humbling. But it's all good. Then we went up into this little village baranggay area and its just slums, little shacks and people are sleeping on the floor but everyones so happy and little kids come up to me and grab my hand and bless me (put my hand on their forehead - sign of respect) and it made my day. The food here is pretty good. I'm not really used to SO much rice and sometimes I don't eat at all.
Anyway, so I'm sufferin from culture shock, which is really surprising but it's ok. I came across a scripture in D&C 68:6 that said "Be of good cheer and have courage, for I the Lord am with you." So that is whats been keepin me going this week. Thats how great scripture study is. This is harder than I coudve ever imagined. please pray. I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. Mara, I'm prayin for you and your investigators! God be with you!
Have a great week everyone. Amping kamo
President and Sister Schmutz
"THEY ARE SO AWESOME"
Companion - Elder Fudge
HOME, SWEET HOME!!
National Geographic Scenes