Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:01 PM
Subject: Re: Grabe!
Hey! Zone Conference was Monday, so P-day got shuffled to Wednesday. So that's why you didn't hear from me until now.
E-mail is mas maganda(better), by the way. Any Dear Elders that you've sent in response to my last email I haven't received yet. So. You can still send Dear Elders if you want, but I think I'd actually prefer email. Cuz it's faster. And stuff.
Oh, I finally got Grandma Nancy's letter. She sent it to Manila while I was still in Provo, so I didn't get it until I arrived here.. ^^''
Anyway. Mom, I'm glad your surgery went well, without any complications or anything. I hope you recover soon.
Also, tell Katie Sammons congratulations for me. :D Nice job. Go school everyone at State, too!
Anyway, this week has been quite eventful (It's the Philippines. Never a dull moment). It's been tough for sure, but it's been fun so far.
I'll be performing my first baptism and confirmation this weekend for Suzet Lopez, one of our investigators. Her husband is a member, and she has one son. They're all really cool, and I'm happy that she's accepted the truth. We also have another baptism on April 10th. This one was kind of a surprise. Joy Famisaran was taught by missionaries a long time ago, but she wasn't yet married to her spouse, so she couldn't get baptized. But they were married recently, so we reviewed all the lessons with her, and again, she'll be getting baptized on the 10th (we haven't decided by whom yet). We've also met a guy named Yeng who seems really open to our message. Among other people. The work is progressing pretty well so far.
There have, of course, been challenges as well.. The language barrier is, of course, most the most prominent, but I'm getting better at understanding. Occasionally (read: often; more times than I can count), someone will say something that will go completely over my head, and I'll have to have them repeat it over and over, and if I still don't understand, they sort of give up. :P It's tough not really having someone to translate if you can't understand. Mahirap (difficult). There's also a certain ward missionary here (I won't mention the name) who, well... You know me. It takes a lot to get under my skin, a certain kind of person, and he pretty well hits the nail on the head. He never ceases to test my patience. I'll leave it at that.
My horrific sense of direction has gotten the best of me here. Again, you know me. I get lost hiking a one way trail. :P Makati City is like a maze. Every street looks almost the same to me, and their address system is weird. It's a good thing my companion knows where he's going, because I have no idea how to find anything here. It's troublesome. :/
I've also started my list of things I miss. On the top of my list was toilet paper, until I found some at a grocery store. :P But for the first week or so, there was none at the apartment, and using your hand is quite uncomfortable. And disgusting. XP Anyway, so on the top of my list now is sidewalks. I'm quite tired of almost getting run over by tricycles and jeepnies. On most streets in this area, sidewalks don't exist. You just walk in the road. And get out of the way if a tricycle is coming (motorcycle with a sidecar, the main mode of transportation in this area). It's kind of obnoxious.
Also, I could use some earplugs. Sometimes, I've woken up at night and taken a bit to get back to sleep because, well... Lots of people here own roosters here (for some reason), and you cannot even imagine the noise that four million roosters and dogs can make. Not even at dawn, either. One time they were all going off at like. One in the morning! O.o Obnoxious little buggers. I don't like dogs much anymore. When they bark. They're loud and obnoxious. So. Earplugs. They probably have some here somewhere, but I don't know where.
Not that sleep has been too much of a problem.. As my teacher at the MTC said, if you ever have any trouble sleeping, go on a mission. I never believed in the phrase "fell asleep the moment you hit the pillow" until now...
Also, I miss hot shower water. I presumed incorrectly. Cold does exist here. It's called the shower. :P
And washing machines. Washing clothes by hand is a pain.
So. Sidewalks, earplugs, hot shower water, and washing machines. I don't suppose you could shove all that into a package, could you...? :D You may have to make seperate shipments.
By the way, refrain from sending too much chocolate. Some is okay, but... it melts...
In other news... As of yesterday, I can now officially say that I have eaten a fish head. Om nom nom. That's right. You're jealous. :P
Also, David Delimont, you were right. The mangoes here are, in fact, ridiculously amazing. :D
In other other news, if you haven't heard John Schmidt's "Waterfall," go and listen to it. Right now. It's amazing. I'm not sure about the spelling of "Schmidt," but it's something like that. I'd like to request the sheet music to that song, if you can find it. It's amazing, and I want to learn it in my free time. Also, my companion, Elder Curammeng, wants the sheet music to "River Flows in You," by Yiruma.
In other other other news, my mission president said I can send emails to family only, but anyone can send emails to me. And I can send emails to you and have you forward them to whoever. I have an hour for email time here each P-day, and snail mail is... well... slow. So I think email is best. Just don't send too many, or I'll never be able to read them all.
Speaking of which, I was going to have you forward some emails for me (mostly the address to the blog to my teachers at the MTC), but I forgot to bring my address book with me to the internet place thing (whatever you call it). So. Next week.
Anyway, that's all for now.
Elder David Jones