Haha this week has been crazy..I've started teaching in Tagalog, and it's helped a lot. I can pick up bits and pieces in conversations now and the people are getting used to me. I'm doing much better than last week! My companion speaks a little bit of English but we're trying to speak only Tagalog so I can get comfortable with it. Oh, so I apologize, my area is in Moncada. It is called Moncada 1st Ward. And I found out I'm related to our bishop! Hahaha he has Tolentino family too, and they're from Ilocos. Weird! Oh I have a bunch of pictures to send but I forgot my camera at the house :/ sorry..Anyways, I have not listened to conference yet, because we're 14 hours ahead so I listen to it this weekend. I'm so excited, from what you have said about it it sounds like it was an awesome session. Did you see me?? Did they do the MTC spotlight thing? Haha let me know ;)
So just a little bit about my area (I'll send pics next Monday) it is very rural but it also has a big city in it as well. There is a little barangay in the middle of the jungle where the houses are built on bamboo stilts because during rainy season it floods constantly there, and the houses look so cool. Oh so there are two seasons here, hot season (which is now) and rainy season, which starts in a couple of months. And that's it! Haha, our main form of transportation, besides our feet, are tricycles, which is a little motorcycle with a sidecar on it. They are the equivalent of a taxi. It is SCARY. Hahaha but the Lord is protecting us. Yesterday we were riding one and the tire blew and it could have gone very badly but we were safe.
It's hard sleeping here. There is no A/C or anything, and the temperature is the same night and day, so I literally just sweat all night. :P Disgusting I know. Oh but showers here are awesome! Haha it is just a bucket of water that you pour on yourself. I don't know why it is so amazing but it just is. And it's cold water so it feels soo good. But please know I am keeping very good hygiene. I shower twice a day and take very good care of myself. I promise I won't come home with weird habits or anything! ;)
Mom, I miss your cooking soooo much! The last week I have had fish five out of the seven days. And they just panfry it in vinegar and salt. And you all know how much I just love fish..Hahaha and I miss your adobo! Adobo is huge here, I think it's their national dish actually, but it is definitely different from Hawaiian adobo. And I would kill for Panda Express right now. Hahaha ;) OH!! Shelbi, I miss your mom's scones! That sounds weird, but they are sobrang masarap ;)
Uhhmm....let's see...Oh I have letters I want to send today, if I can find a post office. So email me when you get them so we can see how long it takes!
Mom I do in fact have a Tagalog hymn book :) It's weird because we have them in America (I got it from the MTC bookstore) but they don't have them here. They have English ones. Oh that's another thing. A few of the members who served missions know English.
Maile, that is so cool you are doing volleyball! I'm so excited to get to play with you when I get back :)
Aleigha, so you're going to Andrada? That's pretty cool :) Elder Wick, one of my housemates, wants to write you. He saw the picture of you and the javalina and said it was love at first sight. Yeah..so anyways...he wants to know if you'll write him a letter or two. Uhhh...just a little bit about him (he wants me to tell you about himself) he loves singing and playing guitar. He was in drama for 5 years, and grew up raised by all sisters. Yeah.
Mom, I'm glad your leg is feeling better! Thank you for the email mom, it helped a lot. And I've read my patriarchal blessing almost every day since being here. I know my purpose.
Dad, havasupai will be sweet! And I am stoked to get back and go! I'm sure I will be used to hiking in the heat by then ;) Oh my goodness I am so excited to be in DRY air again! Hahaha..ahh..That's weird you had to go to Priesthood session alone!
So this week will be two months on a mission! 1/12 done. Woohoo! People have said just get through the first 12 weeks in the Philippines and you'll be okay at the language. Not great, but okay. So I'm just doing my best to get through until those 3 months are up. It's weird being here, but it's starting to feel normal at the same time. The houses, the people, the food, everything is different. Oh and I always have to drink from the water bottle the MTC gave me to filter it, because the water here is...sketchy. Haha. But I am getting used to everything. Rice for breakfast lunch and dinner is weird, and I've started hating rice hahaha but I'm more used to eating rice than most Americans who come here. Anyways, I love and miss you all so much! I hope you are all staying safe, and staying true to the faith. I love you!
Elder K.H. Rand