Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm in the Philippines

Monday, September 16, 2013*

Wow, this week has been soooooooo crazy. I'm in the Philippines now. I'm in Baguio City!!! I'm doing awesome! And I am sooooooo excited to be here. There is sooo much to do. It's very different here, but at the same time a lot of it is the same. I love it here. I can't get enough of the food. It is all sooooo good. :P So don't worry about me losing weight here because I'll probably gain even more. :P

I'm not going to lie it's hard out here. You get placed with someone you don't know very well, but that’s ok because that's how you learn. [The language is] hard, but I'm doing my best to figure it out. I'm going to keep trying all day every do so it will come eventually. :P

I love my companion. His name is Elder Hernandez. He is from Quezon Province [which is southeast of Metro Manila]. He has been out in the mission for 10 months. He's really cool. He is such a good missionary. He always leads by example and makes me want to be a better missionary. He just keeps working always. We get along very well. There are 4 elders in the apartment.

So to recap the last week: When I left the MTC I left with a bunch of people I didn't know, but that was ok because we all got along pretty well. It took a long time to get to the Philippines. Tuesday was sucked out of my life because I crossed the International Date Line. :P Wednesday was more travel. Through all and all from the time I left the MTC and got to the mission office it took about 42 hours. Yes 42--that was not a typo. :P It was crazy.

Brian with Sister and President Balledos
All Three People are Standing!
After we got there, we spent the night at the AP’s apartment, and the next day we studied. Then we did an amazing race kind of thing. We went around and did things that we will do in the mission like ride jeepneys and wash clothes and cook food. It was cool. After that President Balledos let all the foreign missionaries walk on the beach in our bare feet. That was cool.

New Elders Walking on the Beach

Brian on the Beach
I love President Balledos. He is soooo awesome. You can tell that he cares so much for all of his missionaries and wants them all to do well.

[Did you get the package from home that was mailed four weeks earlier?] Yes, it was there. When I got there they gave it to me. :) Yes [he liked the homemade toffee], but it was kinda weird because it melted. But when it got hard again it wasn't hard; it was more crumbly like a cookie. But it tasted great. 

Friday was transfer day, so we traveled a lot then, too. The next day we had transfer meeting where I was assigned to the Baguio Zone. That's where I am now, and I love it here. It's funny because it's really not hot here. I can almost pretend I'm in Utah. But, I know I'm not because everything else is very different. I love it though. [How was the ride to Baguio through the winding streets?] It was good. We all rode in a jeepney.

Saturday we taught three lessons and did a lot of running around because our areas just got rearranged.

We are teaching the Bahug family; they are really nice. And Sister Jamie is really receptive to the gospel. She is almost 19; she is about to start college as well. Sister Elizabeth is an older lady. She is almost deaf, but we can write what we need, too; so she can understand us. I don't know the rest right now. They are kinda a blur, but I'll write them down for next week. [The investigators are all non-members.]

Ok, so last thing, we went to church yesterday, and I was surprised to find that they have sacrament meeting in English. It was kinda strange. We went to church for most of the day because we have to go pretty far to get to church.

Anyway, that's all for this week. I love you all and this really is a great work. :)

Mahal Kita!!!


* In order to make it easier to read, Michelle took Brian's comments from several different emails from 9/16/2013 and wove them into the main email he sent on the same day. Questions or clarifications from Michelle are contained in brackets.

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