This mission is one of the farthest from the ocean. We are surrounded my rice fields and forests.
The house is similar to a house back home I guess. 4 walls with bad paint, cracked tile floors. One bathroom, one room for all our dressers and closets, one room to hang up the clothes we wash by hand. And one big room, where we sleep on the floor, study, cook, eat, and just hang out. We have a little side alley way where our water, trash can, home-made weights, and main drain is. I will take some pictures this week.
There is a camper chief stove top out in they alley, other wise it would get too hot inside. We have a little tiny fridge. We have to buy clean water because our filter is broken. I'm good on toilet paper for now, maybe in the Christmas package.
Every day we eat rice. Rice, rice, rice. If we cook, it's usually tuna, corned beef, Filipino hot dogs, or some other meat the house captain has cooked, with soy sauce, on top of our rice.
We eat almost every night at Nanay Kastro's house. She owns a little street vendor shop, and so we get to eat the left overs from the day. We occasionally get dinner appointments at members houses, the branch (taugtog is neither a stake or a ward yet) presidency will typically have us once a month at least. Except the 2nd councilor has gone less active, so we haven't eaten there yet.
The craziest thing I have seen so far... Probably the pig ear that Nanay Kastro was cutting up for the next day's food. Just a whole pig ear sitting in a bowl.
Elder Sudweeks is a great companion. He's very quiet, which is okay with me. He teaches most of the lesson by himself right now, and I just try to stumble through a few gospel principals and my testimony, and try and understand what everyone is saying. He's not really the comforting type though, nobody is on the mission. Not that I would ask. I just have a hard time, I'm so emotional all the time. I don't like showing people that though, so I try not to complain about it.
Physically, I am exhausted. I have bug bites all over, nothing I have tried so far has helped. We sleep on the floor, and so mosquito nets are impossible, and bug spray doesn't work. I'm always a little dehydrated and hungry. I haven't really been sick though, I'm taking the pills you gave me, and a multi-vitamin I got from Sister Dahle.
We study every morning till 2. Personal, Companion, and Language study. I mostly just memorize phrases from the Lesson pamphlets.
Yes, I have been shopping. The stores here a lot the same, just smaller. I can get most everything here, it's just the question of if I want to spend the money on it or not. I feel guilty spending the Lord's money on cookies and stuff, so I haven't really bought anything yet. Elder Sudweeks always is surprised at how little I buy.
I'm very excited for General Conference! Partly just to hear English for a couple hours strait, partly to have a little bit of Utah again, and also for the revelation. I just need the continual comfort in this time as I struggle with the mission.
I'm glad to hear that everything is going well back at home. It's crazy to me that it's football season, it feels like summer here still. I hope Dad can get better, I know that's hard for him. I know that everything will work out right for everyone if we can continue to press forward with a steadfastness in Christ. Hope, has been a huge word for me these past couple of weeks. I know, that through faith, we can have a hope for a better future. And that hope leads us to act and make better decisions.
Packages need to go through the mission home. I don't know how you sent that last one, but it was perfect. Sister Dahle said that if you send them other ways, they can end up costing me a lot of money. But your first one was perfect, without any charges. Letters are the same I guess, and they get distributed through the Zone leaders.
Our mission address is;
Km. 140 National Highway
That's awesome about Mathew, I know he will be a great missionary. If you see them again, wish him luck for me.
Thank you for the scripture and talk! I love hearing these things, they help me so much. I need the constant comfort nd support. That verse has grown in meaning and importance to me so much in these past (almost) 2 Months. But who's counting...
I spoke in Sacrament meeting this week. Our Branch President asked us two hours before church started if we would both talk. I had to give the talk in English, and speak very slowly so that everyone could understand, because I can't speak Tagalog yet. I wasn't sure if anyone understood, or cared to listen. But afterwards the Branch President gave me a note, saying he knew everyone understood and was grateful for my spirit. I hope he was being truthful, and not just saying that for me. I know that this church is true, I just don't know how to share it with them yet...
I hope that everyone can know how much I love and miss them. When I do my work outs (by my self, neither Elder Sudweeks or the other two missionaries we live with aren't really into working out) in the morning, I can hear Dad, and Robbie saying that I can do it. We have some gospel music in the house, and when the words "Mine is a home, of priesthood power... I see my mother kneeling with my family each day..." I can't help but think of home. I think of home constantly. I love everyone so much, it hurts me to be away. But I am trying to submit my will to the Lords, and if this is where He wants me to be, then I will suffer this too. I love the people here, even though I can barely understand them. I hope everyone at home will take care, and know that I love them so much.