Kumusta ba kayo???
So.. here's what's up. I'm alive! Yes, I may be literally on the other side of the world, and yes, it is definitely 2am at home and 6pm here, but I live!
I'm assuming you're all very eager to hear how it is here. And I'm quite eager to tell you. But here are the rules:
1. You're not allowed to worry about me. I'll be fine. The Lord protects His servants.
2. Keep writing me. Dearelder takes literally forever to get here, but when it arrives I will be VERY happy. Shane... can you please put up some instructions so no one gets lost trying to dearelder me? Eh I'll do it. Just send it as pouch, to the Philippines San Pablo Mission.. with my name on it.. and BOOM. It'll be here in 12-845 business days.
This is the Philippines: (Sis, throw in a pic or two here). I'll email pictures in the next email.
It is incredibly beautiful. I'm in one of the four zones in our mission that is pretty much all out of the city. I live in this little town called Siniloan (east of manilla). The poverty is insane. But the people are so happy. I don't get it... ok maybe I do. For the most part, they lead difficult lives of hard work and little excess. But through that hard work, they have joy. They have families, they all believe in God, and they all want to know how to become closer to Him. I love working here. We have 6 or so PI's right now... I'll be sure to bring more into the fold once I get the language down.
About Tagalog.... hmmm. How do I say this... It is so difficult! I thought I was really good in the MTC. And for MTC standards, I was. But here... they all speak so fast, using words I don't know.. it's difficult. But it is getting much easier to understand already.. only day 4. So give me two weeks, and I promise I'll be conversing with the best of 'em.
I'm working really hard. Sometimes not everyone around me feels the same burning to do the best they can, and it's all I can do to help motivate them and do my best. Just know I'm giving it my all for the next two years.
The Church is just as true in the Philippines as it is at home.. just in Tagalog. The Church schedule is a little different (Elders Quorum, Sunday School, Sacrament), but the principles and ordinances of Christ's gospel are the same. I genuinely love the people here. They are so helpful to me. They want to learn. I love the gospel, and am more than happy to give my all to preaching it for the next 2 years.
Love you all and read the BOM everyday!