Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

I don't even know what to say to start to explain my first few days in the Philippines. My district and I said a nice goodbye to the MTC by singing the new, “Sisters in zion and army of Helaman” song, with two violins and a cello... goodbye violin, I will miss you. 

MTC District

Saying goodbye to friends from the MTC at a DELICIOIUS meal outside.
Goodbye kasamako! This is me and sis Waldrom, our last day at MTC.

We then proceeded to travel to Oregon and then Tokyo and then Manila. Totaling 6 hours of sleep in 48 hours! 
 Sister Cowley and I... we're on our way to tokyo!

We spent the night in manila and I saw a monkey. It was legit. By spent the night I mean stayed three hours in a motel. We then looked like a big bunch of lost Americans until we got to the mission home by bus.
   We ate breakfast there, were put through a million orientations, went to sm to exchange money, and then by that time we were all dropping like flies asleep everywhere, with so little sleep, so we ate dinner and went to another motel for the night. I passed out quick since the shower didn't work. The next day I went on my first jeepney ride!

Me with Sister Smart and Sister Wilks

This is me with Sister Basa at my new favorite resturant, 
or rather the only one i've been to. don't ask what I eat there.
 I have no idea and I don't really want to know...
 all I know is it is better than dried squid.

 Then I went to go meet my new companion, Sister Basa. She is great. She is Philipino too so I don't really understand her English most of the time and she doesn't understand my tagalog cause I don't know much.

This is me, Sister Basa and the two sister's we live with.
Sister Carmichael and Sister Cayanan. They are the
sister training leaders. Behind us is our little house. 

We are serving in Tayabas with the sister training leaders!

  I don't even know how to begin to explain what the Philippines is like. Well for the first few days until today I felt jet lag, and then I’m still having culture shock. It is crazy. I love riding in tricycles and jeepney's though. If my mom saw the driving here I’m convinced it would kill her. She thinks my driving is bad...... yikes she should just see the skilled craziness at which you drive on the roads here... sometimes I think I’m going to die in a tricycle accident but I haven’t yet so we're good!
   Sister Carmichael taught me a really cool trick. Since we have to shower from a bucket of cold water, I boil a pot of water and then stick it with the freezing water and then suddenly I have a warmish shower! It is great! I’ll never have to take a cold shower again! Maybe JJ should try this little trick,  since sometime he always takes all the hot water!
   Also, for my first meal with a family here I have no idea what I ate. it was slimy, and I think there was chicken, and of course there was rice... I also ate... wait for it.....  dried squid!! It is disgusting if you were wondering, and I hope it is not common here. I honestly was just praying I would not barf. At the dinner appointment there were three neighbor girls who just could not stop looking in and giggling.
    Everywhere I go people look at me, say,” there’s an American” in tagalog and sometimes ask my name. Sometimes they say lots of things but I don't understand! some teens asked if they could go to the church and use the basketball court too. It’s funny really; people think I don't understand them. and actually I don't but I catch words of what they say most of the time. The first tagalog word I heard that I understood from an actual native was magsimba which means church... that was actually in Tokyo. Hmmmmm....... so while we were tracting Saturday we said tao po at a big house (which is what people use for  their doorbell) and then we started talking to this Japanese lady. well I think she said she was Japanese I know that the little kids only spoke Japanese. anywho. They are the Torres family. We taught the mom and two daughters. The first lesson, I spoke a lot of English. The nice thing about the Philippines is that they all speak English, sometimes not very good, but they all understand my taglish. Sunday we returned to their house for our return appointment. The mom was busy so we taught the father. and gave him a Book of Mormon. We also extended the invitation to be baptized, and he accepted.  Hopefully this can be an entire family that continues to want to hear from us. it was awesome!
   We just talk to random people we see on the street and it's great! I've taught a lot of first lessons. Sometimes the Philippines feel like a dream or something not real. Because it is hot, gross, there are bugs crawling on me, and in my first week I’ve developed a nice collection of red spots on my hand. I thought they were bug bites but it is spreading like a rash so I’ll do something about it soon. I’m sure I will adjust better when I am not in culture shock.
     A mission is sooo hard. It also doesn't help that I am already horrible with directions. For those of you who know my driving in Provo, I get lost sooo easily! Well sister basa is worse than me at directions, so it is pretty interesting sometimes. Usually we just get in a tricycle and tell them to take us to st. jude. neighborhood at night and we get home that way. Pretty convenient actually! it's practically a dream come true when you get as lost as I do! hop in, tell them where you are going, when you get there you give em 20 pesos and life goes on as normal! I could get used to this!

I am so scatterbrained right now I don't even know what to share with you. Sometimes I just want to go home, it is scary, I don't understand what is going on, and it is hard. but I know that I would never forgive myself if I left nor would I know how to tell my dad I wanted to quit so I keep going one day at a time! I hope some of these pictures work to send to you! and maybe next email I will have more of a brain to tell you how it really is here. I eat weird food a lot. Sometimes I ask what it is but I don't normally understand what they say back, sometimes I just don't want to know! Ha.

This is me doing laundry today! it sucks. count your blessings :)

 Oh! I washed my clothes today! Not a big deal you say? Well it is cause it took three hours! I had to wash all my clothes by hand! This includes scrubbing and refilling water with every cycle for three different sets, whites, colors, and darks, it took forever. you do a rinse cycle, a soap cycle, two more rinse cycles, and then a third rinse with fabric softener and then hang to dry. each "cycle" you have to dump and refill your bucket of water. I’d say it's pretty great, but in all honesty it sucks. It really does. Then add ants crawling on you and it makes it better! It’s all in the experience though right?

I know I have been called to San Pablo for a reason, and I will learn to love it here. it all just comes together. I am teaching the parents of a young women who was taught by one of the sister's who taught us at the mtc (sis watkins) so it is pretty cool. All the missionaries here know my friends from the mtc: bro roxas and jerico lopez, and sister watkins and bro poole. It’s pretty cool. I wonder how the rest of my friends from my mtc district are doing.... anyways. I am running out of time. But thank you for your prayers and for supporting me. mahal kita. 

Sister Hellewell

Stephanie with her mission president and his wife.
President Peterson and Sister Peterson.
This is the one sent from the mission home. sorry it didn't turn out so good.

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