Monday, November 18, 2013

Being in the Philippines

Uhm what? Is this real life?
Alright let's start from the beginning of my Philippines adventures.
When I got into the airport in Manila I was hit with humidity and heat.
We then got to stay in this very nice hotel in Manila. Seriously I was like alriggghhtt, I can definitely do this haha oh little did I know... ha they fed us dinner and welp I just ate rice, not really used to the meat yet. Then I took the last hot shower I would take for 18 months and went to bed. Since we didn't get to bed till 2:00 am we got to sleep in which also was my last time for 18 months.. sad day. So we woke up and they brought us breakfast which was the same thing we had for dinner except with some eggs. yum. so I ate eggs and rice. haha We got dropped off at the Manila airport 4 hours early... so we did a lot of contacting. dang, Filipinos are a lot nicer than Americans haha I gave out so many cards and pamphlets. My favorite was a man named Dente... he's a gem and said he would add me on Facebook haha Is that allowed? hindi ko alam... oh well We finally met up with more Elders and Sisters from the Manila MTC and since our flight was delayed we got real acquainted. They're great mostly Filipino, have I mentioned I love Filipinos? Finally we got on our planes and it was one of those awesome planes that you enter from the ground, I felt like I was on a movie or like the Queen. NBD. We finally got to Laoag and some Elders and our mission President and his wife picked us up. AH I love my mission President! He's really funny and his wife is a sweet heart!
We got the mission home which is really nice and they fed us Pizza and McDonalds, uh alright I'll take it. We woke up the next morning and had orientation about money and food and the rules. Most of the rules are great, like there is a rule saying that we have to shower twice a day... uhm don't mind if I do. We got to meet all of the Trainers including Sister Brewer ( from home) and Elder Glover (Zac's roommate) ahh I was so happy!.

After placing we found out who our Trainers were and what area we had. I got Sister Bettilyon, she is sooo hilarious! seriously we're going to have fun. but the thing that scared me was that she's American and has only been out in the field for 3 months. Her Tagalog is pretty good, but she's not fluent, so I'm going to have to step it up. We've been doing pretty well in our lessons though! My area is Vigan and everyone is so jealous because supposedly its one of the most beautiful areas in my mission! Alright so we got to our area and did some proselyting... I'm pretty sure the language I learned in the MTC was not Tagalog because I have no Idea what these people are saying... It's so frustrating because I want to be able to teach them so much, but I can only say a few things. Everyone says I'm speaking well but I feel like I'm so behind. All the older sisters here are telling me that I knew more than they did, but I don't know it's just a humbling experience haha.We finally got back to our apartment, which is pretty nice considering we are in the Philippines, but I was EXHAUSTED. Literally I felt like I was going to collapse any second so after showering (we just installed a shower head so we don't have to bucket shower!) I passed out.
After the first day I was super overwhelmed, but I decided I would keep a positive attitude cause I knew it would get better! and it has! I still can't speak the language, but I pray at least 30 times a day so I'm sure that will come soon enough. After meeting our investigators it makes it all worth it. Seeing people's faith grow and watching them come closer to Christ brings so much joy!
When we were teaching one of our investigators, I saw a rat running across the wall. After I asked sister Bettilyon about it and she said it was a mouse... She said the rats are much bigger like the size of Chihuahuas... uh what? apparently everything is bigger in the Philippines except for the bananas and the people.
Sunday was our first time at church and we had FIVE of our investigators there which is awesome because it's really hard for people to come to church here because it's expensive and kind of far away. In relief society and sunday school I basically had no idea what was going on, but its okay I just kept smiling and nodding. In sacrament I had to bear my testimony.. people just kept smiling and you could just tell they were thinking oh how cute she's trying to speak Tagalog haha.... yeah. After church so many people came up to me... oh I just love them.
alrighhhttyyy so some things about the Philippines:
There are goats, chickens and dogs everywhere outside
There are ants and spiders everywhere inside
The people will just burp... all the time... its just normal... Ashton would like it here.
You call every women over 50 nanay and and every man over 50 tatay sorry mom and dad when I put that on your letter I thought that it meant mom and dad... nope just means your old and cute (:
They hook up little side cars to motorcycles and call it a transportation system.
It has a certain smell here... like curry mixed with smoke
They Love white people... seriously I will pull my hair in a bun, wear glasses, with no makeup, and every person is like ohhh so bran maganda.. uh what? ahaha plus most people will listen to us just because we're white.

It's weird how fast I've adjusted. I love it here.  I sometimes have to remind myself I'm in the Philippines and stuff happens. its whatever. I often find myself saying well that just happened. I just love it here!
This is hard a lot of the time, but the good out ways the bad! Heavenly Father is blessing me so much! I've never known more than now how much people need this gospel!
Love you all and miss you so much!

Sister Abelhouzen
P.S I'm happy to report I've only gotten three bug bites. I have been drenched with bug spray.

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