(It isn't as fabulous as Las Vegas but it will do!)
I have now been out for almost 3 months; in the Philippines for 4 weeks and Cebu for 3 weeks. So it rains a lot here... All of my clean pants and shoes are all muddy now. The rainy season is starting to pick up. If I could send you videos I totally would because we are hiking through jungle and muddy mud ALL. THE. TIME! I have also grown a new love for sugar cane. It is harvest season here for the sugar cane and so there is a lot of the stuff everywhere! You just reach down on the road, pick one up, and bite off the bark and wala! - you got yourself a sweet road trip snack.
So this week was great! Last Saturday I had the opportunity to baptize 12 year old Rezamia. She is a very sweet little girl and very receptive of our teachings. As I was leaving the font, Satan snuck up behind me and pushed me down! I tumbled to the earth in a big heap of... American. I whacked my shin on a door and that hurt... a lot!
(Elder Noprada and I with 12-year-old Rezamia)
The teaching is going great! I have been able to speak Cebuano very well lately and I have noticed that the harder I pray for help with the language the more loose my tongue is. I’ve had the chance to do splits with other missionaries and as I talk with the foreign missionaries I have come to learn just how hard it was for them all to serve a mission and the things that they went through to be here. We as first world missionaries are asked to pay for our own missions because a lot of the foreign missionaries come from poverty; they are in no way able to pay for themselves so the church provides for that. I have met loads of missionaries whose families disowned them because of their desire to serve. Almost all of the missionaries here have only one parent too due to death of a parent either before their mission or who died while they are on their mission. I have no idea what it is like to lose a close family member and I in no way want to lose one especially while on my mission so I commend those who have lost someone they love while on their mission and stayed. It takes a lot of faith to continue in your calling.
I almost died too (at least I thought I might). Elder Noprada and I sat on top of the motor cycle cabs they have here and the guy drove really fast over muddy roads and I was honestly scared that I was going to fall off and maim myself! My hand was stiff and pure white from clenching onto the roof of the vehicle for my life!
(Yeah....looks fun with all the real danger and opportunity of DEATH!!)
The bananas here are VERY SMALL! Smaller than my finger! They are sweeter here and are nice when you fry them in butter and sugar :) Tambok ako haha! (I’m fat). I’ve also had many times where we get to spend time with some members and have fun (as well as teaching them) PARTY-PARTY!
(Yeah, you probably though I was lying about the bananas!)
It has been a long and great week! I am enjoying my time here and I cannot wait for my future adventures and lessons learned! I wish the best for you all and good luck in all you do!
Love your Elder,