Quezon City Mission

Quezon City Mission

Monday, November 11, 2013

Letter Nov 11, 2013

Hi Everyone!

Well, the language that they speak here is not what they speak in the MTC that's for sure. The plane ride over here was really long, and once we arrived it took a long time to finally get our bags and find who was picking us up. I just kept thinking of the movie "Taken" with different people coming up to us and telling us where to wait. We finally got to the Hotel and got a good 3 hours of sleep before having to go to the mission home, and there we had an orientation and then got to go tour the memorial/ cemetery of soldiers who had died Im pretty sure in WW2. After all of that we got to find out who our Trainer was going to be, and everyone loves my name, Elder Rock. So they called me up and said my companion was on the rock (Mindoro). So we knew that 3 of us were going to go to mindoro and we would have to take a plane the next day and our trainers were there waiting for us. So They said my trainer was there so I would be going there, and it is a pretty desirable place to go, so everyone was all excited, and then the AP's said, just kidding, your trainer WAS on the rock, Elder Masula is your trainer! He's native!
I didn't really care because I want to go to mindoro when I know Tagalog really well so I can enjoy it haha. But Elder Masula is awesome, He is native and speaks really good english. He is also the district leader so he is obedient. The mission president's wife kept saying that missionaries would make fun of us if we were obedient and stuff. It was really weird, she spent like 2 hours telling us to make sure we do this this and this, and to call her if our trainers didn't. But then she would say the trainers were the best missionaries in the mission haha. 
So, we were driven to a church and got picked up by a senior couple from canada who are awesome, the Jensen's, and they took us to our apartment. My area is Bingagonan, I think. It's really hard to understand names because they talk so fast and mumble it, so when we talk to people and ask their name, they say zinny. "WHat"? 'zinny' and we ask them to spell it, and they say Jenny. Oh so Jenny. So I have no idea who anyone is haha. 
The Philippines is really different, I understand why they call it culture shock now. We are in a province area, so not near the city, so there is a lot more green, but so so so so dirty. It's so hard to explain. The pictures I have are really beautiful, but it smells bad, and the houses are so tiny and I don't know how to explain it. Everyone sells things too. So they have random items hanging from the outside of their house with a cage in front so no one steals it, and things cost like 10 P. (43Pesos is a dollar right now) 
It is pretty humid, all of my books are getting warped just from the moisture, and we walk everywhere. I kind of wish I went on more back packing trips hahahaha. A Tricycle is our number one way of transportation, its like a 70 cc motorcylce with a side car, and they just jam as many people as they can haha, its super funny. 
All of the kids love me, because I am this super tall white guy, and talk to me. Everyone stares too, but Im getting over that. They try to talk english, because I guess it means that you are intelligent or something, just they all want to speak english, and they say "YO, wassup man" and then laugh when I speak tagalog back haha.

 Even though it is so crazy here, the church is still the same. The members are the same and the doctrine is the same. The really sad thing that I heard was that there are 700,000 plus members here, but only 200,000 are active. How sad. The number one reason is people getting offended, which is really hard, And it is over stupid things. But at church we had a few less actives come and that was really good. I have noticed that you can find the same people, like people come in late, there are the people on their phones, the snacks for the children, the funny dads, and so on. They are all here haha. 

I've been really discouraged because I cannot understand anything anyone says, and it is just so frustrating, I just want to teach people but can't in the way I want to. And I miss home A LOT. At the MTC I didn't really, but here I just want to take a shower that isn't out of a bucket, but there must be opposition in all things, and Im pretty sure it was Gordon B Hinckley's dad that said "forget yourself and get to work" So That's my motto. ANd to be happy. It is so hard to be happy sometimes because I just get waves of sadness, but we choose if we are happy, and that makes my attitude change. 
In the MTC we heard thousands of stories about how people are humbled on their mission and rely on the Lord. I wish people wouldn't tell those stories because it takes how meaningful they are. What I mean is that there isn't really a way to express how desperate you are for help, I just feel lonely sometimes, and just have been learning to pray and remember why I am here. 

I sure love everyone, and miss you, but will see you in 2 years that fly by I have been told:)

-Elder Rock

PS: The Philippines is indescribable haha, its like the mexico of Asia where I am at. I wish Rachel could come clean our apartment and fix it up, its so beaten down. Our kitchen sink doesn't have running water, and in the bathroom it barely comes out haha. We have a shower but it doesn't work, so we use a bucket outside, and we don't have a washer or dryer, so we have to hand wash everything. I miss food. Ive been living off of peanut butter and toast the past 5 days for breakfast, and have eaten more rice than I have in my entire life haha.  I want to share the gospel with everyone I meet, but I don't know how to speak. My trainer, Elder Masula, is a really good missionary, and we laugh a lot, but it's just hard- you know? I felt sooo alone at church yesterday even though the people are so nice, I just have no idea what anyone says.
I am truly learning how to rely on the Lord, and am trying to follow the spirit and have the spirit way more in my life and follow it, so we will see how it goes. It's only my first week so I need to stop being so hard on myself, but I just want to help and teach and get families to the temple!
The storm was in Tacloban, so nothing happened to me, on friday they had us go in our apartment, but it just rained.

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