Okey lang, from the beginning then… (just warning you that I haven’t been able to email for two weeks now so I’m gonna unload)
From the MTC then. For those who don’t understand what a 32 hour flight plan is let me enlighten your mind. four flights in a row, all at least 2 hours each, with one at 14 hours and crossing the international date line. Its really hard to sleep(even when you’ve been up for 26 hours straight) when you are six four and not allowed to lean back in your chair because of some older Asian lady, and because of a lady in front of you who put hers back all the way. I was awake for almost 48 hours straight. pero(but) then we got to the PHILIPPINES!!! Honestly on the plane you look out the window and its dark outside so you think… it must be cool outside… wrong! Its so humid and hot that even in the middle of the night you’ll be laying on your bed sweating-no covers, windows open, fan on. Its crazy. Also you’d have to get used to traffic here. which is soooo different dahil(because) they don’t have lines or traffic rules really, the only rule they have to obey is “might gets right” which means that if you are on a trike,(motorbike and sidecar) you have to yield to the bus or Jeepney behind you.(I’ll explain what a Jeepney is later.) And because there are no rules dictating how many lanes there are or how close you can get to another vehicle, you’ll be riding in a bus(like we were right after we got out of the airport) you’ll put your hand on the window and be able to pretty much high five someone doing the same thing across from you in another bus. How I haven’t seen a wreck while I’ve been here is a miracle.
The Manila MTC was cool and I was interesting to see how other MTC’s operate in a different country.There are some missionaries sent from the states directly there, and then they do the same thing we do just with far less people, better food and being able to talk to literally anyone and practice your Tagalog. While we were there in the MTC we went on splits with the elders and sisters serving in the Manila Metro area, which was sooo FUN! the people arn’t like in the states where there are social contexts where you don’t talk to people. In the Philippines you can talk to some who is doing absolutely anything. and then you can have a lesson with them.Simple. (Except for the fact that the only people who I can effectively communicate with are little kids who cant stop laughing at how I’m twice as tall. ( and how I look like the pale orc from lord of the rings to them)- this was not actually said, just inferred
Then we(the Angeles missionaries last to leave the MTC got on a bus and rode it for a couple hours and suddenly we are there. First person I meet is Elder Bleazard one of the AP’s (awesome name btw.) The self-proclaimed tallest person in the Angeles mission.(true, btw) He is 6’5″ so in a couple of months I will literally be the tallest person in an (filiopino-equivalent) entire state. Weird. Sobrang (very or much) weird. Anyway, afterwards we stayed in the AP’s apartment for a day had a couple devotionals by President Clark and got all the stuff they needed to give us.The next day we got a new companion!(a Trainer really) My companions name is Elder Grado, Taga-Cavite at gusto mo aral ang computer science parasa college. (from Cavite,wants to study computer science for college) He’s been here for Tungkol sa pitong bowan.(he been here for about seven months) And we are assigned to labor in the Gimba 3 Area which was whitewashed( they moved both elders from the area about a month ago), so we have no idea who anyone is. We only know stuff because Elder Grado was assiged here (same apartment) for his first area too. however it was Gimba 2 not three so he doesn’t know anyone from our ward. The last couple of days have been rough because we dont have much money right now because its the end of the month and we dont get money til “All Souls Day”(filiopino equivalent to the “day of the dead” in Mexico,we are also told to stay inside for all souls day unless we are doing something super important) which is the first of the month.(right now we’re trying to figure out what we’re going to be doing for that day)
Yes it is super hot, and super humid. Umm.. oh yeah, you also need to get used to the geckos all over the place. They’re harmless just super scary when you sit down and one (almost literally flies) out from under your chair and up the wall. It makes you jump. okey lang, a Jeepney is a small minivan sized bus, with a passenger capacity of “just one more!”. Honestly they will cram 40 little Filipinos and three Americans into a minivan pretty much. So squished.
I’m learning way more tagalog than i was before and apparently people compliment me on it ( Thank you Elder Grado for telling me what they’re saying…) Pero I don’t feel like I know anything. They sit and talk then suddenly all eyes will look at me, and someone will say something to my companion that I catch one word of and my companion will turn to me and say “they want to talk to you , but they don’t know very much English so they want me to translate.” and ill say back” how do you think i feel” and my comp will translate and everyone will laugh. Sometimes I’ll catch what they’re saying, however most of the time I’m sitting quietly listening to what is being said and writing words down for later to ask my comp. what they mean, and answering the few questions I can understand and respond to. Halibawa.(example) Name,age,Height(everyone wants to know that),am I good at basketbol?, how long I’ve been in philippines, etc. About basket ball and hobbies, they enjoy basketball,Chess and badminton. Isn’t that kinda random? Tingin ko ito.(I think it is)
I’m out of time so, email next week with the rest of stuff!
-Elder Ethan Bell