Ive arrived in the Pilipinas
Yes im here and doing good! I wrote a letter from the mission home and they should have already sent it. It has a letter from me, pics with President Malit and Sister Malit and my companion, Sister Taperla and also a map of all the areas in the mission. You will be able to track where i am exactly which is nice. My first area is Naval. There is a college here and is probably the biggest "city", if you can call it that, on Bilirian island... yep im on the little island! My area for the most part is cebauno but there is also Waray waray. I can tell when people are speaking waray waray cause it has a different sound and i dont understand a word! ha. My companion knows cebuano, tagalog and waray waray so she is awesome! The language barrier is very difficult but i just keep praying that little by little i can break down that barrier! Please keep me in your prayers!
So to answer all your questions... its SO different here but i really love it. Its very very hot and humid so we shower (cold bucket showers) 2-3 times a day! We sleep with lots of fans so sleeping is very nice and enjoyable. Today i bought a malong, which i like a tube sheet that you sleep in! Brother Morrey told us about them so i found a cool one. Grocery shopping on sat was so crazy. Its so jam packed and so many different things i dont know what they are! I want to try everything tho so that i can learn what Filipino food i like! Rice is huge of course and i have yet to eat a mango... but i will this week! Ive seen some crazy foods and unsure but everything ive actually eaten so far is really yummy.
Our first few days were just at the mission home doing meetings and getting to know President Malit. We got to our area on friday night. We spent most of the day on sat cleaning because out apartment was gross.. and honestly still is! There is just no way to clean it unless we gutted it and sprayed it down. And im not even sure if that would do the job... Just know you would die! haha. The place is actually really big... just a big dump. The lady next door is who owns it and has a ton of stuff stored in there. There are three rooms with a kitchen and another living area which we use to study. There are spider webs gallor! I tried to wipe them all down today and spiders kept dropping down on me... its trying my patience :) We definately dont live alone... Its me, S. Taperla, 4 billion ants, 1000 lizards, and 473 spiders. I sleep on the top bunk so the spiders and i are pretty tight. The lizards just runs across the walls, they dont even phase me anymore. Oh and i almost forgot the cockroaches! They are nice little surprises at night!! So have you ever heard the whole thing that you eat like 8 spiders a year in your sleep? or something like that?... Well im going to break the record for that... like 8 spiders a night... no worries... i got this! Yes its gross and i dont want to lie to you but im great. It is a great growing experience and im just glad that most of the time is spent out of the apartment.
I absolutely LOVE walking around town and seeing everything. You are always close to the water so its very pretty. We walked through a rice field the other day and taught this less active , Danny. His house is far off behind the field and is built on little trunks off the ground. The floor is just flat little sticks and we had to take our shoes off before climbing in. It was crazy... i will make sure to take pics when we go back and teach him again!
Im really glad that i didnt have you buy me shoes! i bought a pair of crocs today for 100 pesos which is like 2.50 in US dollars! I think my camera will be just fine as well. Yes its humid but everyone here has normal cameras and i think it will be fine! Stuff is really cheap compared to US but we only get like 7000 pesos a month (its plenty for what we need to buy here tho!) Im trying to save a little each month so i have money to buy gifts to bring home!
Oh i just wish you could experience it all first hand! The first day here with president he was telling us about the mission. First, Tacloban is the best mission in the world! And the word Tacloban means Fisher because it is a fishing city! What a better name for a mission! We are fishers of men! How cool is that!?
Im so glad you have been enjoying conference! Hopefully we will get to go to Ormok zone and watch the broadcast next weekend. We will see...
I love you SO MUCH mom! You are the best! Thank God for all your many blessings!! Im realizing how blessed we really are in the US. It doesnt mean we need to give up what we have and live poor like this at all! God has given us these wonderful accommodations and wants us to have them and use them... We just need to realize where it comes from and thank Him everyday!
Nasayud ko nga kini ebanghelyo mao any ebanghelyo si Jesukristo! Nagpasalamat ko sa pagalagad sa atong Manluluwas. Nag-ampo ko sa mga tawo sa Pilipinas aron makadawat sila nining ebanghelyo ug sa mensahe nga nagbaton mi. Nasayud ko nga mitubos si Jesukristo sa atong mga sala' ug matabang siya nato sa mga buhaton. Naghigugma ko kaayo nimo ug sa atong pamilya. Pagsaad ko nga mag-uban ta sa hangtud sa hangtud! Pasalamaton nimo ang imong gugma!
Sister Carissa Jones... Your daughter who loves you TONS!!
Im Safe :)
No worries Dad... im here with all my belongs and im safe. Just remember if there is no news its good news! Thats actually what my mission president told us the first day. He said to not worry about our families and viceversa... cause if anything happens our families will contact him and he will immediately contact us and if anything happens to us he will immediately contact you. He is such an awesome president! President Malit and Sister Mailt are so kind and loving. I had a really good interview on thursday with him and we had a lot of conferences and meetings the first two days (wed night when we arrived and thursday). The mission home is very nice... our apartments are much different! On friday we traveled all day to drop all the sisters off (4 companionships). Both my comps from the MTC are with Americans and i am with a Filipina, Sister Taperla. She is crazy and known for being disobedient but she will be great. When we had transfer conference and they announced who would be my trainer she was shocked and slowly stood up. She had no idea she would be training me! She thought she was just getting transferred... not training. She isnt sure of herself but i keep telling her she is a great missionary and will be a great trainer. She has been out for 14 months and is from Mindanao Philippines. Her english is really good so the language barrier isnt bad but she is such a help to me. I have SO MUCH to learn in the language.
Today we were able to meet up with S. Blonquist and S. Lemmon (they are in our zone)... and they said that they ran into our 1st counselor of the branch presidency and he told them that i was homesick because i couldnt speak the language yesterday (at church). Im not... i guess he just thot not speaking the language means im homesick.
The area i am in is Naval. We wrote letters and a map of all the areas in the mission along with pics with the president and my companion. You should be getting those soon because the mission office sent them out this week. The Naval area is in Bilirian island which is the tiny island between the two main islands of the mission (Leyte and Samar). You will see when you get the map... and that will make it easier for you to track where i am whenever i get transferred. We are trying to work with the members to learn the area. Its kinda a big area and i get lost everytime we go out. The members are great but sacrament meeting attendance is very very low. Only 39 this week!!! Our meeting house is very small. One big room where we use plastic chairs and then 3 room to the side. One is for the branch presidents office and the other two we use for classes. I dont even think they have a primary cause i saw the kids just running around outside during sunday school. For RS and Priesthood we separate in the main room where sacrament meeting is. Its very very different but im excited to work and get attendance up. If they can keep it up for 6 months above 70 people we can build a real chapel! I bore my testimony because here it was fast and testimony meeting. We dont get conference till next week. And we should be able to go to another zone to watch the broadcast... we arent positive yet. Anyway... my testimony was short and i tried my best... i was very nervous and feel like i forgot everything that i learned in the MTC. My comp is very encouraging and some of the members are very nice to me. After church we had a really good MCM and the branch mission leader is really good!! He is getting everyone to help us. He was the branch president before. We had someone to go around with us everyday which is awesome! I cant wait to know the area better and the investigators that have already been taught. There havent been missionaries here for 3 weeks so we are pretty much starting from scratch. I want to find more investigators and just stay really really busy! The people here are so sweet... for the most part. Most of them stare at the white girl but i just smile and wave. The kids are funny and laugh when they see me... We ate at a members house last night and the little 3 year old was telling me that he wanted me to eat more! and kept hiding around the corner and then peeking at me. The mom told me that he found me guapa (beautiful). Haha.
Thank you for all your love and support. You are the great dad ever!! You are such a good teacher to us kids and i just love you sooooooo much!!!!! I hope you are reading your scriptures and praying daily! with mom too! Help eachother!
Love Your Favorite Daughter
I love you!
Hey there! Just wanted to drop in real fast and say that i love you and loved being able to talk to you on the phone!! Let me know when baseball rolls around! Im so excited for you to dominate!
You wouldnt even believe the crazy cold bucket showers that i take! Its so humid so we shower like 3 times a days (at least 2!) So pretty much you fill a big bucket with water (cold may i remind you) and then use another smaller bucket (looks like a plastic pot) and you just pour the water over your head. It shocks your body everytime! I dont think you can ever get used to them. Even when you are SO hot it still shocks your body! After the first couple buckets over your head its ok and you can pour it with ease! Its so crazy but a great experience. Oh and there is no like flusher to flush the toilet so you just pour a bucket of water in the toilet and it causes it to flush... its so weird! Im learning to go to the bathroom with minimal toilet paper since its so expensive. We get about 150 dollars a month... which is like 7000 pesos. I bought some new shoes today for 100 pesos and a bunch of other stuff. I will try to send pics next week through the email. The email shops here are different but i think i will be able to!
I love you sooo sooo much! Keep up your reading and praying! Let me know how its going!!
How are you and your teeth doing little boy!? It was so good to talk to you this last week on the phone! I wish it wouldnt have been so late so you hadnt been so tired! I just loved hearing your cute little voice tho!
Things here are very different! Especially the food! I ate some squid the other day! It was different but good. We went grocery shopping on saturday and its so crowded and you wait in line forever! They have so many different types of food... i want to try them all!!! haha. You eat rice with every meal! i like it cause its always with something different or a different type of rice. And when you eat there are no knives... just forks and spoons and you eat off the spoon. You just use the fork to push the food onto the spoon. You hold the fork in your left hand and the spoon in your right. Im getting used to it but i know i look really silly when im trying to pull apart meat only using a spoon and fork! ha.
So with the rice you have to dry it after you cut it and before you take it to the mill. They dry the rice on the streets! They just lay out these nets and the rice is yellow. Ill take pics so you can see it. Its so cool!
The driving here is insane! There are no rules and you constantly pass people and drive on the left side of the road. So many times you feel like you are going to crash because you are going head on with someone while passing another. There are buses (like giant taxis) and they are called jeepnis... we usually ride the pot-pot which is a bike with a cart that two people can sit in attached to the side. It is usually 5 pesos a person to ride. Its either blazing hot or raining so i always carry around an umbrella!!! I love it and wish you could see all these crazy things!... dont worry... ill take lots of pics!
Keep up with your reading and praying! Let me know how things are going and what is new in life!!! I just love you sooooooooooooooo much!!!!!
Sister Carissa Jones