It feels like I haven't talked to y'all in forever! I can't believe I'm here in the Philippines! It's been 9 days! So I arrived at the Manila MTC last Saturday and was there until . The Manila MTC was really cool. All the Filipinos loved seeing us Americans. They love us. They all thought I was super tall and good at basketball. The food there was sooo good! Of course we had rice every meal but they make some masarap (delicious) dishes here in the Philippines!
While at the Manila MTC, Elder Sanft and I taught our last lessons together as companions, and I also met President Trask - he gave great devotionals to us and inspired us with his words. He had a lot of success as a missionary in the Philippines and expects us to strive BIG here.
I said goodbye to my original Provo district and zone. It was sad saying goodbye, but we'll all be reunited again someday! President Revillo picked up the Quezon City missionaries in the morning and we headed to the mission home. As we headed in I was super nervous. It HIT me...like wow I'm really about to start missionary work in my first area. I met with the President- he's a nice guy, I like him. They started playing videos and introducing us to the goals they expect of me and also the Quezon City standards. I was so nervous. I'm really a missionary. I am really here in the Philippines! I still can't believe it.
Sooo now to the good part....I have been called to serve in my first area as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the.... MINDORO SABLAYANA area!!!!! I'm on the island!!! I couldn't believe it. Everyone was so surprised, especially me, because only 2 out of like 30 missionaries got called with me. Everyone was jealous of me haha. They all say it's the best area...and it is!! My flight wasn't until morning so I went proselyting with local missionaries until my flight.
I got to Mindoro Fmorning at like 8 (only a 30 minute flight). The bus ride to my area was 3 hours. Holy cow, the view to my area is beautiful!! Palm trees, the ocean, hills, jungle, open fields...it's the middle of nowhere. There are a lot less people than in the city which I like. The only way of transportation is by tricycle. It's sweet. It's a culture shock for sure but I love it. No houses, just shacks, or huts. I don't even know how to describe them. It's the sticks haha. My companion Elder Santiago picked me up- he's awesome! He's a short Filipino who has been out on the mission for a year and a half. He's a veteran, a fireball, hardworking, selfless, and loves the work and the Lord. He's going to be great for me.
We dove right into the work as soon as we got there. We taught 5 lessons to investigators. By the end of the day I was exhausted. It's all so real now, it's crazy. What I like about Elder Santiago is that he lets me speak even though I can't. My Tagalog stinks. Geez, it's frustrating. But he backs me up and helps me out. Multiple times he has made me lead the lessons. It's so hard but I'm trying my best. The past 3 days I think we've taught like 12 lessons to investigators. It's amazing to come here and all of the sudden start teaching and inviting people to baptized. We have 4 investigators right now who we hope will get baptized.. Donald, Robert and his cousin, and Jenny Ann. It's unbelievable to have the opportunity to invite the Filipinos to come unto Christ and follow his example. I've only been here 3 days and I've invited 3 people to be baptized and they said yes!! They're so humble here, it's incredible. I love it here. My testimony and knowledge of the gospel continues to grow each day as I study the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. PMG is amazing. I'm supposed to become a Preach My Gospel missionary and it is such an inspired missionary tool.
My apartment isn't too bad- better than I thought. No shower though-only a bucket shower. And no toilet paper.. sooo I've learned to wipe with my left hand hahaha. The Elders next door- Elders Lopez and Sambile know how to cook and they're teaching me.
To be honest family, I miss y'all so much!! I've been homesick the past 3 days. I've found myself on my knees crying a lot. I didn't think it would be this hard, but being a missionary is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I'm homesick, and I miss y'all so much, but I know I'm here for a reason. I've thought to myself, "How can I do this? I'm not good enough. I'm not a good missionary. I can't speak the language. Why am I here?" But I know I should be here and become converted and bring many people to happiness that I feel in this wonderful gospel. Keep me in your prayers family. I can feel your love. I love you all so much. I pray for all of you.
I don't know if I forgot anything but time flies emailing and I need to go, but I love you all. I'll try and send pics but I don't know if I can. I'll try to next week. Goodbye family, hope you all are doing well. I love Mindoro, my area, the members in the branch, and all the people here. Talk to y'all next week!