This week has been a crazy week. I’ll tell you all about it. So after I emailed last Monday, I took a 4 hour bus ride and 30 minute jeepney ride to my new area, Aparri. This place is a little, big city. Lots and lots of people and tons of traffic. Not with cars, but Tricycles…lots of tricycles. It’s kinda nice cuz when we need one, there is always one driving by. It’s a lot different that Bangui where we would have to call our tric to get one. But wow there are tons here. Lots of people.
But anyway, I got dropped off at Jollibee with all my luggage. Jollibee is like the McDonald’s of the Philippines (they have McDonalds too). I waited for my comp there to pick me up. My comp is Elder Montojo. He is from Mindanao (the second largest and southernmost major island in the Philippines), and has just 3 months left on the mission. He has been here in Aparri for 3 months and will probably finish his mission here.
So our apartment: it’s me and 3 other elders and honestly, the place is junk haha. For example, we went to pump some water this morning, and it decided not to work. So I had like 3 quarts of water for my shower haha. Our kitchen is infested with ants, cockroaches at night, rats sneak in and feast on any food that we leave out. So we are gonna try to fix that problem. I forgot to take a picture of our bathroom, I’ll send one next week. You guys will laugh haha it’s hilarious. It’s literally just a toilet bowl, with a bucket of water next to it. We have to manually pour the water into the bowl to flush it lol. It’s a loooot different here to say the least. It smells really bad.
One thing that I don’t enjoy here is the water. It is freezing cold. The showers are brutal. I seriously dread taking showers every morning. I just stand there and pour a freezing cold bucket of water over me, shivering while I wash, and then pour bucket after bucket of cold, cold water to rinse off. Some days it’s hard to pour that first bucket on cuz I’m just not feeling up to it. So I do all I can to heat myself up, pushups, jump up and down, anything to help haha. I will never get used to the showers.
I am very very excited about this area though. There is sooo much potential here, it’s fully ready to harvest. Yesterday we had 6 investigators at church, 4 of them will probably be baptized within the next 3 or 4 weeks. So the work here is good. And the members are great too. We have a nice big beautiful chapel. I love it here.
So here in Aparri, of course they speak Tagalog, and they speak some Ilocano, but they have another language here too – it’s called Ibanag. So I guess I’ll start learning that one too haha. The language (Tagalog) has gotten a lot better for me though. I’m beginning to be able to speak to everybody without any problem. It’s a lot of fun. The best part about the progression in the language is the ability to teach better.
Lately, I’ve been studying the New Testament, and also have been reading Jesus the Christ at the same time. As I read and study His teachings and the way He teaches, I become more and more enlightened by the spirit on how I can improve my teaching. It’s incredible to me how the spirit works. It will just pop ideas into your mind, and then confirm those ideas by a feeling. I have also realized that God likes it when we pray specifically. For example, instead of me asking how I can become a better teacher, it’s more effective if I ask how I can help a specific person understand the gospel better. And I am enlightened during my studies of how I can help that specific person. I love how God works, and how this church works. And I absolutely enjoy the spirit every day of my mission. I could NEVER deny the happiness I receive from this gospel. How could I not give it all I have every day. I owe it all to my Savior!
Love you all,