Sunday, September 13, 2015

#PHILIPPINESBOUND# 1st area KARISSA

It may be hot and humid....I may not understand the language...and I may see things that are so out of my element--but there is definitely NO PLACE I'D RATHER BE(: #saPilipinasBound. Kumusta!!(: Wow, first week out in the field! Yay, I thought this day couldn't come any quicker. I'm a REAL missionary now! I felt the MTC life was a very long life, and though it was a good life, I knew reality had to hit someday. Haha. Joklang! It's the bomb(; Anyways, first Pday here in the field! Yay! It's been so busy ever since I've got here I literally feel like I've been just SMACKED with some sort of Gospel Hose of nonstop going! The tiredness is so real. Haha, but it's fine. I'm still trying to adjust to the time change. But before I get into all of that, let me back up to the last day of the MTC. It was really sad actually. We had a bunch of closing devotionals and our Districts just kept looking at each other and tried to take advantage of every moment we had with each other. I couldn't believe that in a few hours I won't see some of my District for a very long time. In the closing Devotional we did sort of a "Graduation" thing as we were called District by District to step up and accept our pics from the MTC. It was pretty nice. We then had a closing prayer as our own District to say our final good byes to each other. We kept the mood light though so nobody got too sappy and started crying, because I know we probably would. We gathered in a circle and said one last prayer as a District. We then were able to say our Good Byes and shake hands and make promises to meet up again. We ended the night with Eld Woodbury and Eld Eager doing a funny dance for us they created during their MTC Provo days. It was so funny and something we'll all never forget. The next morning we had to get up super early to prepare to leave our separate ways. We had everyone still saying bye to eachother, it was so sad. We took pics and Cavite loaded up on the bus. I felt so sorry for Sis Swanson and she made me cry as she watched her twin out the window. They wouldn't be seeing each other for a very long time. My heart yearned for her and my tears came. I watched as some of our District people going to Quezon and Laog waved us good bye. It was such a sad moment. Gonna really miss these wonderful people! Cavite then left and we were on our way to meet our Mission President and our new Comps!! The drive felt long, but we made. it. Our car arrived and we were able to meet Pres and Sis Tye! They are so amazing!! So sweet and very welcoming! The "old" missionaries swarmed around us newbs as we came in! So many Poly's! I'm the only Poly that came from America and doesn't speak Samoan or Tongan tho...so that was not fun. But they're all so funny and nice! Such a tight nit group of missionaries! There were two cars with us newbs and the other car was lost unfortunately. So my kasama and I sat there for three hours waiting for the other car. When they finally came I was so happy because out of the 23 of us that came from Provo MTC, 9 of us are serving in Cavite! So it was so good to see familiar faces coming in! We hugged them and got them pumped to meet our Mission Pres. We had orientation and learned more about the Philippines and were given a bunch of things that should help a bit. Then it was time to receive our new kasamas--this was intense. But they made it fun(; Pres Tye called us one by one and we came up and then he had us read the name of our kasama. It was so sad seeing companionships broken up and then seeing them sit with someone new. But also exciting. When my turn came, I read the name of my comp "Sis Picar!" We embraced and I was already so excited! She's so tiny, but just filled with love and laughter. We got to all sit with our new comps and then get to know each other better. After all the pics and last minute things--it was time for all of us to separate to our own areas, some of us far some near--but we were definitely spread out. I found out that Eld Richards from my District was actually in my District now and that Sis Thomas was in my Zone. So we all got to basically ride up together which was awesome. It was comforting to know that a familiar face was coming with me. The ride was long, but luckily a member took all our bags so we don't have to carry them. We took a Jeepney, a bus, and a Jeepney. Yes, it was a two hour trek. During the bus ride we actually got into an accident, so that was fun. NOT. I was scared because we full on hit something. #terrifying. Oh well, we were fine tho. Man, if only you all can see what I see everyday. My first area is Karissa. It's not a city, but a province. Almost country like. It's beautiful in a way. Filled with many little street shops and has a rice field. Very different. It's very poor too. Poverty is real. It's so sad too. Seeing these people and what they live in and the things they do is so heartbreaking. I can't believe people can live like this--but, they're some of the most amazing people I've met. They choose happiness. They're shy and sweet and I have grown this love for them I can't even explain. Tracting is very long and tiring, but to be able to meet these wonderful people have been a blessing. The struggle here is that people don'[t keep their promises or commitments. My first day out proselyting, we got "punted" or rejected 5 times in a row. I started to feel so discouraged and sad. I was new and already feeling the rejection, but they do it in such a nice way. But still. Ughhh. Had my first baptisms on Saturday! Yay! It was twin boys, 10 years old, and the most cutest kids ever. So naughty tho. But yah, that was a cool experience! Their fam is inactive tho. We're still trying to help bring the fam back. The mom just had a baby, so when we go teach, she always is breastfeading right in front of us--really weird, but they don't care. They just do it. Haha. Anwyays! Glad I'm a girl(; So much is going on! I'm especially learning a ton from my trainer. She filipina from Bikol (I know Lawrence was learning that language right?) It's close to Legaspi. Anyways, she leaves soon--but she is so amazing! She has such a spriteful spirit about her and so kind to everyone she comes in contact with. Big personality, not quiet(: I'm learning lots from her. She also cooks so amazing! Thank goodness! The other two sisters that live with us cook too, so yes I've been spoiled food wise. My "twin bro" Eld. Richards is starving with his Tatay (dad-trainer) because he doesn't cook. So he asked my Nanay (Mom-trainer) to cook for him because he's hungry. Lol. Poor kid. She can be stern and fiesty, but the spirit definitely is in her. I love her so much and am sad to know she will be leaving soon. I have mosquito bites EVERYWHERE! It's insane. Can't do much about that tho. It's also always hot in our apartment (which is way nice by the way). We have a bunk bed and we just blast the fans. We also have our own bathroom which is nice. I'm used to showering in cold water. Yay! Haha. And there is a flush toilet!! Woot woot!! The filipino are tone deaf. Yah, sad. And they are always singing. As I type, there is a kid singing so loud "You're my dream girl...living in my dream world..." So off. Lol. But in the Manila MTC, our teacher had an incredible voice! So beautiful and I was able to sing with him! Loved it. Pero, haven't found anyone that can sing like that since...so still waiting. haha. I've been able to sing for almost all our investigators. Word already spread and they know I sing. Love being able to bring music into lessons. I usually sit there nodding my head cause they speak so fast, but my trainer makes me speak so that I am able to get used to it. I get so scared tho, but I just leave it to the Lord to help me. They think I'm Filipino here tho. When I tell them I'm from America and that I speak English they can't believe how good my Tagalog is--and it's not even good! They're too sweet. Well. I don't know what else to say. I think I said it all. I'll probably think of something later. Hopefully I can send you pics later. So good to hear about everything going on at home! Love you all! Mahal kita, Sis Alapa

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