Holy oh my freaking goodness I'm in the Philippines!! This place is crazy! SOOOOO different from home.
So the flight to Hong Kong? A BEAST!!! I Slept for the first 5 hours (the flight attendant was trying to take my order for dinner but I couldn't hear her or keep my eyes open I was so tired haha) but after I woke up I couldn't fall back to sleep for the whole rest of the flight! :/ That flight was on a bigger plane but the seats were all super close to each other so I had no room for my legs and it was kinda sorta miserable pero buhay pa (but I'm still alive :)
We got to the Manila Airport and were picked up by 2 Brothers. One took our luggage and the other took all of us in a van.... And I got shotgun!! :) It was SOO cool! Just driving here is an ADVENTURE! The roads are every man for himself and basically lawless haha. The cars, buses, jeepneys, motorcyclesc and bicycles all compete for the empty spaces in the road and everyone drives as fast as they can without crashing haha. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the mission home even though it's only about 30 kilometers from the airport (not sure how many miles that is sOry:)
We got to the Mission Home and met President and Sister Sperry. They're both SUPER kind and super fun. Serving under them is gonna be fun. Oh yeah... There house is air conditioned! It's SOOO nice! :)
Umm... yeah, in case you hadn't guessed yet... it's SUPER hot and SUPER HUMID here in the Philippines!!! It's crazy! And they're telling me it's still winter hahaha. No worries, buhay pa. But I might die in April :P That's when they say you sweat non-stop no matter what you're doing. Oh yeah..... I'm kind of IN LOVE.... with my electric fan! haha :P Every time we get home at night I give it a big sweaty hug and say, "Namiss mo ako?" (Did you miss me? :o)
The heat isn't the only thing that's different here.. in case you didn't guess :) I swear I'm the only puti(white) person in our area! (I know there are whites in other areas cuz they're missionaries haha :P) But yeah, everywhere I go EVERYONE stares at me and most of the kids and teenagers will say "What's up man??" or "Hey Joe!" or "What's your name?". hahahaha :) It's hilarious! :) The kids are SO small and have squeaky voices haha. I love saying "Up here!" and giving them high five's :)
So the city is HUGE!!! Every time we leave our street I would be completely lost without my companion. There are SO many people! We're just in one area but I swear we've passed 100s of 1000s of people by now in jeepneys! I LOVE riding in the jeepneys :) Driving in America's gonna be pretty boring when I get back haha.
So I'm not sure what area Elder Cloward ended up in but he has a Filipino companion. Elder Calinog is in my District though (WOOT!:) and Elder Staples is in our Zone. They both have companions from America.
My trainer/first companion/Tatay(Father:) here in the Philippines is...... Elder Sidillo! haha. He's Filipino, from Cagayan de Oro in Mindinao. He's been in the field for 5 months. I am his 3rd companion and his first trainee/son :) He's really kind and really outgoing with other people.
So far I've had a bit of a hard time adjusting. This place is SOOO different and SOOO hot and the language is SOOOOOOOOO difficult!! It sounds nothing like what I learned in the MTC! They all speak so fast and have strange accents so I can't really understand much yet. There's SOO much to adjust to and I was really down on myself for the first couple days. Today was Pday so I had time to relax, read my journal, my Patriarchal Blessing and remember who I am and why I'm here on a mission. Don't worry Mom, I'm doin fine now ;) I am going to have hard times but as I turn to the Lord and stay positive I will become comfortable with the culture and the language :)
Hope that answered most of your questions :) Keep the questions coming! I know you have a BUNCH more :)
I love you all TONS and miss you all TONS!!!! :) Thanks SO much for the letters! They were really fun to read and they're really giving me strength here in the Philippines. MAHAL KITA! :) Kita kits :)