(BJ has an awesome group of friends from High School that are all out serving their missions in many different Countries at the same time. One of the friends put together this list of ?'s for them all to answer. It will be fun to get all of their answers back since they are in such different areas. Here are the ?'s and BJ's answers that he sent back this morning. Enjoy!)
"Hello Elders! Listed below are 14 questions we will compile and send back out to you as a 3rd and final newsletter. You are amazing missionaries with valiant testimonies. Thanks for all you've added to the newsletters!"
1. How many companions have you had so far and how many have been native speakers to your country?
I am with my 9th companinon in my 6th area and transfer day is close. I've had 4 Filipino companions but none of them speak Tagalog at home, there are nearly 100 languages spoken here.
2. What is the biggest differences in your mission from your home town?Ummmmmmmm........ EVERYTHING!!! But the biggest difference? The cities are so big and loud here. The population density here is WAY higher than good 'ol PG.
3. What is the grossest thing you have eaten? Not sure... There's nothing I've tried that was too gross. Probably Chicken intestines.
4. What is your favorite food from your mission experience so far? Favorite food is either Bicol Express(Pork with hot chili peppers cooked in coconut milk) or Sinigang Baboy(Style of Pork)... On a mountain of rice of course :)
5. Is there any foods that you couldn't stand at first but now you crave them? Hahahaha, hmmmmmmmmmm........ RICE! Didn't like it all before the mission but it's become a staple in my diet here haha.
6. What is your main mode of travel (bicycle, buss...)? Main mode of travel is my feet haha. Our area's really small because it's heavily populated. When we go somewhere far we use a jeepney: An elongated World War II jeep.
Cool Jeepney they had painted the story of Abinadi on.
7. What is the weather like most of the time?
HOT and HUMID! nuff said.
8. How do you eat..meaning do you cook at home with your companion or do you have a cook or do you live with members and they cook for you? We usually cook for ourselves.
9. How do you do your laundry...rubbing it against a rock, a maid does it for you, or in a plastic small laundry machine that pretty much just spins your clothes around or is it a regular laundry machine like at home? We wash our garments by hand. And because I'm lazy I have my clothes washed at a shop for 50 cents per kilo.
10. In your apartments do you live with just your companion, or usually with another set of Elders or with members?Sometimes it's just me and my comp, and sometimes we have another companionship with us but no members.
11. What do you like most about the area that you are in and what reminds you of home about your area or a previous area and what have you missed most about home?
The best thing about here is how awesome and kind the people are. Something that reminded me most about home was after being in this country for 4 months and not seeing any malls or grocery stores or anything like that, walking into my first Hypermarket and it looked just like WalMart or Maceys back home haha. Something I miss most about home is probably.... feeling cold :) and wrapping up in a nice warm blanket to go to sleep instead of using an electric fan.
12. What do you find the hardest thing you have had to do on your mission has been so far? My first time being a Senior Comp was very hard cuz I felt I didn't know the language yet and had to get used to being in charge of organizing all our work.
13. Share an experience that has strengthened your testimony. The greatest moments on my mission have been the times where I have felt the Spirit testify to those we have taught and testify to me as I have taught. The one that sticks out to me was a time when we were teaching the Gospel of Christ to an investigator. She was scared to enter into the covenant of baptism because she knew that doing so was a very large commitment to God to follow His commandments throughout life and she knew that she would break that promise. A problem I often face myself is being a perfectionist and feeling down on myself when I mess up. I felt the Spirit very strongly as I testified that our Heavenly Father's plan is not that we will become perfect tomorrow or even in a year. He knows that we'll mess up, it's expected. His plan is that we strive our best and when we mess up we turn to His Son, Jesus Christ and are lifted by His grace. We shared 2 Nephi 31:20 to her and it became her favorite scripture and driving force for her until her baptism and still is now as a recent convert.
14. Share a funny experience you have had with the language or with seeking out investigators.
We often find new investigators because they enjoy talking to to Americans. As we walk down the street they yell "Hey Joe!" or "What's your name?". Most of the time they're just being friendly but sometimes they're trying to make fun of us or try to look cool in front of their friends. I love seeing the surprised and embarrassed looks on their faces when we walk up to them and speak in their own language haha. Most of the time they're pretty accepting to the message.