Monday, October 27, 2014

I drew a box around the area where I think Jordan is serving.

Looks like one of the tikis Jordan talks about.


So let me start by saying that missionary life is hard and it stinks. I love serving the people but it’s hard being away from everything. I am in the city of San Isidro. It’s in northern Samar and 7 hours away from the mission home. I don’t understand a single thing that anybody says. I’m really trying though. My companion is Elder Neilson. He is from Utah. He has been out for a little over a year. He’s great. He is very supportive of me. So this area I am in was white washed, meaning that both elders were taken out of the area, so both of us are new to the area. The previous elders didn’t do much. They were lazy and didn’t follow the rules much. The branch I am in is very excited to have new elders that are ready to work and share the gospel. My first night in the area I had squid and rice. It was so good. That was the only thing I ate that whole day. It was so good. The members here are really sweet and invite you in all the time. 

So a lot of people were wondering about Tacloban. It is pretty much fixed up and ready to go, except the airport. It is still under construction. The mission home is so pretty and stands out. Everything here is very poor but the people love to please you. The sick apartment is pretty small and when transfer day came around there were 20 something elders in the house. It was pretty tight. After getting my new companion we went to lunch and had smoothies. I had mango. It was so good. Perfect because it is so hot here. We loaded the cars and left for our area. I was really sad. I felt safe there and what everyone had said the area I was going to didn’t have much. They were right. There were a few shops but that was about it. Our apartment is really big for the area we are in. It’s so not home though. The bedroom is in front and then our changing room then the bathroom and shower room and kitchen are in the back of the house. The sink is outside. The bed feels like it is going to fall apart every night. We have three fans for the house, 2 in the bedroom and one for the rest. Every night you go to bed drenched in sweat even if you shower and then wake up freezing cold because of the fan. We were fortunate enough to not have any sort of remains left over from the previous elders. They were really not helpful to progressing the work but it’s ok. We are going to rock the next 12 weeks at least. The best part was there were 2 bills that didn’t get paid so we don’t have water as of right now. Not good for the weather we have. lol 

So every morning I try to shower. We have a shower head but the pressure isn’t very strong so I get to have a bucket shower every morning. You fill the bucket up and use the cup to wash the soap off. It’s really fun, takes forever. The best part, it’s freezing cold. Our apartment is right off the ocean so we can see it as we leave every morning. It’s pretty cool. Some of the other elders,  a little farther north are right on the ocean. Lucky them.

 I mentioned it was hot here. It’s pretty hot but it’s more humid more than anything. I don’t have any dry paper. All of my notebooks are soft. Didn’t think I would ever take that for granted until now. Makes its hard to write things. I also learned I sweat a lot. My shirts are so soaked by the end of the day that they prob weigh a pound each. Because they are so wet they rub on my neck and my neck is raw as can be. It’s lovely. My shirts kill to wear.

I have been having a really hard time here being away from everyone. I don’t adjust to change very well. It is hard for me so it’s been a struggle the past few days. But I have a goal to get over it in the next 12 weeks so hopefully I can achieve that.

1 peso =0.02
I get 8000 pesos a month

Needless to say everything is pretty inexpensive. But we only have so much each month and we have to pay bills and traveling. I finally am putting the skills I was taught into place. I have a stash of emergency money. My companion is pretty much paying for everything even when I try to help he pays anyways. So I got pretty lucky. 

When we got to the area we didn’t know anything so we looked on the phone (everyone here has phones. The indestructible Nokia) and we called the ward misson leader. He is 18 and has been the biggest help to all of us here. It is so nice to have him. He doesn’t understand English so I am trying hard to communicate with him. 

My companion loves him to death. I guess he is a lot like him so it’s neat to have him. My companion talks to him all the time so I feel left out all the time. He told me yesterday that my companion loves that I smile and nod even though I have no idea what’s going on. 

There are tikis everywhere they crawl on the walls so let’s say I go to sleep in fear that one is going to be on me in the morning. It’s great. There is a party every night outside our house so I have a hard time going to sleep. 

 Now for the spiritual side of things. I have been really blessed to have the Lord bless me in my life. He is watching out for me even though I feel like I am alone a lot. The members here are very loving and they have the spirit with them. They try their best to do what they can to build up the kingdom. We had 45 people at sacrament meeting Sunday. And I had to give a talk.  Great day for me. Everyone laughed at me. I still don’t know why.  I guess I have an American accent or something. 

Well I love all of you guys and want you to know that  I know God lives and he answers prayers and that if we really ask him he will answer us. I know that I am doing the Lord’s work and that he is really watching out for me. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


So long story short. I am here in the peans. Manila is so pretty. There are lots of palm trees and crazy drivers. I thought I was going to die the first time I drove in a car. It was scary. Anyways, the MTC here in Manila is super small. All the church complexes are right next to each other. The MTC and general authority building are on one side of the street and the temple is on the other. I get to go there today. We were really lucky that we got to go.

It is so humid here. UGH, jk. It’s not as bad as you think. It feels like a humid day after a rainstorm, everyday, but it’s not that humid. It isn’t as bad as you would think. It’s not unbearable.

So the plane ride was really long. I slept a total of like 4 hours the whole time. One of the kids was only awake for four hours. So we got to the airport in Japan and we looked around at some of the shops and admired the bathrooms. They were pretty cool. Didn’t know they were exactly like the ones that were in the movie "Cars." I laughed for awhile at them. So we rode on an airbus plane. Those things are huge. Do you know how hard it is to be on a long plane ride and only be able to watch the plane moving on the screen? It’s horrible. Well we got in to Manila at like 12:43 and we didn’t get through customs until like 1. We then had to exchange money and wait for everyone. It took a while and then it was an hour ride to the MTC so we didn’t get there until like 2. We had a brief meeting about a quick overview of everything, so we didn’t get to bed until like 3 and we had to be up by 7 the next morning. It was crazy. Well it was really cool. We got to go on splits with elders from around the area. It was so neat to talk to people and  listen to how fast they talk. We got to teach someone and ride in a trike. It was a tight fit. We came back that night and ate dinner. They eat rice with every meal. Even breakfast. Good thing I like rice. It just has no flavor sometimes. So the food is really good. It is always rice and some sort of meat, and water. We then went to bed at 8, much needed. I adjusted to the time zone pretty quickly so I didn’t have too hard of a time sleeping.

Sunday was really neat. There are only 200 missionaries here so we had sacrament meeting with all of them. Felt like I was at home. We then got to take pictures and then we studied and took a quick nap. I was really happy for that. Monday my companion wanted to wake up early to go to gym, so 5 am he was up ready to go. Crazy polys. So we had gym for 2 hours instead of the normal 1 hour.  We went to get our visa's extended and while we were there we met this lady, her name was Precious. As we were talking  to another man we noticed that she was kind of trying to listen to us but without making it obvious. I noticed it and we went and talked to her. She was really interested in the gospel or at least she seemed like she did. We talked to her about the gospel and she said she wanted to know more so we got her information and the missionaries in this area will be contacting her soon. It was a really neat experience for us to be able to teach her. It reminded me of the movie the best two years where Elder Calhoon was like I talked to him. While he was in the store sharing about the Book of Mormon taking out Kyle’s wine he was buying. That scene. So that leads to today where we went to the temple. It was so cool. I want to do that again.

So I’ll tell you guys a little about here. It’s very humid. It’s beautiful. It is so loving. Everything is super cheap. I have grown to love the people here. They are always laughing even though they don’t have much at all. They love to hear me speak English. Everyone is really sweet. There are lots of byotes here. byotes=gay. So they have parades and play all sorts of games and it’s weird. So anyway, they think that when they are gay that they should be the opposite sex so they dress up and act like gay people. It’s really weird.

I’ll send some pictures, hope you enjoy them.


Monday, October 20, 2014


I made it!! I'm on the other side of the world. I made it!! longest plane ride ever, and the time difference is killing me. They eat rice with everything. I didn't go to bed till 3am so like 12 your time. Over 24 hours of no sleep. Love you guys. I'll write more on pday, just wanted to let you know I made it.
So this week was full of ups and downs. As most of you know I was able to sing in general conference this past weekend. It was the best experience of my life. From the time I found out what songs we were singing to the time that we actually sang was a roller coaster in of itself. I developed a sinus infection last Wednesday and I thought I was going to die, but lucky for me the Lord was watching out for me and kept me well enough to sing through Saturday night. I went to the doctor Friday and told him my symptoms. He said it was a cold and that it would be fine. NOT. Worst weekend to be sick. So when Saturday came around I was coughing like crazy and it was hard to breath and I couldn’t hear at all. We loaded the buses and went to the conference center during the middle of the two sessions and we practiced through the second session. It was super neat that the conference center has another conference area. It’s pretty big. Not nearly as big as the real one but it is huge. So after we practiced we went into the conference center. IT IS MASSIVE!!! Looking at the audience the whole time is really cool. I was right behind the organ the whole time. So I didn’t get very many shots like some of the kids. So after we sang I got to see my Uncle Vince as we were getting on the buses. It was the best thing ever to see him. We took a picture and talked for a while and talked about how special I am. Lol. So a lot of people said I looked a lot thinner, well since I’ve been here I had gained 10 pounds in the first few weeks then with me being sick I lost like 15 so my suit feels big on me now. I’m starting to even out again but I’m still losing a pound a day.

SO that was the conference experience. The rest of the week was as bad as the first day of me being sick. Monday I went to the doctor for my sinus infection again and he looked at me and said you are worse than you were before. LUCKY ME. Well that didn’t matter too much. I looked in the mirror in the doctor’s office and noticed some yellow dots on my face. Same dots that usually appear when I have staph. Well lucky for me it was staph. So now I have staph infection so all my pictures of me are going to have me with staph infection. GREAT way to start the week. So Tuesday came around and one of the Elders had been in meetings all day long. He as been having a hard time. So after the devotional that night we came back to the class room and talked about what was going on. I’ll make it short. he isn’t going home. He switched districts so now we have Elder Wayne in the district. He is so cool. He is from the Navajo reservation. He is Lamanite descent. It is cool to hear all the similarities between his tribe and the Book of Mormon. Wednesday came around and I felt like I was golden. The cough and everything was gone. My ears weren't hurting at all and I slept the whole night. Yay me!! Well that was an eventful day. Wednesday I went with my companion to the dentist. He had a root canal. We were there for 3 hrs. I was bored out of my mind so I wrote letters. Then I had him fix my tooth that I chipped so he shaped it for me. Everyone there was Mormon. They were all talking about their missions and how fast they went. Made me really excited for mine. I only have 6 days left!!! Thursday we had infield orientation. They showed us all the things that missionaries struggle with and how to help each of us overcome them. It was really neat. That night we got to talk to talk to someone from the Philippines. I am scared out of my mind. I didn’t know anything she was saying. I picked up on 3 words.  I’ll get it eventually.  And today is P-Day so I’m writing my letter and trying to think of anything else that everyone wants to know but I don’t know. I went to the temple this morning. Last time for 2 years. Sad moment. But I learned so much this time. It was a really cool experience and I got some really good pictures. The leaves are starting to change colors. The mountains look like they are on fire. The moon the other night was so cool. The clouds were amazing and the moon shining through made it really cool. I got some pictures so I’ll send them.
Some cool facts:
I’ve gotten
6 packages
60-70 letters (too lazy to count exact ones)
Gave away 2 pairs of shoes
Received a lava lava and a new pair of shoes
I’m in class for 6 hrs a day
I’ll be on a place for like 22 hrs total. Crazy

Well I love you all and hope all is well. Next time I talk to you all will be sometime that I know not. love ya