Tuesday, December 27, 2011
LAHAT KAYO! Merry Christmas!
Christmas was great here and it was SO GOOD to talk to all of my family! It didn't really feel like Christmas here with all the heat and humidity, but it was still really great! Our ward Christmas part was on Friday, from ONE to NINE! They LOVE Christmas here. We were only there for the last couple of hours but we played some games and fed us (photo of food :) On Christmas eve had curfew at six, so we ate at a members house and then went home and I was able to write a bunch of letters.
Christmas was GREAT! I talked to my mom and fam and then went to church. During the phone call we talked about how I still don't know the language and how it will be easier to be here once I feel like I can start making a difference. After church there was an investigator who came with a friend. His name is Jerwin and he is 19. He wanted us to start teaching him right then and so we did. He know SO much about the bible and is really interested in the church because he read the testimony of Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon his friend gave him. He speaks pretty good English and I was actually able to teach! Half way through the lesson we had to go outside because they were locking up the church. As we were walking he turned to me and said, "Sister Morton, I want you to teach me all the things today, so that I can be baptized." He is so eager to know and it is so great to be teaching him. I had to explain that it will take some time and that he needs to keep reading, praying and coming to church. It was a good day. After the lesson we had dinner with the senior sisters who live next door. We had sloppy joes and it was MASARAP! It is so nice getting homemade american food every once in a while. The senior sister are so great and they take such good care of us. I was able to skype my dad and fam this morning to finish off all the Christmas festivities. :)
Even though it is hard to be away from home this time of year I am so grateful I have this opportunity to be here. I have learned that it doesn't matter if you know something if you don't do anything with that knowledge. I know that our Savior lives and I am so grateful for His birth, life and the Atonement. I know that this gospel true and I am happy to be sharing this wonderful message with the people in the Philippines. I love you all and miss you so much, but I know that I will be home before I even know it!
PINAKAMAMAHAL KO KAYO!!!!
Monday, December 12, 2011
I miss you all so so much! I wish I could call you each day and tell you about all of my crazy experiences, but at least I get this email once a week to tell you some of the highlights. This week has been easier than my first few days. My body is starting to adjust to the heat and to the food (Thank Heaven!) I've decided that it is going to be basically impossible for me to lose weight here because the members are so great and love to feed us. My predictions were also correct in that they do expect me to eat a lot. I get called mataba and malaki (chubby and big) all the time. It's a complement here though. They call me"healthy" when they are speaking English to me. :) It's so funny. I also get called so tall and maganda (beautiful) so that off sets the fat comments for me. I love it! The heat isn't too bad either. It's supposed to be the dry season- which is the cool season, but it hasn't been dry it has rained almost every day. On wed I had to hold my skirt up because we were walking through shin deep water at times. Crazy...
The people here are so so nice and helpful. The little kids LOVE me! I seriously get stalked by them. When we are walking through a neighborhood I'll say kumusta to a couple of little kids as we walk by and then a few minutes later I'll look behind me and there will be dozen kids just tagging along with us. They are so so cute! I wish the adults wanted to talk to me as much as the kids do. It would make this mission thing a whole lot easier :)
Funny story for you- On Tuesday we met up with a member, Brother Felix. He had a referral for us and was going to come and show us because it was out in the jungle. Like real jungle - walking through a very muddy path for at least a half a mile. It was great! I just kept laughing because I could see myself walking through all this mud in my crocs and in a skirt. It would have been much better to have hiking shoes on, but I made it without falling. As we were walking I was concentrated so hard on the ground and not slipping. I then felt my face go through a spider web. I instantly went into crazy ninja mode. I seriously felt like the giant spider from Harry Potter was going to jump on me for a second. After a few seconds of pure panic I realized that there was no spiders on me and I made it though the web ok. I looked back at what I had just plowed through and there was a spider about the size of my palm, about a foot from the hole my face made. It was black and blue and if I could bring myself to say a spider looked pretty I would...but I can't:) It kind of looked like the yellow and black spider in the photo. Luckily the spiders here aren't poisonous.
The work is going well. We have about 20 lessons a week. The hardest thing I have found is that our area is far from the church and a lot of the investigators don't have enough money to make the trip. It's really sad. A few really want to be baptized, but it is so hard for them to make the sacrifice to come to church. There are definitely people that have been prepared here. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!
Hanggang sa susunod linggo!!! (Until next week!)
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I made it to the Philippines!!! Wow... That is all I can really say about it. It has been quite the experience/culture shock so far. It's just like I imagined, but now it's real. I've heard it takes a few weeks to a few months to adjust to everything. I hoping I'm one that only takes a few weeks.
It's hot here! I thought it would be a lot worse though, so the first few hours I thought "Oh this isn't so bad. I think I can handle this." I was then told it was a nice cool day, and that it was the begining of the cold season. I am so grateful I was able to come during this time of year. The end of the "cold season" is end of March, so I have some time to adjust. I don't mind feeling hot and sweaty when we are walking around because it is so beautiful here!
I LOVE my mission president and his wife. President and Sister Peterson are THE BEST!!! The five us who came from the provo MTC stayed at the mission house the 1st two nights. We arrived on Wednesday and then transfer day was on friday. It was a good couple of days. The elders and I would go out to the road and talk to the neighborhod kids (photos) They are the cutest!!!
Transfer day was on friday and I met my new companion SISTER ROMUA (ROME-WA) She is great! and yes I do feel like a giant!!! It is her first time training and she is doing a great job. I seriously don't know any Tagalog I feel like. I can kind of understand what is going on in the lessons, but when it comes to speaking it my mind goes blank. All of the filipinos keep telling me how good I am at speaking it, but I'm pretty sure if I was a foot shorter and brown they would be saying something different :)
My first area is in San Pablo. President and Sister Peterson dropped us off at our apartment on Friday night. There is a shower....kind of. :) I was hoping to be out in the jungle but out apartment is in the middle of the city. It is right across from the stake center and the senior sister's apartment is next door. We live in a "gated community" ha ha. it is nice having an extra locked door. Saterday was my first day working. I then found out that our apartment isn't even in our area! we have to take a jeepney because our area covers the outskirts of the city. We rode the jeepney out to Santa Monica. I can't really see out the windows because I'm so tall, so when we stopped and I stepped out I was shocked to see rice feilds and JUNGLE. I really am blown away. It still doesn't seem real. It is so maganda!!! The 2 teaching appointments we had weren't home, so we started walking. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE stares at me. I try to say hello to everyone, and some people don't even respond, but I'm pretty sure it is because they are so shocked to hear me speaking Tagolog. I'm having a lot of fun with that. We had another appointment later that day. The investigator is 21 and has three little kids. She lives in a shack, literally. I cannot believe the living conditions here. Her home is smaller than our shed at home and the roof consists of a tarp and some boards. It is so sad, but she is so so sweet and loves it when we teach her. It is hard because she doesn't have any money to be able to take a jeepney to church and it is too far to walk. I'm already frustrated with this situation. It's really sad.
Sorry this email is so scattered. I've had so many things I wanted to tell you all. A couple of quick things that are important:
#1Use this mailing address-
Sister Megan Rae Morton
Philippines San Pablo Mission
Brgy San Juan, Alaminos
It is the address of the mission home and I will get mail faster than it going to the post office box
#2 Don't use FedEx, use USPS. FedEx charges us here when we pick it up- some stupid fee or something.
#3 Family! You can email me! I don't know why I didn't get to hear from you today!!!! My pdays are on monday and We are 15 hours ahead here. I better have something to read next week :)
Well I am out of time but I love you all!!!! I am safe and happy and sweaty!!!!