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!!!!