Meet Miles. Isn't she wonderful. Don't you just love her just by looking
This punk tried to sell me one of his spiders for 5 pesos. HA as if. I
will pay you five pesos to get the existing spiders out of my life.
Another Jeepney picture for my Brayden boy.
This week was really hard, but good at the same time. Let's start at
. So Holy Week just threw us off all week long. Seriously it is
ridiculous here. There's Holy and Good and I don't even
know what else. Ultimately, everything was just closed all week long. So
I wasn't able to send my package to Brayden until last p-day. We got on a
jeepney and went on an adventure to the post office. It's about 25 minutes
away, we had to get permission to get out of our area. So as we are trying
to get to the post office, we are so lost. The jeepney knows where it is
going, but we don't. We get off and start walking to the post office and
Sister Rugg and I were just like...are we by the ocean? Does it feel like
we're by the ocean? We were so disoriented. Then we ended up on some
random historical site? Fort San Pedro? We couldn't check it out, so
Brady, go ahead and check that out for me and update me. There were some
cool cannons there. Then we finally got to the post office, and they took
forever to send my package. It was empty, but they had me wait in five
different lines and it took us over a half an hour haha. And then as we
were walking to go catch a jeepney, we look over and through the buildings
there is the ocean! The post office is literally on the ocean. So we ran
over and took some pictures in front of the ocean. I may have cried because
I saw the ocean for the first time and I felt so accomplished because of
the whole beaches and mangos thing, you know?
was cool. We had zone interview workshop. President Schmutz got
our zone together, and he gave us this really cool workshop on the doctrine
of the light of christ. He's a genius. He is so smart and so spiritual.
I probably learned more there than at the entire six weeks in the MTC as
far as doctrine goes. I swear, he is going to be an apostle one day. He's
was hard. It was good , so that meant no mail, and no people.
We were scheduled to have our interviews with president that day. We only
get to meet with him once every other transfer unless there is an
emergency. He sits down one on one with us for half an hour and just talks
to us. I was so excited. It was going to be my first and last one with
president because he goes home in July. Well, then he had an emergency on
the other island so he had to cancel and now we'll have that NEXT WEEK. So
on top of no mail, no people because everyone was doing good things,
we also had no interviews. We did a lot of walking around that day,
attempting to find people. It was discouraging. So naturally, we went
home feeling a little defeated, and we ordered macdos. We were too tired
to even go. We just sat in our kitchen and waiting for our big macs to be
This week was really hard because I think that it finally set in that I'm
in the Philippines. I've been here for a few days short of a month, and so
things aren't really new and exciting anymore. They're just kind of a
routine. Don't get me wrong, there are new and exciting things every day,
just little things. But as a whole, I realized that I was just kind
of...here. And then I realized, oh freak, I'm here for a really long time.
And I miss my family a lot, and this food is kinda weird, and wait, it's
really hot and I want a good shower. I got kind of down and homesick this
week. I just think it really hit me. But my companion was talking to me
and she said something that really stuck out to me. She told me how lucky
I am to be homesick. She told me that it's so cool that whenever I talk
about my family, I talk about every single one of them as if they are my
very best friend (because they are) and then she told me how lucky I am to
have a relationship with each of them enough to be homesick. You know, she
has a really good point.
So , we went out to lunch with one of our investigators named
Charmaine, she's really funny. She bought us Jollibee, it's a fast food
chain here. She was so dang excited she even put it on facebook. It was
so nice though, because dinner appointments are so rare. At that point, I
had only had two thus far. Charmaine is set for baptism on the 17th.
She's solid. She is dating a man from France who is coming to baptize
her, and then in June they're getting married and she's moving to France.
It's all very exciting, and we're so happy for her. And then as we were
walking around a magical thing happened. We hear music all the time, it's
always being blasted, but it's always just super popular pop music.
Suddenly, I heard country music. Twangy, perfect, feel good country
music. I nearly wept. No one likes country music here. It was beyond
perfect haha. I may have walked just like...a little slower...so I could
listen. I'm sorry, don't judge me I'm still human! Oh and I also mildly
got hit by a car ? This truck was cruising through the tiny
streets in the barranguy, and I was over as far as I could be, and he just
sped past, literally so dang fast and clipped me with his side mirror. I
have a nice bruise on my arm, but all is well. It's a good story to tell.
We had a meeting with the other missionaries we work with in our ward, and
they so happen to be zone leaders. I asked one of them if he could give me
a blessing just because I was struggling. It was a really neat blessing.
Sometimes being a missionary is really cool. And then as we were walking
again, one of the members (the kalipapas. the ones who always give us
water and a bathroom and who are finding hotels for mom) stopped us and
told us to be at their house in an hour for dinner. WHAT! Tender mercies!
Blessings from heaven! We never have dinner appointments! It was so
nice. They're really sweet people. And it was delicious.
was Easter. It was very different from the Easters that I have
known. We went as usual to try to fetch some of our investigators, they
punted us. It's frustrating. We get to church and Miles isn't there. We
went to relief soceity and I was just crushed. And then suddenly, we look
out and she's walking in the halls. She has a fellowshipper in the ward
who even though her husband was sick, brought Miles, paid for a jeepney,
and then once she dropped Miles off to us, she turned around and went home
to take care of her husband. That woman is getting blessings for sure.
And Miles, oh Miles. She is so golden. She wasn't in Relief Society for
more than ten minutes before she raised her hand to share. She basically
bore her testimony. She talked about how she had been looking for
something more in her life. About how she was researching seventh day
adventists and what not. And then she talked about how she had no idea how
we found her because her house is hidden in the back of this dark winding
alley, and it was dark. And then she bore her testimony of the book of
mormon. How she feels so much peace when she reads it, and how every time
we come and talk to her, she just feels something different than any other
time. Seriously, Miles has been so prepared. You know that story "I Found
My Friend"? (If you don't, google it now and cry) I definitely feel like
Miles is "my friend" and that we found her. She loved sacrament, she cried
after taking it for the first time. And after church she talked about how
excited she is to come back next week. She's so so great. Baptism is the
17th for her as well. Also we finally had a breakthrough with the
bishopric. They had been calling me sister bayer for weeks now. And they
keep asking me how to pronounce it and I would tell them beyer and they
would say bayer. It isn't a problem, it's just funny. So the
bishop calls me sister bayer and my companion just laughs a little. He
asks me AGAIN how to say it and I tell him Beyer. He gets so frustrated
and just says "WHY!" So I take my tag and cover the b and the r and ask
him what word that is. There was an audible gasp of understanding from the
ten men in the room. Now, they understand that it has "eye" in it, so it's
pronounced "beyer" It was so dang funny. And then we were so spoiled
night. One of the senior missionary couples invited us over for
dinner. We thought they had a referral for us or something, because
they'll usually do that for missionaries every once in a while. Nope.
They just wanted to have easter dinner with their family, but since they
couldn't, they chose to have us over. She had peanut m and m's all over
the table for "eggs" and she cooked funeral potatoes and salad and veggies
and a cake. We were so spoiled. It was so great. They are Elder and
Sister Sorenson, they are from Fayette Utah, and they know Karen Olsen and
her husband. Their son and Brian Sorenson are friends and go hunting
together. Small world right?
we went to district meeting and and Elder in my district named Elder
Pettibone told me that he knew the Schwitzers! Small world right? How am
I finding people I know in the Philippines? We were talking to a man the
other day in front of the temple. He's a Filipino and he asked where I
grew up, I told him Magna, and he said "oh! I used to drive 7200 every
day!" WHAT. HOW. He lived in Utah for a while, and used to drive 7200
and 4100. I was just like "oh. same". Sister Passey, one of the STL's in
my apartment sat and talked to me for two hours on my bed that morning.
She is so great. She's such a good missionary. I'm really glad that I've
been able to meet her and live with her. She's so dang loving. When we
all went to lunch after district meeting, one of the Filipino elders told
me to try some of his food. It is really popular he said. lie. It is
really good he said. lie. You will love it he said. also lie. It was
BLOOD PUDDING. Blood. Do you people know how I react to blood? I pass
out. It literally tastes like you cut your mouth. I gagged. It was
terrible. I did not pass out, but it was close. I will never trust him
again. I should have known though, he continued to tell me that he loves
balut as do all americans. He liiiies! As we were walking around the
crazy streets of the Philippines later, there was a twenty something
shirtless tattooed Filipino playing the guitar. As we walk past he plays
You Don't Know You're Beautiful by One Direction. So naturally, I turn
around and stand by him and just sing. We sang the whole song together
haha. We also had a little bit of a crowd. It made my day so much better.
After we finished singing I introduced myself and we talked a little bit
about missionary work before leaving. It was fabulous haha. And then that
night I called France haha. We needed to figure everything out with
Charmaines boyfriend/fiance to make sure we could solifiy what day he was
coming and what day she was getting baptized. So she just handed me her
phone and had me call France. He is a very nice man, and we had a lovely
, I saw a Joe for one of the first times. A Joe is just any
American or white person. They call them Joe's because of World War II and
GI Joe. We were walking (as per usual) and I saw this blonde girl in
shorts and a t shirt, she had a nice little tan. And I just stared at her
and was like "who are you! you don't fit in here! you're so white! why
are you here? do you speak this language! what is happening!" And then I
realized that I look exactly like her in real life. And then I knew what
everyone thinks about me haha. I forget that I don't fit in here.
Filipino just looks normal now. I forget that I don't look like these
people until I see pictures. You see, we don't really have mirrors in our
apartment haha. So it isn't until I see pictures. It was such a confusing
thing. I don't even know how to handle seeing white people anymore. And
then last night we went to dinner at the Fabroas. Well, kind of, not the
same Fabroas, we went to their son and his wife's house. Romel and Shello.
They bought us pizza! It was delicious. Seriously, this many dinner
appointments are so unheard of. I think God is blessing me a lot. They're
so great. We had a lot of fun. It was exactly what I needed. And then
this morning, I got to try out my rain jacket from Brady. I woke up at
to do our laba (laundry) but it was pouring rain. But we NEED to do
our laundry. So I sat out in a rainstorm in my jacket doing laundry. Good
news, it works GREAT. All the other missionaries in our house were
laughing at me, but hey, they were wet and I wasn't.
And now for some miscellaneous items. Stace, you officially win. The
sisters I live with all told me that I am the most fashionable, and I have
the best clothes in the mission. And the girls/ladies at church have
already started asking me if they can have my clothes when I leave. They
are fighting over who gets certain shirts in 15.5 months. So I would say
that you succeeded in making me a "fab missionary". #blessed.
Remember how my original availability date was and I changed it
on a whim last minute? Well I met the missionaries who came out one
transfer before me. Guess what day they went into the MTC? You guessed
it, . I don't know why I changed it, I had no reason to. It
just felt right. I think I needed those extra six weeks. And I think I
needed to meet the people in the MTC that I did. AKA, Sister Anderson,
Sister Storey, Elder Lafaele, and Elder Swan.
Also remember how back home I used to sleep with my rat dog Olive and
cuddle with her? Don't worry, I literally cuddle with my frozen
waterbottle. I woke up cuddling it against my chest the other night. What
is my life. It was so hot the other day and I wanted to sleep on my side,
so I took the tie from my bathrobe and literally tied frozen waterbottles
to my body. Think about that for a minute. My life is madness.
Also they don't refridgerate eggs here. Ever. And that concerns me
greatly. As soon as we buy them we put them in the fridge. Between the
boxed milk and the eggs that both don't need to be refridgerated, I'm
highly concerned. Sometimes, I miss America. And cheese. And real milk.
Oh and one fun fact about the Philippines. People are ALWAYS clipping
their toenails. I kid you not, someone was clipping their toenails on a
motorcycle the other day. In lessons, in the street, in restaraunts, its a
very random very common occurance.
And one last fun thing. In the Philippines it is respectful to walk up to
someone older than you and touch their hand to your forehead. Little kids
ALWAYS do that to us and I love it. It's for "blessings" or something like
that. There are a few little kids who see us and come running yelling
"BLESS KO!" Which just means like, "bless me" and they will run past any
Filipino we have working with us, because they just want it from us because
we're American. It's hilarrious. I love the kids so much. Anyways, I'm
out of time. I'll try to send some pictures real quick. I love you so
much. Love, Carlee
oh p.s. I forgot to tell you. We had to stay away from all Catholics
because they do live crucifictions. yes. you read that right. They take
volunteers and nail them to a cross and have them carry it around for a
while and whip them. It's an honor. We have to stay faaaar far away from
all that jazz. I told you, Holy Week is nuts.