Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Sister Rugg and I on Tophill.  (The golf course)
The "Golf Course"  Be sure to show this to Grandpa
This is Nicole.  Cutest little girl ever.  Notice how she robbed me of my
stickers and they are all over her shirt
Welcome to my life.  Goats and garbage haha.

My favorite meal!  Chicken adobo, minus the mango shake.  Notice the fork
Our Chapel

Alright, I took notes every day of what I needed to write about and it's a lot.  So we gotta get going so I can cover everything.  So last p-day.  I was told by the missions presidents wife that I needed nice leather shoes for church.  You know the kind, the homely strappy sister missionary kind.  So we got special permission to go to the mall.  The mall here is ridiculous!  It is four stories!  It was so hard to find what I was looking for!  But since we were there we got to eat lunch there.  AKA, we had pizza hut, and I ate actual cheese and a salad.  Both of which are complete rareties in the Philippines.  Then we went grocery shopping.  Grocery shopping is completely overwhelming here.  It's just so different, and the meet is just kept in bins uncovered and you just sift through raw meet to find what you want.  I'm just like hello I need saran wrap this is not acceptable.  I gag.  There aren't very many fruits and vegetables, and if you can find them, they're really expensive.  So I was trying to find food to buy, and fruits and vegetables because all I eat is rice, chicken, noodles, and bread.  Carb city!  I'm going to get fat, and I just really want some nutrients.  So I'm trying to find food and figure out what I"m going to cook and how I'm going to cook it and I just get raelly overwhelmed and homesick.  I'm pushing the cart when my companion turns around and looks at me and asks me if I'm okay.  Naturally I start sobbing in the middle of the grocery store because I'm very distraught about the vegetable situation.  And then I look around as Filipinos are looking at this random American crying...in the middle of the ketchup and laxative aisle.  Yeah, you could say that "the pomegranite really got to me" and that it was pretty much a new low in my life.  My companion helped me find green beans, cucumbers, and peas, and I'm feeling a little better about life.  That night we went to a lesson at the Alpiche's, my favorite family.  It was raelly great.  I love them.  Then we went to dinner at the Fabroa's house.  Are you ready for what I ate?  You're going to die.  Okay so of course rice, and then chicken, pork, and fish!  With bones and eyes still looking at me and everything (and yes dad, I did indeed eat it) and squid!  SQUID!  But it was actually really delicious.  And for dessert we had mangos.  

Tuesday we had Zone Training Meeting.  It was really good and I learned a lot.  Then we went to Macdos.  Did I tell you the menu for macdos?  They sell fried chicken here, and rice instead of fries (never fear, you can have fries) and spaghetti, but it's really sweet spaghetti.  And they deliver.  I'm telling you, Macdos is where it's at here.  One thing that I love about the Philippines is how friendly everyone is.  Everyone you pass always says "Mayyong Buntag" "Mayyong Hapon" or "Mayyong Gabii"  which means good morning, afternoon, and evening.  They are so friendly!  There's a member family here that is so nice.  They always give us water and let us go to the bathroom there (seriously such a blessing because those are two of the hardest things to find here)  And they started talking about when mom comes to pick me up.  They already have some potential hotels for you to stay in!  They're really sweet.  Next was the River of Doom.  So plumbing doesn't really exist here, everyone washes their dishes and their laundry and their selves with water that isn't entirely clean, you can't drink it or you'll get really sick, and then it just flows through these little canals and meets in one big river that goes through the city.  Think of it as a giant "grey tank" from camping shared by hundreds and hundreds of people.  It can have a very potent smell, and by "can" I mean that you plug your nose or you pass out and die.  Well, we have to cross that river a couple times.  There are places where there are bridges, but otherwise you hop across on rocks and pray that you don't fall in.  And you hold your breath while doing so otherwise you will surely perish.  As we were crossing, I saw the biggest, nastiest, rat in the world.  Seriously, this thing was way bigger than Olive.  I nearly perished.  But then I perservered, and ran, and survived.  It was freaking hot on Tuesday, so I decided to try halo halo.  It's kind of like a snow cone, but with condensed milk and a bunch of fruit at the bottom (they also put beans and corn in it, btu I asked them to keep that out) so we're walkign around the alleys and streets adn I'm just eating it as I go, and all of the sudden these two kids show up.  They couldn't have been more than three or four and the little punks look at me, distract me, and then take my halo halo and run away!  They didn't even say anything.  They just took my food and ran for it.  I was robbed by two three year olds.  Did I tell you about the motorcycles?  They are everywhere here!  And they cram so many people on them.  It isn't uncommon to see five or six people on motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic.  It's unreal.  And I got my first letter on Thursday!  I was so excited.  :)  As we were walking home on Thursday night, all of the sudden fireworks start going off. I have no idea why, but they were big like fourth of july fireworks.  And everyone ran out of their houses and crowded into the streets to see it.  It was really cool.

Friday not much happened.  We have weekly planning on fridays, it's three hours long!  But I actually kind of like it.  I have a new nickname here too!  Because my hair is always in a side braid, and I'm white, people have started calling me Elsa.  It's basically the best compliment ever because her hair is so fab.  As we were teaching a lesson that night, I tried to bear my testimony and the chickens decided as a community to go crazy. I'm talking probably twenty roosters are crowing outside and I had to YELL my testimony over the sound of the roosters.  My life is madness.  And then, I don't even think you are prepared for this story.  So Sister Rugg and I are walking through this alleyway, and it gets to a point where you have to walk through it kind of sideways because it's so narrow.   She goes first, and then I go to go through next when out of nowhere this HUGE cockroach appears.  I'm not kidding you, this thing is the size of a kitten.  So I just stop, and this cockroach and I have a stare down as it is standing in the middle of this alleyway.  When the dang thing decides to charge me, it came running at me full speed.  I screamed bloody murder and turned around and ran the opposite direction of my companion who then started chasing after me and the cockroach.  Once the alleyway widened I ran and took a mighty leap over the beast and then Sister Rugg and I ran into the street and didn't look back at the dang thing.  yeah, that's real life.  Saturday for lunch I made mom's chicken nuggets and fries.  Complete with sweet and sour sauce.  We did our best to substitute ingredients here adn there and it actually didn't taste bad.  It felt good to have some tastes of home.  We went to the womens broadcast and watched it.  it was seriously so good.  I loved it.  I may have cried the whole way through it.  Partially because it kept showing Salt Lake, and partly because it was just so good.  Saturday night I had ANOTHER encounter with a cockroach.  I will rage on these things.  I was in our apartment and I went to wash my hands in the bathroom sink when I see these little atennas coming out of the drain!  A dang cockroach was trying to crawl out of our sink drain!  Once again, I screamed and then just turned on the water full blast for a solid five minutes.  It was the most terrifying sight ever.  I have invented ghetto air conditioning for when I go to sleep as well.  During the day I take a few water bottles and put them in the rreezer.  And then at night I take them into my bed and put them on the back of my neck, my chest, and just wherever else is hot and then I put the fan on my full blast.  It's ghetto fab, but it feels so dang good.

Sunday.  Oh Sunday.  Sunday was not my friend.  So we started the day out fasting, never before has fasting been such a challenge as when you're walking around in such ridiculous heat and you aren't allowed a drink of water until 8:00 at night.  So we wake up and call one of our investigators because he promised he would come to church, but said he wasn't sure he would be able to wake up on time for 8:30 church.  So we call him twice and text him and he doesn't respond.  What do we do?  Naturally we get ready at lighting speed so we can go fetch our investigator.  We rush over there and go to wake him up and he just isn't home?  I'm not really sure.  So then we run to the church and get there and NONE of our investigators are there.  None.  We had a meeting with our bishop and he is asking us to fast again this week because the missionary work just isn't progressing enough here.  I felt so discouraged.  Then we go and start trying to go to our lessons.  We got punted time and time again.  We would go to one of our appointments and they would tell us to come back at 6:00 and then we would go back and they wouldn't be home so two different people punted us twice in one day.  We found one lady and started talking to her and she started sobbing telling us about her life.  She has six kids, five of them have to live elsewhere because she can't support them.  her and her husband can't find a job, they have no electricity and no food.  So we're talking to her as she is sobbing and my companion says "Sister Beyer.  Say something to help her".  What could I possibly say to this poor woman?  I have no idea what she is going through.  I have no idea how to help.  I'm just a 21 year old kid from Utah who doesn't even know how to speak the language.  I basically just told her that actually.  I told her that I don't have the answers, but that I know that God can help her.  Her name is Miles, she is really sweet and I adore her four year old little boy.  His name is CJ and he calls me "Attie"  which is a respectful form of like "older sister".  We went back to Miles a few times since then, and she is working towards baptism on May 10th.  She said that she really feels like these two american girls that sit in her living room are miraclse in her life.  Sunday night we were just so tired, and so discouraged from being punted all day long, and not to mention we were so thirsty.  We went back into our apartment and praise the heavens, the sister training leaders were cooking dinner for us.  We laid on the floor and drank 50 gallons of water and ate endless snacks and then we all ate a huge dinner together.  It was some Filipino eggplant/egg/rice mixture.  But ti was really good.

Monday.  I decided that never in your life will you ever get used to the first bucket of cold water you pour on your head.  Ever.  It will always be so cold and so shocking and you will die.  I've also decided that personal study is my favorite part of the day.  I love just getting to sit down by myself and read the book of mormon.  I love the book of mormon.  So much more now than ever before.  I feel like I can read it so differently here, and I understand it more and things pop out to me a lot more.  It's really great.  We had district meeting as per usual and it was great.  Then we went to lunch.  My second favorite part of every day is lunch.  Aubrey, mom, you know how I feel about my lunch.  It is just so good.  And I look forward to it every day.  By the time dinner rolls around I'm too hot and tired to eat much.  So lunch is my big meal and I just am always super stoked on it.  So, to all you Harry Potter fans out there, I made a huge groundbreaking discovery.  I'm certain that JK Rowling based the Knight Bus in book three on jeepneys.  Let's think about this, they cram people on there, the driver is crazy, they have no regard for pedestrians or other vehicles, they fly through tiny spaces, they speed so much, you are nearly thrown off every time they start and stop, there is always something crazy hanging from the review mirror, you have to pay with strange coins, and there is a man (aka stanley stunpike) who accepts the change is is just a very strange man.  Yes my friends, I'm certain this is where JK Rowling got her idea for the Knight Bus.  
Another fun fact about the Philippines is that there are Christmas decorations up everywhere.  I am not entirely sure why.  But they are everywhere.  Signs that say merry christmas and joy to the world.  I can dig it I suppose.  And it's always so smokey.  They burn all their garbage, so there are always fires in the street and smoke everywhere.  I'm basically camping for the next 16 months haha.

Tuesday.  Not a ton happened yesterday actually.  Just more punting as per usual.  I jsut walk around and try to understand what's happening and what's being said.  I'm oddly quiet here.  But!  I did have milk for the first time!  It's boxed milk, so it's a little sketch, but if you get it cold enough, it is delightful.  Milk and some pan de coco for dinner.  It was a lovely end to the day.  I get to watch conference this weekend and I'm really excited!  It's my two month mark on Saturday, and I get to celebrate by watching conference!  I'm really really excited.  :)  Well, I better go.  I love you all so much.  Thank you for all the letters and support.  Jeepneys and Mangos eh?  

Love, Carlee

No comments:

Post a Comment