Janaury 11, 2009

Oh my gosh everyone, I don't even know where to start. My P-days in the mission field here are going to be on Mondays. I guess that means its Sunday night over there for you. o.o

Our flights to the Philippines were SO LONG!!! We had an hourish flight to San Fransico, then 14 hours on EVA airlines until we hit Taipei in Taiwan. Then it was another hour to Manila and another hour until we got to Tacloban. Not including layovers, which weren't too bad. The first night here, I ate out with some sister missionaries and spent the night at their apartment. The next day we had orientation and some training from the mission president. That took all day as well, so it we spent the night at the sister missionaries apartment again. Then, my third day in the Philippines, a good amount of that was the 3 hour bus ride to Hilongos, which is the area I'm serving in! I sent a letter to Mom and Dad with a little bit of info in it, but you'll probably get this email before then. =O

On that note, it's probably MUCH faster to actually contact me by emailing me now. It takes like 2-3 weeks for a letter to come I think, and I'm only going to be getting mail during zone conferences which don't happen that often. So, its better to email me. :)

We're the only missionaries in our area, Sister Holden and I. We're both American sister missionaries, so its somewhat rare that we're assigned together. But she can show me lots of stuff, like how to wash my clothes by hand (WHICH WE DID THIS MORNING. OH MY GOSH) And we actually do have a shower, but the water's cold so I think I just prefer pouring a bucket of water over my head. =O

It hasn't been that hot yet! It's been nice weather lately, some occasional really rainy downpours. But I don't feel like I'm being cooked or sweating like crazy, so I'm pretty sure thats just because its been mild weather so far.

The people here are friendly. When I was at the airport in Manila, there were a couple of incidences where the people would be kind to me, like letting us skip them in line when our flight was calling for us. @_@ Or letting my cart through. It's funny though because here in Hilongos, the people have a tendency to stare. They think that white skin is beautiful so I've had a couple nanay's tell me that I'm "gwapa". Lots of people also like to yell "Hi" at you, because its the only English greeting they know. Just this morning, two children were following us down the street repeating "Hi" over and over again.

My hair is unmanageable, of course. It's going to be in a ponytail for the next 16 months I think. ;) And the bugs really like my fresh-from America taste. I have 32+ bites on my left leg and 4 on my right. I don't know why, but my left leg is especially delicious. I'm lucky because it doesn't hurt, I just look diseased or something.

The language is going alright. I can get my point across to people with my limited Cebuano. (I actually got assigned to a Cebuano area! YAY! I don't have to learn Waray-waray yet...) Actually understanding people is a different story though. Thats just another reason why I'm lucky Sister Holden is my trainer. She can relate to her first time in the Philippines and she's happy to answer any questions that I have. :)

I showed the family pictures that I got from Jessie to people and they're always surprised to see Ian. One sister from church pointed at him and said: "Oh, he looks kinda like a Filipino." It was funny when the other church members and I looked at her and said: "He IS." :) They always want to know where he's from, so Ian, WHERE ARE YOU FROM? =x They always ask about your family name too, but they've never heard of Adduru.

Well, I love you all, but I think I have to go. :x I hope I'll have some exciting experiences to tell you about next week. <3


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I am a LDS sister missionary serving in the Philippines Tacloban area. I made this blog so that I may share my experiences with my friends and loved ones and anyone who may need to hear my story. My sister will be updating this blog with letters that I'll be writing home.