Sunday, August 18, 2013

"I am in Another World"

This week has been one of the craziest, most exciting, frustrating, stressful weeks of my entire mission.  I'll take us back to last Monday right after finishing up emailing with you guys. 

So we arrived at home after email and began planning our meals for the upcoming week when we received a call from the big dog, President Stucki. Elder Clarito answered the phone while the rest of us sat there wondering why in the world we were receiving a call from President.  Then Elder Clarito handed the phone to me and told me that it was for me. I had no clue what to expect because the pres doesn't call just to tell you your next area. So I answered the phone, had some small talk, you know, all that fun introductory stuff and then President Stucki told me that he had an assignment for me. He continued to explain that the Lord has called me to be a District Leader in the Pasay Zone!! A district leader.  I don't even know how to be a junior companion yet! I was filled with an indescribable excitement that was coupled with a little bit of fear. With the calling of District Leader also comes the calling of Senior Companion so this next transfer will be a fun one full of new experiences! 

The next ground-breaking event came on Wednesday after arriving on the main land: meeting my new companion.  In my mind, I was pretty confident that my new companion would be a Filipino since I'm still kinda terrible at Tagalog. Nope. He's from California.  His name is Elder Tofi.  He's 6' 3", about 260 pounds and Samoan.  He's a way cool guy! He's been in the field for a little over 3 months. He played one semester of football at BYU before he came. He's a monster and a great missionary.  We're having a great time. We're quite a sight here in Manila. An American and a 6' 3" Samoan, who barely speak Tagalog, tearin' up the streets of Pako in white shirts and ties hahaha just thinking about it makes me laugh. 

I love the area. We are in a very poor part of town. Very dirty.  Garbage everywhere. The people here live in very small houses that usually only consist of one room. People live wherever they can find room.  Under bridges, on the side of the street, everywhere. It's crazy.  The living conditions here make those in Cabar look luxurious.  It's been raining non-stop here and the streets are completely flooded; knee deep in some places. A fun fact about flooding here in the Philippines.  The streets only flood when the sewers are filled to capacity, and that means everything in the sewers begins to flood the streets. Yep. Gross.  We walk knee deep in who-knows-what.  And it smells terrible.  But I love it here. I love the people.  I love the members. I love the fast pace of the city.  I love McDonalds (never thought I'd say that). I love always having electricity. It's a great area.  I know I'm gonna love it here. Another great thing: some of our investigators speak English and we actually get to teach in English!  I love it.  It's so great being able to express everything that you want to say!! I feel that I can be so much more effective because I can manipulate English and really apply what I'm saying to the needs of the people.  I can't wait to able to do that in Tagalog.  However, there are those that can't speak English.  That's where missionary work gets exciting for Elder Tofi and I.  Our lessons are very simple, but they are accompanied by the spirit. We have some seriously awkward moments.  It's hilarious.  But that definitely doesn't stop us.  We talk to as many people as we can and try our best. We're seeing some great results too! Elder Tofi's last companion was a previous AP and they really started this area off right. Elder Tofi and I are continuing the legacy.  Right now we have 17 investigators with baptismal dates.  You can't stop the two tallest people in the Philippines. 

Well that's all I have time for today! It's been a crazy week.  I wish I could tell you EVERYTHING that happened this week.  I think you could make a movie about the experiences Elder Tofi and I are having. I love missionary work.  I love the Lord. This is his church.  He lives. 

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