The manila MTC was good. Basically what we did was have some classes. The main purpose of our stay was to go to the immigration office and get our visa stuff done, then we went to the Manila temple! It was good. And then we went to the American WW2 memorial. That was really cool. The traffic here is unreal, like its crazy all the time. I'm not sure how people aren't dead. But thankfully all of the drivers were good. We traveled to Iloilo at like 7 am on Tuesday. We arrived at like 10. There was a bunch of Elders and the Mission president that met us. They were all set up with this big welcome sign, it was pretty cool. Its hotter here in Iloilo than Manila. I'm glad also that its not a big city. So after that we went to the mission office and had orientation, then we went to bed. I woke up with so many bug bites. The bugs love me. I now spray everyday before i leave and before bed. Also sunscreen. Yes I'm using both religiously
This week was long. Its hard to be so far away, but I know its where I'm supposed to be. I am so glad to finally be here. Its so hot and the sad part is, its the cold season right now. My best friend is my electric fan. I sleep with it right on me. Otherwise I would probably melt away. My area is Mandurriao, its a city, well a "city" and it also has some pretty poor areas. Our apartment is in a nice area, its apparently one of the nicest ones. My companions name is Sister Villiagomesa. I am her last companion. She is amazing. She was a trainer right after she trained for 2 people, then was STL for like a year. She is awesome. I am so blessed. She is Filipina, actually me and the 2 other girls that came with me are the only white girls in the whole mission, and the only Americans. There are Elders of course, but we are the only sisters right now.
I stick out here way bad, I feel like a giant. I'm very tall and very white compared to others. People stare at me ALL DAY LONG. I have been whistled at and catcalled, thankfully the things people yell at me are nice things. The little girls love to touch my hair. They all call me barbie, and if my hair is in a braid, Elsa hahaha. I love the people, everyone has been so nice. On Sunday they had me bare my testimony, of course I can barely speak anything, so I wrote it down and read it. Lots of people came up to me and were like " look how good you are for only 5 days", or " you can write in Hililgaynon that's wonderful" The people are funny that's for sure.
I have not had any culture shock really, yes i have been homesick, but not too bad. I have learned that once I start working and teaching that it goes away. So its true what they say about work being a good medicine. They people here are awesome. I love the kids. Its crazy though to think that people live here. I'm so grateful for America. And for my wonderful house. My apartment is really nice so its a good transition.
Doing laundry by hand isn't that bad, its ok actually. Bucket showers are actually really nice. They first few seconds suck but I'm so hot and sticky all the time that it feels so nice to cool off. I look forward to them everyday hahaha. I know that's weird but really I'm constantly sweaty and hot and shinny faced. My teacher told me I would get off the plane and start sweating and would stop until I was back in SLC. I think he may be right.
Please keep prayers coming this week. Its defiantly going to be an adjustment and I thank you for all your love and support. I love you all.