Kumusta pamilya at mga kaibigan! Tomorrow marks my fifth month on my mission, it's crazy how much time flies! Not that I'm really counting down, but I just look at my calender and suddenly it's halfway through February and I've been living in the Philippines for like four months now. I had one of those moments the other day when I realized that I can approach people and have a semi-understandable conversation in Tagalog, and I know my way around Baguio like the back of my hand. Taking a jeepnee is no problem for me, and I'm pretty sure I've climbed up and down stairs and mountains so much that walking on flat ground just seems weird. I love it here, and I especially love how I don't feel like a stranger in a foreign land anymore. Yeah sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm literally the only white person in the neighborhood, but I just feel so comfortable that it doesn't even phase me anymore! I'm truly becoming Filipino! Being on my mission has really made me realize how wasteful I used to be. Filipino's are so creative and find ways to conserve and reuse just about everything. I now know that I can live off of a budget, and I only need about half a bucket of water to shower with. The pleasures of a simple life for sure! And for those of you freaking out about my water situation (aka Mom haha) don't worry because we have a really good system going now. You really only need about a couple buckets of water to do everything that you need to do like shower, wash dishes, and even flush the toilet haha so life is happy, I'm still clean everyday!
Well this week was another normal week of missionary work. It's starting to get a little bit hot here, and I don't know if I can take the heat in the lowlands yet, but I think I'm ready to experiecnce the rural Philippines now that I've experienced the city. We'll see by next transfer if I'll be blessed to stay in Baguio or not, but I already bought more than enough souvenirs that I'll have to lug around my whole mission haha but you never know, I could only be in Baguio once! But I am way excuited to be here in February because only in Baguio they have a huge flower festival called Panengbenga that like everyone comes here to see. So my last P-Day in February I get to see Session Road in Bloom and the entire main street of Baguio will be covered in flowers and souvenir shops, I can't wait! Also, the General Relief Society presidency is coming here to talk to the Baguio stake and we get to go to that too! It will be next week I think, so I'll talk more about that when it happens, but I've been so lucky to be here because only the missionaries in Baguio stake have gotten to see Elder Ardern of the 70 and now the releif socitey presidency and another member of the 70, it's awesome!
I did have my first interview with President Balledos this week though. He gave us a workshop about obedience, and we had to do a quiz from an email that he sent us. He said that if we got less than 25 points we wouldn't get our lunch (jokes) but it was really hard and fill in the blank and since I had only read the email about 5 minutes before hand, yeah didn't do so hot on the quiz haha but don't worry, I'm still obedient and I still got food! But I was super nervous for my interview with president, but it only took about 5 minutes and it was very laid back. I love my mission president, he's seriously an inspired man and he cares so much about us missionaries. Especially with the situation with the water in my apartment haha he's doing all that he can to make sure that we get water again asap!
Well family and friends, I love you all, and even though sometimes I day dream about life before the mission, I still know that this is where I'm supposed to be. I can see myself growing and changing in so many ways, and I know that what I learn on my mission will set the pace for the rest of my life. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that He would never forsake us. Sometimes the days go by slowly when we're trying to find people and they reject us, but I still find happiness in the fact that the Lord is aware of my efforts, and He will lead me to those who are prepared. We're hoping to get some referrals from the memebers soon, becasue it really is true, there's a better way to do missionary work and it's if the ward and the missionaries work together. I hope all of you can find time to go out and help the missionaries whether it's feeding them, letting them share a message with you, or even better, giving them a referral!
I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!
PS- thanks Mom for the packages, I've been craving those almonds for days now! You're the best :)!!
PSS- I forgot to mention that I ate dog this week...it tasted like beef, but it was dog and I just can't forgive myself for eating it.