Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week 6 (Aug. 17, 2014 San Leonardo, Philippines)

From the Greenie in the Heat

Some call me Elder, must most just call me "Joe." It's hot and it's humid, and as told by Brother Bowler, "You're sweating before you can get dressed after your shower each morning." Our apartment is small -about as big as our dining room- and not all that clean. And I love it here :)
My Tatay out here in the Field (Gapan Zone San Leonardo Area) is Elder Mark Reyes Maestrado. He's been out for 20 months, and is AMAZING. He's so amazing in fact, that I'm worried about why they chose him to be my trainer... What do they have in store for me? O.o He was District Leader in the MTC (Ammon District, just like me :D), and after he was trained in the field, became a Trainer himself. Twelve Weeks later, and he became District Leader for a Transfer or two, before being promoted to Zone Leader. He's stepped down from that calling in order to train me. I really do admire him. In the Mission Office, President Clark told us that our biggest challenge with our Tatays would be to out serve them. He wasn't kidding. He's ironed my shirt two mornings in a row while I'm bucket scooping water for my daily "shower." He's incredibly patient as well. He's not big on breakfast, and I haven't pulled anything from my cards, so we don't have cereal yet. I'm surviving so far on a Spoonful of Peanut Butter every Morning :D We broke out the Pepsi on our First night here, and both enjoyed a glass. I've determined you're not a true Syphus until you've had Pepsi out of a Coke Glass ;) He's actually a pretty good cook, so he'll make us something from lunch around 1, and then we have Dinner at the End of the Night around 9:30. Today though, we went to lunch with the Zone Leaders, and ate out at a small little Diner. We had Pork Sisig which is Delicious :D Ask Marilyn about it :P
The People here are wonderful, and very hospitable. Because electricity is so expensive, the fans only seem to come out when the Elders arrive. They set out two plastic chairs for us, then set on the floor to listen. I've decided I like the floor better, so I'll probably join them from now on :) We remove our shoes before entering a home, and simply walk around in our socks. It's comfortable :) I haven't gotten many names down yet, but we've had plenty of appointments. The language is a bit of a struggle of course, but it's coming along alright. Plenty of people know enough English that they can help me :)
We don't have a chapel here; just a meeting house. Our attendance is ~30. I think it's a change from somewhere else, because they have clean up projects every Saturday.
For the First hour of our P-Day, we got down on our hands and knees and scrubbed tiles, because we don't have a mop :P It was filthy and disgusting, but looks SO much better now :) I've been doing little Odds and ends in my free time, and demolded a bit of the Fridge the other Day :P I also degreased a bunch of soot and caked grime off our counter burner. It stills looks terrible, but it's much better :)
I don't have much else to say, but maybe some pictures will trigger something ;)

A little crooked, but another nice Temple Picture. SO Beautiful :D
Ammon District in Front of the Temple (across the street :P)
Sorry for the Blur. I think the Elder that took it was broken :P 
Ammon District with Brother Aracena and Sister Hernandez
Philippines Angeles Mission Logo
My Mission Ring. Around the Outside is PHILIPPINESANGELESMISSION.
 Inside is my Full Name :)
Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming... IN BOILING OIL!! MUWAHAHAHAHA :P Fun Food for the Foreigners.
Ismael Garcia- #1 Cook sa MTC. 
He's always super nice and happy, and walks around talking to people during Mealtimes after everyone has their food.
Last Lunch in the MTC

Bathroom for my First Night out of the MTC at the AP's apartment.
I'll spare you from seeing what I live with now, though it is cleaner :P 
We make do in our Apartment with the Bucket and Scoop, Wall Faucet, and Toilet Bowl 
(No tank). It's More Fun in the Philippines ;)
My awesome trainer companion....Elder Mark Maestrado
(Note from MP's Wife)
Here they are! Our First Incoming Batch! 
 They are 20 amazing missionaries from different lands but with one purpose, to teach truth to the people of the Philippines.
Pres. and Sis. Clark (My mission president and wife)

I'll send the rest next week :) Love you all!!

Elder Syphus

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