Monday, December 9, 2013

My first week in the Philippines!!! Wow! where do i begin.. so the plane ride here was 21 hours and it was the longest plane ride of my entire life! My wheel on my suitcase broke in Detroit so that was fun trying to pull that thur the airport haha but the Elders were nice to help me. We flew from SLC to Detroit, then to Japan then to Manilla. We stayed at a hotel in Manilla for a couple hours then went to the airport at 6:00 am and then flew to Bacolod. It was so crazy! We got to Bacolod and President Lopez picked us up and we went to his house. We had lunch and meetings and interviews. we stayed there till around 6:30pm then they took us to a hotel to sleep for the night. I went to sleep at 7:00pm and woke up at 7:00am the next morning i was SO tired!! They picked us up and took us to the Church to meet our new companions! My companions name is Sister Foote SHE IS THE BEST! I am seriously so grateful for her. she has been so nice and has helped me with everything. Everyone that knew she was my companion told me how lucky i was because she is so great. The lord knew i needed someone who would help me adjust. She is from Vegas and she has been here for 6 months. So after i met here they took us to our house, it was so much nicer than i expected. Its 3 stories and two other sisters live with us. We have a normal shower (its not a bucket) but its still freezing cold. Its actually really nice considering its SO HOT here! So we put my stuff away and then went to the grocery store. I had no idea what i was doing so we didnt get much. All i have ate since i have been here is frosted flakes and french toast haha were going to the store again today and i will find some more stuff i like. They really do have alot of the same things that we have in America its just not the same brands. So i was worried about the food because i thought we would be eating at members houses alot but we eat every meal at home or we eat out, Sister Foote said she has only ate at a members house once since she has been here so that makes me feel so much better! So after shopping we had 10 teaching appts. I was so nervous! I seriously had no idea how poor these people are. You will never understand until you come here and see it. Every house has a dirt floor and is made out of bamboo. They usually have around 5 people living in a one bedroom hut, its so sad. My second day here sister Foote decided to take me to the craziest place she has been since she has been here hahah IT WAS CRAZY! we walked past some houses down a little trail that literally led into the Jungle.. Yes i live in the jungle! And we walked thru the trees and there was a big river by it and next thing i know.. Were crossing this sketchy bamboo bridge! it was so scary.. we crossed it and walked thru the jungle a little more and finally made it to our investigators house. We didnt know, but her house had been affected by the typhoon and all the walls were caved in. we tried to see if she was home but were pretty sure she had to move :( It was cool for me to think that even people here in the middle of the jungle need the gospel and that Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten about them. We usually teach outside here because most of the houses are too small for all of us to fit in. We always take out shoes off if we do go inside which kinda freaks me out because of all the bugs. I saw my first GIANT SPIDER yesterday and i thought i was going to pass out! We were in the middle of a lesson and i look over on the wall and this spider was running across it. It was literally the size of a baseball! IT WAS SO GROSS!!! I said a prayer that i wouldn't freak out or start crying and right then Sister Foote asked me to bare my testimony and my mind was blank haha all i could think about was the stupid spider! But it was fine and im still alive. So the language is coming okay. One good thing is that every single person in the Philippines knows English :) i love it because i can pray and bare my testimony in Hiligaynon but if i dont remember a word i just say it in english. its so nice! So some funny things about the Philippines.. some of the Filipino people have never seen Americans before so i stand out like a sore thumb.. EVERYONE stares at you and the guys hit on us all the time. They always ask for our number and they say "Guapa Ka!" Which means your beautiful haha its really funny! The jeepney is just like a bus but there is just long seats along the edges and they literally fit 20 people on there and no one here knows what personal space is so its no big deal. The tricycle is a motorcycle with a cart welded to it. It has a little seat on the front that holds 2 people then a basket thing on the back that should only hold 2 people but there is usually about 6 back there haha its so much fun! I love riding on them. Our house is far away from our area so we have to ride a jeepney and a tricycle just to get there. So i had a baptism on Saturday haha her name was Delia. she is so great! i only met her once before her baptims but i love her already. We have another one next week as well. This is such a great area.. everyone here wants to hear the gospel. We never go tracting, but people just contact us on the street and want us to teach them. We were on the jeepney the other day and there was a man on there and he said i think your the ones who are teaching my neighbor.. will you come to my house? its so amazing! I went to my ward for the first time and Church in the Philippines is so weird! haha they do everything in english, people wear whatever they want because they dont have money for nice clothes and Filipino people are never on time so every meeting starts like 20 minutes late haha. I got to bare my testimony and tell the ward how happy i was to be there :) We had 17 new investigators at church on sunday it was so cool! I LOVE the little kids here!! they are so adorable. It breaks my heart because they are usually naked because they have no clothes and they are always so dirty it so sad. They love us tho :) when you walk into a group of bamboo huts kids come running from everywhere to stare at you! haha you say "up here" and they love to give high fives its so cute. I wish i could hold them and take care of them. it breaks my heart! oh ya..I washed my clothes by hand today.. that was pretty cool haha Some random things about the Philippines: -No one expects us to speak hiligaynon so when we walk by and say "maayong aga" (good morning) they like freak out and say "you speak Hiligaynon?!" its really funny! its like my favorite thing! -Everyone is related.. -There is no such thing as birth control here so there is little kids everyhwere! -There is no such thing as birth control for dogs either and there are millions of dogs everywhere! but they all have rabies so you have to be careful. -There are spiders and bugs of all kinds everywhere! I hate that haha -There are also lizards and frogs everywhere haha i like the frogs they are cool. - Every mother here breastfeeds, but they dont cover up when they do it. its really disgusting! they dont care who is there or where they are at! haha and all moms breastfeed no matter how old their child is because they dont have money for any other food. The people here are so nice tho!! im so lukcy to be in such a great place, they may not have anything but they are so humble and nice. I have adjusted so good! The lord is definitely helping me! I love it here and im so grateful im here! i love and miss you all and hope to hear from you soon :) Love Sister Leifson :)

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