Friday, February 28, 2014

Week 2!

Kumusta ka! It's CHRISTMAS AGAIN! :D Haha not because we actually get freedom to leave the gates on p-day but because it's over as soon as it starts, like Christmas.

Time is going by so quickly! I can hardly believe it. I love it so much here! I don't even know where to begin so I'm just gonna jump right in.

Well first of all, everyone has taken to calling me Sister Snow White because I'm the whitest person here, and they're all fascinated with white skin. Everyone wants to be white. I'm so moving here.

We had a culture seminar on Sunday where they talked about what to expect out in the field. According to the branch president, a Filipino is what people perceive him to be, or his "face."  If someone says something degrading, even in joking, it causes him to lose face and it's humiliating. Even if the claim is a fact, even if it's untrue, it's a bad thing. So when a stake president or someone of high authority gets released from their calling (honorably, even!), they lose face and go inactive. It's also normal for the LDS men to have mistresses when they're married. It's a difficult thing when culture interferes with church standards. We definitely have our work cut out for us. I also learned the rules of driving out here! 1. Point (Point the nose of the car into the lane you're switching into) 2. Big (The bigger vehicle takes priority) 3. Flow (Even when there are 6 lanes in a 3 lane road, you go with the flow) and 4. Chicken (When going through an intersection, you pretend not to see each other and the first person to look at the car gets the right of way.) By the way, find the Philippines on a map - it's in the shape of a donkey head, profile view.

My companion and I are doing really well together. The spirit was so strong in one of our lessons that our investigator was brought to tears. I think we've finally learned to teach by the spirit rather than making sure our Tagalog is perfect during the lessons.

Today we got to go out and help the newly arriving missionaries. It was so much fun! Our job was to go speak to the families in Tagalog and show the missionaries where to go. It was hard to see the crying kids, elders, moms and girlfriends but I know they're gonna be so blessed! There were 3 missionaries from Utah in this intake, that's unheard of! XD 1 sister and 2 elders all from the Salt Lake valley! I'm so excited. We had lunch with them and lunch today involved pig tongue... which I was tricked into eating my first week. So I let them be blissfully unaware, as I was. ;) I'm terrible... After that there was this tiny Filipino sister who looked 12 and very lost. She needed help buying garments so we took her to the distribution center. There was nobody to help her so we had to figure it out all on our own. Their distribution center is TINY and it's not nearly as organized as it is at home. But we finally got it all figured out and to give you an idea of how small she is, her size is 20P. We got to go to the temple again which was great. Now that we're the mid batch it's a lot more laid back, which is nice. I love talking in Tagalog to the gardeners, the custodians, the cafeteria workers, and the teachers. They're all so friendly and they help so much. It wouldn't be that way if I had gone to Provo. Anyway, then we played volleyball and I've really taken a liking to it. The Samoans are soooo good at it and they've been teaching me. It's so much fun and I'm getting pretty good, except now I've got big bruises all over my forearms. XD

I found out that the MTC and the temple aren't even a part of Manila. We're IN Quezon City right now. These buildings are a part of my mission. They just call it the "Manila MTC, Manila Temple and Manila airport"  because everyone knows where Manila is. Mom - there aren't gonna be any visa runs to Hong Kong... :( they took our passports and they do it for us. Oh well! Maybe I'll get to go on the way home.

Lauren - you would be in absolute HEAVEN here. ;D If you don't know exactly what I mean, I'll be blunt. Most, if not all of our teachers are tall, white-teeth, straight-laced returned missionary ASIANS. ;) Mostly Filipino but a couple of Japanese, a few Indonesian. Quite the characters, too. ;) No joke, all of them are so funny and it really relaxes the tension and stress we all feel. The sisters in my district are starting to develop an attraction to Filipinos and it just made me think of you, sis! ;D "Sister Wilson, my heart is locked, but my eyes have to stay open!"

This part of my email is for Tom! Tom - while sitting in the waiting room of the temple today, my companion and I started talking to the brother next to us. He said he was from Malaysia and I told him that you had just gotten back from your mission there a few months ago. He asked what your name was. When I told him, he flexed his arms and started wiggling his fingers around as though playing the air piano and I said, "Yes! That's the one!" He knew you. I couldn't understand the how part of it but what are the odds? Brother Lve? I think that's what his name was. I couldn't understand well but he said it's a common name out there. It's a small world! Poor guy, the Philippines temple is the closest one to him so he came to the session 2 hours early.

I think that's all I have to say for now. :) Wishing everyone the best. Although it doesn't seem that I need to because I keep getting mail about the amazing things my family is doing! Regardless, you're all in my prayers.

Much love!!
Sister Wilson

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