Monday, March 15, 2010

New Area

Dear Family-

So, the time has arrived. Someone is hitting the big 40 mark. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Haha man mom, when did that happen? I remember when dad turned 40 and we were like what in the world, that’s like half as old as the earth itself. Holy cow. And I am turning 20 what in the world? Man, time flies. Happy birthday mom! I hope it is amazing!!!

So I have been transferred from the land of nothing and am now in possibly the coolest place I have ever been in my life!!! But first, a few stories about right before I left.

Elder Francisco and I got a little better in our friendship the final week of the transfer, and then it completely bottomed out. Any other time he HATES working and the time that I needed to wash my gs and pack and stuff he got mad because he wanted to work. Man, that kid is weird. No matter what I did, I was in the wrong. Jeez, I hope that is definitely NOT the way it is having a spouse (cause in all honesty, being a missionary is like being married to your companion) cause if it is I am proposing to my xbox 360 when I get home:/ Anyways, the last night that I was there I went around and said my goodbyes and…it was probably one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t best friends with the area. There, as in every area, are people who rejected us, yelled at us, and swore at us, but it was the members and our investigators that we fell in love with and it was difficult saying goodbye. One of our nanays, nanay ramos, was probably the hardest. She was practically family out here and we have shared amazing memories. Man, it was way bad leaving my first area…how much harder is it gonna be leaving the mission? Ha I never want to go through that again-im just gonna adopt a Filipino kid and live in a hut in the boonies so I don’t have to say goodbye…goodbyes SUCK:/ Anyhow, such is life. I said bye to the members that I baptized, and to the people who became my family down in lopez and, with my head held high, looked forward to change. It was also really hard saying goodbye to elder Bernard. We both became really really good friends and he helped me a lot and became like another brother to me, but, once again, tis ok. At transfer day I got to see elder Hansen which was awesome ha. We talked and talked (me talking a lot? Poppycock…) about our old areas, our old companions (he got emergency transferred off the island because his companion had a homosexual pornography problem…not AWKWARD at ALL…) and our current areas. It was way fun. He was telling me about this place called Puerta Gallera (which is probably the most forbidden place to go in the whole mission cause it is one of the top tourist attractions in the world which means its American…and immorality central) which he decided to go visit haha so that was cool and so transfer day ended with me heading to my new area with my new companion.

Now, let me just say this, I think that Lord heard my prayers asking to get the heck out of outer darkness and back into an actually civilized area. First, my comp. His name is Elder Duco and he is literally the He is AWESOME. He is Filipino but for some reason the language barrier is almost completely eroded away. I learned how to speak Tagalog in Lopez which, apparently, has like the deepest Tagalog in the mission so when I got to my new area its like speaking with an American-its so simple like im talkin cooking ramen noodles simple. The cool thing is that his first area was Lopez 4th!!! We were up till the crack of dawn talking about all the members and lopez in general and all the tight stuff that goes down way out there in nowhere. He only has 3 transfers left so he is a little bit on the trunky side…and I mean like going out and buying rap cds at the marketplace and blasting them in our apartment trunky ha:/ But he is awesome. Our apartment is awesome too. It is two levels and SO much bigger than my apartment in lopez. It is in a set of 5 townhouses (I guess that makes it a townhouse:/) which are vibrant pink so atleast we get to represent ha. It is really really nice though. There is this big like iron gate that you have to unlock just to get into the courtyard so I feel like a star with my exclusive pad hidden from the world. All I need now is a limo and a head bigger than a hot air balloonJ We are looking for a new apartment though cause like last week or something these random guys came and shot our neighbor-you know, everyday social interaction-so president has kind of told us to get the Zarahemla out of there…

So, onto my area. Hmm, how to describe how to describe…how about this-AMAZING!! You have to keep in mind that I am coming from Lopez-where the biggest hospital is 5 rooms separated by curtains. Lopez zone is the farthest you can travel in the mission without using a boat. It is a 5 hour bus ride from the mission home…and civilization. My new area? Yea…it has a flippin burger king (one of 2 in the whole mission ill have you know!) I was walking the other day when I looked up and saw this enormous billboard advertising for Burger King and I was like WHAT IN THE WORLD WHAT THE HECK IS THIS? Yea, there are 7-11s on every corner and there are even stop lights!!! They have cars here which is way cool. The traffic is INSANE. There are no rules and so its everyone for themselves. Man, the other day I went to this area of ours (our area is miles and miles wide of city domination. They used to have FOUR COMPANIONSHIPS running it…yep, only us two haha:/) that is probably the literal definition of a city hid upon a hill. It is above this cemetery and there are random pathways going all over the place. Peoples houses are in the basements of other peoples houses. Half the time you, to get to the heart of the community, you need to go through peoples houses and stuff. It is so stinking COOL!! Anyways, I went to the top to teach these recent converts and I looked out and saw manila (it looks like NYC) and had a wack flashback. There is one main highway that is lit up by streetlights galore and then the surrounding city which has different color streetlights-it looks like Utah. Not to mention there is this enormous inactive volcano towering over the city. That thing has to be 5000 feet high, it is ENORMOUS. Today we went with the zone to sm (I have a mall in my zone nowJJ) and on the way we crossed over the interstate. It reminded me of Utah SO stinking much. It has two 4 lane sides filled with cars going to manila. Man, cool cool cool. My area is called Cebuyao and I have already fallen in love with it…and bought skittles multiple times at 7-11 WOOOOOT!!!!! We had to go to the sisters area the other day for an interview (elder Duco is the district leader) and I got a cool surprise. Half of their area is resorts. People rent out these vacation homes with pools and cool stuff in them for the weekend and stay here, then return back to where they are from. Cool beans!!!!!

Ha, about the debit card, I definitely had a wack experience today. We were at the mall (like I said earlier) and I wanted to go withdraw money. Elder Duco was in the arcade rocking some shooter game so I decided to go on splits with this socially AWKWARD elder (possibly the biggest mistake in my life) and go find an atm. Well, all we could find was mastercard atms so we went to information and talked to the lady there which was IMPOSSIBLE. She couldn’t get over the fact that there are no wells fargos in the Philippines and she was like we don’t have those here and I was like oh I know, I just need an atm that is able to work with visa and she was like yea but we don’t have wells fargo here. I KNOW THAT I just want to get a visa atm machine. Then she suggested that I go into the bank of china and work it out with them. What in the world you crazy I just want a stinking atm machine. Tsk tsk tsk… Anyways, I went to the atm machine (after NOT taking the crazy information lady’s advice) and put in my card and went through the process and got to the point when it was like you will be charged a 150 peso fee and I was like yes yes YES…and then it told me my pin was wrong. I was like what the MUD you piece of garbage you WILL accept my wrong pin number and you WILL give me my money. Yea, kind of forgot that I still didn’t know my pin but maraming salamat po for giving it to me!! I need a watch (did I tell you how it broke? It involves impatience and toe nail clippers like for real...hmm another day I suppose:/) and I want to get some more pants made along with some more ties.

I have a question real quick-have you all seen the new alice in wonderland? Man it looks way cool. I want to see it SO bad. Ha I have the advantage here because movies are pirated for the movie theaters out here and they play for a month or so and then are put on dvd. So, ill probably buy the dvd in a month and then ask president if I can watch it seeing as how it is a Disney movie, but not in that order. Speaking of movies, if he hasn’t already seen it, tell B-rady that I saw avatar (on the dvd…) and it was WEIRD and it isn’t the cartoon if he couldn’t already tell. If you see it, tell me if it is any good.

hat is awesome about the DON position!!! Are you sure you want to take it? Isnt it an extremely stressful job? Man. Keep me updated on such a thing.

I have a quick question though before I close. Can you do me a favor and look up the recipe for Pan de Coco? Go to and make a batch. It is the best food in the Philippines. I always ask people if they have it and they laugh and so I ask why they laugh and they are like ha because all Americans go BESERK over Pan de coco. It is bread with coconut filling inside. It tastes like the inside of an almond joy, but inside bread. It is AMAZING. Make a batch. It is way cheap. It is up there with steak (but still below obviously:/) on the list of favorite food. That and sopas which is the best soup I have ever tasted, but that is a different story cause you need native vegetables for that one. Ha ill make it when I get back. Yea, another thing Americans go beserk over:D

Anyways, that is all she wrote. Man, with the whole grandma and grandpa situation going down I really wish I was home, but its ok cause im where im supposed to be. I love you all and hope you are all doing well. I wish you mom once again a dominatory birthday. Go to golden corralJ



Pss-tell dad to flippin email me back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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