Thursday, February 20, 2014

He's Finally Arrived in the Philippines

      So this week has been the most humbling week of my life. I arrived in Cebu last week but wasn't able to email. Sister schmutz (the Mission Presidents wife) just asked us to send home that we arrived safely. I don't even know were to begin. I'm in an area called Labangon. It entails a lot of slums ( in american standards) and the bukid (mountains). The first day the new batch spent the day at the mission home going over general stuff. I got assigned to an elder from Mindanao named elder Valencia. He's a super good missionary and we get along well. He has 2 transfers left and so most likely i'll be his last companion. The language is coming along but is really tough but I'm really working on it. I live with 3 others who are all Filippino,the other 2 are from manilla. They are both really cool. Everything here is super cheap in American standards. The bukid is very pretty but the city area is real nasty. There is trash everyone, many cars and motorcycles and just not very clean. I have only been to a couple homes that are just larger than my room. They have plywood walls and tin roofs. Most just have dirt ground or bamboo floor. I asked to go to the bathroom one time and the other elder pointed me to the place to go. The house is built up on stilts. The bathroom was just a couple missing bamboo stripes where you just go through underneath. There really isn't plumbing. Next week i'll include a photo of what the stilt homes look like. Underneath there is soo much trash. I haven't seen one single public trashcan here. It's been real sad. I went to one area were the homes were basically nothing. I would see little kids wearing nothing playing near the nasty water and trashy grounds with flies, cats, and dogs everywhere. There are literally dogs and cats everywhere. I don't think most people have seen a white guy cause everyone stares at me haha! All the kids are like American!?! And when I reply in cebuano they are always super surprised! Here's a funny story. I went to the bathroom and we have a toilet in our place. Once I was done I reached to get some TP to realize there wasn't any TP. I called and asked my companion and asked if he had some. He said they don't use it there. There's a bucket with a dipper thing. You get water and pour down your back and use your hand to clean it all off haha. None of the Filippino's in my apartment ever use TP. Just a different way of life. You just have to make sure you wash your hands real well!!! I have a shower but the water never works and the spickett doesnt hang up above you, you just hold it. So normally during the day when the water is one we fill the bucket and then use that to shower. Also we wash all clothes by hand. So all in all I have truly come to appreciate all I have. Here most people eat just rice and meet. They have fruits things here everywhere but no one eats fruits and vegetables. The people here are super nice! Literally no one ever has a problem with talking about God. A lot of people though are Catholic and say I was born Catholic but have never gone to church. Something kinda funny is that everyone just pees on the side of the road! Well that's all I have for now,
Elder Crandall

Sunday, February 9, 2014

One Day Until Cebu, Philippines!!

(January 31 Update)
Well I hit a month today! It's crazy how fast it's gone by, but also how slow it's gone by. The days are crazy long, but as I look back the weeks went pretty fast. This week has been pretty sweet! On Tuesday our service project was putting up the flags! Its always super fun when we can do that! The MTC has tons of flags and we chose 32 to put up each week. Last week we got to clean the water fountains around the main building which wasn't too bad, but the flags are a lot more fun. We also got our flight plans today which was the highlight of the week! We are flying to San Fran and then to Manilla and then to Cebu on Feb 10th! Its soo crazy how we only have 10 days left here at the MTC! Also we were able to host the new missionaries coming in on Wednesday. I got an elder from France who was super cool! He is going to Tahiti and learning Tahitian! I also had another elder going to Virginia who was super nice. It's cool but kind of sad cause you see so many families crying as they drop of they kids for 19-24 months! Other than that it's basically been the same stuff each week. Next week will be my last P-day! Hope everything is going well!
           Elder Crandall