Monday, January 28, 2013

Goa City

Kumustamos mga kapatid, magulang and kailbigan!

I am sitting in a brand new computer shop that is bright yellow and in the middle of Goa City. There is a delicious smell coming in through the open door from the small cantina across the street. I have just finished my first week in my second area. I had become so familiar with the tricy drivers, the streets and the people of Ligao it has been strange to now be surrounded by unfamiliarity. It has been a good week though. Goa city which is in the north of my mission is pretty far from Ligao. I can no longer see the Myon Volcano.

My new companion’s name is Sister Abarabar. She is pinay (Filipina) and is from Isabella.... which is up in the top of the pines where Erika N served. She is 23 and is the youngest comp I have had yet. I don’t know if I have mentioned that all of my comps have been older than I am. It will be weird to have a younger sister haha... She just finished her training and knows so much more about missionary work than I did after training - so I am super impressed. I am what they call her "follow up companion" - very exciting to have a title huh? J

We are in an apartment with 2 other sisters and we have a little too much fun! I love it and we just have fun all the time. The funness is taking a toll on my journal writing - but that’s ok. Sister Abarabar does speak English.... most people here at least understand English and a lot of them can speak broken English... we speak Tag though... well at least try. One of the sisters is Filipina but has lived in Canada for the last 7 years so we may or may not have been catching up what has been going on in Vampire Diaries…. It is one noisy household with all of us which is great!

Speaking of households…. Our house is so nasty! I kind of love it because it meets every standard for missionary apartment horror stories that has ever been told. It is the most disgusting thing ever!!! We die every day laughing about how nasty it is! But President gave us the ok to find a new apartment so hopefully we will move this week... cause we might just die here from numerous causes of nasty if we stay.

Our sink refuses to drain. We have taken the plunger to it, sticks, warm water and chemicals, but it stubbornly remains clogged. We wash our dishes out on the side of the house because we can only use the sink so many times before there is water threatening to brim over the edge of our counter. On Friday our water stopped working and we didn’t have water in the bathroom or the kitchen or in our outside washing area. The faucet has to be perfectly in the middle of the knob to be shut off and the only way we know  when it is turned off is when the water stops running. Since there was no water we couldn’t be sure if it was turned off all the way. We did our best to guess where “off” was only to find out that our best guess was extremely off the mark. When I woke up Saturday morning to a swimming pool in our kitchen. Oops! I have gotten very used to having spiders, ants and yes, even cockroaches in our houses. However, it was a whole new experience when there was a mouse lying belly up next to our refrigerator. At least he was dead and we didn’t have to kill him, I would bet that he drank the water from our sink. To top this, the door handle to the front door broke and sister Abarabar and I held our weekly planning session on our front porch while we waited for the other Sisters to arrive home with the only key to our side entrance. The district leaders’ idea was for me to kick the door down. I asked him why he suggested that I do that and he replied “cause your legs are huge.” I told him he better be referring to length and not width. All in all - our house has character and we can endure - we are hoping to move in the next week or two!

Goa is wonderful so far, it is a small city with lots of people and even more rice fields. One day it would be fun to be assigned in Naga because it is a big city but for now I am super happy to be out in the country side. The ocean is in our district now so hopefully one P-day we will be able to go out and visit! We still walk a ton but the people live a lot closer together so we can get more lessons in during a day which is super nice. But I am still adjusting and learning the area.

We continue to work heavily on the reactivation effort. We have a young 18 year old boy that has a baptismal date for Feb 23. He has holes in his ears where there used to be earrings and a tattoo on his right bicep. One might think he should be hanging out in the ally with other 18 year olds and a few 25 cent cigarettes, but the conversion that has taken root in his heart is inspiring. He was nervous about attending church because he didn’t have anything to wear so the elders in our district gave him a white t-shirt and a pair of slacks. One of the single adults in the branch offered up a tie. Yesterday at church this young man glowed as he wore his new church clothes.

There is a ward here in Goa but the church attendance numbers are low. The members are so nice though and easy to love because they are so warm and loving. I will admit that I felt a little bit like I was arriving from the MTC yesterday at church. Some of this is to be expected because I don’t know the people yet or the area but mainly because the entire meeting was in BIKOL! Patay, ano ba iyan - the Tower of Babel definitely fell here! Luckily sister Abarabar didn’t understand either so I didn’t feel sooo foreign. My vocabulary list of Tagalog words in my planner is now along side a growing list of Bikol words. We teach in Tagalog and everyone here understands and speaks Tagalog but they are more comfortable in Bikol. I know that no matter where I am assigned the people will become like family. Each area will hold significance for me and represent a different phase of my mission life.

The goodbyes in Ligao went okay. I have received a few emails from a few of the members and two of the Datoon sisters - so it is fun that I can still keep in touch with them.

I hope you arrived home safe from PR? Thanks for the pictures.  Mom – you asked about my health. I am doing well. We eat tons of veggies on top of rice everyday so our food is healthy. We also eat tons of banana and mangos - their mangos are soooooo yummy! I could eat one for every meal. I eat rice everyday. I remember thinking rice for breakfast sounded so nasty before the mish but now it is normal. I actually love Filipino food! Of course sometimes there are things that are not good but for the most part it is great.

I am very excited for Kate Cowely to be coming to the Pines... we will be able to mag-tagalog when we both get home. How crazy that Meg and Matt and Kate and I are in the same places. Small world! She will love it and San Pablo is our neighboring mission. One of my friends from home is serving there and she is cute and tall and blonde. Maybe she'll be her trainer.

It is rainy and over cast. This is Filipino winter and I slept in pants every night this week – I don’t know if I will survive the Utah cold.

When is Cate’s Valentine dance? Wow, I can’t believe Feb is here already. I wanna see pics when she gets her dress.

Padaba ko ika!! Thanks for your love and letters. I am so grateful for you and for the plan Heavenly Father has given us to be together forever!


Sister meish!



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