Monday, August 29, 2016

TONDO with Elder Cibuco

Wow things have been crazy!! I've been having a blast here in the field so far. Yes the rumors are true. I got to see Elder Odom for like 20 seconds at the Provo mtc right before I left for the airport. It was pretty sweet to see him. But anyways, I was in the Philippines MTC for 6 days or something and it was pretty fun. It's way different from the Provo MTC and i'm pretty glad i went to provo haha;) The mtc here is alot smaller and we ate rice every single meal. I've actually had rice every meal here so far except for once haha! But anyways, in the philippines mtc we got to leave once to go practice proselyting which was fun. The Filipino missionaries were all super nice and loved seeing all of us americans haha.

Last Wednesday morning I finally started the real mish. The traffic and driving here is totally insane. It's hilarious. There will be like 3 lanes but 5 cars will be packed next to each other. They have no driving rules here. If you stop at a stop sign people will think you're crazy haha. On the way to the mission home one sister threw up because they drive so funny here. Cars get within inches of each other kinda like in Mexico but they never hit. When we are proselyting I always feel like I'm going to be hit haha they just get soo close!

When we got to the mission home we met the mission president and his wife. They're both super nice. We got to go to a cemetary in Manila that has 1700 people burried and over 36000 names on big marble walls. It was super pretty and nice there. We happened to run into the first Philippines missionary, Ray Goodson which was funny because I golfed with him over at Willow right before I left. He said he played with dad the other day??

I'm serving in the Tondo area!! It's the poorest and most dangerous area in my mission. The sisters are actually not allowed here. Haha it has certainly been an eye opener! I can't really explain how poor it is. Most houses are around 8 feet by 6 feet or something. It's sooo dirty here and smells really bad haha! I'm constantly stepping over trash. It's totally packed with people too. There are tons of houses right next to each other and stacked on top of each other. It's basically a big maze. A house in Utah could fit 30 houses here haha! Haha maybe google Tondo Riverside to get an idea. No way we will ever run out of people to try to talk to. I haven't seen a white guy yet except for one of my roomates. His name is Elder Lambert and he went to Herriman. He's been really helpful and can teach me alot of words and explain things well because he knows English haha.

My companion is super awesome. His name is Elder Cibuco. He is a native and spoke Cibuano growing up. But his Tagalog is really good. He has only been out 3 months so we are both pretty new! He doesn't really speak English but we somehow communicate super well and get along great. He's a stud. He's really hard working and is completely obedient. Haha I'm always so tired by the end of the day. He's the perfect companion for me and we've been getting alot done here! He only went to three years of school because he needed to work to help out his family. Being with him and being here in Tondo has made me soo thankful for my lucky life. I tried to not take things for granted but I think I took alot more for granted than I was even realizing!

The Tagalog has been pretty hard. They talk SO FAST here and really quiet. I feel like I'm not able to help as much as I want so sometimes it's kinda frustrating. He's been having me start all of the conversations with people which has been a blast! We talk to everyone even if they have tons of tattoos and sitting there with a cigarette. But I do all that I can to help out in lessons and contacting. I read a scripture that has helped me a ton this week. It's Mosiah 4:27 and it basically says "it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." It just constantly reminds me that I can't just expect to show up at a country and be able to speak a crazy language right away. I'm starting to understand a little better every day. 

It's super hot here and my fan is my best friend. I have to put it on my bed or I'd probably die at night. It rains alot right now but Friday was insane. I couldn't believe how much it rained haha! They don't have any drainage here so there were literally rivers throughout the streets. This place is just so crazy haha!

I'm so thankful for my mission call! Hope you all have a great week. Remember to be thankful for all of your blessings and focus on the good! Ingat mga kaibigan at pamilya!

Love Elder Reber
Saying hello and goodbye to Elder Odom. So glad these two got to see each other one last time. Parker waited for him at the entrance of the MTC. They only had a few moments together-so glad it happened!

See you in two Elder Cheney!
Free McDonalds?? Almost like he hit the jackpot!

Reminded him of a cute sister back home!

Rice for every meal! 

A favorite mission friend from the Provo MTC now at the Manila MTC
We aren't even sure who this cute Elder is but we loved this photo!!

Manila Temple
Elder Reber in front of the Manila Temple
Manila American Cemetery

Another cemetary view

This is Ray Goodson. One of the first missionaries in the Philippines who eventually returned to be a mission president there with his family.  He continues to do so much for the church in this part of the world. Thankful Parker got to meet him before he left and run into him there. 

We are assuming this is the view from Parkers new home.  He says he is lucky to live in the nice part of the neighborhood.

Another neighborhood view

His companion Elder Cibuco and parts of the other two Elders he lives with. 

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