Well I am officially out in the field here in the Philippines! My first area is the Rizal Ward in Santiago. First, I have to say I have come to love Pepto Bismol. The food here tastes great, but my stomach doesn't agree. I have probably overdosed on the stuff, but it is very important because no one really has bathrooms here. A lot of people just kind of go on the side of the road. Written on the walls here is "Bawal Umihi". At first, I thought it meant, no soliciting, but I soon found out that I was wrong. (English translation: Don't urinate here) The Philippines is a very different culture from here. There are many tindahans, which are basically shops attached to the sides of houses. The nice thing about these is that they are literally every other house, so we could go to them for breakfast items. Two of my favorites are cheese dogs and croissants filled with cheese. The cheese dogs are hot dogs that are filled with cheese. They are super good. I usually have them with oatmeal and add brown sugar to the plain oatmeal.
My area is kind of a jungle though. There are actual huts and there are roads that are flooded with people just fishing in them. I walk an average of 7 - 10 miles a day. I have had to dunk for people about 10 different times already, and I think someone may have asked me to marry their daughter. I here people say "tangkad" everywhere I go which means tall. The culture here is pretty lax. People just ride on top of semis and kids will take rides on the back of U-Hauls as you will see in the picture. My companion is Elder Canencia and he is Filipino. He is super cool and he speaks English which is very handy. He taught me how to wash my clothes today. It was a long process and I sweated a ton, but my hands were fine. They were just really sticky. Dad, I can't believe you even thought about complaining about humidity. I can't go anywhere without sweating. I am sweating in this computer shop hahaha.
I love the people here. I have had some amazing lessons as well. My favorite ones is this: I was teaching Tatae (Father) Korpos. We had just eaten dinner (rice and meat only for me) when I started to try to find a scripture on faith. While I was doing so I flipped to 3 scriptures on pray to know if the gospel is true and receive a warmth for the spirit. I told my companion and changed the lesson plan. I read the scripture and bore my testimony. At the end of the lesson I expressed our love for him and told him that we really wanted to see him at church next week. The Spirit was super strong and I know I was given guidance in that moment. Although this isn't the first miracle, I know it definitely isn't the last. I will have a lot more to say in the coming weeks, but for now I love you all!
President Rahlf, myself and Sister Rahlf
My trainer Elder Canencia
The Manilla Temple
War Memorial in Manilla
Getting a ride!