The Super bed upper bunk!
Elder Lindley forgot to brush his hair so E. Walters and E. Johnson are trying to help him
The language is coming along nicely! There was one night while teaching though that I accidentally said "Nagluto po si Joseph Smith and Doktrina at ang mga Tipan." Which is "Joseph Smith cooked the Doctrine and Covenants."... I meant to say "Nagsulat" but totally spaced! Got a pretty good laugh out of our investigator though! I also introduced the blow dart game to my district. Anybody who was in choir last year will know what I'm talking about. There have been times where the teacher has walked in the room and half the class has been dead on the ground! It confuses so many people! We are really dedicated to it though. Like I've died on the stairs before. Not so much fun there. Hopefully it'll last for our entire mission! That'd be so great haha Another funny thing that happened is simply the word for "mermaid." The word is "sirena" and it's also slang for "gay" and so we would ask our teacher all day, "What's the word for mermaid?" And we'd just watch her turn bright red and she'd never tell us! It was so priceless.
I should also say here that I finally finished the Book of Mormon. Took me 8 or 9 days to read the whole thing. I even read all of Alma in a single day. Ended that day with a headache, haha, but I seriously love the Book of Mormon! I plan on finishing it again before I leave the MTC. Two weeks should be ample time. I also still can't find the scripture that made me come on my mission now. I don't know, there's something up with that. That scripture has literally disappeared and it's starting to make me wonder... Just some funky stuff, ya know? I've been thrilling everyone with my stories of how many times I've been pulled over by the cops and never gotten a ticket. Everyone is quite impressed with the feat I accomplished.
On Tuesday I finally got some Dear Elder letters that had been sent a while ago! One from Xandra and one from Elder Lindley's mom. Also on Tuesday, we got the 6 worst people at basketball, me being included, and played a game of 3 on 3. It was the most hilarious thing you could ever imagine. Like we were just... awful.. By the end we were all just cracking up and sweating a ton. Just like every other day here. So much sweat. But that night made up for it as we were just singin oldies tunes like Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of our lungs in our district room. Gotta love the Elders and Sisters in my district! We sometimes do exercises where some of us pretend to be investigators and we'll teach each other. One night I was an investigator. My character was Brother Dela Cruz and I had a girlfriend and a baby. My girlfriend to be played by one of our Samoan sisters, Sister Sene, and our baby being a balloon. Weirdest thing ever. Plus our teacher was watching us from these cameras and we had no idea! Let's just say that there were some things that were said in my room.. haha oh gosh.. Luckily he forgot to record it! He wrote some of his favorite quotes and shared them with the class while he was laughing hysterically.
And, while I remember, we are all perfectly OK with the weather and stuff. The signal 4 typhoon missed us, but we are supposed to be getting hit by a signal 2 later today so that should be fun. Nothing to worry about though! The new guys got here safe too. Plus, none of them got put into me and Lindley's room! It's just the two of us for the next two weeks! The super bed LIVES!!!!!
But now on to the real stuff. Our proselyting activity. This was my favorite thing that we've done at the MTC thus far. They let us go out into one of the surrounding missions and get reassigned to an Elder who has been there for a while and then just go with them to their appointments and stuff! We are also really lucky because we actually went to the Quezon City North mission to proselyte! The drive to the mission home is an adventure in of itself. The driving here is just plain chaotic. There was one point where we turned out onto, I kid you not, a 10 lane road. The craziest part though is that there were NO street markings on it! It was blank asphalt! The cars would literally just drive wherever they felt like! It was like a Mario Kart game or something. So we got there safe and sound and got reassigned to new companions. Is it bad that I can't remember the name of mine? Oops. Anyways, we had like 20 minutes to prepare and then we were out and teaching. Our investigator that we were gonna go teach was Sister Rosie. So we started walking. My companion was a Filipino guy and he was telling me that we were going to one of the poorest areas in all the Philippines and I was like, "Greeeeeaaaat" But it was just that. Great! We rode a Jeepney to the little "neighborhood" where the investigator lived and that was so sweet! I got whistled at by some girls and got called "bogi" (boh-gee) quite a bit, which means "handsome." Even by like dudes and kids. We got to our destination and it was seriously like the pictures you see. Bunches of people standing around in dirty clothes. Piles of trash everywhere with countless concourses of dogs picking their way through it. Little kids running around naked or peeing against walls. It was another world. We walked through so many streets and alleys that I just got so lost. I don't know how my companion knew where he was going. But we finally arrived at the house we were teaching at. If you could call it a house. The bottom floor was just a concrete box. Nothing in it whatsoever. There were some crazy steep stairs in the corner though that went up to their living space. It was tiny. Probably about the size of my room at home. There was a couch, two chairs, a TV, a fish tank, and their kitchen shoved into the tiny space. It was just depressing at first, but then you paid attention to the people. And they were happy. It was the strangest thing. They were some of the happiest people I have ever met in my life! And they were just existing. I looked around and could see the lizards crawling all over the walls and mice sticking their heads from their holes. I even watched mice climb INTO the bowl of noodles the mom had just cooked and take some noodles out and back to their hole! Like this is just such a crazy place! Yet they were happy. We taught them about obedience. There were 5 people we were teaching and 1 baby. So in this tiny space we had 8 people crammed in. My companion made me start the lesson and he saw that I needed some help and took over. I shared a few scriptures and explained them the best I could in Tagalog. There was one point where the girl sitting across from me had to cover her mouth to stop from laughing at my Tagalog and I said jokingly, "Bakit (why) laughing?!" And that just made everyone laugh. It's seriously so easy to get these people to laugh. You'd have thought I was the funniest guy in the world if you heard them laughing at me. I finished by saying the closing prayer and then we had to go back to the church. We were supposed to teach another lady but we were at that first place for an hour and a half. So we walked back and even took one of those tricycle things for part of the way! That was super fun! Just walking is fun too though. Everyone is yelling at you asking your name and calling you "Joe" because you're an American. The kids will swarm you and all give you high fives and stuff. It's just a fun experience.
So we got back to the church, but it didn't end there. There was one missionary who was from the India mission and he was here to renew his VISA and I asked if he knew Elder Head. And he said he did! Ryan is in the Quezon mission though... but then I met this other sorta bigger Asian dude who knew Ryan Head as well and then I remembered that I actually hung out with this guy in Utah! He was one of Zac and Hayden's friends and I asked him if he was the right guy I was thinking about and he just freaked out! He was like "Dude! You are family to me!" Lisa and Dave, he's the guy that broke your couch when he sat in it that one time! Turns out he may even be the guy who trains me! How crazy is that? It was nice to see a familiar face out there. But then we had to go back to the MTC which was just awful. I wanted to stay out there. I felt like I BELONGED out there. Just two more weeks though. It's so crazy thinking about that. Already a month in, too! The time is just flying by! But ya, that is my week. Some really exciting stuff and I'm so excited to finally be able to get out there and teach people! I'll try sending pictures tomorrow. I don't really have time now...
I love you all and thanks to everyone who sent emails! I love reading them! And I do. I read every one.