Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week Three? I Think?

The first thing I want to say is that the Filipino people are like MY people! They all get distracted super easily just like me. Elder Ehlert says I just have this skill for getting us both off topic SUPER easily without him even realizing what's happening. Just something I've been working on for my entire life! One of our investigators, Sonny Q, gets off on some crazy tangents! We'll be teaching about the Word of Wisdom and then he'll just butt in and start talking about how he drinks so much water and tells us about all the benefits of water for like 5 minutes. Haha, so great! And our other investigator, Sonny F (yup, they have the same name. They're both best friends too), goes off as well! We often times end up talking about some bad things like a boil he's had and all the puss that squirted out. He's a funny guy though! The last time we taught him we were teaching the Plan of Salvation. I was sitting there when I suddenly realized I'd never seen his wife. I thought, "I wonder what happened to her." Literally RIGHT after I thought that he launched into his story. They were lying in bed one day when she complained about a pain in her chest. That was the last thing he heard her say before she passed out. He yelled to his son to get the car because "Mom isn't feeling well" and they rushed to the hospital. He told us how he waited at her bed side holding her hand while he watched her heart beat monitor. The beat was irregular and he slowly watched as the time grew longer and longer between beats until it reached a flat line. Within three hours of her passing out she had died. Totally unexpected. It was just heartbreaking to hear him tell that story. It made the rest of lesson just amazing though as we told him about where she is now and how he can someday return and live with her again. That was an incredible experience. Really cemented in my mind exactly why I'm here, ya know? 

We also had our first CSP this week! (Community Service Project) That was just tough though. All it was was cleaning all the water out of this well. We had a bucket and some rope. Let's just say that we have a lot of blisters from said rope. We worked for HOURS just hoisting bucket after bucket out of this well and only cleared out like 15 feet of water. We still had more to do, but had to go teach some lessons. I think they got some people from the ward to help out though. So that was fun. Makes showering just awesome with all these open wounds all over my fingers! Elder Ehlert showers with gloves on now because it hurts so bad! haha It's the funniest thing watching him go in there with his gloves on. 

Elder Ehlert and I are also trying to do some more street contacting. We try to just start off conversations naturally and stuff and it really works! One of my favorites is this: We were walking down the street a couple nights ago when I saw a guy and this girl sitting on the hood of a Jeepney with a guitar. Elder Ehlert saw me staring at the guitar and said, "Ask him if you can play it." So I did. Of course the first song I busted out was "I'm Sexy and I Know It" which was cause for some good laughs and, soon enough, I had a little crowd of like 15 people listening to me play and sing. It was so cool. Just like sitting on the hood of this car under a yellow streetlight while everything else was just pitch black with night. Just straight up one of those magical mission moments I'll never forget. I then started playing some "Never Know" by Jack Johnson and kept the really quite and gentle sounding guitar part going as Elder Ehlert started teaching our small crowd about the Restoration. We didn't have enough pamphlets on us to give to everyone! It was just so awesome. We said goodbye and continued on our way. Now everyone knows who we are on that street. It's like that everywhere though! All we have to do is one memorable thing on a street and EVERYONE will know our names on that one street. We have a few places like that where we'll just get mobbed with kids the instant we set foot on the street. I literally feel like a rock star. People will just yell our names from down the street and give us a big smile and a wave. I love the people here so much! 

The language is coming along okay I guess. Humihinga pa ako (I'm still breathing). I know it'll get better, but it's just hard to be so handicapped as a teacher. Oh well. Just know I'm doing really well! Sorry, I forgot to take pictures this week! It's so hard to remember to do that! My mind is just in other places all day. Thinking about our investigators and stuff. 

But ya, I love you all so much! Thanks for all the support and love you give me. I just want everyone to know that I'm so thankful that I can be a missionary! It's a wonderful calling and, even though it can be really hard at times, I know I'm doing what I need to be doing right now. Ingat po! (Take care)

Elder Krueger
P.S. It's really weird to hear my first name now.. Like it just feels wrong even calling myself Patrick hahaha sorta funny!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Second Week

As a mother it is hard to see this kitchen! I know they have an apartment check once a month... thank heavens!

This is the Laundry Room

Typical meal... lots of rice!

Peeling the shell off the Balut

It's truly hard to believe that I've already been here two weeks... Like it has been EIGHT weeks since I left on that airplane. I'm practically home already!

 Well, the Philippines is the same as usual. I'm probably frightened for my life AT LEAST once a day. I really thought driving could not be any scarier until I got on a bus. Like one of those BIG buses. They seriously drive like they're a motorcycle! Darting in and out of traffic. They should really have a sign that says, "Keep your arms and legs in the ride at all times" because that is what it feels like. Plus, if you stick your arm out the window you WILL get it knocked off! So ya, that's fun. I also just love the publicness of using the restroom here. That is, there is no restroom. You just stop on the side of the street and let loose. Needless to say, I've definitely tried that! 

I also had the opportunity to try Balut. If you don't know what that is it's just a half developed chicken egg that you want served to you warm. Pictures are included! 
"Do I really have to eat it?"

The heart was pretty hard and tasteless, but everything else was actually quite delicious! Once you got past how it looked and what it was it was really good! I accidentally broke the head open and the brain spilled out into my bowl though.. Got all of the egg shell on it and I didn't really feel like just eating the brain plain haha It just tastes like a really good hard boiled egg! I'll definitely be having it again. 

The Philippines is changing me... I even killed a cockroach the other day! Smashed him right where he stood! Or crawled I guess. Well, not really that either cause he was just squirming around on his back.. It was actually a pretty pathetic fight now that I think about it. He never even stood a chance. Or crawled a chance... the bugs are actually sorta fun. It's like a whack a mole game while you're eating dinner! 

The heat here is just about unbearable! They tell me this is the coolest time of the year as well.. It's just hard because we climb a hill for the entire day to get to our appointments. I guess it just means that we get to go downhill at night, but it's just awful in the afternoon to be climbing through muggy alley ways up these hills. 

The first P-Day last week was a lot of fun! My district is really cool and filled with really nice guys. We went out to lunch at this place called Pancake House and that was just delicious. I got this huge waffle fold over with a punch of peanutbutter, ice cream, m&ms, and chocolate syrup on the inside... So good.. The restaurants here are way backwards though! We went to Pizza Hut and it was like a NICE sit down restaurant! It was also like 10 times better than American Pizza Hut as well. 

Elder Ehlert is pretty sweet too. We are getting close and he is just a nice guy! We have a ton of deep talks about doctrine as I read about stuff in the Bible Dictionary. I really love it! He's really patient with me as I'm learning too. Ya, the language is not coming along as quickly as I'd have like it. German sorta just came naturally, but Tagalog is tough. I just can't seem to wrap my head around the concepts of the word order and really just the simplicity of it. It is like SO simple it's crazy. You just want to speak how you would in English but you say like 5 sentences in English just as once sentence in Tagalog if that makes any sense. I dunno, I'm sure it'll come soon enough. The people are what I live for though. I love just going through the streets and talking to people. Although the last few people we have OYMed (Open Your Mouth- just people we talk to on the streets) have all turned out to be preachers for other churches! We can't seem to catch a break! That and our investigators keep moving to Manila without telling us. THAT'S just wonderful. We'll like show up at their house, or shack more like, and the neighbors will tell us that they moved. Soooo ya, we're having a sorta hard time. But the investigators we have are all pretty golden! One of our investigators, Sonny F, asked us, "Is it alright if I invited another family to church this Sunday?" Elder Ehlert and I were just like "YES! That's totally fine! Do that as much as you want!" haha it was so great. He is just in love with this Gospel! 

So basically, all in all, I'm trying my best. I really want to do my best too. Sometimes it gets discouraging when I just have to stop in the middle of my sentence during a lesson and just think about a word for like 30 seconds, but I have a purpose to why I'm here. I just think of everyone counting on me here to learn this language and to teach them the gospel. And also about the people who are counting on me back home. Also, sorry for the weird day of getting this email. We had our PDay on Wednesday (today) this week because it's our temple day today. Should be back to the normal day for the next few weeks. 

MAN am I excited for Christmas! I don't even want anything. I'm just so happy I get to call home. Best present ever. Well, I love you all so much! I probably forgot a bunch about this week, but I'm writing in my journal every night so you can read it when I get home! I'll talk to you all in 5 days.

Praying for you always, 
Elder Krueger