Well another week has flown by here in Tanza. I’m not sure if I’ll be here for another transfer or not, but I’ve had some requests to write about how the daily life is like; how we get places, how the apartments are, food, stuff like that. So I’ll start at transportation.
If you saw the last “Bourne” series movie (The one without Matt Damon), think about the last scene when they are getting chased on a motorcycle. Yeah, it’s like that. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch it! We get around on Jeepneys and Tricycles. Tricycles are way cool. I want one to drive back in the states. It’s a motorcycle with a sidecar, but it’s all enclosed. They remind me of bees. They just drive back and forth calling out to people if they need a ride. All you do is wave to them and hop on and tell them where you need to go! Depending on how many roads you have to turn on to/take/the length of the road, or density of traffic, they come up with a price. haha They other ones are Jeepneys and Mini-buses.
They are more direct and carry quite a few people. They usually wait at some designated areas, but if there is somebody standing on the side of the road they will veer over and stop for them. Also, to get it to stop you press a little button above the seat OR yell out, “Bara po!” Which means, “please stop!” It’s pretty crazy sometimes, but usually only costs around 9-10 pesos!
The apartment that I’ve been in for the past 5 months has been really nice! At first it was a little bit dirty, but over time we’ve really cleaned it up. The only problem is the water pressure. It’s horrible.. and now that we have four missionaries in there, it’s crucial to have water in the morning!! But it’s okay, we’ve figured out that we can’t flush the toilets, turn on the sink, or use the faucet outside if somebody is showering. It makes it difficult to wash dishes, do laundry, or use the bathroom downstairs… But it works out! We cook on a camping stove hooked up to a propane tank. We have this awesome water filter that has three cycles of filtration before it comes out. It’s really safe and I guess was invented by a member of the church or something. Anyway, we have to change it every month or else the water starts tasting funny!! We have a couch and two chairs that used to be homes to our pet mice, but we got rid of them!! We don’t have a microwave, but we do have a toaster oven. I usually have toast and some really good home-made peanut butter from a sister in the branch here. I’ll miss the peanut butter when I leave this area.
This week we visited a family a few times in a place called Amaya 4. They haven’t been coming to church for the past few years and didn’t seem like they would ever come back. But my companion and I learned an important lesson, it’s all about the attributes of Christ. That is what this work is centered on. If we don’t do our best do be like Christ in all things that we do, we aren’t truly representatives, which defeats the purpose of us being here. As we practiced diligence and faith, we are seeing this family find joy again in the gospel. They’ve been attending church too and we can see the joy in their faces when they are able to restore past friendships and gain new friends.
People are so nice here in the Philippines. It’s amazing the amount of humility and faith that they have. Their love for their Savior is amazing. Continue in diligence, continue in prayer, continue in your reading the scriptures. That’s what it takes! We need to know the foundations and mysteries of the gospel, and to find that we need to be diligent in all that we do. Our life was given to us by our Heavenly Father, show that you love Him through your actions!
I miss you all. I hope you are all doing well. Read the Book of Mormon. It’s true!