well its yet another day in sunny manila

well hello there! all is well here in Manila. elder sorensen and i continue to experience things in this area that he hasn't experienced in his whole mission! ok, lets get to the interesting stuff first. so exceptional news, we have an investigator with a baptismal date!!!!!!!! he's pretty much perfect. he accepts everything we teach him and ask questions that indicate to us that he truly wants to know the truth! its way exciting. his name is Dondon and he's 19. we hope to baptize him on 7/26 before elder sorensen heads home.
ok, so some of the other interesting stuff. so on thursday night we were doing planning and i look behind me and there's a rat about the size of a big potato in our apartment. i turn to e sorensen and it has already gotten into our room and onto my bed and pillow. we tried to catch it with two halves of a fan but it evaded us and made it outside.
on friday night we were heading into part of our area to go see some investigators and tract, when this big korean looking dude stops us in the middle of the street and asks us what we are doing there. we tell him, well actually elder sorensen tells him, that we're missionaries and long story short this guy is a pastor for some born again church and he bawaled(forbid) us to go in there. we kinda told him we're not out to change peoples beliefs, we just want to share a message. we asked if that was alright and he didn't answer so we just walked away, it was pretty funny. latter that night we were planning again and i feel something run across my toes. so i freak out and that freaks sorensen out, turns out to be a cockroach. so we sprayed some alak(alcohol) on it and it died. so those are kind of the fun things that happen here in the philippines! don't you wish you were here?
anyway for my general well being im doing well. im still not a big fan of rice, so i don't eat to much. its ridiculously hot here all the time and sweating is a constant activity. one night this week we didn't have a fan in our room because we gave it to the teaching assistants that stayed at our apartment that night. so that was one of the worst nights ever. i wake up at like 3am and look at my clock that has the temperature its like 97* in our apartment!
anyway, enough of my complaining. it was a pretty good week none the less. we taught 33 lessons this week and had 1 person at sacrament meeting. we're having real trouble having investigators keep commitments and come to church. but that should improve this week because the ward is going to really step it up and help us! what a difference going to church makes! we didn't go last week because of the typhoon. but we've got excellent members that are really willing and ready to help. they've already talked to us about teaching their friends. so hopefully that'll increase baptisms. but nevertheless we continue to work hard. we keep trying to find and teach; we've got high hopes for some. but even we've got those high hopes, we sometimes are disappointed. what we've been hoping to do is make daily contact with our investigators and by doing so they drop themselves rather than us having to do it. its kinda disheartening when that happens, but the work moves on.
i gave a talk yesterday in sacrament meeting. if you've been complaining about giving a talk, try giving one in another language thats all kinds of awesome. anyway i gave the joseph smith story and told them that we need to know that joseph smith is a prophet of god and once we know that we should share that knowledge with others. hopefully they understood, elder sorensen said it was good, but he understands what im getting at so im not sure how it was. so thats all the excitement for now. talk to you next week!
mahal ko kayo
elder b


Its really HOT here!

Well hello everyone from sunny Manila! All is well here. I arrived after a very nice 13 hour flight to Taepai, which wasn't too bad because I slept for 8-10 hours; probably closer to 10. I was surprised at the leg room, way to go EVA. Anyway we landed and had to say our goodbyes to the other members of our district; it was sad, but they re off to be excellent missionaries. The AP's picked us up and we headed to the mission home. You would not believe the traffic and driving here! Take Boston, New York, Utah, and any other bad metropolitan area in the US and you'll not even get close to Manila. Its pretty intense. Anyway Vaka, Adamson, and I arrived at the mission home and President Lesuer met us with a hug and a smile and fed us lunch. We talked and he and his wife are very nice. After lunch we took quick showers and got ready cause we were going out on splits. I went to Makati with the elders that were working there. Btw I'm in the signal village 2 area, same ward in the pasig stake. Anyway...being here has changed my perspective, I've seen things here in the last 5 days that I haven't seen in my whole life! We went out to teach and it was pouring down rain...Manila knows how to rain, Washington has nothing on Manila. We talked to people and went to an appointment, which I helped with my broken Tagalog. I just asked questions and the people here are very nice. This family we visited had 7 or 8 kids and lived in a shack that's about 10X10...maybe. There is some intense poverty here, but the people are amazing. We got back to the mission home and collapsed into bed. We got up the next morning at 5 so we could be ready at 6 when the Filipino missionaries arrived. We ate breakfast and had a little devotional with president. Then we were assigned our companions and areas. My companion is Elder Sorensen and he is pretty much all that I wanted in a trainer. He lived in Canada and has been out for 23 months now, so I'm his last companion. Hes amazing and we work well and hard together. Its way fun. We're shot gunning this area which means that we are both new to the area. I think it had been closed for a while so we reopened it. Its been pretty good we have been able to teach 12 lessons so far and have many more that we hope we can teach. We spend a lot of our time finding more people to teach. Its kinda hard cause a lot of the time i don't know what people are saying and wouldn't know what to say to them anyway, but I'm working on it. We've had some really good lessons thus far. Last night we were out finding and we stopped by a house and the man immediately let us in and we taught him the first lesson. It was really good. We left him the BoM and he said he will read it and is really excited to come to church. The night before we found this older couple that let us in right away and we again taught the first lesson, also really good. The Nanny was so excited and wanted to know when we were coming back to teach more. We have high hopes for both these families, our goal is to have a least one baptism before Elder Sorensen leaves. Yesterday there was a signal 3 typhoon, I'm not quite sure what that means but it was raining really really hard. The streets turned to rivers that were over ankle deep. Taxis that drove by had water up to mid hub cap, we didn't go out and work till after 5 when the water had drained mostly. A lot of houses were really flooded. The older couple had about 2 feet of standing water in there house, but our apartment is fine. We just had a little water come in, but nothing to bad. Elder Sorensen and I live with Elder Tupil and Elder Ramirez, both pinoy. We have a pretty big apartment. Elder Sorensen and I share a bunk bed, I make him get on top. We currently have to buy filter water just down the street cause our water filter is broken. We go through 6 liters a day at our apartment. We keep all food in the fridge because of all the other friends that live in the apartment with us (ants, mosquito's, cockroaches) its good times. Its weird to eat rice every meal, but I'm adjusting. I think my body has accepted it and is moving on. Every night I don't sleep with a blanket or sheet or anything cause it is waaaaaaay too hot. Its in the 80's at night and as you can guess we don't have air con, or a dishwasher or a washing machine. I have gained a great appreciation for washing machines, this morning as I washed my clothes by hand. Luckily theres a laundry place nearby and I can have my pants and Polo's washes for cheap. I just have to hand wash my garments, which let me tell you, goood times. Anyway lets see...oh transportation, its fun. The main ways of transport are jeepneys, tricycles, buses, taxis and of course walking. Riding in a tricycle is especially fun for me especially as I'm so tall. Sitting on the back of the motorcycle, I can't sit up straight cause the cover is not tall enough. My head and neck are usually at some weird angle and its fun as people stare and point. Its quite an interesting experience to be the tallest person around. Everyone stares at me, I stand out a bit in the sea of brown. Well I think that's all for now, hopefully next week I'll have more exciting news like people with a baptismal date or something. But who knows, were just working hard and trying to be as obedient as possible and leaving the rest up to the lord.
Hope all is well.
mahal ko kayo,
elder b



i finally got my flight plans on friday!!!!!! alright here's the plan i leave next monday at 9:30pm on delta flight 9735, but before that we leave the mtc around 5:30 or 6. so i'll be calling home before we leave for LA. we get to LA around 10:30 and are chillin till 1:30am when our flight leaves for Taipei (EVA Airways flight 15), for that 14 or 15 hour flight! we arrive in Taipei at 6:30 ish on the 18th. We leave Taipei for manilla (EVA flight 271) at 9:30 am and get there at around noon. so thats our grand adventure to the feild, im freaking stoaked!!!!!!!!! so that's the main excitement for the week. only 7 more days!


two more to go!!!!

yeah so this week was pretty quiet, not too much going on. were pretty well into the grind. they did throw a fork into our happiness and made us move buildings, we are now on the 5th floor of a different building; it sucks...sooooooooo many stairs and kasama ko wont let me take the elevator. anywho i wont have a problem seeing the back of him when we leave for the phillipines in two weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!! so im pretty excited about that! we get our travel plans on friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im pretty excited. so on next monday ill let know when and where im flying to, most likely slc-lax-taipai-manila like everyone else; but we'll see. so other than that, thats my excitement. im ready to get out of here. i am so sick of the food (eating has become a chore), being inside all day (i'm sure thatll change when i get to manilla), and my kasama. im really not having christ-like feelings for him. mainly my feelings are to strangle him or push him down the stairs or chuck him out the window, im not picky. anyway just two more weeks. so basically the language is progressing, slowly but surely. its just hard. so thats about all ive got to say. hope everything is well.
mahal ko kayo
elder b