Date

September 5, 2018

Area

Manila MTC

Companion

Elder Phan

First Week at PI MTC

Hey momma,

First off, we have much less timeto email here so i will not be able to write as much as i did in provo.

Its been fun so far but i am so tired. I am exhausted. Living the nocturnal life here is hard mixed with jet lag. I totally get the dizzy sensation and just a general sensation of weirdness.

The PI is beautiful but 100x more pour than i couldve imagined. Driving through the city was completely eye opening to just how crowded and pour the nation is. The city of manila has so many people and the driving is insane!! I have no idea how we didn't kill anyone on our way here. Everyone drives super close together. For example, in a two car lane they fit like 5. Motorcycles drive inches away from the cars on either side. I don't know how you would ever learn to drive in manila without killing yourself.
The weather here is actually quite fun, though the country smells different than anywhere i have ever been. A lot of very musky smells. The mtc campus is beautiful!! i hope i can upload pics after this but right now the computers are saying that google drive is blocked here. I hope not, that would make me sad. It is so green here at the mtc, I love it. Ouir rooms are also the nicest i've ever stayed in.
We changed districts and a lot of us changed companions. I have a new one, his name is elder phan. He is a super nice and easygoing guy and i cant wait to know him better. I imagine especially after this jet lag and time adjustment are over, we will be good friends. Our district is now all manila elders which is so much fun. I really like a lot of the guys who were from another district. They are all super focused on the spirit and their call as missionaries which is pretty refreshing honestly. I'm rooming with elder phan, elder lainhart, and elder litchfield which is fun! all great elders. We are all so pumped to enter the field, especially now that we are in the PI.
The food here has been all Filipino so far. Its quite good. We had cooked fish where we ate the entire fish (including the head) it was really good! we also eat a ton of rice and different meats. My personal favorite is what we ate during snack time yesterday (the mtc president insists that a specific snack time be included here which i thoroughly enjoy) we ate bilo bilo, which is a pudding like thing of tapioca, banana, sweet potato, and rice flour. It was so good!!! the bananas here are excellent.
I haven't had any spotted ones yet since i haven't found any but i ate 4 regular ones during lunch yesterday. The flavor is 10x better than the ones we have at home. Super tasty.
The people here are the kindest ever. We have four teachers. The bascos (they are parents to a four month year old named jaime), and then two others that i cant spell their names yet. I will get them for the next email. They are so great! they laugh so much and are so smiley. They laugh a ton at the tagalog jokes we make, mistakes, or bad pronunciation. Its the best. They are so full of energy and love more than any other culture i have ever met. Everyone here is so nice. The mtc president is hilarious and spunky and all the workers are super friendly and kind. The best part is when we teach our teachers here. They act 10000x better than our provo teachers. They full on dress up and act like the investigator that they are portraying. They also ask a ton of hard questions that our provo teachers didn't. Like, "why are you called elders"and just random stuff that we dont know in english. Man its a fun time.
I must admit the first couple days were rough for me. I was soooo tired and so i felt really lonely and strange. It was hard because everything here is foreign. THe food, people, environment, smell, everything. I was having a really hard time until i heard an awesome devotional about missionaries and how god gives us weakness to draw us unto him. The sister who spake (diana murphy) said that the devil will try to make us feel small and unprepared and to make us feel overwhelmed, but for us to remember that we are sons and daughters of God and that through him we can feel peace and take challenges head on. She said that while her son was on a mission she had a dream where her deceased ancestors told her that they were watching over her missionary. Awh
man the spirit was so strong during that part. I feel like i have had serious upliftment throughout my time here. I have been lifted out of some really hard times. I am sooo excited to get out there. This gospel is so wonderful. Without our savior we would be stuck in our misery, but because of him we can start anew. Isn't that a wonderful thought? because of him there is no trial too great. I love that.
In provo, all of my roommates tried an experiment that a speaker told us to do. They asked, "am i ready for my mission?" and then turned to a random scripture and found profound answers for them. When i was feeling low i tried that. I prayed to know if the spirit was with me and if i was heading in the right direction for my mission. I closed my eyes and fingered my way until i found the page and then pointed. When i opened my eyes I read the verse mosiah 18;26 which talks all about knowing what to say because of living worthily. OH MY WORD that was what i needed to hear. Its so amazing that the lord can answer prayers like that. That was the answer i needed to hear and I'm so grateful that he loves me enough to answer my little prayers.
I go to the temple after this!! the manila temple is so pretty!! they have a secret underground tunnel to it which is pretty cool! that and i hear that they have different clothe that they wear inside it that is only found here in the PI. Super cool!
I am also going to check out the store outside the mtc and buy some fruit! I am exchanging money for peso today too which is new and exciting.
Its so weird that its night for you. Every morning i wake up and realize that i am asleep during the duration of your school day. Thats crazy! its night time for you!
We go wednesday out into the city to place some b.o.m's thats going to be so much fun!! I'm super excited for that!
I will have tons more to email next week! i love you all so much! 'Im having fun out here! (and yes we have tp) Talk to you all soon! you all mean so much to me! I thought about you a lot when you were all going through the temple. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful family!
love
connor




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