So as promised I am giving this letter a little more time this week. Hopefully I have lots of good information to share. :)
So dad asked how do the Philippines sound? Haha. That is an awesome question, because it is kind of different. Every morning, (I have now finally learned to sleep through it) around 5:30 the bicycles selling food start riding up and down the street honking a little rubber horn that they have. I think the ones selling that early are mostly selling bread (pan de sal), it's pretty fresh and yummy but we prefer to buy it (the 2 times we have) at 7am. :) haha. Then as I am waking up at 6:15 I can hear the neighbors already out sweeping outside her house with a (walis tingting) stiff bristle broom. Most people here are very particular about their yards and are constantly out sweeping the gutters and streets and what not. :) Then usually around 7 or during personal study a man with a deep voice starts calling out "Isda"! but it sounds more like Eeeeees Duh. He is selling fish. He usually rides a bike with a cart attached and the different fish are in different bowls and plates. He has a pompom like object which he waves over the fish to keep the flies away as people choose which one to buy. Sometimes we here cocks crowing and we hear a lot of dogs barking (but that's normally when we are out proselyting. haha) We also here a lot of honking. Kind of like New York or something. People are just constantly honking for some reason or another. They also have traffic directors that blow whistles or yell out where the Jeepney is headed so that people walking by can know whether they want to get on it or not. The horns and whistles are what I hear right now (along with typing and cute little kids talking about computer games). So yep. That's a little of what the Philippines sound like.
What do they smell like? Well that depends on where you are. Right now out side our house smells really bad because there are 4 adorable kittens living under the car (non-functional) in our front area. They are cute but the poop smells awful, plus they have killed 5 little mice now that are also under the car. Haha. I'm just glad I can't see the rat that they must have tried to kill cause I found it's tail this morning while trying to clean up the poop. haha. Ay Nako! Sometimes you walk by a bread shop and that smells sooo good. Then you walk past the fish which I actually don't mind that smell now. Sometimes you walk by wet laundry and that smells so good too. (Mabango is the word for a good smell)
I haven't seen any lightening bugs where I'm at but I know they exist on Palawan. :) Worst pest.... honestly I would say mosquitos (lamok). I really despise those creatures and they are very hard to avoid. Also there are earth worms living in the walls of our bathroom and they love to come out and lounge around on the floor and walls and in the toilet of our bathroom. So they are kind of annoying, just cause they are gross and pretty much always there. Something I have learned about ants. If they are converging on something somewhat small, you just let `em alone. If you try to kill `em they scatter and it just gets frustrating. If you just let them do there work, they come, clean up whatever they found and then go back to wherever they came from. (we have had ants clean up dead earthworms and a dead cockroach for us. It's awesome!)
My companion has been a member since she was 8. Her mom served a mission but her dad didn't because he was a converted later. She is also the oldest and she has 4 younger siblings too! But she got a sister. :) She doesn't know how to cook that much but we are loving canned foods -haha- and the other sisters in the house are helping us learn better too. I really like Tinola (I have no idea if that is the right spelling). It has a vegetable in it sayote.. it seems to me like honey dew melon in color and texture (after cooked). Not really much flavor on its own but yummy in Tinola.
We had some great lessons this week and we have really seen the hand of the Lord in the work. One of our investigators said to us... I want to wait and be baptized until I am old so that I can be really clean. Haha. It was a funny moment but a really good lesson. She went on to explain her desire to know all the commandments of God so that she could try to follow all His commandments. She also expressed how she doesn't want to sin again after baptism and we were able to share with her the beauty of the Sacrament and the perfect plan that God has set up for His imperfect children if they will simply meet requirements (that all can meet) and then try our best. It was beautiful and the Spirit was so strong. I was so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ so that we can return to their presence.
Another fun moment was that our Relief Society president invited a family to attend church. We waited at the door for our investigators as she waited for the family she invited. It was fun to have someone to share in the joys and disappointments of missionary work. My companion kept assuring her that they were probably just running late. And sure enough, they showed up and it was a wonderful experience. So glad that she got to feel the joys of missionary work. I know that this is His work. I know Heavenly Father always looks out for us. It's amazing how even if the day is hard if you just keep pushing forward Heavenly Father often blesses us with an apointment that literally makes everything worth it! He is so merciful! Have a great week and enjoy His blessings!