Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22, 2013

Urdaneta Area

SO  on my last letter I had a lot on my mind and I couldn't really focus. This week was better but I still got homesick regularly. I am trying to focus on the work and turn out like Christ did. Always thinking of others and never about myself but to tell ya the truth that is harder than I thought, especially when all I want is to see my family. But I know it will get easier.

Tell Katie and Matthew I love them A LOT and Mom I am so grateful for everything you did for me in packing. I got to the Philippines and would find myself thinking. Dang I wish I had some random thing, Then I would go and look in that huge pack of stuff labeled Philippines and it was all there. Everything. I actually kind of got teary eyed because of how little I had appreciated everything that you were doing! You really are the Best MOM in the WORLD! I really do appreciate everything that you did and are doing for me. And Dad, thank you so much for being an awesome example for me and always being so kind and loving and for your words of encouragement and motivation. You really made this week a lot easier. You really are the best DAD in the WORLD!  I love you and miss you all!

So this week started out well with some motivation from my family! Me and my companion Elder Moreno are really getting along well. He is from California but his family has moved to Farmington, Utah since he left on his mission.  I am in the Urdaneta Area right by the mission home and we have been having a lot of success finding investigators and we feel a lot of them have a ton of potential!

Everything I have heard about the people here is true. They are so nice and especially the members of the ward! Whenever one sees us they always want us to come in to their house and just drowned us in food! Its awesome…but it sometimes wastes time that we could be using to find more precious souls. Even non members they always let you in and they will always want to give you a Marienda which is like a little snack. They are so humble.

It is amazing to me that all these people that live in houses with dirt floors with card board for beds and have absolutely nothing are SO happy! I think back to my house and feel so bad about things that I complained about. We are so blessed to live in the country we live in and I am so blessed to have a house back in Utah that can protect us from the elements and be a safe haven. I have already learned so much and know I will continue to learn more. 

On a funny note but also not so funny but still pretty funny. We hit a drunk guy. We were taking a tricycle taxi on our way to our Barangays which is like a neighborhood. We were driving and this drunk guy started to walk into the way. The trike driver honked and the guy paused, looking the other way, so our trike driver kept going and then at the last second the drunk guy walked into the road and we hit him!

I didn't see what happened after we passed because I was in the side car. We stopped, then me and my companion got out and checked on the guy. Some people dragged him out of the road. I thought we had killed him!   In my mind I was like “I just watched a guy die!” But then he started to breath and a few minutes later came to. He woke up and started yelling UUUULLLLLOOOO. ULO which is head in Tagalog. He just got knocked out really good! Some people helped him stand up and then an ambulance came a little later. It was insane! I was glad he was okay. 

So, I will send pictures next week.
And a plus!!!  I now weigh 161!!!! Yay! I gained 10 pounds! Crazy, I know!

Well that is all for this week. Bye. Have a great week!!!
Elder Ball

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 16, 2013 - After the first week in the Philippines

September 16, 2013

So.....The Journey of a couple 18 year olds to the Other Side of Earth.

The plane rides were fine except it was a 15 hour flight but it was okay. We arrived in the Philippines around 1030 at night but didn't get to the hotel we stayed in until 12. Then we had to wake up at 4 so we could make it to our mission home in Urdaneta by 2 in the afternoon. The first 2 days we had training from our Mission President but on Friday we received our Companions. My companion is Elder Moreno. He is awesome and really is helping me with the language which now seems like it is impossible, but that is not bothering me. I know it will come....hopefully haha.

As far as home sickness goes, it is in full force and seems to never leave me. I don't think I have ever prayed this hard. I know this is what I am supposed to be doing but I never realized how much I love my family. But that’s something I am grateful for. I needed this mission to realize how much I love and care about each member of my family. I think about you guys and how I was so bad at expressing my love for all of you!

I'm fine once we get out of our house but in the morning, in studies, I try to focus on investigators and the work but I always find myself thinking about all of you and how you guys are doing. I didn't think it would be that hard but the first day I woke up in the Philippines I think I realized I wasn't going to see you guys for 2 years. I know I will see you guys again, it just seems like it is so far away. I hope it gets better and I am able to focus on the work more and forget myself, but right now I am really having a hard time doing that. I need some advice from anyone on what they did in these beginning stages of the mission. 

As far as the work goes it is okay, I put in my little bit that I can say but it’s really frustrating when you feel the promptings of what to say but it is hard to say or they don’t understand what you said. I knew it would be hard just not this hard.

I love the people! They are so nice and offer so much. I have already had some food that was pretty nasty but my companion said it was good after you have been here for 1 year haha. It was this like cold rice jell-o thing but it didn't taste like rice or any kind of jell-o. It was like the consistency of rotten milk but I ate it and was okay.

I just need to immerse myself into the culture and tell myself that everything is good haha.

Well, hopefully I will have more next week and it won’t be full of my homesickness. haha

-       Elder Ball