Holy cow I can't believe I am finally in the Philippines now! I don't even know where to begin. I guess we can start with the travel. We woke up at like 4:30 A.M Monday morning then flew to Seattle then Japan then got to Manila late Tuesday night and stayed in one of the nicest hotels they have. It was so nice to be able to talk to a lot of friends and my family during my layovers. Glad to hear everyone is doing good. Also shout out to my homies that were able to visit me at the temple on Sunday!Wednesday we flew from Manila up to Tuguegerao then took a bus back down to Cauayan for our meeting for the transfer meeting to find out our companions. As Elder Robley described it, it is kind of like the NBA draft. A name goes up on the screen and then the companion is announced.
My trainer's name is Elder Merza and he is from here in the Philippines. San Balas I think he said but I don't really know where that is. He has been out for 5 months. He is pretty good at English but I usually have to ask him to repeat himself. We are serving in the Cabarroguis area of the Santiago zone. He has been very helpful in assisting me to learn the language and the culture. He is great with the people as well. A few fun facts about Elder Merza: 1-He has a strong dislike for dogs. Often times when we see them while walking, he will throw rocks or swing his bag at them. It is pretty funny I must say. 2-He does not seem to believe me that I like rice. Despite my Japanese background and the fact that every time we eat rice, I assure him that I do in fact like it, he still is not convinced and asks me again the next time we eat it.
Elder Merza and me
It's only us in our apartment and from what I have gathered, it is actually pretty nice. We have a bedroom, a room for study, both of pretty good size, as well as a large kitchen area. We have to use a bucket to shower and flush the toilet but that's not too bad.
Another one of our main ways of transportation.
Usually fits 5 people, up to 8 or so when people sit on top