Sunday, September 29, 2013

Never Fear...They Have Toilet Paper Here!

Let me start off by telling you all that I am okay! The typhoon didn't have an effect on my apartment because we are so high up in the mountains. Our teaching area, on the other hand, was destroyed! The water engulfed and carried away homes. In the very heart of our area, the water was up to 15-20 feet! We have been doing service all the time. We can't really teach anyone because they are all cleaning what is left of their homes and belongings. It was so sad to walk through the area and just see everyone's lives in total shreds. People have just thrown all of their belongings out in the street for trash pick up. I can't imagine going through something like that and it blows my mind how blessed we were to be safe and bored in our apartment while so many people were losing everything. 

I have come to realize that I haven't told you much about the Philippines, or the "Peens" as I like to refer to them. I'm still trying to figure out this whole read and reply to all my email in 30 minutes thing so this will have to be quick!

First and foremost... they have toilet paper here!! My area is more urban-ish so I guess toilet paper is more common. We always have toilet paper in our apartment and we don't really go to the bathroom anywhere else. There is this little bum-sprayer as I have so graciously named it. It is basically like one of those sprayers that are sometimes on kitchen sinks. It's really powerful and it's purpose is to get anything and everything off after you take care of your bathroom business. One morning my companion used it while she was wearing yoga pants and she had the biggest wet spot on her bum. I was cracking up because I then knew what was taking her so long in the bathroom! I have used it once but prefer good ol' TP although I have to admit its quite refreshing!

We get around on jeepneys and trikes here. A jeepney is like a bus. Inside are two long benches along either side where people sit facing each other. They pack so many people inside, it's insane in the membrane!! Rarely will I have room to move my elbows without hitting the person next to me. People just pass their money up to pay and if there is change, the driver just passes it back to the closest person who passes it down until it gets back to you. Jeepneys are an awesome place to talk to people because they have to listen to you until their stop. It's great! It's literally a captive audience! I usually only talk to people about the church if there isn't any music playing but it's been a goal of mine to talk to more strangers so the jeepneys will be a great place to start! We only ride the jeepneys once or twice a day to get from our apartment to our teaching area. Whenever we aren't walking we take trikes. Trikes are like cabs. They take you right where you need to go but cost more than the jeepneys. A trike consists of a motorcycle and a large, covered sidecar with a small bench inside. They fit two people comfortably and three people uncomfortably. If there are four of us, someone has to ride on the back of the motorcycle. They're pretty fun and a fast way of getting where we need to go but they try to rip us off because I'm white! My companion is American, too, but she is Tongan so they don't see her as a big dollar sign walking around. Once a driver tried to charge us 75 pesos for a ride that is normally 20-25 pesos! We eventually talked him down, but as we were walking away my companion said, "Sister you need to get a tan!!" It's true! I look so pale here!! And I'm always a hot mess!! I mean I've always been somewhat of a mess, but here its amplified times 1,000!! I don't really care though, and the people don't mind, or are just too polite to say anything. Either way I just throw my hair up and go to work!

I love missionary work! I had my fist baptism yesterday and it was amazing! Her name is Sister Z and she is 9 years old. I'm so glad that I was able to build a relationship with her and teach her before she was baptized. It would have been cool to have had a baptism my first week but I think this one meant a lot more to me than someone I barely knew would. I could feel the Spirit so strongly during her baptism and she was so happy! She was smiling the whole time and I really felt like she knew the importance of her baptism and the affect it would have on her life. We have eight other investigators right now so I'll keep you updated on their progress..

I know that this work it true and I know we are making difference in peoples lives. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and wouldn't be anywhere else.

I love you all!!
Sister Miller

President Querido posted the following pictures taken on Sept. 27, 2013, with the caption:
"One of the most beautiful museums in the country was damaged by the recent flooding in Olongapo City. Missionaries conducted CSP to restore a little bit of the beauty to the place."

Notice their brooms 
Scooping sludge

Still smiling
Lunch break

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