This Blog is about Elder Hennessey's two year mission, in the Philippines Baguio Mission, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Monday, September 19, 2016

It’s been wonderful hearing from Tiegue now that he’s in his first area…to know for sure where your children are brings a bit of peace! Philippines is only 15 hours ahead, not 18 like I put in Sept 9ths blog. Haven't received any different address for letters, safest bet for letters is to email and he'll see it on his next pday. 

This missionary might be Tiegue's new companion Elder Gamboa, but I'm guessing.

So, I am officially in the mission field. The Philippines is so different from America in every way imaginable. The weather, the measurements, the houses, the culture, the people, and the food. But its interesting, and fun. I learn something new every day, and become better at the language too. I've found that in lesson I can contribute quite a lot. But in conversations before and after the lesson I am lost, because I don’t know the vocab, and can’t even understand the people because they speak so fast, mumbled, or soft that I can’t hear them well. But I'm trying. Sometimes I'm hard on myself because I can’t speak yet, or feel like I'm wasting my time here just being my companion's shadow, but then I remember I've only been here for 5 days.

A returned missionary here told me that reading the Tagalog Book of Mormon side by side with the English copy is very helpful; because you learn sentence structure, vocabulary and can understand better. I've started, and surprised myself with how much I can understand, even if I read for an Hour and only get through 10 verses... Tagalog is longer than English, because a lot of the words are long and there’s simply more of them. He also said that I would learn how to speak the old, or "deep," language, kind of how people in American don’t speak like they do in the Bible.

My Area is awesome, its pretty small but there are so many houses and people crammed everywhere. The people here are really so nice. I'm happy to be able to meet so many people and learn about their lives, its good I like it because I have 22 more months of it. We are lucky to have a lot of dinner appointments. Usually we will walk into a house, share a scriptural thought, say a closing prayer. I'm not always sure what we are doing because of the whole language thing, but then the next thing I know they are bringing out a table and we start eating. Every meal consists of rice. Every meal. Rice. Every. Meal. But its ok, they have a lot of good food here, most everything.  They like to ask about my home, what we eat, the weather, and how it is different. 

One thing I was not expecting was so many cats and dogs literally everywhere. They're not technically pets, how we think in America, but they will sometimes have a couple that they allow to live in the house. We visited a family with a new puppy. They named it Elder Walsh after Elder Gamboas last companion. He was from England and, white. Its a simple place here, they tell it how it is.

Elder Gamboa is aight (probably means all right). It's hard to know someone well after 5 days, but he is a nice guy. He's been out 3 months, which means he just finished his own training before he was assigned to train. He was also assigned to be the district leader for our area. He says its way too much responsibility for a newbie like him but he gets by. He speaks pretty good English. He helps me in Tagalog and I help him in English.

Most of the people here speak some English. I was surprised when our church meeting was all in English, besides half of the talks given by 15ish year olds. Sister Dennis and I were asked to bear our testimonies, shocker, it went well though. The church building is so hot, sitting for 5= hours in various meetings before and after is rough. I made a new game called find the gecko. Usually in the evenings all the walls have geckos on them. So in sacrament I was nonchalantly looking around and sure enough there was one in the corner. Its the small things that keep missionaries entertained.

The work is not easy, and we don’t always want to go out, or study for 4 hours each morning. But I know that there are families that need to hear about the gospel. About the blessing of Eternal Families. Whenever I testify in a lesson about eternal families I know that they are feeling the spirit and want what we have. Thanks to all my friends in Portland who supported me in my mission. I love you all!

TO FAM I miss you guys all day every day. I love you soo much, really, 22 months is a long time and it feels like I will be doing this until I die. But I love you and can’t wait to see you again :) <3

Notice the division between the standing missionaries (two groups, one light and one brown).

Now they're starting to mingle!

Elder Gamboa (maybe), Elder Hennessey, Sister Dennis, Sister ?

Tiegue mentioned this  bus in Sept 9ths blog. Notice the chandelier overhead!

1 comment:

  1. That other sister is Sister Esplin. I love her to death!