Monday, 17 November 2014

Dear Family,

It is going great here. The people are so awesome, I absolutely love them all. I didn't know how much I could actually love my investigators till now. Its nuts, I want them all to be baptised sooooo bad!!! 

That is so cool that the Yadernuks visited your ward, I miss our ward. My branch is awesome, I love them all, but we have barely any priesthood and no one can sing and the girl on piano doesn't play a single sharp or flat so it sounds super bad....:'(. But that's alright. Don't worry about the rats, funny story actually. So I got grandmas spider traps yesterday, put them out, well an hour later we here something noisy. We go out of our room and a rat is stuck on i killed it, so the traps work. There was a giant spider on the trap and the rat was trying to eat it, so it is working great. We found another rat hole in the process too.

Yup! Kinda Gross!

I miss the cold so much though! I want snow, lol. 

Ok, so Zach is getting so old!!!! Tell him I am proud of him, and that having the priesthood is super cool. I remember I didn't really understand the priesthood quite like I do now, and it is super cool for him. And I heard Joey is getting baptised too, wow i am missing a lot. I can't believe Joey is that old either! its so weird how much everyone will have grown up by the time I get back. Tyler, dang has he sent his papers? How excited is he? I really want his email!! and Danny's too!!! and their families too! lol

Holy smokes I just sent Sterling a letter. I hope he is doing alright. Lots of missionaries come home from his mission because on health problems where he is. I bet that is super tough, at least Sterling can fully focus on the work. I bet he misses home though. Dang though, only two letters, that's gotta be super hard. I'm excited to call you at Christmas.  That call will be exciting, but it is gonna be only like 30 minutes I think sadly. That's what the white hand book says, so we shall see what happens. I will find out more. 

I have killed two snakes, seen hundreds dead on the road, and seen a black and yellow cobra. Grandmas sticky traps she sent have caught me two rats, which I have killed, plus that big first one I killed. And We keep finding scorpions, so it definitely is an adventure, but i sorta love it, hahah, cause i can handle it and it spices things up. I have more, our room is cozy, lol, Two beds and two desks, and a meter by meter of walking space, lol. and a fan in that space.  

So, I am getting you a small little nativity set that is about 700 pesos, or under 20 dollars here made out of pearl and stuff and it is all natural from here. Also, I can get a Nativity set carved. So would you be interested in that. I am still looking into it, elder Durham's mom wants one really bad so we have been searching and have finally found a guy. So if you do, what price range in dollars and what carved figures would you want? 

How are things with dad and school? How is all the family doing.   I miss Christmas decorations and snow a lot here, its rare to see that stuff, since everyone is poor and there is no snow...I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...haha, well, not sure if i am putting on weight or not right now, but everything fits me still. Anyway I love you all a ton.  Tell everyone if they wont to write me to please do it.  I will make time to write to anyone who wants to write to me.   Anyway love you all a ton, talk to you next week. 

Elder Schnoor

Horned Beetle
 I got invited to a Birdthday party at a wealthier home.  The food was really good!


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

November 3 2014

Well thank you. I have had a pretty good p day today, it is 3:30 in the afternoon right now. So today we went to go eat at wok express at the mall, well when I got there my zone leader put a bag on my head and walked me in, then i got a surprise birthday party sorta. The whole zone was there and sang, then a bunch had to leave but my closer friends stayed and we all ate cake too! It was pretty cool. Oh, and that Halloween candy will last way longer. If it doesn't, i don't know who else decided to eat it because I ate a ton of it....sorry bout that, same with milk. Is there lots of food and milk and cheese these days or has Zach helped keep that stuff gone, haha. So actually there is one thing i would love love love. On they just got pocket sized of all the standard works, bibles, b of m, p of great price,d&c and you can order it for 15 dollars and you can have it sent to me here in the Philippines in two weeks. So that would be super cool, you need a credit card. Also the book of mormon manual is super great too and you can get stuff rebound here with anything on it. Oh and i will love all you gave me, I honestly don't need much for Christmas or my birthday. 

Hahaha Christmas decorations already?  Decorate and tell me all about it. Everyone here starts celebrating Christmas in September, the malls play Christmas music all the time. but there is no snow and everyone is super poor so decorations are lacking here.  Just do what you can, I’m dying about the shows I am missing it, haha. And I feel tons of love from home, its great. And I can feel the Savior's love too, that's not even a struggle. Just keep writing me. And packages are meh, they are great but the mission is my time to serve the Lord and serve the people here, and that's the focus. Everything else doesn't matter. I have everything I need, and i will let you know. Just remember I love you and I am being watched over because I am serving my Heavenly father. I can honestly say I am happy, but it isn't easy. Its a huge sacrifice and everyday is work, but I am given strength and I know I am doing what I am supposed too. I love  you lots too!!! 

Elder Schnoor

October 27 2014

The mission is going great. I feel like I am growing so much, it is awesome to be able to be here.  We have lots of investigators. If you were to total up the amount of lessons we should be teaching to each of our progressing investigators and all that, we should be teaching 48 lessons a week. But that is a ton, and with the way it is working now we only get half that because the times when everyone can be taught overlap a lot so we might need to split our area in the future. In other words, me and elder Durham are finding lots and our area is pretty ready to receive the gospel.  Every kid we pass calls us Americano or Joe and always either asks over and over for money or they ask "what is your name?"  They do it to get a laugh mostly. And they follow you in packs everywhere too. 

So a little about one family. We were tracting one day and found this family. They were super nice. They have lots of kids, and so we taught them. The next time we saw them we went to the ladies sisters house and taught even more. Well they have really been progressing, but the problem is she wants her kids to be mormon, she keeps saying it is for the kids. Anyway, she decided to sneak away from her family and come to church without telling her husband. She loved it, but she got home and her husband found out and got mad. So we couldn't see them for a week. Well that passed, and they let us come back. The other day they invited us over to her sisters birthday party. They roasted a giant pig, had crab, chicken, noodles, rice, literally everything that is super good and expensive. Her sister is actually pretty rich for a Filipino. So that was delicious, so good. So they are a big focus for us right now, they are so nice and awesome. 

That is such an awesome conversion story you heard in Stake Conference. I love lots of the stories too, they are great. Lots of missions are all about the seed planting. Luckily the Philippines is considered a harvesting mission. 

It is so weird not having an ounce of snow here, just hot hot hot. I really do miss the snow and cold.  Some of the things i miss the most besides people like you guys is a washing machine and hot shower. Laundry is the biggest pain, it takes so much time having to hand wash everything all the time. I am never free to do anything. So so busy. But I am learning quite a bit.

I love you guys so much. My mission is already going pretty quick. 
Oh one more thing. I walked into a room today, and heard something above my head and to the side. Well I turned, and in the corner was a big black tail with yellow stripes things on it crawling into our ceiling. It was big from what I saw, and loud. WE talked to our landlord, and he said it was definitely poisonous. But it probably left after about an hour because there probably wasn't any food for it. We honestly have had everything known in our house. I have given several blessings now too, two this week, one to elder Durham. I gave a bunch in the MTC to people too.   I am getting better at the language though. I can start to understand people now. And it is crazy how people just seem to pop out out of know where too. Bohemian Rhapsody came on the neighbours radio while we were teaching a guy the other day. Brought up so many memories. But anyway, love you all a lot. Talk to you again next week. 

Love Elder Schnoor

October 22, 2014

Dear home,

So this week is transfer PDay is on Wednesday. It is back to Monday again next week.
Ok, when I was sick. Just a high fever. And the cough was sorta nasty, the only thing was i just haven't had a fever in years so that just made me quite tired. But I am great now.  Elder Durham is fine, he has a nasty cough but that's it, he is hopefully gonna get better soon. Sister tanner prescribed some antibiotics to me when I was sick. It is so funny here, she told us what to get and when to take it, so we went to get it from a pharmacy. The one in the mall wouldn't let us, so we went to a place in my area and they gave it to me without a real prescription. Its more like if I have the money, I can get whatever. So literally anything they have I can buy, hahaha. 

So less than a year ago. Bohol had a very terrible earthquake, it was big and destroyed a lot, 7.2 on the Richter scale. It was huge here, lots of people died too. So right after Elder Anderson of the twelve came and then left a blessing that they would be able to rebuild and get better here. Well, literally 3 weeks after the earthquake, that giant super typhoon, biggest ever recorded in history hit the island over from us, where half of my batch from the MTC went to serve. It was supposed to come here and hit Bohol too, but Bohol for some reason had low pressure and so it pushed the typhoon up over bohol and it hit the top bit of Cebu island and hit up that way, missing Bohol. So that was a crazy miracle. 

I can get a machete home, I think I just need to send it. I almost bought a taser, a huge one, but i decided not to waste the money. 

It freaks me out about Kaden and your guys driving in a bigger city. I hate it, stuff can happen a lot easier now. Be careful, but that's great about you being able to get to places, lol. So I probably wont email next Monday until a few hours later. I email usually around 10:30 am here but we are gonna probably do it afternoon next Monday. Love ya


Elder Schnoor 

I guess I can write a little more.
I love my new littel cousin. I now have three little babies I can't see. You still haven't sent me any of my new little cousins, and I want more. I like pictures too.  How is the kids and school going?

I am holding up great. Definitely the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and it is so hard with the language, culture shock, new schedule, and the mental stress, especially about the investigators. We have a bunch, and it is super hard because I immediately learn to love them and I see so much potential in them, but when they don’t progress or something happens. Or they refuse to understand or do something. It is tough stuff, I am drained every day. But I am growing so much, and realizing stuff about me and others. I do love this mission, and it is worth it to bring as many people as I can to the gospel. It is so hot here, I am about as used to it as I can get. The humidity is killer, and the sun. I have been blessed though about that, because I have only gotten a small sunburn once and besides that I have not gotten any, and i don’t use sunscreen really, lol, no time to put it on. I sweat a lot, darn heat. I actually haven't had balute. We don't have it in Balilihan really, so i haven't had a chance. I will eat it though. I can't believe how much rice I eat though. I eat about 2 cups a day, and mostly rice. I eat oatmeal for breakfast, pansit, beans, rice and soup for my other meals. Rice in each meal. And they give us some really good vitamins. one thing I wouldn't mind you sent would be calcium pills though. I don't' get much of that and these next couple years are the last years my body will add that to my bones. 

Love Elder Schnoor

October 12 2014

How has your last week been? So good news, I got rid of the rat. I caught it, then chopped off its it is dead. Quick death. So we will see if there are any more living in our house. We saw a huge centipede the other day. The Filipino's are quite terrified of those. They are super super poisonous. It was half the size of a pen. So this last week went good. We are teaching a family now and they really like us and we are teaching them and they are learning lots. They text our phone all the time...they texted us before we came one time and said "don't ask us if we read the Book of Mormon, because we didn't have time..." haha, they are so funny, but we are praying so hard for them. Its so tough to see people so close to accepting the gospel and then just not.  We are teaching a bunch of families and they are doing great, but as we teach commandments and they have to come to church and all that stuff lots of people won't accept us anymore, or won't progress so they can't be baptized. It is so sad, it reminds me of the story in the bible when that rich man asks the savior what he needs to do to have eternal life and as soon as the Savior said give up his money he was gone... its one of the hardest things. 

 My first transfer here is almost done. I will be here until half way through january, so three transfers. How are the kids doing. How is University life going? General Conference was great. We listened to it yesterday and Saturday. Such good talks, and when they refer to missionaries I feel cool now because that's me. In the priesthood session, the choir was the missionaries from the MTC. I would have been in that if I was still there, I actually saw 3 kids I new singing in it!!! they were so lucky. So I am really learning to live poor right now too. Evertyhing is so cheap here, and because of that we don't get very much money, just what we can survive off of so I have a tight budget. They do have one McDonalds on all of bohol luckily though. The mission is getting easier, and I am becoming closer to other missionaries now too. Oh, not to alarm you, but I did get sick 2 weeks ago. I had a fever three nights in a row that got up to 39 degrees celsius, and then I got a cough. But I got some medicine and its all good now.  There was a pretty big typhoon I heard that hit Japan. We had some nasty rain and wind from that for a week. We always here about Typhoons here, so i will probably experience one. Remember those stories about the typhoon and the missionaries. That was super close to my mission, it is one island over, and so I have heard crazy stories. And those missionaries after came to my mission for a while. And have I told you about the earthquake?  Anyway I hope everything is going good for you guys. Oh and I think if you guys wanted we could talk a bit back and forth sometimes on email. 

Elder Schnoor

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Oh my goodness my place is a palace here in the Philippines, it is actually one of the nicest places around. I already have quite the stories to tell, haha, all in my journal. Ok, so the rats. So We decided to go check upstairs under a dresser. Well, we look under with a flashlight and find our food being stolen. This rat(s) took a bag of itchyban, or pansit, and pulled it to his hole. It wouldn't fit into it, so he ate lots of its but it was half in and half out of his hole. The first time I saw the rat, it was about the size of three tennis balls next to each other. He disappeared so fast. Then the next time was in the middle of the night when it was chewing a whole in our ceiling. Well, we hear it all the time in our ceiling, and this week after finding its hole, we found that it lives in between the floor upstairs and the ceiling to our room. So that's good. We are actually looking for a new house because our house doesn't meet code for a mission house, lol. And we have scorpions now too. We sprayed Premethrin around our walls, come home and found three scorpions, one half dead but still alive. They are small, which means they are poisonous too! So we need to watch out for them, and the cockroaches. And we find about one giant Spider ever week. It is quite the house. And outside on the roads there are always dead snakes and giant toads that are giant squished, so I guess there are snakes. And lots of them in my area. It is towards the centre of Bohol. And another thing too, a couple years ago rebels in the Philippines against the government came and live deep in the bukid, so we have been warned to be careful. They are dangerous, but they live deep in the jungle so that's good. We travel mostly by foot, but our area is super big, and takes forever to walk I think we are going to get an area adjustment so we can afford motors to take us places. We take either buses or jeepnies(really getto jeeps) to Tagbilaran every pday, and those cost money too, but everything here is dirt cheap. 40ish pesos is one dollar so. Anyway there are two big malls on Bohl, and one is called BQ mall and the other island central mall. They sell groceries and knockoffs and lots of stuff here. Down the street there is a place I can get a pair of pants made for 150 pesos. And I can get any shirt made here. The food we get is super cheap. We get pansit because each is about 10 pesos, and noddles. A mango is like 50 pesos, and sadly, we have about 400 pesos a week on food so we get the essentials and then get out. The main food here is rice. Everybody has rice every meal, no matter who you are. It is pretty cheap, depending on the kind. The dirt cheap rice has rocks in it, they dry it on the roads on tarps. So church is 40 minutes via jeepni away in a small chapel, we have about 50 people right now. And we watch general conference in Tagbilaran this Sunday, they have to translate and send it here first. We get to watch it Saturday and Sunday, all sessions. It is crazy about people who are against the church. I am getting some of our investigators to come. One of the hardest things here is money. Everyone is so poor, they can't get to church, and lots of times it is too far to walk. The people here are pretty good, most everyone will listen to us. The culture is too nice to say no, however they just listen, the trick is getting the ones who want to know more. We were riding a motorbike home the other day after the day was done, and the guy ended up setting an appointment with us. The next time we saw them it went pretty good, we gave them a pamphlet of the restoration, and then the time we visited after that they read the entire thing. Elder Durham, who has been here 1 year and 3 months, said that is super rare. We have committed a bunch of people to baptism. We keep in touch with cell phones. Very cheap crappy ones though. We get 600 texts a month, and to get more it is called load. Lots of times though the people don't have load, so they can't check. The appointments here are just sorta set. We can say about 3 and show up way late or early, it is very chill that way. We just need to visit most people whenever. Lots of times we don't set anything up. 

Ok, so this morning I had about 20 minutes in a cafe with fast Internet so i sent some pictures.  So I got to tell you about today. We went across the Island over to a river resort place and did something so cool. You know in the shows and movies when they are travelling on boats down a river with jungle on either side like the Amazon river, that was what we did today. It cost 450 pesos, or about 10 dollars, and we got all you can eat food( I had crab, seaweed, tons of fruits, this giant fish thing, chicken, pork, it was great) while travelling on one of these boats down a river. It was fancy and honestly a crazy amazing thing. Half way through we got off on this floating island and a ton of people, like 70 ish, all were dressed up cool in dresses and sang and danced and played little guitars and danced and we all got to watch, I even joined in and had a great time. Then at the end there was a couple smaller waterfalls. It was so crazy and awesome, I loved it. Way worth it, then on our way back I got a machete with a handle made from a caribou (big fat water buffalo) horn, so that is sweet. I have it with me right now. So Visayan, that is what the language is called up north, by Manila it is called Tagalog. Here in the islands it is called Visayan. Cebuano is a dialect from the islands of Cebu and then the surrounding islands are all different dialects. Here on Bohol it is called Boholano, they switch J's for Y's and have a few other words. Anyway, it is all based off of Visayan. And the pictures, I will try and send more of bugs and kids, I have tons of pictures, although I don't take a ton of pictures proselyting because we are not really supposed to a ton and I don't think about it all the time, I am focusing on the language and there reactions and the lessons. It is pretty cool. So a quick cool story. The other day we talked to a guy in the market. He wanted us to come by the next day and speak to him. So we did, and found his house (the houses here don't have numbers and there are no addresses so it can be a bit tricky) and when we came in, there were like 30 other people all with bibles and a pastor guy. We sat, then proceeded to pray, then they all say a really long catholic type hymn in visayan, and then prayed again, then they all got up and payed tithing in some cans, then prayed again and it closed. The pastor raised his hands when he prayed, it was a weird experience. Anyway, it was sorta dark, and it was our turn. He pretty much bible bashed us, but wouldn't let us talk, and it was a good thing too because everything he used my companion and I could have explained. hahaha. But anyway, he then got out a banner chart thingy and it was a time line of the churches of the world. It showed ours, then tons of others. He then claimed his church, which is called the true church of god, a break off from catholic, is the true church and that it never left the earth. Then he got out another chart with meats and talked about clean and dirty meats, so he still believes in the law of moses too! So that was interesting, then the fed us noodles, chicken and rice and we left. It was crazy. I got p[pictures ;)  lol. That is great about the house, it sounds awesome and super exciting. I am so happy for you guys, it can only get better I hope. Anyway love you lots, Talk to you next week. 
Love you lots!

Elder Schnoor

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Chocolate Hills, butterflies and lots of animals

Dear home. The chocolate hills were great! They were so cool, but there really was not a ton with them. You literally go up some long stairs to the top of a hill and stare off and watch them as long as you want, after that you come back down. They were really cool though!

After that we went to the butterfly sanctuary, and it was alright, the zoo is better, but there were some pretty big butterflies so that was cool to see.
Then after that we went to the Tarsier monkey place and saw a bunch of those little monkeys only found in this part of the world on a few islands. They were very cool, and they were actually kinda cute and so little. So that was Pday, sadly not a whole lot to tell.

That is awesome about dad getting that calling. The priests seem pretty awesome and I bet dad will do great. Young mens is definitely fun, so he will enjoy that. Plus Kaden is in there which is great! Are you in Todd and Amy's ward?  Dad will really enjoy his call if he can get close to the boys. I am excited for him from here. 

So I got to tell you about our new house. It is one of the lowest standards in the entire mission. It is very hard for the mission to find homes to rent, and my area is pretty out in the middle of nowhere so our house sorta is crappy. The first day there, I saw a giant cockroach, absolutely giant, take a piece of me with it if it bites me. I killed that guy. Then a giant spider, it looked so creepy, it was pretty big and so fast....and big. It looked like a giant wolf spider. But the worst part of it all is the Rats. We saw a giant rat, and so didn't know where it went. But we guessed it went into this storage room so we locked it off. We could here the rats crying all night to get out, they were starving to death. Then we came home one day and Elder Durham went into the kitchen and this giant rat come running out, past me, hops up each stair and runs and hides somewhere. We don't go upstairs...but worst of all, last night we were in our room and we both woke up to this chewing scratching noise. We turned on a light and a rat was chewing its way through our ceiling into the room. So we have rats living in the ceiling too, which oh my goodness rats. Our house is not my favorite, and I am there at least until half way through January. 

It is pretty crazy here. I know I have said that but I always think it. We have a couple progressing investigators right now. We got 14 new investigators this last week, its seems like a pretty ready area. So I don't know if I told you this one earlier, but we will be teaching a lady, and boom she whips out her ... and starts feeding like nothing changed. I can hardly concentrate when that happens. I honestly just concentrate on eye contact let alone the language and what I am saying. It happens all the time, all the time, anyone anywhere. ugh, but meh. 

So yesterday I ate something so weird and I probably will try to avoid. Rice, noodles and cooked pigs was so hard to get past the part of the dirty pigs blood being eaten. So nasty, and I am gonna try balute and probably some intestines this week. Our area we have been walking so much lately, it rained the other day and we chose to run through it to get home rather than wait forever. We got soaked to the bone. I was dripping wet!! I tried to catch a baby tooko too, it was a pretty big baby lizard, lol. And I saw a dead black snake squished on the road, so the snakes are here, but that was out towards chocolate hills more. Most of the dangerous stuff is in where the people and we are not. Its because the dangerous stuff is scared of us and if anyone sees anything dangerous, they kill it. The biggest thing I need t worry about are the rats, cockroaches and spiders. I can't believe I have been on my mission for over 2 months already, it is super slow but fast at the same time. The language is slowly coming, it is pretty tough to get, I can say some stuff but they talk so fast and there are so many words to remember.  I think I am learning more than I think I am, but oh well. It'll come.   Anyway I love you all a ton, miss you lots. I'll talk to you again next week. 

Elder SChnoor

Animals everywhere!

I'm making rice by pounding it so the husks that are around the actual grains of rice fall off and turn to dust.
 An example of a home here.  It makes my home look like a palace!
This is a family we are teaching right now. The little boy doesn't have any legs and has a thumb only on one hand. He is so cute, and laughs so much and his mom loves him a lot. His sister is pretty cute too. 

That is president Brios, Branch president in Cortes Branch 

Huge and Nasty!

Well, I have to be quick right now because we are going on a zone activity today and so I don't have very much time. We are going to the Chocolate Hills and some sanctuaries.  The people here are super awesome, and it is completely like Jamaica here although worse in a lot of places. I can tell you a lot more about it all next week, but lets just say people survive with pretty much nothing here. They survive off rice, super cheap rice. It is super sad to see. I have to wash my laundry in a bucket every week! That is hard and takes time, and is pretty annoying, but I will get better at it as times goes on. My new apartment is in an area called Balilihan. It is sketchy, you walk in and there is a big open room, then a kitchen area and another room.  Then upstairs  there are a couple rooms, pretty small, and the floors are a wood and you can see through parts of it. and everything here is super dirty. I am getting used to it fast, mostly because i have no choice. The washrooms, toilet paper. There is a little toilet and a bucket, a faucet and drain.  You asked about toilet paper and well, you wipe with water and..... your hand....and soap, but the trick is to poor water while you go, down your back so showers you off, haha, then use soap and is sorta gross, but actually way cleaner in a way. And my showers are all bucket showers, so that is hard. I am not going to lie, conditions are horrible here and super hard, its not an easy mission when it comes to living conditions.  And the language is super hard too, people talk so fast here it is super crazy. But I love this mission, and I am happy to serve the Lord and teach people. So more about our new area. Balilihan is huge, and is starting to get more into the center of Bohol, so pretty much tons of bukid(jungle). Our residence is through some trees a ways, and people honestly can be anywhere. Its pretty spread out, lots of walking. And mud and rain. I am so tired at the end of each day. And the animals, there are lots. Lots of everything. I have seen a moth the size of my hand, a nasty spider the size of my hand, tooko's which are giant lizards that if they bite you their jaw locks and you have no choice but to kill them. I have not seen a cobra yet, but I have seen a python skin so there are pythons too. Then the cockroaches too, oh boy they are huge and nasty. And if they bite you it will most definitely get infected. So pretty much there is lots out here that can kill me, everything is dangerous and poisonous. The big spider I saw, if you look up online the spiders int he Philippines, and that picture with the big creepy  spider and the bird all tangled up, thats pretty much what I saw...its intense.
Huge spider with my companion Elder Durham

This is not fun to find in the cupboard!

And the water here is not to be drunk. Our tap water is full of mercury and other metals, plus the bugs that are in it...and we don't have tons of money so I will mostly survive off itchy ban, rice, oatmeal and whatever else I can find. I can't believe how crazy it is here. We get in our jeepny's, or these long jeeps, and they can fit a lot of people. You basically fill every square inch, including on top. We had about 50 in one the other day, it was so so so hot, I sweat all the time.  By the end of the day, I stink soo soo much. Just absolutely smell. I have not had balute or anything to crazy yet, I have been to busy. Yesterday, we went up to Balilihan and to go check out a referral and she ended up being too busy because she is basically and maid for some guys. And they were all drinking and eating cow and goat intestine. It was nasty nasty nasty. They kept offering us some but we said no, a lot. We didn't actually teach them, but we gave them a pamphlet then left. They eat so messy here too, like animals, with there hands and a spoon and fork in each hand. Since we are opening a new area things have been pretty disorganized and crazy. We do a lot of tracting, and the area seems pretty good. Lots of them are all about the born Catholic, die Catholic life, but lots are willing to let us talk. Lots are just to polite to say no, so we teach them and see if they are actually interested or not. It has been a bit discouraging at times, it is super hard, and knowing i still have 22 months to go is pretty overwhelming. I miss home a lot, but things only get better. Especially when I can start getting the language and can actually talk to people, then it will be nice. Elder Durham is a good companion, he is a good guy and knows his stuff so thats nice. I really like our zone leaders and the AP's a lot. They are really cool. Oh did I tell you about where we get to baptize? We get to baptize at the base of one of those crazy beautiful jungle waterfalls. I can't wait, lol. I will be here in this same area until the middle of january. Just wait until I talk some Visayan to you at christmas time. Do you know if that package has arrived in babb I sent, it don't care when you get it, it is just stuff for me when i get home, but I would love to know if it made it there. You should see the driving here. It is ridiculous. You honestly just go for it. People are dodging, speeding, going crazy everywhere. Its nuts, look it up on youtube or something. I can get some cool stuff here too, lots of custom stuff.  Anyway I love you all a ton, keep emailing me and tell all those that I didn't email I am sorry. Love you all a lot, i do miss home a ton. Anyway I will reply as soon as I can again.


Elder Schnoor

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

My first area!

Ok, well, my first area. So after the airport into Cebu we got out and were picked up by the AP's and the president and his wife and a few others.  Then went back to the mission home. I think I already told you how nice it was, but it was so nice!!! It  was ridiculous. Seaside resort pretty much. Well, that night we went to the transfer apartment. No more nice house. We stopped at the church to pick up a few belongings, and by this time it is dark. It is pretty dark around 6:00 pm here. When we got to the church, missionaries started popping up, coming out of the dark from all over. We took a bunch of them and we all went on to the transfer house. Dang, it was not nice. It was grubby, old stuff everywhere, lizards, cockroaches, spiders. The bathroom was nasty. It wasn't good, and there were like 15 or so of us staying there.  They had three single mattresses on the ground that we five Provo missionaries (from
Provo MTC) had to fit on and we had a fan to help keep us cool. In the morning I quickly got dressed, bucket showered my hair, then we went back to the church. Missionaries kept showing up and after a bit we all went into the chapel. We had some talks, and some testimonies, then it was time to go. So everyone was getting their calls,a ton were going to Bohol. Well, there are three Canadians here in the mission, me, Elder Durhamm, and another guy named Elder Orr.  Elder Durham has red hair and is taller than me. I get called to be his companion, he will be my trainer. He is from Saint Albert, Edmonton, Sturgeon ward. So that's pretty cool. He stepped down from zone leader to be a trainer and to open an area. We are opening a new area called Balilihan, in the west middle part of bohol. There is
lots of bukid (Cebuano word), or jungle,where we are and so it is gonna be a challenge. We are gonna start a meeting house there too, in our home probably. It is super far for members up here to get to our church because it is so far and to much money for them. So we don't know many people. We went up just yesterday for our first time to meet
a few inactive members and see what there is. We honestly don't know a whole lot, but it is sweet. Lots of jungle and rice fields. And you should see the place we get to baptise. Imagine a gorgeous crazy jungle waterfall.  Well that's where we will baptise people. It is crazy.  So immediately after transfers we got up and loaded our stuff and got it to the boat station, and took a couple hour boat over to Bohol.  Right now we are staying with some other missionaries in their apartment. Our apartment up in Balilihan is being finalised so we can't live their yet. Our apartment is nice, nothing like home, worse
that our old rental. It is interesting. my bed is under a window with only a screen, no glass, and a huge piece of screen was gone, anything could get in if it wants, and there are wholes in it so any spider,
cockroach or anything can come in. I patched up the whole with tape with
plastic though.  

Love (gugma)
Elder Schnoor

So we went out on splits with Elder Wilcox and Elder Magpali, and went to see a ton of people. They are all so sad. It makes me want to cry how poor some of them are. So a year ago there was an Earthquake that was centered in the middle of Bohol. It was so big that the Chocolate Hills broke, or some did. Anyway lots of places were destroyed and Bohol was hit pretty hard. Well, lots of people lost all they had, so literally life in plywood shacks. And some of them are the size of bathrooms. The kids here are sooooooo cute, I love them all. They are all  so awesome, I smile at them lots and every time I do they been back and some get really shy. I have shown lots of them magic tricks I learnt
at the MTC, they all love it and it makes them laugh. Lots of them think I am so weird because I am a foreigner, but its cool. I have sent some pictures. One of the hardest and biggest problems here is getting the people to church. Usually they are too poor to ride a motor or Jeep (local transportation) and it is too far to walk, so they can't. That is part of why we are opening up a new area up north. The jungle is beautiful. Tons of jungle trees, grasses, it is crazy. The biggest thing to worry about here are the spiders and snakes, which are poisonous, and the toko's, which are mini komodo dragon things that
when they bite, they lock there jaw and will never let go, and flush red when scared or angry. And the cockroaches too actually, if they bite you it is almost guaranteed to get infected.  They are huge, and you kill them by flipping them on their backs and dropping alcohol on them, they die pretty quick. It is pretty adventuress here. And to top it all of I can't
speak the language, and everyone has their Filipino accents and are so hard to understand because they speak so stinkin fast so I listen a lot. I had to bare my testimony in church yesterday. Everyone is so nice, and I am slowly getting more and more of the language. 
So the food here. Well rice is basically the bulk of all they eat, and chicken. I will probably survive off rice, itchy ban, noodles, bread and more rice the next couple years. Everything is soooo cheap here, except some of the American brand foods in the stores, those are the same as home. The food is hard to get used to, everything tastes different. And we eat with our hands and then like brother Low showed us! Its kinda cool, but super unsanitary. I have already been a bit
sick. I never realized how many fluids we actually have in our bodies, haha, but it will happen a lot. We cant really refuse what members give us so we eat and drink it, and then if we get sick we get sick, but that's all part of it. My body will get used to the bugs and stuff here, I just can't be stupid. We honestly can't afford to be picky here. We carry alcohol around and use that as hand sanitiser, lol, it kills a lot. 
So the driving here. Dang it is crazy.  No right of way, not stop signs, very few stop lights, and you just go.  You just need to be aggressive and you stop a lot. You honestly just push into wherever you want to go, its nuts, and no one
crashes either, everyone here are terrible and amazing drivers. You just go, and people will stop,and no one gets mad. The Jeeps and motors are what we take around usually. It costs about 8 pesos, but you just hop on and get cozy until you arrive at the place you want to go. 40ish pesos is one dollar at home. 
I love it tons here, but it is honestly the hardest thing I have ever done!!! Not easy, very tiring and hard
work. But that's part of it. What others questions do you have? Tell me
any, my P Days are now Mondays and we will usually email 10:30 ish in
the morning here, I think that is around 11:30 at night where you are
back home. It is so hot by the way, tons of heat. But I got to go. I
love you all a ton, and miss you all a lot too!!!

Love (gugma)
Elder Schnoor

Elder Durham (my companion) and Elder Orr 
My fellow Canadians

Me, Elder Durham, Elder Magpali and Elder Wilcox
at a teaching appointment

Me showing some of the kids a magic trick.  They are all so nice, I honestly love them all so much.  After I show them magic tricks they usually really like me.  We will be travelling sometimes and they will se us and I will smile and wave and they will get super excited and happy.  

We are on a bridge.  It is so beautiful here!

Thursday, 11 September 2014


Hey Family, ok, so we got to Cebu this morning. I am finally here, it feels so good. I have about 5 ish minutes to reply this week just to let you know I made it. This morning was crazy. They told us we were departing at 4:00, so we set our alarms for three. Well, we got a knock on our door at 2:55 that the bus was leaving!!!! Never gotten ready so fast in my life, I was up, half dressed and pulling my stuff out the door in literally seconds, hahah, but we actually had more time than we thought. It took a while to load all the luggage and a few other vans still needed to arrive so we had about half hour. Still pretty crazy though. The flight was one hour, and we made it safely. We met the mission president and his wife and everyone today and have been going through orientation. I got lucky, our president is really cool and chill, he is great! And you wouldn't believe who was on my flight and who was in the seats 2 down from me on the airplane. Those people Grandma Schnoor knows who are coming to Cebu! They took a short video of me, and some pictures and are gonna send them to Grandma. So crazy, some of my Filipino friends were like, there is someone who knows your mom here, and they took me to them at our terminal. I was so confused, they said someone who knew you...but I think they meant grandma, lol, it was pretty cool. Today has been great though, I will reply lots next week, we get up to 2 hours every P Day to reply. I can't wait to reply next week, I love you all lots!!  Oh and I am not sure if this is possible, but I would absolutely love some sort of music device with speakers to play music. Like a cd player or a little speaker and mp3 or anything. I know you probably can't, but if you see some and could that it would be great. And I would love Christmas music, classical music and church music on it. That is what we can listen too. I get to try balute, that duck embryo stuff tonight, and I meet my companion in the morning and go wherever I am serving tomorrow too. It is honestly a paradise here, the mission home is crazy nice. It is where the mission president lives and it has 7 bathrooms! Its so nice, it has a pool, hot tub, beside the is a paradise. I love you a lot, I will tell you a bunch and send a bunch of pictures next week hopefully!

Elder Schnoor

My official address

Elder Branden Schnoor
Philippines Cebu East Mission
The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints compound
National Highway, Bajac, Lilo-an
Cebu 6002, Philippines

Monday, 8 September 2014

My New Address 

Elder Branden Schnoor
Philippines Cebu East Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Compound
Bajac, Lilo-an, Cebu 6002
Mom Finally Found Time to Work on My Blog!

Note from Mom:  Branden has now been in the Philippians for 4 days.  I have not been able to update his blog until now because our we were in the process of moving.......and oh ya, the movers stole our computer.  Hopefully now I can post Branden's letter on a more regular basis.

Aug. 8

I loved the letters I got from you guys... or from mom and dad anyway, haha. So everyday after each meal our district leader checks the mail room for mail and so that is when i get my dear elder or any letters. So don't be afraid to send lots, cause getting mail or packages is awesome!!! Well I may not sound homesick, but I miss you guys a whole lot. It is so weird to think that it will be like 23 months until i see you again! Its sorta sad, but I'm gonna try to grow up in that time. Its killing me having to be here at the MTC. The MTC and I are sorta in a love hate relationship at the moment.

The food is starting to get old, its still alright but it isn't the best quality stuff.
And the long days of class sorta stink and are so...well long, lol. I super love Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays though!!! Those are the days there is choir, devotionals from big important people from the church, and the spirit is a bit stronger. And Friday is P day and I get to go to the temple and play risk and email. So If you wanted to know I get to email in the afternoons on Friday, before 5:00 and after noon. Although when is hard to say, but I would guess probably around 2 or 4, I get an hour so. 

Me and Sterling get to visit here and there, sometimes at meals, but we usually sit with our companions and districts. We also usually have gym together so we get to visit a lot during then. I have also seen and talked to Clark McNab a bit too. He went to mission prep with me before we came to the MTC, although he is leaving on Tuesday since his mission is English speaking. I think Sterling is pretty confidant about his mission, he has told me stories his teacher told them about a lot of dark magic and ghosts and stuff. They practise dark arts in lots of places over there, he told us about one guy who went to a little island very known for dark magic and that missionary came back crazy...creepy. He leaves one week before me, I think the 27th of August of something, he is here just one extra week. His family is moving here to Utah i think this next week, but i do think he is a bit homesick. His language is pretty different than mine too, although we aren't fluent so its hard to say, but I don't think his is anything like mine. 

The language is still quite hard. My district seems to be picking it up, I'm actually sorta slow picking it up, although Cebuano has a lot of Spanish influence in it and most of them all took Spanish in high school so they already know a lot of stuff like how to count, and the days of the week, ect. and I have to learn all those still, but its coming. I am not worried, the Lord will make up for it where I fall short if I keep working hard, the Gift of tongues is real!!!! And my companion got the shot, but his dad is a radiologist so they can easily afford it. I don't think everyone is though, its pretty stinking rare and I think I will be fine with out it, but let me know quick. 

I met Keston Avery from Cardston, and I know he worked with dad when dad worked in Cardston. Oh and I met a girl who is from Hillspring, her name is sister Demes, she knows Teagen.
So that was cool. I have met a few missionaries going to Edmonton on their missions as well, but i don't really know names super good so. I will keep a look out for Elder Ash, although I haven't met him yet. Do you know where he is going? And thanks for sending that, if you send stamps it would be great!!! Some international ones so I don't have to keep sticking 3 stamps on an envelope. I have written a bunch of letters, and since it is so expensive to send them individually I am sending a bunch together to you. Oh and Liss sent me a package, with a bunch of candy and then a letter from sage, one from summer, and one from Liss. It was awesome, I love getting stuff, its like my connection to home, and it makes me happy, and feel loved, lol. 

That is crazy about the house. I can't believe that happened. So is it costing us anything and are you guys having to deal with it a bunch, or is it all sorta left to insurance and the new guy? And those movers can go jump in a pond, that's stupid. They are ridiculous when they try and do stuff like that, it makes me mad just thinking about it. they are dumb, haha. And Im so glad June is with Natisha, that is great, at least you can still see her when you visit cardston if she doesn't run away ;). And poor Ivy, June was just trying to latch on to her arm so she wouldn't have to go, not just to bite her. 

That's so crazy about the truck, oh my goodness you guys just have the worst luck ever!!!! That's good at least you can fix it cheap, although that is still pretty expensive. Just make sure you have a good time, and think of all the positives. The good things in life are what makes us happy and give us motivation. I am so glad dad is starting school, you guys are gonna love Edmonton, it is going to be so good to have Todd and Amy so close with all of you, you all need it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The end of the missionary motto is to help others endure to the end, and you guys just need to keep that up, because life is really only a blink of the eyes. 

Elder Simmons

                                                                           Elder Ah Choo Koon

My Companion Elder Giauque

Elders Larson, Thompson, Camiling, me, Jones, Lewis, 
Jenson, Simmons, Giauque, Ah Choo Koon, Remer and Hepler

Aug 15, 2014

Well, there wasn't a whole lot that happened this week. I got your package, thank you so much it was awesome and delicious!!!! And the letters were great too.  I have written some letters to send you after I get your address. The language is coming better, I can teach a lot better now and use less notes.  It is actually so ridiculous how fast I am learning it. The temple every Friday is great!!!! I am loving some of the ties I am getting, you would be proud, I am definitely getting some great ones. Um our teachers brother Johnson and brother Mcbride are great!!! They are so funny, they use some pretty great analogies and other ways to teach too. Um you should ask me a bunch of questions so I can answer them because the MTC is pretty much the same these days, just 16 hours of hard work and study a day then bed. It will be a lot better when we go into the field. Sterling and his family moved down here to utah now. They didn't sell there house, but they are all down here now. Um Parker Mcnab came and went and I have met a few more elders from Cardston, Magrath, a sister from Raymond. I never met that elder you spoke about earlier, I think we must have had different schedules. Ummm I have met a bunch of elders all going to edmonton for their missions which is kinda cool. We get our travel plans and all the info about where we will be flying and when in a week!! I love it here at the MTC, but I really wanna get to the Philippines. I got some Japanese language books and stuff for free, so I might send those home. Should I send them to you or to Babb where Grandma or Tish or someone could pick them up. I still have a strong feeling and something is seriously pulling me to Japan and China, I cant shake it! Gym is awesome, I am getting my old volleyball skills back, I can hit the ball really hard now and pass again :) Don't forget everyones addresses, including like uncle Curtis's, and everyone. Even Brandleys or Jacksons or any of them. I already wrote Dave Oconnor a letter, he sent me a dear elder and it had his address on it. Oh and about my plaque, make sure if you can they don't stick that nasty one of me that was sent to Utah, make sure it is a grad pic of me, cause that one we sent is sooooo nasty and it doesn't even look like me. Thanks for those stamps too!! Those will be great to use, and I cant find a shaver chord to charge it, it hasn't run out yet but I totally lost it. Umm anything else?? My roommates are awesome, the food is good and bad, depending the day. I weigh 170lbs, i have put on 12 pounds since I have been here, hahaha, but I will lose it all again in the Philippines. Anyway keep sending me dear elders,and get other people to send me stuff too, I absolutely love getting stuff, my companion got six letters yesterday and he gets at least one to two a day! lol, but he is from Idaho. Oh and i have written his girls from Idaho! hahah and one replied to me today!!! its soo funny! anyway, love you all lots and miss you all

Elder Schnoor

Branden has requested that I post this link for him

Aug 22, 2014

Ok, so this last week. Pretty much the same as usual. I get up every morning, get ready, study, have 50 minutes of gym, then at 2:15 I have class until 9:00, with about a half hour dinner. It is very draining to sit in class so long, but even though it is literally all day studying and learning, I am still enjoying the language and the lessons. The spirit is a great companion to have with me to help me. And I couldn't do it without the holy ghost either, it is so awesome. Being a missionary rocks. So the language, I can teach pretty easily a lesson. Not in super detail but we aren't supposed to get in super detail anyway, just teach the simple doctrine. 

So my companion is 18 like me, but we have an elder who served in the Marines before he came on a mission, Elder Simmons, and he is 21. Elder Ah Choo Koon is 19, and not sure about everyone else. I love them all, they rock. They are sorta my family at the moment.

 I hate that the movers are doing that, I say sue them and win and get the money. Its so funny you brought up that Mormon message about the cross roads, I recommend as a family you all watch a Mormon message or those bible videos every Sunday or something, they are so good and I have seen almost them all since I have been here. It is crazy how good they are and the testimony builders they are. It is so true about the cross roads, I sent you another analogy in a letter this last week you can read when you get it. Dang mail takes forever though, but oh well. 

Well the MTC food, I can't help but get the big plates. I don't feel overly sick from eating it, it is more just getting sick of it, not all of it, but some of it is super good. Sterling leaves on Tuesday, and I get my travel plans sometime today so I might let you know later when I come back on where I am going and all that jazz. I miss everybody so much, I can't believe I am missing surveyors! We just got a new Elder named Elder Orr from Edmonton in our zone, I have talked with him a bunch. So we know the MTC pretty good so we got to HOST senior missionaries and take there bags to their rooms and stuff, and one of them was from Calgary, and owns a house down the road from Grandpa Schnoor, he is Elder Draper, which was crazy. He asked if Ron was my grandpa. Then Elder and Sister Gordan are a couple I would always see in Fort Mac, she was in the young women presidency or something a while ago, and I saw them in Lethrbidge too, which is where they are from, and they recognised me so we talked. And another senior served his mission in Lethbridge, and another is going to Vancouver, so I have met so many people everywhere with connections to Canada, especially southern Alberta. 

So as for the girls.....oh my stink its ridiculous here, there are so many really pretty sister missionaries, its sooo hard!!! hahaha, but as for interactions. We don't have any sisters in our district, but our "sister district" or the other district that came the same time as us and are going to the same places have three sisters, so we can talk to them. We call them the Sister district. Then whenever I pass a Sister or see one I could potentially talk to them, which is all the time, but we can only talk and give them a simple handshake, no flirting or anything like that. In my room there are six of us, 3 sets of bunk beds, and it isn't huge space, but its enough. 

The teaching. Ok, so a few days into the MTC we had to teach a discussion from preach my gospel in Cebuano to a guy who speaks Cebuano and we had never met. We taught him a few times, struggling a lot, then he ended up becoming our teacher, Brother McBride, He is from California and he is sweet. Brother Johnson, our first teacher, is sooo good too. I honestly think we have the too best teachers in the entire MTC. From what I have seen, they rock the most. So now, and since the beginning of the MTC, we teach one of our teachers every day, and they pretend to be an investigator that they taught on their missions. They become them, so they are completely in character. That is a lot of fun actually, and why Cebuano is getting better. Every Tuesday we have what is called TRC, so volunteers who speak Cebuano, literally anyone who wants, come to a building and we go in and get to know them and teach them a discussion. It is cool since they could be anyone. The best was yesterday though. Yesterday we got to skype a girl from the Philippines and teach her. Although it was pretty lousy because her mike wouldn't work, so she could only here us, so we just shared a quick discussion and that was it. But she was an actual girl from the Philippines, and she was a cute girl to compared to every other companions people they taught. 

Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson came and spoke to us this week too. She was great, and it was really good. 

Can you give me grandma's address in Babb, so I can send a package of stuff home before I leave, it costs to much to send it to Canada, so i thought if grandma could pick it up sometime. Anyway I have about 20 minutes left so I will send some more in a bit. Love you and miss you all lots, 


Elder Schnoor

This is an idea of a picture that Branden came up with.  Each missionary took turns hold the Book of Mormon.  Branden called it POWER OF THE BOOK OF MORMON

Oh I loved the package!!!! It was like Christmas, lol, it was honestly the best ever when I got it. If you send stuff in the future, you should send Mr. Bigs and more wonder bars, lol, my companion has always wanted to try a Mr Big. I can't believe how funny the wiki tikis are, and good job Liss!!! Its hilarious to play with there imaginations.

Ok so a few things. So I leave the MTC as of September fourth at 6:00 am, then from here in Utah we fly to Tokyo japan, and then from Tokyo we fly to Manila. Then from there I am assuming some sorta small plane or boat. The flight is going to be soooo long, we leave at like 10:00 am on the 4th and don't get to japan until the night of the 5th, although it seems longer because they are fourteen hours ahead. I am sooo excited for that.  So keep asking me questions, I have sent you guys a bunch of letters already. 

Aug. 29, 2014

Don't worry about the letters, you guys at home are super busy with all that moving crap you have to put up with. I wish I could come and just tell the guys off, I was totally feeling the argument mode coming over me when I heard Dad and that guy were arguing!!! And they stole the computer??? Does that mean if you don't find it you lose like everything?????? Cause that would be really really bad!!!! I'm ticked they didn't take care of the stuff either. Don't worry about the blog, it'll all work out, trust me, just remember the Savior. 

That's crazy about those bugs. I think I know what caterpillar you are talking about, that's so cool it is in a cocoon!!! And that spider sounds intense, although where I am going there is every type of spider in the world pretty much. Our teachers have told us stories, like they will get in the shower and they will look up in the corner and just think pasti lang(dang) because there is a giant spider bigger than our hand just chilling there. And every night when we get back from the day, we will have to grab brooms and whatever we can use to kill bugs, and go in and kill all the cockroaches and spiders. The spiders are so fast that we will be swatting at them and they will just jump out of the way, and the cockroaches are huge, and to kill them you flip them on their backs and drop alcohol on them. We actually get a bunch of alcohol which is funny, we use it to kill the bugs and sanitise our hands and stuff. If we squished any of the bugs, they would shoot guts everywhere and attract tons more bugs. Its a tricky business. 

So there is something I think you should read. Maybe even as a family. It is D&C 121 and 122 I think, it is when Joseph Smith is stuck in liberty jail, and how he has literally had to face soooo many trials and is just stuck, and he calls on the Lord for help because he feels like he has been left alone. But he wasn't, and neither are you guys. Trials are hard, but they shape us. They make us who we are. They get us to points in life where Heavenly Father wants us to be, if we endure them and have faith. I honestly can't believe all this crap you have had to put up with, but I do know it is testing your faith and you will be soooo blessed if you keep putting up with it, if not this life then the next. It is not easy, but remember the Savior. Rely on the Savior. Life is actually sooo short. What we are working for and trying to achieve is easily worth it. And another thing, remember Satan feeds off contention, and fear, and stress and anything that puts us down. Don't let Satan win! Honestly, if anyone ever feels anything that is not happy and if anything is troubling, turn to the Savior. Think about him. Think about the love he has for everyone. Think about his atonement, and if needed watch some of those bible videos on, or read the scriptures and picture the positive.  I know the movers and everything is hard, but remember too that Heavenly Father loves them just as much as you. He just may not like them as much at the moment, and I don't like them very much either. 

So I have been through the temple so much now, I have seen every video, the three new ones and the really old one(dang it was old). And I have memorised it all. Going to the temple is where I wanna be all the time. Ok so this week we skyped again. We skyped a girl who grew up in Manila and is going to BYU Hawaii right now. Anyway we taught her a lesson in Cebuano and she was having a hard time switching into Cebuano mind since she knew I think at least 3 other languages, lol. We taught he about testimonies and how faith nurtures that seed of our testimony. It is soo coool, I love the Filipino people already!!! So I told you I leave Thursday. So i might try and call you before the trip in Utah for sure, then again in Tokyo if I can figure out a cheap way how, but we'll see. Am I calling your or dads phone? And just so you know If I call from Tokyo It will be who knows when, they are a day ahead and so it might be like 3:00 in the morning maybe??? I leave Utah in the morning and won't get there until late that night, and so not sure. Just keep your phones on you and the ringers on.

The language is coming a lot better, I can almost speak in it now, hahah, its soo fun and soo hard. I am literally tired all the time. We had what is called in field orientation yesterday.....sooooo long. It was from 8:00 am to 5:35 pm, It was ridiculously long. it was cool though. I have taught a bunch, gone to my classes, and studied pretty much all week. Sterling left on Tuesday which was lame. He is in the middle of the ocean sometime now, hahah, Mason Seguin leaves to Peru in a couple days. I have met a few more people from around southern Alberta. So In the field, I may only get letters when I go to zone conferences every month and I will apparently have like noooo time to write letters or do much  I am sooo excited, its gonna be great. 

Philippines' Flag

This is where I'm going

Power Ties!

September 5, 2014

Well I made it the the Philippines!!! It is so crazy here, Manilla is full or Skyscrapers and giant buildings, then in between it is really run down houses and some are even built on top of each other. Lots and lots of poverty, I feel so bad for them. I can't wait to teach them. So we are going to stay here at the Manila MTC until Wednesday, because everyone has to finalise their visa stuff. So we get to resume study and class. It is sooo hot and humid. I haven't seen any wildlife yet like spiders, although there was a giant snail we saw in the Grass. It is so nice here. So we travelled to Tokyo, then sorta toured around the airport for a little over and hour, then hopped on our next flight. The plane to Tokyo was huge, and the first class and business class seats on the plane were so nice. We had a touch screen TV in front of us, it was so tempting to use it. They had all the new releases on it, some I think are still in theatres in Canada. The new xmen, malificient, how to train your dragon two, ect. It was a huge temptation, but I mostly just slept. We got blankets and a pillow and earplugs. The next plane to Manilla was even bigger. It had an upstairs, and same stuff as the last. It was sweet. I loved loved Japan so much, I am so going there lots after I can afford it. So we are here now, safe and sound. It is 11:40 a.m. right now, almost lunch. It was so weird because we left the MTC on septmeber 4th at 6:00 in the morning, then we got here at Manila at 12:10 am., just after midnight, on September 6th, we skipped so far ahead. My companion was switched to Elder Remer now, until Wednesday when we switch out. Later today we get to go out on splits in Manila with missionaries serving here and proselyte and teach at appointments. We have alcohol with us always so sanitise our hands and they are pretty strict about shaking hands and stuff. And another thing is they don't have breakfast, lunch, dinner, it is all the same type of food. They just serve food, no specific breakfast meals or anything. It is great food so far though. And the people here, the teachers, all speak so fast and don't really speak any English so it is hard to understand so i will learn even quicker now. Its gonna be so crazy, I don't think I will be able to respond till a week from Wednesday so I will talk to you then. Love you all lots, send me emails and letters.