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!

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