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

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