Sister Warner said, "I'm not really creeped out by the people. Mostly it's drunk guys and it's just funny. What's scary are the freaking GIANT spiders. Like EVERYWHERE! And Elder Larson (from my MTC batch, now in my district) hit one with a leaf the other night while his companion (our district leader) was interviewing our baptismal candidate. Yeah he hit the spider, but mostly he hit the 50cent-piece sized eggsack it was carrying and BILLIONS of little eight-legged freaks EVERYWHERE! I seriously thought I was gonna die!" It was awesome!
These are giant sized snails; they are everywhere. Notice Jayme's hands aren't real clean!
This is at the Escorial's house. Half of their house is where they live and the other half is a store. It looks more spacious in the picture...it's not actually very big. They're a very active member family. They're awesome! This is where I tried Balut, this is where I practice my Visaya, etc. They're so cool :D
HERE IS HER EMAIL:
Pastilan, I forgot my notebook that had all the important things I needed to tell you written in it. I'll just try to do my best by my recollection! So first I have to go backwards in time a bit - clear back to my first week here!
So, without fail, from day one, I constantly get asked 3 questions. First, when they see my name, they ask me if I'm the Warner Brothers. SO funny. They all know the Warner Brothers and my last name is Warner and I'm from America...busa, I must be one of them. They also ask me why I'm white...aka - where am I from. Sister Yap said it's kind of rude, but honestly I just think it's funny. When I tell them I'm from Utah, they ask me about David Archuleta. Like he is SO famous and popular here. His music plays like...everywhere. And so because I'm from Utah, I must know him, right?! Gosh I love the people here. If anyone reading this knows David Archuleta, please tell him to come do a free concert in Lacion. People can't afford to go to a concert - sometimes they can't even afford food or anything - but it would totally like make their day...week...month...year...whatever!
Also, when I was in the MTC, on one of the last days, Brother Wilkes was talking about his mission and he described this pig...and the dimensions he gave were like TOTALLY outrageous! Still, he's a teacher at the MTC, so I didn't disbelieve (is that a word?) him, but I figured that maybe somewhere along the way, his mind had exaggerated things a bit - sorry Brother Wilkes! Then, I was heading up to teach this family like my 3 day in the field...and I saw the biggest pig ever. Like the same dimensions Brother Wilkes gave. And it tried to eat my skirt. Yes, I attached a picture...but I don't think it really does the pig justice....anyways. It's massive. And now we have many investigators in that area, so I see it every couple of days!
Also during my first week...so I met Sister Yap and then we went back to our apartment ... they had run out of dish soap and laundry soap...so we used this bar of Dial soap to wash all of our clothes and dishes for the first week. I will forever enjoy the refreshing taste of Dial :D
Then, on my second week, Sister Yap and I walk into our district meeting, and all the elders start calling me: "Ensign girl!" and singing happy birthday (with the clapping - Pinoy style :D haha) and I was all like "Whaaaaaat?" Turns out that Elder Raymundo and his companion, Elder Macabbad found the New Era Article and recognized me! Holy crap! Now they think I'm like really famous or something...so now I am officially Ensign Girl (cuz they don't really know what the New Era is...) So funny. But my district and zone are so awesome. We have 5 sisters - all from Utah but Sister Yap, and like...12 elders if I just counted right. Maybe more. Probably more. They're so great.
Speaking of my zone...so like my first zone meeting, we were halfway through the meeting when one of the Elders got a text from a member in the ward he's in saying they needed help with relief efforts for Typhoon Yolanda victims. So we took off right after the zone meeting and spent the rest of the day (8 hours) helping this company with relief efforts. It was awesome and I wish I had pictures, but we weren't allowed to take any :'( Basically, we took 50kg bags of rice, then divided those into 4.5kg bags of rice, then rebagged them. It was so awesome. We definitely grew as a zone and it was so great to help with relief efforts.
Just this past week, we did another Community Service Project up in the elders area - very bukid. Up on top of the mountain in Cebu. It was a gorgeous view of Cebu Island and we were outside the whole time helping with a landscaping project! Elder Larson went all Rambo on these bushes and completely hacked them out (just as requested) but there was some sort of weird thing in the bush and he has like this chemical burn on his had now. The blisters are seriously the biggest blisters I've ever seen and he drains them like 5 times a day. Poor kid. But he doesn't regret it! Afterwards they gave us coke and that delicious sticky rice...that I can't remember the name of. But it's sweet and amazing.
Thanksgiving. Yeah. THANKSGIVING! Sister Tanner, Sister Robertson (the Robertsons are from Hyde Park and they're our office couple!) and the Lilo-an sisters slaved away for a day and a half and prepared a legit Thanksgiving dinner! All of the mission came except the Bohol missionaries. Even Camotes came! It was lami kaayo. Like American Thanksgiving plus heaps of rice. And they made like TONS of Apple-crisp and they bought ice cream and we all sat around eating food and saying what we were thankful for. It was so great.
We've had a few really cool speakers lately. First was Sister French - she was like a counselor here for the Missionaries in the Philippines and she is amazing! Here's a quote from my letter to my batch from last week:
"Quick uplifting thought: I hope you all got to hear Sister French speak. If not, I'm sorry. But my favorite quote from her was were she was talking about how she asked her son to calculate the probability of her being a full-time missionary. And he did. Excluding the third of the hosts of heaven that left with Satan, each of us was hand-selected by God to serve him out of 93,000!!! How great is our calling?!?!"
She's finishing up her mission and will be going home soon :( sad, cuz she's awesome!!!!)
Also Elder Echo Hawk of the Seventy...man that was awesome. He spoke to us this past Wednesday...all day. One of my favorite parts of his talk: He was talking about his training when he was first called and was first in Salt Lake. Specifically the day he got to observe mission calls. He was saying that we should NEVER be disappointed in where we were called. He shared a very, very cool experience. I can testify that where ever you are called to serve, that's where you are SUPPOSED to be. The Lord has a great work for YOU there. So no matter where you go, never be disappointed!
Alright. Now to some more recent stuff! Sister Elsie, one of the ward missionaries, has "Just Give Me a Reason" in VISAYAN as her ringtone! Go look it up on youtube :D it's got a lot of autotune from what I could here, but I asked her if the Visaya was correct and she said it was! So if you want to hear some Visaya....look it up :D [IF YOU ARE INTERESTED: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3WRy3ZTOWY]
Also TAYLOR! My gosh dude, you'd love it here. I have discovered the pinapple! Holy lami kaayo. The B2 is my favorite. It's like the sweetest pinapple I've ever tasted! I wish I could send you some :( perhaps you'll serve your mission over here? You won't get to use your beastly Mandarins, but you'll enjoy the best pinapple and mangoes on the planet earth. I'm pretty sure that Cebu is the Garden of Eden. Or at least as close as it gets, ya know?
TODAY...today...yeah WE JUST GOT BACK FROM THE TEMPLE!!!! Oh my gosh, I can't even begin to describe it. It's very different from the temples in Utah. Such a beautiful experience! Even though 1/4 of the way through we had a brown out, so no lights, then 1/2 way through, the generator had a gas leak, so we had absolutely NO POWER at all! So I only did half a session. :'( SO SAD! We just turned in our names and filed out the door :( next month, maybe. Or maybe in two months if I'm still on Cebu Island. It was very different, very awesome, and it definitely proves that the Lord has an excellent sense of humor. Also apparently the Angel Moroni keeps twisting cuz of aftershocks...so I'll keep my eye out for that next time I go back. But it was amazing! So beautiful. And one I met an older couple from Logan!!!! Just about died :D they're going home in June and they've been out for a year and a half now! They asked me if it was still standing :D haha
So the dearelders are great :D but it takes so long for them to get here! I'm just now getting ones from like the end of November. But it's funny cuz all the poems you're sending are ones I printed out and taped in my journal before I left! So great :D oh and Elder Pole'o seriously talks about you all the time. He loves hearing from you.
So Sunday...on Sunday I experienced my first hardcore rainstorm! Sister Yap and I were teaching a lesson when it started, and we borrowed an umbrella from the family we taught cuz we had a 10 min walk home...yeah that was fun. We used the umbrella to keep our stuff as dry as possible, but both of us looked like we'd jumped in a pool! SO wet! The streets turned to rivers - we were walking in like 5 inches of fast flowing water, just from the rain. So crazy! We live on the top of this hill next to all these rich people, so the water was flowing so fast and walking up that hill was harder than usual. Luckily, we survived :D
Tomorrow (Wednesday December 11th) we have our MISSION-WIDE CHIRSTMAS PARTY! Even Bohol missionaries are coming! That means I get to see Sister Grigg!!!!!! Yay! And there will be 2-4 Sisters staying with us tomorrow night, so I hope she's one of them :D
Also, we have two baptisms scheduled for January 4th! These will be my first "legit" baptisms because I've been teaching them from the start. One little girl from a less-active family (who has since become active again - we'll be talking with them about temples soon :D so exciting!!!) and the other is this beautiful woman - she's a single mother and she is so faithful. She's amazing. I'm very excited for both of them! We'll probably be extending two more this week, one to a teenage girl and another to a man who lives up the bukid where the giant pig lives. It's been amazing to watch these people change. I feel very privileged that the Lord has allowed me to witness such amazing things.
Well, I have a bit of time left, so I'm gonna go respond to some individual emails. I love you all, miss you all! Fiesta, but not too hard :D
- Sister Warner -