That's "hello" in Samoan, in case you don't speak Samoan :D Where am I learning Samoan? Yes! From my awesome new companion!
QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:
1. Tell us a little about your companion. We know she was Sister Lange's companion in the MTC, she is from Samoa and her name is Sister Salima.
She's from Western Samoa and she's still learning English. To make it even more impressive, she's learning Visaya IN ENGLISH! She's so awesome! She has the coolest hair ever. She puts it in lots of braids every day :D She's pretty tall - like 5 ft 6 in I think...but no, that's not normal for a Samoan. She's the tallest in her family :D She has THE COOLEST relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior that I've ever seen. She trusts them so much and she loves the work here. Honestly, she can be summed up into one word: Amazing!
2. Tell us about your new area. We googled it and it looks like there is a mangrove in your area! Too funny!
My new area...where do I start? IT'S SO BUKID! Everything here in Bohol is so green - radical change from Lacion. There's REAL GRASS here! And trees! So many trees! In my area there are tons of like...coconut farms. Just fields and fields of coconut trees. And rice. So many rice fields. All I can say is that it's beautiful. Even if we can't find any transportation and we have to walk 3 miles up a mountain, I love it. I love every step! Speaking of transportation...so we live in Calape (see last question) but we work in Clarin. So we take like a 30 min bus ride to Tubigon every day, then a 20 min tricycle ride to Bacani (the base of our area) and then either another bus or tricycle for 10-30 mins up the mountain to the rest of our area. That's one way. So. Much. Travel. But I love it. The buses here are wicked scary! You know that magic bus in Harry Potter? I forgot which book...but anyways, the buses here are like that. It's so crazy! Sometimes Sister Salima and I just laugh and laugh at how crazy it is. Also they kind of remind me of the Polar Express cuz there's a conductor dude who also gives you REAL tickets that he actually punches holes in with a little hole punch. So funny! And when he yells for the bus driver to pull over for passengers, instead of yelling: "Lugar lang!" like they do in Cebu, he yells: "OOOPS!" So funny. I love the transportation here.
3. Where do you go to church? Are you in a branch or a ward?
We go to church in Inabunga. We attend the Inabunga Branch. It's pretty small - there are 3 sets of missionaries assigned to Inabunga - Clarin A, Clarin B and Sagbayan. Sister Wolfe and Sister Reineiete(? I hope I spelled that right - she's from Kiribas) are in Clarin A, then Sister Salima and I in Clarin B and the District Leader, Elder Mataupu and his companion, Elder McQuiston are in Sagbayan. They have Sagbayan Peak, the mini Chocolate Hills and the Tarsiers in their area...Elder Mataupu is a Samoan (yes, he and Sister Salima usually talk in Samoan) from New Zealand. Coolest accent ever. And he actually looks like a combination of Harsh and Taylor lolz!
4. How was church on Sunday?
Church on Sunday was so different than Consolacion. First, we meet in a meeting house, which is like this tiny aparment. Well, actually it's big by Philippines Standards. We are so crowded in there, though! All the chairs were filled and people were sitting on the staircase and stuff. It's so full - we definitely need more room! So we all crammed in there and it was great. The Sacrament Prayers were in Visayan! Which made me happy cuz I've never heard it sa Visaya :D then all three of the new missionaries (Sister Wolfe, me and Elder McQuiston) spoke followed by two awesome sisters. The Elders taught the investigators class and then the last class was combined...5th Sunday, I guess? Anyways. There are lots of similarities between my new branch and Consolacion 3rd ward. I love it!
5. What do you have planned for P-day?
P-day. Well, my awesome new house has a washing machine! (See last question). So I washed all my clothes already...so we're just gonna go shopping and then go home and clean and study. We won't go out to work tonight because P-day doesn't end until 6pm and 6pm is the time that we start traveling home everyday. So we'll just study and clean and relax and write letters and shop!
6. Tell us about your living conditions - are you with other sisters, in an apartment, etc.?
Living conditions! So I love my new house. It's this tiny gated community and the Talbots (one of the Senior Couples in this mission) live in their house and then right behind their house, there is a little walk way and then three apartments side by side. There is a set of sisters in each of them. Sister Vui and Sister Clegg (The one who's still in training) on the far end, then...SURPRISE! My Nanay, si Sister Yap and her companion, Sister Alvaro in the middle - they are the Bohol North Sister Training Leaders - then Sister Salima and I on the end. There is a washing machine that all of us share behind the Talbot's house. Sister Salima and I have a toilet. No, it doesn't flush. We have a shower. No, it doesn't work. So we just use the bucket for everything! Our bathroom is a 4x4 tiled room with a lime green 5 gallon bucket and a nice big red scooper (about a liter) so we flush the toilet and shower with the bucket and scooper. The rest of our house is nice! Hard to describe...I'll try to take some more pictures. We have a couple of uninvited guests...several cockroaches and tiki's (the tiki's are always welcome) and A GIANT RAT! Haha it's been eating Sister Salima's bed - matress and sheets! Haha luckily I sleep on the floor, so I don't have any problems. Anyways, I went on a rat hunt and currently I've got it locked in the closet. We're still waiting for the guy to come take care of it...haha it's funny. I love living next to sisters and the Talbots. It's like this awesome little community :D
So Monday during District Meeting, Sister Salima asked me: "What happened to your eye?!" I was like: "Uh...what's wrong with it?" And she said: "It's so red! We call it 'too' [in Samoan]..." And she started talking in Samoan, but like, I don't speak Samoan. So I'm just like: "We call it 'allergies' and it's okay." Then she's like: "No! It will make you go blind!" So I started laughing cuz I have allergies all the time. But then EVERYONE kept asking me: "Oh, what happened to your eye?" So finally I dragged Sister Salima to the C.R. with me to take a look...SURPRISE! Not allergies! Guess I like burst a blood vessel or something in my eye somehow. No idea how cuz it doesn't hurt or itch or anything, it just feels normal. So we gave Sister Tanner a call to get some medical advice and turns out that there's nothing they can do about it! Just let it run it's course. So she told me to buy some eye drops, which I did. Elder Talbot's had this happen to him several times and he's even gone to an eye specialist about it, but there's nothing that can be done. It'll heal up in about a week. In the mean time, they check up on me twice a day - they're so sweet. So aside from the fact that I look like I belong on the set of a horror movie and people around here look at me like a leper, I'm totally fine! On the plus side, I don't have any problem getting people to look me in the eye any more ;)
Congratulations to Scott and Michelle - your baby is beautiful! My mommy sent me a picture!
Also congrats to Jaden and Isaac! So happy to have you join the forces :D
Nahigugma ko kaninyo,