Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mabuhay mula sa Paridiso

Monday July 8, 2013
Mabuhay mula sa Paridiso (Greetings from Paradise!)
Yep, I am on "paradise."  President Stucki sent me to Palawan to be trained.  I got to the mission home, interviewed, got orientated, and got sent straight to Palawan that afternoon. Pres Stucki told me that the Lord sends those he trusts to Palawan. I am in the Santa Monica area. Being training by Elder Avila!! He is such a great Elder and loves to work hard. He actually just finished his 12 week training program so we are both newish. He speaks Tagalog 24/7 and I can understand it about 95% of the time... But answering back is much harder.  I really am learning a lot of Tagalog. It is such a blessing to be here on Palawan. Our area is HUGE! We walk and walk and walk all day long, so as of right now, I will not come back fat.

You can tell Uncle Rick by the way that the orientation took place in the first Chapel ever built in the Philippines (I'm sure he has been there). It is surrounded by skyscrapers now. If you send packages, send them regular mail, because the import tax will be deducted from my money here. It will take a little longer, but the tariff is only 50 pisos instead of 1000+. 

My first meal in my apartment was spam and rice with some sauce called Mang Thomas. :) yum yum yum I really am starting to LOVE rice. It is actually very good. E. Avila likes that I am "good with rice." There is NO toilet paper here... just a little rigged up squirter thing. Which is fun. (sort of refreshing even). 

So here is the good stuff.
Before my first appointment, we had to cross a river to get there. Then we taught the first lesson to a referral named "L". I invited him to be baptized in Tagalog.... and he said YES! wow! first lesson.

I was able to bear my testimony in Tagalog in the Santa Monica Branch this Sunday and I did really well! It was so great see all the Filipinos congratulate me even though I am sure, I said things wrong. All of the members would come up to me and ask me what number area this was for me. (this is all in Tagalog).  I would tell them it's my first area. They were all so surprised by how well I speak Tagalog. Then I said, thank you and had no idea what else to say.... haha. I have had that happen to me about 10-15 times already. It makes me feel blessed, but I still can't speak very well. I have a lot to learn. Another story. We taught a recent convert named "R". She wasn't able to go to church because the fare to get there was too much. We recommended she save some money each day so that she could save up to go, because she really does enjoy church and was sad she couldn't go. Then when we left we found a pair of vice grips just sitting in the dirt. We gave it to her and told her to sell it (200 to 500 pisos). That's weeks and weeks of church. I hope she follows our advice! 
Boy this past week has been amazing! I taught so many lessons and met so many people. Found out that Elder Stephens is the Zone leader of the Nara Zone! Way to go Elder Stephens!! I'm sure I will see him some time. Well that's about it. I will see if I can get some pictures sent. It is great to know how everything is going. Say congrats to Sidney, Casey and Joy for me! I'm excited for them. Good luck with the 6th grade! Have fun in Ramona! Sad about the HHR :( Love you guys! I love Palawan and the Philippines!

Ingat po Palagi!  
Elder Schroeder

P.S. I ate some fruit called rambutan, look it up.

Looks happy even doing his laundry:)

Rambutan fruit (found pictures online)

Tip: Google Palawan images. It's beautiful there! I agree with Connor,  looks like paradise...
 I hope you are enjoying the updates:)

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