Thursday, May 28, 2015

I'm Alive!

Family. Friends. Before I begin writing, I apologize in advance for
lack of formatting in this blogbost. The MTC Browser that we use for
email doesn't allow us to write in paragraphs. Now let me tell you
about my first week as a missionary. We flew for about 20 hours
straight before arriving to the Philippines. Let me tell you it was an
absolutely awful flight. It just felt like I was in the air FOREVER.
We then arrived to the Manila in the dead of night. A driver by the
name of Clem met me and another sister missionary. We walked outside
and were hit by a HUGE blast of humidity. I would say that the air
here is 90% water and 10% air. It was so humid that night that right
as I walked out the door that my glasses fogged up. So, after many
hours of flying we drove to a hotel. I tried sleeping that night, but
ultimately failed in doing so because... well because how could I? So
the following morning we woke up and drove to the Missionary Training
Center and started the missionary training process. We start our days
at 6 in the morning and end at 10 at night without any breaks. It may
seem exhausting, but really it's amazing. We get to completely devote
ourselves to learning the Tagalog language and serving others. I
really do love it. My companion's name is Elder Tonga. He is from
Tonga. He doesn't speak English very well and is quite a quiet person.
At times it is hard for me to even hear him. However, whenever he does
get something across that I can understand, it is so powerful and
thoughtful. His example has taught me the value of meekness and
humility. The food here at the MTC is...well.. I can't say that it's
the best, I can't say it's the worst and I DEFINITELY can't say it's
the healthiest. I do miss my parents' cooking. However, it IS food and
it's not like I hate it. So that's okay. Tagalog is coming along
nicely. I'm so thankful that I have SOME background in it. It has
really helped me progress in learning the language in just this first
week. It really is hard here. I don't really fit into a specific
group. I don't quite fit in with the Filipinos because I don't speak
Tagalog and I don't really fit in with the foreigners because I don't
really look like them. There's this huge expectation put on me. I feel
like I should fit in somewhere. But I never let that dishearten me. I
shouldn't. I want to be here and I love it. I absolutely love every
second of learning, growing, and serving. There's no point in me being
discouraged because I know things work out. I just know it. All the
progress and success that I may have must through diligence and
obedience. I miss all of you; hearing your voices and just being able
to communicate with you on a daily basis. You are all in my prayers
every day, even if those prayers are in broken Tagalog. I can't wait
to do more work and serve the people of Naga in June. I can't believe
a week has already past. I just FLEW by. My advice for the week: Never
get discouraged. It's hard to overcome that, but I promise that when
you do, you will be able to soar to unimaginable heights. Best wishes
and I'll talk to all of you soon! -Elder Bondoc (Attached is the only
picture that I can attach. Hopefully I can upload more soon.)

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