hate to tell you, but we don't live in Catbalogan. We live in Calbayog city, in an apartment complex off the main road, Called Burungay Carmen. It is a pretty small home, but we have running water and electricity. We have 2 small bedrooms, a small CR (Bathroom), a tiny kitchen, a super small front room, and a laba room, which is where we do laundry. It is a super small place, but it is also super nice to be in. the only problem is that sometimes, the neighbors have TOO much fun on their karaoke machine in the morning. I love the people here, but they are as good at singing as I am, so that's not super good. The city itself is modern in some ways, like some of the buildings, but is mostly not modern. there are no traffic lights, so they rely either on policeman to guide the flow or they just wedge their way through traffic. most people own motorcycles, so this system isn't as bad as it sounds. most of the buildings are pretty run down as well. the city is trying to be modern, but it simply cannot.
This Sunday, we had 42 in attendance at sacrament, including 2 investigators. this number is pretty normal, and it also includes all the little kids. Many people don't come because they don't think they are able to pay for a trike ride to the church building. Many investigators don't come for a variety of reasons, none of them being super good excuses. with all that said, the members who do come have the greatest faith I have ever seen. They understand the importance of coming to church and they continue to do so, though they may have to make some sacrifices to do so.
There are many homes in our area that are built exactly like Tanner Mudrow described. many homes here are built solely to avoid taxes. They tend to be smaller and have less stuff in them, to accommodate big families in as small of a space as possible. speaking of getting as many people as possible into as small a space as possible, we have a big zone meeting in Catbalogon tomorrow, and the entire zone is going to be fitting in our tiny apartment. not excited for that, but the meeting should be a good time. our zone is wonderful, I'll attach a picture in this email.
I cannot describe to you just how much I love this place and this work. The people are generous to no end, humble, and we almost never get turned down for a message, because everyone is so kind and polite here. my personal growth is ridiculous. I have never felt closer to the gospel then I do now. I truly know that this is the lords church, and I am the lord's instrument in bringing the gospel to the people of the Philippines. I know this, and I know that I have been placed here for this very reason. I truly feel the lord's hand in our work, and I truly know this to be the true church. There is no place I would rather be. I have never worked so hard, and I have never gained this much before.
Love you fam. It's hard for you as well as for me, and I know that you are making sacrifices like I am to allow me to be here, and I cannot thank you enough for your support and your love.
Music here really invites the spirit as we clean or eat or prepare for the day. We actually sometimes use Mormon messages, because every family has a laptop or a portable CD player, and we use them to talk about a certain subject.
I can't think of anything, but I'll let your Imagination run wild. No big boxes, please. the mission prefers no big boxes.
Until next week,
P.S. this photo is what they call a "Zone Attack." they take as many priesthood holders as possible, and go and visit any investigators or less actives in the area. it is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Also, I saw an American driving down the street. he honked and waved at me. weirdest thing to happen yet