We got a call from Ammah on Mothers Day this past Sunday night around 8:30 . For those of you who do not know about the rules for a Mormon missionary, they only get to call/Skype home twice a year. Mothers Day and Christmas. She couldn't get to a computer to Skype for about 15 more minutes so she thought we could chat until she got a computer at the internet café in Antipolo. The call was dropped 1 minute into the call and we just sat and stared at the phone and the Skype on our computer for 1/2 an hour. Then blessed day.....Ammah was ringing in on Skype. YAY! There she was in all her SHORT haired glory. We asked her about her new haircut to which she explained..."yeah...they don't understand me here and when I ask for layers in my hair....I just end up with several inches lopped off the length...This has happened twice now and I guess it is what it is..ha-ha" She says that the other missionaries tease her now because she looks like Dora the Explorer with her short hair and back pack on while hiking through the rain forest. They sing the Dora song to her as they hike the mountains. Haha...
Yeah...I'd say she resembles her a lot...what do you all think? Heehee.
We asked Ammah a hundred questions about her mission and what it's like in the Philippines. Here are a few details she relayed.
HOW LONG CAN WE SKYPE? A: We have about 2 hours.
She eats rice for breakfast and dinner EVERY DAY...sometimes they have noodles on top of the rice and as a treat sometimes they eat a protein mostly chicken on rice. Saturday they forgot to grocery shop as they were busy with appointments all day and realized when they got home all they had for dinner was 4 spoonful's of rice each and Ammah was saying "Oh.....if I only had my BOX". (It's on it's way Ammah...should be there in a month. HAHA)
There is no milk, no cereal and they can't really afford bread to often. (Missionaries live on a very tight budget, anything left over they don't use is given back to the Philippines mission so Poor families can send their children on missions in the Philippines) It cost 1800 Pesos to send a Filipino on a mission. The missionaries get 4000 pesos every two weeks to live on and pay for their travel around the city. They are asked to save back 1000 pesos for emergencies every 2 weeks and if they don't use it, that is what goes to the Filipino missionary fund.
She has only been on 2 dinner engagements so far. The food was okay..rice!.
"People call me Seester Honez, they think the J in Jones is silent and add a z for the s. LOL."
I try to curl or straighten my hair sometimes but it's useless because as soon as I walk out the door my hair curls up all funny.
No baptisms yet but 1 is scheduled for this Saturday!
The fruit is AMAZING and she eats a LOT of it.
She wears little rubber shoes everyday but Sunday she wears a nice shoe to church.
She is having 2 new black skirts made by a Filipino lady in her ward. (black because she gets so dirty climbing the mountains to see investigators)
Transfer day is this coming Monday and she has no idea if she will stay or go but if she goes the area will be a "white wash" and that's a sad hard thing to do. (white wash = no missionaries left who know the area/investigators and where they are in their testimony development or baptism dates.)
Best thing about the mission so far? A: Meeting all the other missionaries and working together.
Hardest thing about her mission so far? The humidity and heat!! (Notice her hand held fan, she carries that and her umbrella with her where ever she goes, not for rain (yet) but to shield her from the sun) She says she pretty much just feels like she is melting all day and night.)
It was very hard the first few weeks trying to acclimate to her new environment but it is much better and easier now. She is not fluent in Tagalog yet but it is coming very well and she thinks she will be fluent in about 2 more months. She bore her testimony to us in Tagalog. It was AWESOME. Super fun to hear her speak another language like that.
She is happy and loves serving her mission. She misses us but not to much.
We talked on Skype for 2 1/2 wonderful hours. It was so hard to say goodbye, except for the fact that it was almost midnight and we all had to get up early for work and school the next morning.
Surprisingly there were no tears at the end...just a few pouty lips and lots of blown kisses. Until Christmas my little Dora the explorer.
Of course we can't wait to hear about her week in Sundays email. haha.