Dad! I'm going to reply to yours and mom’s email in this one email so get ready it’s going to be lengthy.
I am in a city called Bacoor, it is east of Cavite city. It is extremely polluted and pretty filthy, but its my home right now! It’s usually very hot and humid too and these are the cold months. Boy am I in for it. Way too many people live here than should so it is totally packed and crowded and crazy! There are many poor families but also many wealthy ones too. Bacoor's economy is pretty much centered around a mall called SM City which is in the center of the city. It’s a huge 6 story shopping mall and there’s about 40 of them in the Philippines. It’s probably what contributes to most of the pollution in the city.
I kind of gave you a brief review of my work last week and I will do the same this week but include a little bit more!
Last Monday after I emailed you, we went to a family home evening at a member's house. We had a lesson and played games and ate pancit (noodles and chicken and vegetables, delicious) and it was a lot of fun. even though it was mostly in Tagalog. On Tuesday, we had our morning schedule (8-12, personal study, companionship study, language study and new missionary study) and then went out! We took a jeepney and a tricycle to a chapel on the other side of town where we had a district meeting with all the Missionaries in the Bacoor district. There were 4 companionships including mine, and one other American who had been here for 7 months and was fluent in Tagalog. We had a little meeting and then ate lunch at Jollibee which is like the Philippines’ McDonalds that serves pork hamburgers instead of beef becausue Filipino’s seem to like pork better. After that, me and Elder Zacarias, my companion, who is from Leyte, another island in the Philippines and has been out for about 8 months, had an appointment at a members house where we taught this member’s nanny/maid named Mary Rose who is a very good progressing investigator. After we taught her the member, Nanay Lopez (Nanay means mother and is what you call older women), fed us adobo which is chicken cooked in soy sauce and vinegar with rice and is very good. After that, we had a couple more lessons before we got home. Most days are pretty much like this..We get fed usually everyday, a lot of food! They're trying to fatten me up. I will share one more story because it is my favorite!
Elder Lasley and Elder Zacarias
We were proselyting in a poorer area of town where all the houses are made of sheet metal and have mostly dirt floors and are not much bigger than my room. We found a Nanay doing laundry outside so we talked to her. Apparently she was a member, but her husband wasn’t, so she let us inside to go teach her husband. He was a 60+ year old, blind, diabetic. They also had a severely autistic son. Anyways, we taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and he was very interested and receptive and asked many questions. It was a great lesson. I shared some thoughts in my broken Tagalog. After the closing prayer, we asked to return another time and he said that would be fine so we set up a return appointment and talked to him a bit more. He told us he had about 10 percent vision and that he could only really see light colors, so he could tell we were wearing white shirts, and could tell that I was white, ahaha. He said "Amerikano?" and I said "opo!" and then he looked at me for a while and said "guapo-guapo" or very handsome, ahaha. It was funny. I tried talking to their son and he just smiled, he was sweet. anyways, that’s the story!
Now to answer some questions. I will send you pictures of my apartment don’t worry. We live with one other companionship, both Filipino, so I hear a lot of Tagalog. But they all do speak English just fine.
I love the food here. Lots of rice every meal! They even serve rice at McDonalds and KFC and every other fast food restaurant. I love the people too! They’re very humble and hospitable and they love Americans. They love white skin! It’s like the opposite of here. They use umbrellas everywhere and have skin whitening creams so they can have "more beautiful" skin.
The kids are really funny too. Whenever I walk by a group of children they all yell at me in their broken English and call me names like "Father" and "Policeman" and "Justin Bieber" ahahah.
All the adults and older children always ask me how tall I am and when I reply with 6 feet they say ohhhh, do you play basketball? Everyone loves basketball here, it’s the national sport haha.
There are a lot of animals too! A lot of small bugs, nothing big, but a lot a lot of stray cats and dogs and even goats. and chickens and ducks too! A lot of families raise roosters for cock fighting. I guess its pretty popular.
There are no street laws really, so crossing the street is a dangerous adventure. There are open air markets and street venders everywhere also. They don’t really have any copyright laws either so everything is usually fake. Anyways, I'll send some pictures now!
Oh p.s. I love you guys! It’s cool that Sam is playing soccer and basketball. I'm glad he’s enjoying it. He'll always be a monster outside shooter. And Ben’s doing great in cross-country, that’s awesomse! He'll no doubt be better than me. It makes me happy that I can be a role model for them, it’s nice to hear that they look up to me. I love and miss them!
I heard about Mom’s reunion. It sounded awesome! She got to see a whole bunch of old friends and be in high school again haha!
I also love hearing about your missionary experiences. I do know the Corums actually! The daughter was a cheerleader at Flag High if I’m not mistaken. Keep working with the missionaries! Working with a member present is so much more effective than not. We don’t get General Conference here in the Philippines until next weekend, but I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for telling me what to look out for! I think it’ll be in Enlgish with Tagalog subtitles, or Taglaog translations but Im not sure.
I love you guys and miss you all a whole lot! Keep being the Lasley's, don’t change too much, I don’t want to miss anything! I get homesick sometimes, but I'm doing alright. I miss Maddie too! But we email also and we’re gonna start writing letters! When she comes over for dinner could you give her the address to write me letters? I think it’s in my call packet. If not, do you think you could maybe contact Sister Tye and find out how to send letters to me? Thanks.
I got a letter from Auntie Jen too but I don’t have time to reply! Tell her and Dylan and Nana and Uncle Ron that I love them and I think about them too and thanks for being so supportive!
I love you guys, I'll email you in a week!