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Somehow, two years have passed. And Dallin will be flying back to the states on March 26th. It has been quite the adventure! I will encourage him to add his own summary when he gets back...(Living the good life in the Philippines, Quezon City North Mission. Entered the MTC in Provo on April 4, 2012. Flew to the Philippines on Sunday, May 13, 2012. What a great adventure! And what an honor to serve the good people of the Pines!)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Welcome to Hell"

In case you didn't know, that is a quote from Ratatouille (no idea on that spelling).

Anywho, hey all!!! It was absolutely lovely talking to all y'all...yesterday? Two days ago? Eh, whatever. Sorry I was a little on the sleepy side, but still, that was awesome!! Thanks for your time! I love all of you!

So, news? Well, at this point, it is 2:15ish on Tuesday in the Philippines. I am alive!!! That's probably the best part. I don't know how much of me will be left when I get home. Just whatever doesn't evaporate, which might not be much. The plane ride was FOREVER long!! 11 hours to start us off. We stopped in Guam for about 2 hours but we couldn't get off the plane. So we just sat. I got in a little sleep, but not much. And then after Guam there were about 4 more hours of flight! Whew, the way was long!! It was super weird being without a comp. Super super. But we finally made it through. At this point, we were the only white people. Hold on, did I mention who "we" are? Sister Winger, Sister Garcia, and I. So we get through customs and there is this guy that starts waving at us through a window. Yeah, I know! Cool, white people! We decided not to pay any attention to him. We waited forever for our bags. Finally get them and head out and we're trying to figure out where to go. That crazy guy starts waving us over. Hm, sketchy. But we head in his direction. He grabs the sister's bags and starts heading. We get to a van and thankfully, the guy turns out to be our ride. He is really cool, but I didn't get all of his humor or quite all of his English. But he was awesome. We start driving.
Holy nuts!! OK, a few notes about driving here. The painted lines? Eh, purely decoration. Rule number one, fill the spaces. Rule number two, first come first served. Rule number three, biggest vehicle first. Rule four...well, I'm not sure. Pedestrians kind of have the right of way, but not really. Needless to say, it's a mad house!!! Completely insane!! People are swerving everywhere, closer than inches to each other. Bikes and motorcycles shoot through anywhere they can fit. People just walk in front of any vehicle they want. They figure if they put their hand out, it will stop. They don't care. They really practically have no rules!!! It was complete madness!! It took us a few hours to get to the mission home. It felt like about 6 at night. Looked like it could be too. But it was before noon. OH boy. We met President Sperry and his wife. They are pretty awesome!! Their house is very nice. It is pretty crazy poor here. Even when we were driving through the city. They just have places made out of garbage stacked up on top of each other. Made from rubble. Trash. And those will be built right up next to the nice buildings. It's weird. The mission home is nice though. We showed up and they gave us our rooms for the night. I get one all to myself. It's really quite nice! Way better than the MTC, except that it is hot!! Holy toledo, is it hot!! Thus, the subject line. Wow! We showed up in the Philippines at 6 in the morning! 6! And we arrived to a nice cool 86 degrees. In the morning!? AHHH!! It's gotten way hotter. The heat is crazy intense. I'm sweating my own thunderstorm over here. Anyway...
So we're in the mission home. I get to shower. Ah, amazing!! Got all nice and cleaned up. The AP's and some other office boys were there when I got all cleaned up. We had some awesome pizza. They said pretty much til I eat there again, it'll be rice. So enjoy it!! It was great. All the missionaries I've met are pretty cool. They didn't want us to sit around all day, so the pres. had the AP's drop me off with the zone leaders and the sisters headed out with some of the sisters. We're hanging around, seeing the work til later tonight. It happens to be their P-day, so I get to email!! Anyway, they took us to the mission office to meet up with our day-long baby sitters. I'm with four apartment-mates. One was in the district my teachers taught right before me, so that was cool! I'd heard about him from them before. And he's only been here about 6 weeks so he's pretty fresh. That's awesome. And, it turns out, one of the other guys was on the rangers team a year ahead of me. Elder Day. He was a keeper. So that was a really cool connection too!
It's been dope so far. We took a jeepney for a ride to get close-ish to their apartment. That was cool. We've run into a couple of bakla already (gays). The real ones get all the surgery to turn themselves into women. Problem is, for most, it's pretty apparent. And sorry, I can't help but add, it's gross!! Anyway, had a couple of them. Walked past a 30ish year old woman smaller than Stephanie. Crazy. But there is a lot of walking here. And it's dang hot. Wow!! A lot of people like to look at me. The white is weird, and the red hair is even better! It's like seeing a black guy in Alpine. Unless your last name is Whimpey, or your first name is Kaufi, it doesn't happen. It doesn't bug me. It's just cool!
I got to see the Elder's apartment. It's not bad. Pero, it's hot!! I expect to lose weight, if I can not eat too much rice. It's mad! Anyway, that's about it for now. These guys are about ready to bust. So far, I'm liking it here just fine!! I don't understand anything and I'm really sweaty, but it's pretty sweet. I'm spending the night in the mission home, but transfers happen tomorrow, so I'll get put with my trainer and get out to my area. But I won't be able to let you know about that until P-day probably so, maybe not til next Tuesday? I don't know. But that's what I'd expect!!!
Anyway, I love you all! Thanks for everything! Thanks for the speaking!! Take luck and take care.

Much love,

Elder Christensen

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