Sunday, June 1, 2008

May 19th email

Hi to all of you again! the cards, remember how I renewed the cards right before I left mom? That's probably why they think I have two working but I only have the renewed one with me, maybe that means I did not activate it so that's why the ATM doesn't work but when I use it at stores it still can go through. There are very few places where they accept my card so what I've done is use the card a couple times to buy food etc. in order to pay back for the things I've had to use my cash allowance from the mission for. The way the money works is we get an allowance every month... this money comes from the $400 you give but that doesn't mean I actually get $400 dollars. They distribute the money given by families all throughout because say I was in Europe... I would need a lot more money to survive the same way than I do here in the Philippines or maybe in America so every missionary gives the same amount but we all get what it is we need to live a fairly modest lifestyle in the area we live. The money is only to be used for food and toiletries, utilities, transportation which is a big one in our area we have to pay for lots of transportation, getting our clothes washed and postage for letters home which is rather expensive and more so if I send pictures etc...if we buy clothing, get pictures printed etc. it needs to come from separate funds from home. I don't expect to have to use that too much but I did need to get some of my clothing altered, I bought English Tagalog dictionaries that are better and I need to buy a smaller bible in Tagalog still which will be cheap...also the sheets I bought because I only had one set. It sounds like you would like me to give the information to you in a letter so i'll send it later. It's not too big a deal right now and maybe won't matter at all. So, dad wrote "Mom had a heart attack" referring to sending the package which scares me... because there still is the chance it won't get here! I really don't want you to spend lots of money sending me things, I can survive without packages... maybe one more for Christmas/birthday and that will suffice :) Anyway...when I read it I really thought he meant she'd had a heart attack and I nearly did... it took my brain a while to figure out what was really meant by the words. Today we had a district activity for P-day. We sent to fantasy world again which is just this place where they have lots of trees and paths and flowers and a big castle. We went there before with some members because it's in our area but the other missionaries wanted to go also and we thought it was open now so we'd be able to eat and go bowling. It still wasn't open, though, so we just walked around taking pictures and then it started to rain, and then it was raining really hard! Haha...we ran through the rain and were pretty soaking wet. We took refuge in the castles cathedral for a bit but then it wasn't letting up so we continued our trek to the street to catch a jeep to go back home. It was pretty exciting, haha. So mom, I just want to let you know that you're probably a lot stronger and braver than you seem to think you are. So Aunt Amy and Aunt Jenny are pregnant? I thought Amy was done with four? Hopefully she'll have a girl and then Chloe can have a sister with all those brothers :) I wonder if I'll have boys or girls or both etc...or any children at all! haha... I used to think I could never have boys because I'd have no idea how to raise them or anything about them since I only had sisters but I continue to have lots of experiences that help me understand the life of a little boy on up and I probably wouldn't mind havinga little "mommies boy" :) haha. All the little shops have put out their school uniforms and backpacks etc. because school is about to start here. It makes me feel like I'm in a different dimension of time altogether because you're finishing school but they're just starting school, so strange. Sister Mabalot and I decided that when I go home you have to come pick me up so we can go to Baguio where she lives and see it there. It's a really beautiful area of the Philippines with water falls and rivers etc. and then she'll come home with us to see Utah in the fall... a season she's never experienced :) She's actually going to try taking the exam to get into law school at BYU but isn't sure how that will work, especially being a foreigner and with money etc. Yesterday in Church I understood basically everything that was going on. Church is always very Tag-lish... but I understood a lot of the Tagalog parts of that Taglish. Understanding is coming a lot faster though.

The little boys were catching these huge bugs that they like to play with, I think I talked about them before. They were throwing them at me, it was very unpleasant :) They thought it was a great game. Minandro was being a little kinder about it all and kept telling his comrades "Huwag!" Which means "Don't" basically. Then they would say, "Sister Landrum, Sister Landrum, Kailan Kayo pupunta sa amin?" Asking me when we would be returning to their home to teach them. We're teaching Raymond, their 12 year old cousin, lessons to be baptized and the rest of them who are 9-10 have been baptized recently so we're teaching them new member lessons. We'll return Wednesday and they want me to teach them how to make paper balloons. Well, I can't think of much more to specifically talk about right now. I hope all is going well and am excited every week to find out the every day happy events of your lives. Tell Ike congrats for me eh? Funny, all of the males in the family go state side and I'm here in the jungle!
Love from your missionary, Sister Landrum!