9/25/12 - received 10/23/12 (Edited version)
Whassup my family?!
Happy Birthday Dad! Not sure when you'll get this letter, but eh, it's worth a shot. Yeah, so I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday and tell you guys about some of my investigators. I thought it would be cool if you guys kept my investigators in my prayers so you can feel even more a part of the work here in the Pinas. (Skipping the details here - Mom)
There is not any divorce here, so marriage is pretty difficult. So, couples often don't get married. So, lots of chastity issues. And everyone including the little kids, drink and smoke. There are about 600,000 members in the Pinas, but only about 100,000 actives. We spend a lot of time with less actives.
But yea, hope you are all doing well. I'm hanging in there. It's definitely been hard. Hardest thing I've ever done. It's not exactly the nice tropical beach I pictured, instead super poor, hot and one of the most polluted cities in the world. It's been rough lately just not being able to communicate and just thinking I'll be here for 22 more months. But I've found some stuff that helps me remember why I'm here. (Skipping the details again - Mom)
Also, I just keep thinking of this quote, "You will do more good for your family on your mission than if you were home trying to help them."
It'll be easier once I get the hang of things here. For sure. Just gotta remember why I'm here. It's not about me. And if I can sacrifice a few years of hanging out and having fun to help even one family feel the gospel in their life and live together forever, I'd say it's pretty well worth it.
But yea, I can't thank you all enough for your prayers and support. I'll send some pictures home soon.
Oh, and fun fact. Yia Yia, or "yaya" in Tagalog means, "housemaid or servant". Ha, so pretty much the same thing as Yia Yia in Greek.
Love you Mom, Dad, John, Heather, Cyrus, Aria, Kelb and Skylo!!