Elder Jarom Travis Odom

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Philippines Cauayan Mission

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ito Ay Sulit!!! (This Is Worth It!!!)

(Jeep-ni - a common mode of transportation in the Philippines)
Dear My Family,
I AM IN THE PHILIPPINES!!!  John said that when I might feel down to just say to myself that I'm in the Philippines but I can't do that because I'm always so happy!!  I always say to my companion that I can't believe that I'm here.  Let me tell you about my travels here.  Once I got off the phone with y'all, someone walked off of our plane and we all passed him and said hello.  It was Russell M. Nelson!!!!  That was crazy!  Then we got on our plane and I went through two packs of Mentos and a pack of mints because I was a little nervous.
Our flight to LA was two hours.  Our flight to Hong Kong was sixteen hours.  Then our flight to Manila was two hours.  Twenty hours of flying!!!  Sulit!  Sulit means worth it.  It is worth it!

(They arrived at the Manila MTC)...After a little nap, I got some supplies and then ate dinner which was this soup called Bangus.  It has a whole fish in it and you eat they eyes and brain.  I didn't know you ate all that stuff so I didn't try it, but the soup was good!  At 7:00pm we left on a bus to go to the Mission Home...and the bus ride was through rice fields and mountains.  It was a twelve hour bus ride.
Mission: Cauayan
Zone: Ilagan
Area: Benito
We have a little town and tons of rice fields are everywhere.  Mountains are seen from everywhere.  We walk out to Rizal, which is a four to five kilometer walk there and back from our apartment once a week to see a few people.  This is a struggling area  and I'm very happy it's my first.  We have pretty much no investigators because the member activity is low.  The church went from a ward to a branch.  There are over five hundred members in our area but only thirty-five to forty are active so the activity percentage is like eight percent.  We are building trust with the less-actives and reactivating them.  That's our job and since that's what the Lord needs here that's what I want.  I look back over the day every night and pray and tell Heavenly Father that I worked my hardest and I have no regrets about the day.  That's what I will have every day for these two years.  No regrets.  I want to stand before God and everyone say that I worked my hardest every day.  Don't worry about anything because I am making you all proud.  I am working my hardest every day.
Our apartment is very...it's a very humbling experience.  Very humbling.  This is the most beautiful place on earth and it is also the most humbling place you could ever be.  The sunset is amazing every night. 
 I have already killed a gigantic spider in our bathroom! 
( Jarom DOES NOT like spiders!!!)

The food here is amazing when we go to Ilagan, but when we stay in Benito I eat little bananas, bread, noodles, rice, and drink water every day.  The days go by fast and I never stop working. I never rest.  I am having so much fun and Tagalog comes so much easier here than in the MTC because you need it here...

Okay I have to go mail President now so I have to go! I love you all very much and I will email y'all next week!

Until next week...

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