My (now old) Companion.
Ya, so I've realized that here in the Philippines, rice is kind of like the mascot here.  The crest in America has an Eagle, pretty sure the crest here in the Philippines has pieces of rice.  RICE HERE IS KIND OF LIKE THE JUSTIN BIEBER OF AMERICA. .....Is he even popular any more?  Beats me, but ya, rice.  Huge.  Every meal.  Every snack.  Filipinos put steamed rice in bags for snacks as we walk and you can buy frozen cooked rice at 7-11.  So this month was rice harvest season.  Didn't know what it really was until one day I came out and bam.  Rice stalks literally covering every single street and road.  So apparently what happens here is they harvest the rice and then lay it out to dry for a couple of days before they put it in giant sacks and ship it out to the rice-lovers of the world.  Here's the catch.  They spread out the rice all over the roads.  That jeepneys, trikes, and cars drive on.  But it's no big deal, since all the roads are covered with it, they just continue over the rice.  No problem.  So, the rice coming to you in the United States right now, it might have been (actually probably) driven on by a couple cars and random assortment of transportation.  And of course wherever we walked there was rice too, so think of me as you eat rice, because quite possibly, I've walked on it:)

My New Trainee.
Speaking of rice, I'M TRAINING!  It's been quite a ride.  She's FIlipina, doesn't speak English, and is the most emotional person I have EVER met.  Also the cutest, cleanest, and hardworking.  Since she doesn't speak English, my conversations to everybody now are straight Tagalog (before I could at least still speak in English to my companion).  It's not that much of a problem except for now, my English is soooooo awkward when I try to speak.  It's pretty fine when I write, but wow not only am I coming home as an awkward RM, but I'm probably coming home with English that sounds like a 2 year old boy.  AND I'M STILL IN PILAR!  I'LL BE HERE FOR CHRISTMAS!  Which means that when I skype home, I'll be skyping from our branch president's house and you can meet them all!  So training is fine, I'm realized how pathetic I was when I first got here to the mission, but also how much I've already learned (even though I still consider myself new...).  My trainee is smart AND knows Tagalog (well duh she's Filipina) and we are doing okey dokey here.  She's been really homesick and we all know how well I deal with emotions <sarcasm>.  Two weeks ago (my trainee's first couple days) we had no water.  As in the sink didn't work, the shower didn't work, and we couldn't clean, cook, or shower.  True to the Filipino way, I got to experience the fascinating way of showering with a bucket and ladle and carrying water from a water pump to our house.  And eating at 7-11 for a couple days.  And while my companion kind of lost it because we had no water, we are still alive and she is still here:)  

The Night Before Transfers-And Our Christmas Lights!

I forgot that Halloween was just a couple days ago.  Let's just say here in the Philippines, Halloween...whaaaaa?  BUT on Nov 1 everyone sleeps overnight in the cemeteries next to their family members that have died.  So we kind of got Halloween in a creepy, no one was home, we spent the whole day walking, kind of way.  

Funny story (besides this whole training experience): Earlier this morning the zone leaders called the others sisters (sister snow and sister baui) in our apartment on the phone.  Sister snow was in the shower and sister baui did not (as in really did not) want to answer the phone because she is sooo shy and she's new.  So she's holding the ringing phone, running around trying to find sister snow, speaking in Tagalog so fast I'm only catching 2 or 3 words.  Finally, standing outside the bathroom, she answers the phone and tells the zone leaders to wait a minute, and then throws the phone to sister snow... in the shower.  Glad it's not my awkward experience to have to claim, but thankfully their phone still works and the zone leaders eventually just called back later.  

Have a great week, enjoy the snow for me!  Until next week!