So, ya.  I got transferred.  

Transfers are the worst.  I never want to transfer again.

isn't it the cutest cat EEEVr!
(haha it's not dead I promise)
Okay, so it's not the end of the world.  But the Beatles song is so right, it was time to say all my goodbyes in Pilar and move on to meet another world of Filipinos in Mandama.  I was pretty sure I was transferring, 6 months in one area is about as long as missionaries can serve in one area but I didn't think about it until Tuesday night when we got the transfer text as we were walking home from my last appointment with the Barecante family.  I packed, wrote all my goodbyes, got a couple hours of sleep and then rode a bus about an hour to my new area.  Haha I still have P-day in the same city as before.

of course, they have a day to celebrate rice!!!
I never thought I would be homesick on my mission, but now all the stories I've had to deal with about homesick missionaries TOTALLY MAKE SENSE.  I am so homesick for Pilar.  It's so hard to leave your best friends, family, companion that I love, for everything that is entirely new and completely different.  And trust me, Mandama is about as different as it gets. 

I left Pilar, one of the smallest branches in the mission, an almost open area (and a super loud area close to a city), leaders that were so amazing, and hard headed people.  I left my first friends I made in the Philippines and all the problems I didn't want to deal with:)  

BUT Mandama rocks.  I'm slowly coming to love it too.  I'm in the middle of a small town that is completely silent, you walk EVERYWHERE for transportation, it's the only stake in the whole mission (THERE ARE SO MANY PEEEEOPLE), the members rock, every single person is so nice (which I am so not used to...) and I have to meet people for the first time again.  I'll let you know more about what it's like here when I figure it out for myself...

My new companion-Sister Villaviles
(on the right of me)
I'm training.  Again.  But my companion is the cutest.  And the quietest.  Just a couple random facts about her (she is filled with random facts):
  • SHe's from Cebu, a part that got hit by Yolanda.  She left for her mission the week after the storm.  She told me a couple stories about having to get through everything, but I think it's just really hard to describe.  
  • She's 5 ft. tall HA
  • like every other companion I've had, she hates pancakes and banana ketchup.  But I'm the only one who know's how to cook in our apartment.... The Filipinos don't know how to cook.  THat is so backwards.
  • good ole' transportation in the philippines
  • She had to get baptized twice, once when she was 8 and then again when she was 12 because they lost her membership record (is that awful that that's pretty normal here?!).  Does that count as double salvation?  
I always have the cool companions:)

Leaving Pilar and coming to my second area made me realize how hard Pilar was.  I thought is was normal to have people leave as you were talking to them and there being such thing as mean Filipinos.  Last week before I left, we had one of our investigators tell us she hated the mormon's, gave "the American foreigner" a stuffed animal as a "souvenir" with some candy, and excused us out the door. Here in Mandama we have it SO MUCH EASIER.  Everyone loves to talk and visit with the missionaries, people actually always come to church and are nice!  Meeting people is easy!  Mandama is just a happy place to be.  And probably once I get used to it all, I'll probably be really happy here too.  
one of our investigators taking
one of our presents
across the river

Right now, I just miss crossing the rivers, laughing about all the mean people, and working with all the youth, that were my friends.

Funny Story:  So the week before I left Pilar, I found out our bathroom door has a lock on the outside:)  You know I can't resist a good joke:):).  So I spent every morning locking my companion and roommates in the bathroom when they went to shower in the morning.  The best part is no matter how many time I locked them in, they didn't realize what was happening. HAHAaaa  it is soo funny to leave filipinos is a bathroom and listen to their reaction.  Thankfully my roommates took it all well too.

Reading this over, my email sounds like an end of the world, see you in the next life kind of email.  The mission still rocks, I still don't know if I'm going to come home after this is all over, and I've always got a smile:)

But all I have to say is transfer day better not happen again:)