Wow, it is a different planet here. I honestly cant describe it. We leave for our mission areas at 5am tomorrow so another long day of travel. We went prostelyting for a few hours with the manila metro missionaries. We spent all 3 hours in the poor shanties of Manila. The poverty here is shocking, the traffic is absaloutly terrifiying, there are seriously no rules on the road. If you can see, pee and breathe you have a license. We road jeepneys (public trasnport) to get to the area to go finding. The language is about a billion times faster than our teachers made it seem in provo, but I am picking up enough to understand and I am speaking a pretty fair amount. Its very sad and depressing to see some of the living conditions of the people here, but also amazing to see how happy they are regardless. We walked up to this lady and started teaching her, and after less than a minute of me trying to speak with here we were surrounded by some 30+ children screaming to get our attention to give high 5's, show is their yo-yo's. showing off their basketball skills, telling us about their birthdays hahah it was crazy. I know even though many don't have anymore than the clothes on their back and the toy in their hand, they all had the most sincere smiles. No one in the world has a more sincere smile than a Filipino child.
The small poor neighbohood we were in had so much going on, street vendors cover every possible square inch with their small shops made of aluminum, ply wood, and tarps, no bigger than the inside of my little corolla at home. Stray dogs, cats, and chickens run around seriously everywhere. There is trash all over the streets, because there is no waste system here, they just throw it out in front of their homes. But one of my favorite parts of the atmosphere of the Philippines in the art. There is art EVERYWHERE. Wall murals and graffiti cover the walls of highways, buildings, vehicles. And it all conveys a message of peace and happiness. Right across from the MTC here is a mural that is my favorite and it says in huge letters "ISA ANG ATING DIYOS, ISA ANG ATING LAHI" Which means "one god, one race" and on the other side of that whall it says "Welcome to the Philippines: Miserable place, Miserable people, living in the name of LOVE" Please forward this emails to the people I missed because I didnt have much time.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH I will write on my P-day and be on a more regular schedule. Mahal Kita!!! -Elder Dahle