Phone Card Bought at Carson City Philippine Store
Todd bought two international calling cards and Noble sent emails to Todd about what time to call. We got a text about 7:30 PM with the number to call. We got all 4 phones ready for everyone to listen. I promised I would let the rest of the family talk and ask questions. Todd and I listened on the same phone.
Noble said his flight was long but not unbearable because of the excitement. When they landed in Manilla, there was a van to take them to the Manilla Mission home. Noble said it was the LOUDEST PLACE he has ever visited. People honking and noise of everything was amazing. The missionaries discovered that their driver was a Catholic and Noble gave him an English Book of Mormon with his testimony written in it. The driver was very kind and explained that if you wanted a high paying job, you learned English. So they encountered many people that spoke English. The mission home is right across from the Manilla temple, so the missionaries had about 4 hours till the bus ride. They went into the temple but didn't have enough time to attend a session.
The bus ride to the Cauayan Mission went right past the area where Noble was to serve. He said the bus driver drove crazy but it was air conditioned. The Mission Home was air conditioned too. Air Conditioning is called Air Con and there is alot of Tagolish (combination of Tagalog and English) spoken. Although there are alot of old people who speak a dialect of Tagalog that is hard to understand. Elder Hamblin liked President and Sister Carlos. It was a very quick meeting and President Carlos said "So you're the Hamblin!" I asked "What did that mean?" Noble didn't ask.
Noble's trainer is from Boise, Idaho who has been out 19 months. His name is Elder Bates and we even talked to him on the phone. He said there isn't any milk or milk products in the Philippines. His family used to send him mashed potatos and mac and cheese but without butter and milk, it isn't as good. He says he likes rice now anyway. Noble told us there are animals everywhere. There is a rooster that crows on one side of the house and a rooster that crows on the other side of the house. There are chickens, dogs, cats, goats and water buffalo (they are called cari BOW like you take a bow on stage) EVERYWHERE! They lay the rice out everyhwere to dry and so Elder Bates says "That is why we wash the rice!" We all went "ewwww!" Noble says it is HOT! Hotter than anything he imagined. But it is GREEN! He takes a shower out of a bucket because there is no hot water. His companion told us that every apartment is like that. Only a few apartments have microwaves. They wash their own clothes by hand because of no hired help anymore. The church wants missionaries to do their own cleaning and washing. Somthing about tax situations and church employees. There are places to have your laundry done by someone else but the missionaries need to do their own underwear.
There is a McDonalds in their area and it is called McDoughs. He has taught a discussion already. I asked Elder Bates if he is trying to have patience with Elder Hamblin learning the new language. He told me he thought he was. I am glad Elder Bates sounds like a really good missionary. I teased him about UNR whooping Boise State. He said "I heard about that". He let Noble talk to us for almost an hour. Our 2 international calling cards had run out by then. Oh we are so happy for our missionary and the adventures he is going to have. We are excited to hear about his teaching adventures and finding those that have been searching for the truth.