Posted by: Susan Johnson | March 25, 2009

Bucket Showers & Laundry by Hand!!! (I made it)

I hope you all are doing amazing. I really do pray for you everyday. I love you all and miss you! Oh and about the phone call…I have no idea what happened! It was kinda funny I was bearing my soul and when I was done nobody said anything! haha oh well. It was soooo good to hear from all of you!
The flights to the Philippines were definitely a trip. Us fresh missionaries were able to successfully give away 3 Book of Mormons accompanied with some great conversations. When we landed in Manila, humidity and excitement was in the air! 🙂 Sadly I had to say goodbye to my Companion…who knows if I will ever see her again. She was awesome and I really do miss her. Finally after being delayed an hour we made it to Bacolod at around 6:30 pm…which means it is 4:30 a.m. your time…34 hours total of traveling…we were beat! The mission president and his wife met us at the airport and drove us to the mission home and there they fed us our first Philippino dinner. It was full of.. . . . I can’t even tell you what it is but it was good! After that we had an orientation meeting…oh boy I bet the 5 of us looked like a sight! All of us were fighting with all of our might to stay awake! haha at one point I almost fell over! The next day we got our assignments and companions. Right now I am in San Carlos which is on the same island as Bacolod and it’s at the top on the right…or at least that’s what they tell me…I haven’t seen a map. We can see Cebu from here.
San Carlos is everything I wished for in a mission. Bucket showers, — I did my laundry byLaundry by handhand for the first time today for the rest of my mission (my poor companion) beautiful scenery, little bamboo huts, and I’m not kidding I have never seen anything like this before. These people actually live in these little cubical sized bamboo huts. It’s crazy! but I love it! The people are so kind and loving. I haven’t met a rude one yet. It has been quite a culture shock…but in a good way. Oh my companion…her name is Sister Abrao. She is a native Philippina. She is awesome. She is a little on the quite side but that is ok. She speaks little English so its a little difficult but over time things will get better.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers. For real. I have been very surprised at how well I have handled things so far and I know it is from the prayers of my friends and family so thank you so much. I am comforted constantly from the spirit and I am so thankful for the fact that I don’t have to do this alone because if I did I would have been home long before now. I’m so grateful for my Savior and His infinite love for me. We are so blessed as members of the church. Never take that for granted. The thing that I have struggled the most with is the language. I am in an area that speaks Cebuano. Comparing Cebuano and Tagalog is like comparing English and Spanish. Yea I don’t understand a single word that comes out of their mouth its crazy and incredibly frustrating. Mostly I just sit and smile like a goober. The good thing is that they can understand me when I speak Tagalog. All the people in the Philippines understand Tagalog because all of their TV and stuff
is in it. But please continue to keep me in your prayers. I have already taught many, many lessons. It has been great. Even though I can’t understand what is going on there are times where I can feel the spirit.
It’s really cool and the people are so patient with me. The thing that I am going to focus on is being able to bear powerful testimony. I want to be able to master that in Cebuano so I can show the people that even though I don’t know the language very well, I can still express how much I love this gospel.
Guess what! haha I had to give a talk on Sunday! OH boy that was intense! I ended up just giving the talk I gave in sacrament in the MTC. I prayed that the spirit would carry my message to their hearts and they would be able to feel something. Church was really good though–I loved it. The saints where few but I can really feel their power. Its so cool. Later that day we met with the branch president. As I was sitting there and my companion and him were talking…me not understanding… I remember having the distinct impression that he was a man called of God and I could feel his strong spirit and testimony. It was really cool. Well tapos na! I got to go. There is so much I want to say but maybe next time! I love you all and pray that you are all well!

Sister Johnson



  1. Kelsey…oops Sister Johnson-

    Lipay gid ko para sa imo. I’m so happy for you!!! I wish I could talk to you on the phone and tell you everything will be alright. I PROMISE it will get better. I remember sitting in front of people as they were staring at me and tears were streaming down my face because I wanted so badly to bear my testimony with them but couldn’t find the words. Don’t you worry though, even though you don’t have the words right now, if those sweet people’s hearts are in the right place, they will feel your testimony. Oh how my heart aches for those people. You will fall in love with them. My last area was in Cadiz real close to where you are. I’m so jealous. Enjoy every moment, even though its hard right now. There is something to be learned in all things. We are praying for you. Have a good day!!! Halong (Take Care)


  2. I totally agree w/ your friend Kar-Lynn. I know that the Spirit of the Lord is w/ you. Our prayers are w/you always. Ingat ka.

    Emy Krauss

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