Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Driving Lessons

Dear Family and Friends,

                It’s been another great week here in Alaminos.  This week was pretty crazy.  We helped move apartments in two different zones, and then we were traveling to the rest of the zones to change filters and to do apartment checks.  It was a full week and I was definitely exhausted at the end of every day. 

                There was also another experience that I found really interesting.  Elder Costales doesn’t have his license yet, and he told me that he’s never driven anything except a tractor.  So, this last week, we went and picked up his student permit.  We headed over to the church parking lot, where I then attempted to teach him how to drive.  It was a really weird experience and definitely not something that I would’ve ever imagined doing on my mission.  He’s picking up everything really well though and I think that he should be ready to head out onto the road soon.  There’s no course or required driving tests here in the Philippines.  You simply get your student permit, and if you’re still alive after thirty days you can go take the test to get your driver’s license.  For the driving test, you need to back out of a parking spot, drive in a circle in the parking lot, and then pull back into the parking spot.  I’m really surprised how good everyone here is at driving since they don’t get the best training in the world.

                The weather here is starting to heat up and you can feel summer coming.  I’m definitely not looking forward to it, but the plus is that there won’t be any more typhoons for a while.  It’s kind of reminding me of Fall back in Utah, because all of the leaves on the trees are burning up and falling off. 

                We had some great opportunities to get out and visit with our normal families this week.  Even if it was only one or two a day, and they’re all doing really well.  The only real problem for them is money.  Alaminos is a pretty poor area and most of the people here are living meal to meal.  It is really inspiring to see their faith and their desire to live the Gospel even though it seems like everything is working against them.  The mission is progressing as a whole.  We get to see all the numbers and fancy charts and graphs come in, and it’s really exciting to see the energy building throughout the mission.  I’ve even noticed that I’ve been having to order more supplies more often because the missionaries are going through them faster.

                Everything is going well and Elder Costales and I get along great.  He is a very jolly, out-going person so there was no awkward adjusting stage in our companionship.  I’ve been in the office for almost seven months now.  I’ve only realized how much I’ve learned as I’m now training Elder Costales, since I will probably be transferred next cycle.  It’s actually been a really fulfilling experience.

                Thanks again for all that you do and all the support that you continue to show!
-Elder English


  1. Made me laugh reading about the driving "if you're still alive after 30 days you can go take the test"!!!

    1. We all laughed too! I must admit, I think the thought of him driving in the Philippines has actually been my biggest worry until I realize that he's being watched over. Traffic is sooo crazy there!