Friday, December 7, 2012

With this busy time of year coming faster that I expected, I have been slow to update Dylan's blog.  So, first a little back tracking.  We were able to speak with Dylan several times on the night of November 19.  He was able to procure a disposable cell phone so were had several lengthy conversations.  It was so great to hear the excitement in his voice as he told us some of the details of his last few weeks.  He flew from Salt Lake City to LAX Monday evening and then had a layover before heading on to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific.  We anxiously tracked his flight path north up the west coast of Canada then west over Alaska across the Bering Strait then south across the vast oceans.  We were very relived when flight tracker said he was safe in Hong Kong.  I did not sleep the entire night.  After he arrived in Hong Kong we knew he would have a short layover before going on to Manila.  Unfortunately, flight tracker could not track his flight after he arrived in Hong Kong.  All in all it took him a day and a half of flying to reach his destination of Tacloban.  I was under the impression that as soon as he arrived in the mission home in Tacloban, that we would receive an email from the mission president confirming that he had safely arrived at his destination.  Well that was not the case.  It was a long week and I had made the decision to call the mission home on November 24 if I had not heard from him.  Thankfully, we received an email from Dylan in the wee morning hours on 11-24.  We have still not heard a word from the mission president, and I don't know if we will.  My mantra for that long week was "no news is good news".   I am on the Christmas Countdown to our next phone call.  He is 15 hours ahead of MST so I hope to hear from him on Christmas Eve.

This is the e-mail we received on Nov. 24

Hey Family! Kamusta Kamo

I have successfully landed in Tacloban I AM OK! I have p-day every Monday just like the MTC, so don't worry about me! I have been in my area the last couple of days. I am in the Borongan Zone. So I am learning WARY-WARY and some Tagalog. My trainer is native, he is from Quezon Province. He speaks Tagalog, Wary and English. I am so glad he speaks English! Otherwise I would be so lost right now.  My area is Dap-Dap and Dolores. I am on the Island of Samar. Eastern part to be exact. It took me seven hours to reach. The first 4 hours were to Borongan then the next three were to Dolores. Three hours were spent riding on the top of a passenger dyip (jeep) I got so sunburned. I puked on the first part of the trip because of the bumpiness. Other than that, I am alright. 
I spoke in two sacrament meetings yesterday! My companion and I have two branches and a group that we watch over. The group is only about twenty people. The focus of our area is reactivation. Like I said there are two branches. If both get enough attendance, the church will build a ward house and merge the branches to form a ward. I feel like a zoo animal sometimes kay (because) the Filipino's stare at me. I like it though. There are only two white missionaries in the Borongan Zone the other one lives in Borongan. So I now know what it feels like to be the minority. The Philippines are so beautiful, its jungle everywhere you go! The food is great. I have probably eaten more rice in the last week than I have in my whole life. Joke, Pero (but) I have eaten a-lot of rice. I love you all and I hope ya'll are doing great! 

Elder Dylan Joseph Kingsbury 

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