Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 7 Philippines

 Rat! Haha my first rat. It was lying dead outside our back door. I'm just glad we don't have them in the house. 

 (I think this in the Oliveros family)
 What paradise looks like. :)
 Some Scenery. Banana trees (the small ones on the path) and some huge palmy looking trees. 

 Chicken blood (the dark squares) The meat is just chicken meat, and the liquidy stuff is spicy vinegar (so good).

Some cute little kids...they were Christmas carolling  Right now, kids are walking all over the place banging on tin cans and singing really loud so that people will give them money. They are so funny, haha.  

Dear Family,
This week has been really hard in lots of ways and really incredible in a lot of other ways. I have to tell about an experience that was shared with us a few days ago.
We have a brother in our ward who we visit named Brother Ray Garcia. He used to be less-active, but he has been coming to church weekly for the last two months. He works long shifts as a tailor, so it is a big sacrifice for him to come to church. He lives in a very small bamboo house with his wife (she isn’t a member) and six kids (all of them are younger than 8, I would guess…and boys, haha - Just picture 5 Jaroms running around the house and then a newborn baby to top it all off). We have been visiting Brother Ray twice a week and, in the usual style of missionary lessons, we always teach a principle, commit them to it and then promise blessings if they follow the principle. He has been so diligent in attending church, and we really love visiting with him. Anyways, we visited him a few days ago, and we noticed that his motorcycle (everybody drives them here…but they are a lot less powerful than the ones back home) was gone. He invited us into to his house and shared an amazing experience with us:

He was driving his motorcycle to the hospital last Monday to see his wife (she was having their baby) in the Hospital in Guimba (another city about 20 minutes away by trike), and another motorcycle collided with him. It was quite an accident – both bikes were destroyed, and he told us that he had tumbled off of his bike onto the road. Both of the riders on the other motorcycle had serious injuries to their heads (nobody wears helmets here) and bodies and were taken to the hospital, but Brother Ray stood up without a single scratch. Around the same time as his accident, his wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy with no problems or complications. A couple other mothers lost their babies in childbirth, but she had no problems at all. It was a miracle. Brother Ray was so excited, he kept showing us his arms and legs and there wasn’t a single bruise or scratch on them. He kept saying, “I know it was the Holy Ghost. I know it was the Holy Ghost. This is really the true church.” His wife was also touched by what had happened, and we are hoping to be able to start teaching her again and eventually help them to have a temple goal date. It was truly a miracle, and I’m so grateful to know about it. I know that the Lord protected Brother Ray and his wife, and that he really does bless us and the people we teach as we follow his commandments.

We also had a great lesson with the Oliveros family. They are such a great family, and I look forward to Saturdays when we visit them. We talked about the Word of Wisdom with Brother Oliveros and helped him and his wife make a plan for him to quit smoking. We invited him to pray at the end of the lesson and he gave a wonderful prayer. I can tell that he has a really strong desire to keep the Word of Wisdom and go to the temple with his family. They are a really strong family here in the branch, and I pray every day for them. Sister Oliveros told me that if I want to move to the Philippines after my mission, I can build a house on their land, haha. It’s pretty tempting, but I think I love snow too much to accept the offer. They are so nice, and we love being in their home and teaching and learning with them.

As far as temporal things go this week…I ate chickens blood. It didn’t taste too bad, but the texture was kind of nasty and pasty. They boil it for a while and then barbecue it, haha.

I also had a funny experience this week…Elder Janolgue and I were talking with a family on the street, and I started talking with the younger sister who was probably about 12. She was holding a little baby who was about 1 years old. When I got close to them and started to talk, the baby started crying and yelling, “Multo! Multo! Multo!” Multo means ‘ghost’ in Tagalog. It was so funny…I guess the poor kid had never seen a white person before. I didn’t think I looked that scary. Anyways, I tried to convince him that I wasn’t a ghost, and I got him to give me a high five. He was still pretty scared though, and he wouldn’t let his sister put him down. So funny.
I also found out this week that we have mice in our house. Whoo. I hate mice. We are buying traps today, which will hopefully solve the problem. I’m just thankful there aren’t rats in our house, because some of the apartments in other areas have them and apparently they are a nightmare. I was talking with Elder Olsen, one of the American missionaries that can out a few weeks before me, and he told me that one morning he put his retainer in his mouth and it was full of mouse poop. He said that he almost threw up, and that he dumped hand sanitizer into his mouth and spent the next two days with hand sanitizer taste in his mouth. Pretty funny, but so so gross, haha.

Also, my cockroach kill count is getting bigger and bigger every day. I crushed a pretty big one with a broom the other day, and it was still alive (of course) so I poured hand sanitizer on it and then lit it on fire. It smelled so bad…but I’m pretty sure that I killed it, haha. I’ve seen about four more of those spiders in our house since last week…and they unnerve me a lot. I think I will buy an airsoft gun with the Christmas money that you sent (thank you so much by the way…still no package yet, but I am excited for that too) and use it to kill them.

Anyways, that is all I have time for today. (we had a lot to do today…like buying mouse traps and practicing for the Christmas conference on Wednesday – our zone is doing a skit). 
love you guys,

Thank you for all of your letters and support.
I’ll talk to you all next week J

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