Monday, January 14, 2013

Philippines January 14, 2013


 Lovely scenery..I am lucky to be in such a beautiful area. 

 Cockroaches! We swept them onto the back porch and lit them on fire. I almost threw up, haha. 

 Cleaning out the cupboards with my broom and my air soft gun that I bought...I was coughing for like three days after that.
 Our cockroach bonfire.
 I shelled out for some high quality toilet paper (mostly just for cleaning). The brand name about describes it, haha. 
 More kids. They wanted me to do some magic tricks for them, but I had to tell them that I don't know magic ("Wala akong magic!"). They were excited to have a picture though...I had to tell them not to climb on me because they almost all pinned me to the ground as soon as I said the word 'picture'. The kids here are so hilarious. 
 Daan (path/road). Magandang scenery dito sa Cuyapo
 Some of my Zone on the riverbed - we went to a dried up riverbed for P-day.

 A baby lizard that I caught today. So cute. 


One more time with the baby lizard. 



January 14, 2012
Dear Family,
How are you all doing? I am doing fabulously here in the Philippines. We had a pretty good week even though we weren’t able to teach a lot of our investigators for various reasons. We were able to find a lot of less actives to teach though – some of them haven’t been to church for years. A lot of them were baptized into the church and then returned to their previous churches because they couldn’t make the effort to go to church every Sunday. It will be exciting to re-introduce the gospel into their lives. For me, one of the greatest things out here has been seeing people change as their hearts are softened and they gain a desire to progress. I have talked a lot about Tatay Fransisco Temporal – the first time we visited him, he had been drinking, and was probably on the verge of throwing up. The next couple of times he was pretty disinterested and unresponsive to our invitations to him, but when we visited the third time with Brother Agustin, he expressed a desire to return. We visited him again yesterday and he warmly received us, listening intently to the things we said and adding his own experiences from the past. It really shows me the difference between just teaching lessons and teaching people. What this brother needed was love and fellowship…the message alone wasn’t enough for him. It is so wonderful to see his desire to change – it’s like his countenance is completely different. We are hoping to help him to attend church with his family on Sunday, and we’ve talked about a goal of him and his family being sealed in the temple in the coming years. It is so great as a missionary to see people progressing.

None of our investigators are really progressing. Some of them have WOW problems, and some of them aren’t able to come to church because of work or trouble with prioritizing. Others live far away and it is expensive for them to travel into town. It is discouraging sometimes, but it isn’t our job to be discouraged. All we can and should do is continue to invite them and help them have the desire to progress in the ordinances of the gospel.  That said…we have been looking for new investigators lately. I’ll give you an update on that when we have some good ones. It is kind of hard to find people in Cuyapo, because so many people here have already had contact with the missionaries, and therefore have an opinion beforehand. A lot of them are just too set in their ways and aren’t open for discussion (but they will never tells us that…they just hide and run away when we try to visit, haha). Hopefully we’ll find the one we’ve been praying for…the one that will progress, haha.

We taught Tatay Oliveros again on Saturday. I love lessons over there. He was really shy last visit…I think the reason was he had given in and smoked a cigarette and he was feeling bad about it. We are having a family home evening at their house tonight. We want to let him know that we love him and that we really care about helping him through his challenges with smoking. He is a great example of faith, and I hope we can find the things that we need to find in order to help him.
On a more temporal note…I am starting to fall in love with Filipino food. I’m not sure if it is just the MSG, or if I have a tapeworm or something (that would be gross), but I am just always so hungry, and I eat a LOT. 9 times out of ten, I will finish everything on the table if everyone else is done already. Everything tastes so good – especially the vegetables. One of my favorite things is unripe mango with salt…it is surprisingly delicious. Pomelo (those big grapefruit things) is also really good with salt. You guys should try one – to eat it, just peel it and separate it like an orange. Instead of just biting into the slices like an orange, you pull the skin part off and just eat the little juicy bits inside. Make sure you put salt on it though. I saw that you guys ate dragon fruit. Nice! Dragon fruit is pretty good – they don’t have it here, but I have tried it before.

I could go on all day about the food here, haha. You guys should look up the recipe for Adobo…you can make it with any kind of meat and it is super good with rice.

Thank you all for everything. This church really is true, and I’m grateful to be able to be here in the Philippines to share it with people.

Love,
Jared.

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