The lizard that lives in the ceiling above my bed.This other picture may not seem that cool, but if you notice all of the things in the air, you will see that they are all dragonflies. There was probably a thousand of them just flying around in this corn field. It was really cool.
Some funny little kids that I met. They wanted me to do some magic for them. I don't know any magic tricks...so they had to settle with a picture
You’ll never guess what I ate this week…it is even nastier than anything you can think of. It is called pinapaitan…and consists of liver, spleen, intestines, kidneys, (basically any internal organ) and bile all cooked up into a soup with little chewy organ pieces floating around in it. That isn’t even the worst part though. The word ‘pait’ in Tagalog means ‘bitter’…and aside from the bile, there is one special ingredient that gives it the bitter flavor. Ready? Are you sure?
The special ingredient comes from inside of the intestines of the goat (or, cow, in this case). If you think about what intestines usually contain, then you have found the answer. How gross is that? I basically ate cow pie soup, haha. I guess it is taken from the small intestine while the grass is only half-digested. One of our investigators filled a good sized bowl with some and gave it to us. I almost threw up when I smelled it, but I choked down the whole bowl to be polite. The investigator (Brother Tony) got quite a kick out of explaining the ingredients to me. I wasn’t going to give in though – I finished it all, haha. My companion doesn’t even like it – that’s how gross it is.
Anyways, I thought you would all love to know that, yes, I ate that. Brother Tony says he is going to find a big king cobra and make adobo out of it for me. That sounds a little bit more appetizing.
My week has been alright. We are really working hard to add on to our investigator pool. This might actually be my last week in Cuyapo, depending on the coming transfer announcements on Wednesday. If I am going to be transferring this month, I’ll be leaving this Thursday. If not, I’ll probably have four or five more weeks here. I’m a little bit sad that I’ll be leaving – Cuyapo has been a good area, and I’ve learned a lot and met some really great people that I’ll miss a lot – but part of me is excited for a new area. Cuyapo is a really hard area and I’m hoping that I’ll be sent somewhere with a bit of a stronger branch/ward (or at least a ward with a branch missionaries or hometeachers). It has been a big struggle to try and get the priesthood leaders involved in the work here.
We’ve continued to try the rich people here, and we’ve only been able to reach a few of them. I’ve actually spoken in English to three different people now…two that worked abroad in Kuwait and one that actually just got back from 19 years in Canada (Toronto). It was good to talk to him – we probably talked for about 40 minutes, haha. He said that Islam is his religion of choice, but he was open to a bit of a discussion and accepted a pamphlet. We’re hoping to be able to return and teach some of these people, but I guess we’ll see. The thing about rich people here, is they are either gone all of the time, part of the Iglesia ni Cristo (they will just close the door in your face), from England or America (and rude), or they will just send out their housekeeper to tell you that they aren’t home. We’ve probably tried fifty or sixty different houses and only got into contact with the actual owners five or six times. We do have a lot of return appointments with the housekeepers though J haha.
We have some really great investigators now…one of them is almost certainly going to be baptized. Sister Anita used to be a high rank in the Catholic church, but there are a lot of teachings there that she isn’t sure about. She was really excited when we told her that she could find out for herself that our message is true through prayer. She is set to be baptized on March 8, but she wants to finish the Book of Mormon before she is baptized, so we will probably extend it. That’s okay though…we want her to really have a testimony before she commits so that she will stay active. I probably won’t be here for the baptism thoughL
Our other investigators are great too – we have two others with baptismal goal dates, but they will probably be longer term investigators because of some of the challenges they are facing. It’s still really great to be working with them and to see them change as they learn more about the gospel. One of them is Tatay Tony (the guy who fed me Pinapaitan). He is super nice and we are good friends with him. His struggle is with the Word of Wisdom, but he has a desire to someday change and really wants to be sealed with his wife who has passed away.
Brother Oliveros came to church again yesterday! He had told Sister Oliveros that he was done listening to us and that he didn’t want to be baptized, but then we went over there to their house as a zone and did a service project (we helped them burn out some of their land so that they could plant vegetables – it was really fun). It was great – Brother Oliveros seemed to lighten up a lot as he met all of the other missionaries and as we all helped them clear off their land. He told Sister Oliveros that he believes what we are teaching, and is just having a hard time because he was offended by one of the members a long time ago. We aren’t sure if he is ready for us to start teaching him again, but we are having a family home evening at their house again tonight which should be good.
I am over my cold now…everyone else seems to be sick though. I’m really grateful for all of the vitamins and stuff that I have. I haven’t had any problems with sickness since my second week here.
I’ve also been eating about four kilos of mangoes a week. I can’t get enough of them, haha.
Well, that’s my week. I may be in a different area next week when I email you.
Thank you guys for everything. You are all so great and I’m thankful to have such an incredible family.