Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 15

 BABY CHICKEN :D   (One of the little kids caught it and let me hold it)

 Our lunch the other day...I learned to kamay (eat with my hands) properly. The fish here is super companion eats the head and everything. I chickened out this time around with the heads, but I promised to do it next time, haha. 
 Elder Dela Paz. Pogi siya talaga. 

It was like someone set the sky on fire. So cool. 

Cemetery again

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for the package! I loved all of the chocolate and especially the Christmas cards. I about died when I read Jarom’s. “Dear Jared, I wish bunnies could fly.” – Jarom. Probably the best Christmas card ever. Thank you all for the stuff you put in there and for the letters. I gave most of the candy to the Buhay family. They are a really great family that we teach…the mother isn’t a member, but all of her sons are. Armand, her 17 year old son, works with us every Sunday. They don’t have a lot of money, because sister Buhay’s husband passed away a couple of years ago, so all of her little kids were really happy to get some imported candy. She told me that she has relatives in Calgary that work in a care center – so maybe Grandpa Al has met some of them.

This week has been pretty good. We’ve stopped teaching a lot of our investigators because they weren’t progressing or always hiding/running away, so we’ve been a little bit short on investigators as of late. We are going to focus on finding less active members this week (there are probably 150 that don’t ever come to church) while finding new investigators in the bayan (town). Almost all of our investigators are from the bukid (farms) and we have to walk quite a ways to get to them. We extended another baptismal date to a single sister named Anita – she has two or three kids that are moved out, and she lives in a little house with four or five dogs. She is super nice and really wants to know for sure if the message is true or not. We are trying to help her receive an answer to her prayers. Her baptismal date is Feb 23.

Our other investigator didn’t come to church this week, so we will have to move her baptismal goal date back a week. I really hope things go well for her – I think I mentioned her last week. She says that she knows the church is true and wants to be baptized. She just needs to keep listening to the lessons and come to church first! She really seems like she has a strong testimony…I’m hoping things go well this week for her.

I did something new last night – I dedicated a home. We went to visit one of the less actives last night – he is an older single guy named Paul who lives all by himself. He told us that he has a ghost in his house, and told us a bunch of crazy stuff that has happened to him there. I’m not sure if I believe him or not, but he asked us to bless his house. We taught him a great lesson about the atonement, invited him to come to church again, and then knelt in a circle and dedicated his home. It was a little bit odd, but it was still a really good experience. I could really feel the spirit as we knelt and prayed for this brother and his house.

We’ve been able to meet with the Branch President the last couple of Sundays and discuss some goals for the membership of the branch. He’s been really supportive lately and we’ve been able to make some plans to reach out to less active members through activities and the active members. We’ve also been working with a couple of the less active young men…they have been working with us every weekend and coming to church. We are hoping to help them have a desire to go out and serve missions (and finish high school). It’s been fun working with them.

I talked with a guy named William the other day – he’s from Singapore and he only speaks English. He lives in Cuyapo and always stops to talk to us. I want to try and schedule an appointment to teach him, but every time we see him he is drunk. I am getting really used to speaking in Tagalog – it was almost impossible for me to carry out a good conversation in English with him yesterday – I kept slipping back into Tagalog and mixing up the order of my words, haha. I’m starting to understand a lot better and teaching is starting to come easier.

Oh! I don’t know if I mentioned this already, but I got a Christmas card from the Farah’s the other week. It was so great to read about Brother Farah’s conversion story. Please tell them thank you for me.

I didn’t eat anything weird this week…to be honest, I’ve tried most of the weird stuff already. We had this soup last week made out of pigs intestines…it smelled like pig farm. Some of the members gave it to us, so I tried to eat it. It was probably the worst thing I’ve tried so far, haha. The only things I haven’t tried are dog and dinuguan (blood pudding with intestines and kidneys). It is actually illegal here to eat dog, but a lot of people still do anyway. I think I’d probably try it, but that’s all. (Sometimes, they make dinuguan out of dog…how gross is that?).
That’s my life this week. I’m starting to really get used to the culture here and appreciate the way that people do things here in the Philippines. Everything is simple, and almost everybody is happy – even if they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Everyone is friendly to us, even if they aren’t interested in what we have to say. Everyone is so chill and laid back.

Love Jared.

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