What happens to the roads here after an hour or so of rain.
I am doing pretty good this week...I've got about two weeks left in Cuyapo before transfers, and part of me is excited to go to a new area. I have no clue where it will be, but I hope it's Baler (the area by the ocean), haha. Wherever it is, it will be where I'm supposed to be, and I am excited.
We finally got some of the youth from the branch to work with us (It's amazing what a few free cheeseburgers can do for the work..just kidding) and it's been good to go on splits with them and listen to their testimonies. One of them is 19 and wants to serve a mission soon, and the other one is 16. Their names are Jonathan and Brian. It's a good time teaching with them and we hope that being part of the work here will help them get more active and involved in the branch.
OUR FIRST BAPTISM IS NEXT WEEK!!! I'm really excited for Sister Anita - it's been amazing to teach her and be taught by her as well. She has been so prepared by the Lord to hear the gospel, and I am stunned every time we visit by all of the things she is changing in her life. She has such a strong testimony already, and she is very serious about the commitments she will make at baptism. I wish every investigator was like her, haha. She stopped drinking coffee the day we taught the Word of Wisdom and she insisted that she pay tithing right away, even though she hasn't been baptized yet. We invited her to eat lunch with some of the branch members the other day and she declined because she was fasting! I am so grateful to be teaching her...I feel like I've learned more from her than I've taught to her, haha. I wouldn't be surprised if she became the next Relief Society president. For the stake. haha.
Sister Anita aside, the work is still pretty tough in Cuyapo. We've been trying to find investigators in the bayan (the town) but we haven't had much success. Most of the people we've found in the town have found some excuse to stop listening after the first lesson. I think a lot of them feel intimidated because we always extend baptismal invitations in the first lesson (that's what we're supposed to do). I hope we can get through to some of them soon. The bukid (farm area) is a lot better for finding and teaching (the people are generally kinder and more accepting out there) and we've had some more successes out there with finding new people to teach. We walked probably 5 km the other day to a place called Piglisan (Pig-lee-sun), and we talked to so many people that we ended up staying there until the sun went down...which was bad news because there were no more tricycles there and Barangay Tutuloy (where the Argueza family lives - they feed us 3 times a week and are all around the best) was about 2 km away way out in the country. They had warned us not to go to Piglisan at night because it is know for hold-ups and stuff like that, so we were a little bit apprehensive as we walked out through the night. It was almost pitch black, and all we had for light was our cell phone. The path goes through a huge mango orchard which is super super creepy at night. There is one point where the road goes underneath a bridge (which is under construction), and as we got closer I saw a guy leaned up against the bridge...and he was holding a shotgun. I honestly thought we were going to die, but he called out to us and asked us what we were doing...we told him we were just missionaries and he let us through the bridge. I guess he was just a worker that the construction company was paying to protect all of their supplies. I still almost had a heart attack though, haha.
My Tagalog is getting better, although it is still pretty pangit (ugly) to listen to. I can also say about 25 words in Illocano now, which is kind of fun sometimes. All of the original people in Cuyapo were Illocano-speaking, so it is sometimes pretty hard to understand what people are trying to say to you. It's fun though.
Today for P-day we hiked one of the mountains in Cuyapo with the zone. It had a pretty cool view and we took a lot of pictures at the top. It was fun, but didn't really compare to what we have in Canada...hiking just isn't the same without mountain breeze and pine trees.
It is almost officially summer here...and it is brutal. By the time night comes around I am soaked in sweat (it's gross) and the freezing cold shower feels amazing. I have the sweetest watch tan. I carry an umbrella around with me so I don't get cooked too bad, but I should probably try some sunscreen. My arms are almost as dark as my companions. It's funny, because here it is considered more attractive to be white, and at home everybody is trying to be tan. They sell whitening powders and soaps and stuff here...and it makes me think of all the tanning lotions and parlors and dyes that we have at home. baliktad talaga. Needless to say...I have not used chapstick, sunscreen, or mosquito repellent once, haha.
I think landscaping sounds like a wonderful idea - if you wait a couple of years I'll help you guys do it...It'll be nice to see grass again after my mission, haha. The 'lawns' here are just dirt and garbage, or concrete and potted plants if you are rich. There are a lot of mango and banana trees though.
Mahal ko kayo lahat.
Ingat kayo palagi sa multo (always be careful of ghosts)