Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 11, 2013

Kumusta ang pamilya ko?

I am feeling better this week! 1 ibuprofen, 1 paracetamol, 1.5 litres of orange gatorade, a lot of herbal tea, drops, vitamins, and a BK Whopper later...I am healed, haha. I only took two pills the whole time! That whopper was fantastic.

Haha This week was interesting...the city is super crazy. My first day here, we had rented a jeep to get to the house, and as we were driving one of the ZL's yelled at the driver to turn around. He didn't like that idea too much, but after a quick argument the driver turned around. I guess we had started driving down a red zone (a street of questionable morality that missionaries definitely aren't allowed on). I was pretty shocked. 

Other than the areas that we don't go to, Angeles City is pretty cool. There are people EVERYWHERE. I don't think I've ever seen so many people in one place in my whole life. There are also thousands of Americans here. They have their own area of the city and even their own mall that they go to. We went there the other day and I got Dairy Queen! I got a 16 ounce blizzard for about 2.50 (100 pesos). So good. It had brownies and peanuts in it. I've also eaten at Mcdonalds, Burger King and even an Italian Pizza place. I don't feel like I'm in the Philippines anymore, haha. 

The work is a lot different here...it's a lot more challenging in lots of ways. I try to smile and say good morning or good afternoon to everyone I see...maybe 1 out of 20 smile back or reply. Everyone has a place to go or something to do. The streets seem to empty as we walk down them, haha. We tried talking to people in the suburb where we live...it was going good, we had passed about 6 pamphlets and had met a lot of people, but then a guard pulled up on a bike and we got in trouble. :( I guess it had only taken about 20 minutes for someone to complain and call the security...even though we hadn't knocked on a single door, haha. We can't go house to house in any of the suburbs...and even in most of the other areas most people just hide from us or have an excuser. Most of the success we've had this week has come from street contacting...which is hard to do, but can be effective here. I'm going to have to really polish up my 30-second OYM's, haha. 

The members here make the hard work worthwhile though. They are all so solid. We get fed at least once a day (I've had three dinners in one day once here) and then people are always giving us snacks too. We were all invited to eat at the house of one of the former stake presidents here, and when his wife showed us into the kitchen Elder Blackham and I had one of the biggest shocks of our lives. On the table was a shepard's pie type thing with chicken and corn, a pan of baked macaroni casserole, a green salad and freshly baked brownies. There where also spring rolls with fish in them. We were so shocked to see Western food...let alone food without rice...that we just stood there in reverence for a second. When we'd finally filled our plates and started eating, I looked over at Elder Blackham and there were actually tears in his eyes! This sister has a gift for cooking...the food tasted like heaven. We had never thought that we'd taste food like that on our missions, haha. 

So don't fear...we are well fed here, haha. The members are super friendly and very supportive to the missionaries here. I hope you guys get to meet them some day. 

We went to a family home evening/dinner appointment last night that a sister in the ward put on for her birthday. This sister's name is "Sister Pink." (I don't know her real name yet). She lives in a cool house where EVERYTHING is pink and she is always throwing dinner appointments for the Elders and for the members. She is super fun...she told us to just feel at home at her house and to come over if we ever need anything. The first councilor in the Bishopric is really cool too...Brother Jojo. I feel like these people deserve a whole email for an explanation because they are just that great, haha. 

I'm starting to get more used to the area...we have two baptisms coming up next week for some part-members in our area - Justin and Sean, who are 11 and 12. Their grandma is really active and they've been coming to church for quite a while so we're excited for that. We've also got a few other investigators who are progressing pretty well. I really hope that this next week we'll be able to meet some new people to teach. That's the biggest challenge here. 

That's great that you guys get to do some camping this week...especially Dad, Janae, and Jianna up in the Yukon. If I wasn't on my mission right now I'd be really jealous, haha. Make sure you take lots of pictures and send them to me and tell me all about the adventures you had. Mom, can you email me the picture of you guys at the temple? I'd love to see it. 

I love you all, I'm so grateful to be here right now and to have an awesome family like you to support me. I am excited for what this next week will bring and I pray that I can learn to be effective here. 

Love, 
Jared.  

Oh, my camera is being weird...it doesn't want to upload the pictures to the computer >:(


Oh, and don't worry mom, haha. This area's really safe. It's actually a lot safer than my last two areas. I'm right in the middle of a huge city. The only thing here is that there are red zones, which are basically just streets with strip bars and prostitutes and stuff like that which we avoid. We have it all mapped out and stuff though so we don't accidentally walk down one or anything. 

Yeah, they dinged the package on the vitamins and the watch. 

Love you mom :)


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