Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Hey Dad (and Family),
We've been getting a little bit of rain, but as far as the typhoon stuff goes basically only northern Luzon got hit super hard. Region 3 (Angeles Mission) is probably the safest place in the Phils weather-wise. The rainy season probably has another month or so to go and then winter will start here (winter here is a slightly less hot version of summer). It's crazy to think that almost a year ago I stepped off of the air-condition plane into the Manila airport...and have been sweating ever since, haha. 
Do you know what's funny? Stuff doesn't gross me out any more like it used to, haha. You probably don't believe me yet, but it's true. I remember a few months back, the members gave me a glass of juice and there were like four ants in it. I looked at it in disgust for a second, but then remembered that I was in the Phils and I DRANK IT. Ants and all, haha. I'm sure the grape juice won't bother me like it used to. 
We've had a pretty good week...the best parts by far being zone conference and a baptism that we had on Saturday. On Thursday we took a bus up to Tarlac City and spent most of the day there getting trained by President Martino. He talked about a lot of stuff, about the gathering of Israel and how it's a process that we are all a part of right now. He also compared two missionaries in the scriptures - Jonah, and Ammon - and talked about how we need to be more like Ammon and less like Jonah. Jonah was a good missionary and had success, but he always put himself first. He ran away from his call, and when he finally repented and got to the mission field, he was still self-centered  while he preached. He told the people of Ninevah that they would be be destroyed, and when they repented and weren't destroyed he took it as an insult to himself and told God to just kill him. Ammon, on the other hand, became one with God and felt enormous success and love for the people he taught. He ended by reminding us that the Philippines is an island, and that there are a lot of whales around. 
And then there was Sister Lenny's baptism! We have been teaching Sister Lenny for quite a while. She is 20 and works for a member of the stake presidency here. She really has great faith and a desire to follow Christ, but we were a little bit worried at first about her baptism because she is really really shy in front of people. It all went so well though. A lot of members showed up and gave some great talks and were really supportive. Lenny's Sister and Cousin were also there and she was so excited about that. When it finally came time for her to bear her testimony, she stood up completely confident and bore a quiet, but wonderful testimony. It was a great baptism. The ward did such a good job of making it special for her. Her sister (who lives in another area in Angeles Zone) also wants to be taught by the missionaries now. 
We were invited over for dinner last night by the family we are teaching from Australia. It is still really weird to me to teach in English, but it's been a really powerful experience for me to be able to visit with them. They have such strong testimonies, and it's been really touching as the Dad and the older brother have been sharing their experiences and testimonies with their 12 year brother and the Mom who we've been teaching. I don't feel like we've really done a whole lot for them, because they have been doing so much already as a family. The oldest son told us yesterday that he hasn't been to church for five years, but now that he is reading the Book of Mormon again, there is a huge difference in his every day life. He told us that when he goes back to Australia, he's going top go to church again in his old ward. They have also been coming to church here and have had some good experiences so far. It's such a blessing to be able to visit with them and learn from them. 
They also cooked tacos and some really really good curry last night :) haha. 
As far as myself is concerned, I'm starting to feeling a little bit better. It kind of goes day by day. Some days it's bad, some days it's okay. I'm going to meet with a doctor again to figure out the blood test results sometime this week. He thinks I picked up a bug when I was in the bukid area. I've been taking the homeopathic remedies a lot and they've been helping too. I was having trouble breathing one night and I took Apis and it got better almost right away.

I love you guys. I love this Gospel and I love being on a mission. It's such a great time and chance to help others and to also become closer to God myself. I know that this church is true and I'm so grateful to have it in my life. 

Have a great week. 
Love Jared. 
P.S:  I also have a bunch of pictures to send next week. 
P.P.S. Haha, I think it probably takes 10 days for the package to arrive in the Phils...and then a couple more months for it to get through customs. That's okay though, I'm sure it will get here soon. The storm actually didn't hit us here, although I feel bad for the elders up in the northern phils. It's probably pretty crazy up there right now. It's also pretty crazy down south in Zamboanga...there's some sort of civil war going on between them and the Muslims and I heard they pulled all of the Elders out of that province. Perfect time to be where I am, right in Central Luzon, haha. It's a good thing that the church has a really good emergency plan. 

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