Monday, June 9, 2014

June 8, 2014 Jared's Birthday



 The Capas Death Memorial
 
 Cool Basketball Kid!


 Service project





Gud PM Family (Tagalog Text Slang),

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! The actual day of my birthday wasn't all that exciting but on June 4th we found three great new investigators which made a perfect birthday present. I don't like to make a big deal out of my birthdays, so it was good. I made sure to buy an ice cream though :)
 
The Sister Training Leaders knew it was my birthday (I tried to keep it a secret but they read it in the Mission Newsletter) and they surprised me with a cupcake and a match (I blew out the match). We also had a service project where we hauled buhangin (cement mix/sand) into a house. AND THEN (The best part of all) we went out and worked!
This week I had the grossest experience of my mission. I was on exchanges with an elder in the zone here in our area and it started raining super hard. We had appointments in H-Crus, which is this really filthy crowded area with hundreds of little hollow-block houses and really narrow little alleyways. I think I already mentioned canals (basically open drainage systems on the side of the roads...a lot of the sewage from houses just empties out into the canals). Anyways, we ended up trapped in H-Crus, knee deep in overflowed canal water. It looked and smelled like the black plague. When we got to our investigator's house we ran to their pump and washed everything...pants, shoes, socks, and soles. It was awful. We took antibiotics afterwards. So gross. Biggest loss though...I didn't have my camera with me :(

I have mentioned the Landingin Family before and how they are the greatest family ever but we just haven't been able to help their parents come out to church. All of their kids are members. We taught them on Friday and at the end of the lesson (as always) we invited them to come to church. Sister Landingin said (jokingly), "Okay Elders, if you come and pick us up for church, I'll come." We jumped on that opportunity, "Okay, we'll be here at 11 tomorrow," and she was all like, "No! It's okay, we'll just come!"

"Nope, too late. We'll see you at 11 tomorrow."

"Elders! It's okay, we'll just come ourselves!"

"Yep. And we're taking you."

"Really! We'll just come!"

"Really?"

"YES!"

"I'm not sure if you're telling the truth..."

"I am!"

"Do you promise to come?"

"Well...I'm not promising..."

"We'll see you at 11 then."

"Okay, okay...we'll just come ourselves."

"Sure?"

"Yes."

"Really?"

"Yes!"

"Promise?"

"..."

That's basically how the conversation went. (We are VERY close with this family, and Filipinos love to joke around like that, lest anyone think we were being pushy or overbearing at all. This was all done with a great deal of jest).

AND...SISTER LANDINGIN CAME TO CHURCH! We had been praying and praying and praying that they would come. We talked to Tatay the other day too and he said he wants to come next time. Miracles really do happen.

We've seen another miracle with a less-active family we are teaching. They are very poor and just live in this little one-room house in the middle of H-Crus, but they have been coming to church now as a family. For me those are the best miracles of all...when someone decides to make the difficult decision to return to the church. We've been so blessed to see this family make that decision.

I am so impressed with the members here in Tarlac. Especially the Ward Mission Leader and the Elder's Quorum President. The Young Women's Presidency has been doing an amazing job do. They go and visit the people we are teaching and are always coming back to us with more people we can teach.

Anyways, that's about all the update I have for now. I probably will only be in this area for another week and a bit...we have a short transfer this transfer and an 8 week transfer next week because President Martino goes home this month. I will be really sad to leave here. It's been my favorite area hands down.

I love you guys!

Love,

Jared.

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