Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 13, 2014

Dear Family

I apologize for the earliness of this message...I got a phone call the other night from the assistants and my whole batch is leaving today for Manila. We're going to go to the temple and get some fingerprints done. I'm pretty excited to go the temple again. We're leaving around 1:30 though so I have to write this now. I'm sorry if you don't all get the chance to email me today.

It's been a really fast week. We met President Clark and Sister Clark this week. They are great. I kind of wish I had a few more transfers with them just so I could see what else they will add to all of the amazing stuff President and Sister Martino did. I think the progress of the mission will continue to continue.

Things have a been a little bit tough as far as the work goes. Everyone hides from us - it's almost like we have leprosy or something. We talked to one guy a few weeks ago and he told us he doesn't know what's wrong with the world today; when somebody walks down a street and offers the word of God every hides, but when there's a occasion with alcohol everyone comes running. I think people are just frightened of change or maybe they think that they'll have to speak English to us. Either way it's been a bit exasperating, haha. 

One good thing though; we noticed last week in church that one of the branch missionaries had brought a guy with her to church. We asked her about him after but she seemed shy to introduce him to us (he left after sacrament). We have been trying to contact her dad (he's less active) and ended up meeting this guy at their house. We talked with him for a little bit and it turns out he is her boyfriend and he's been taught by missionaries before. We started teaching him again and he accepted a BGD on the second lesson! This sister bore her testimony at the end of the second lesson and it was powerful all around. 

We've also been having something called missionary night (dinner appointments where we ask referrals) and it's been good. The Branch Mission Leader here is really on top of things and set us up with a lot of those. It's been good but we haven't had any solid referrals yet. I've noticed that the youth are a lot less shy about stuff like that. There is a recent convert here named Erica who is 11. She's the only member in her family. She brings her friend Disney to church every week and even to choir afterwards. She also has talked to a couple other of her friends and has another one who wants to meet with us. 

I've been given an assignment by the branch president to train a pianist before I go home, so we've been having piano lessons everyMonday. About 20 people showed up last week so I just handed out staff paper to all of them and taught them how to read notes/clefs/time signatures and that kind of stuff. It was really fun and I was surprised how easy it was to teach to a group like that. It gave me a little bit of an idea of what I might be able to do after my mission. I'm hoping that one of the youth will be able learn enough to play the simplified hymns before I leave. 

It's been a good week, despite the ridiculous game of hide seek we've been playing, haha. I love being a missionary though. 

Love you guys!

- Jared. 

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