Monday, March 14, 2011

dwarves and aswangs

Monday, March 14, 2011
Tangalan, Aklan, Panay Island

Elder Pipit was sick this week, and we didn't do much.  I was really bummed about it.  He slept a lot.  I did a lot of language study and wrote some long past-due letters.  It was a boring week, and we had terrible numbers.

I've learned to cook.  I make some mean ulam (topping on rice.)  I cooked all week.  Elder Pipit didn't want to touch the food.  Since I had a lot of free time, I experimented with stir flying veggies into our ulam.  Being creative in anyway makes me happy.  I had fun.

Last week I found root beer in Kalibo.  I bought just one.  Every day it was in my fridge, and I resisted the urge to drink it.  I wanted to wait until I had done a good days work to drink it.  Sunday (yesterday) was the only day we did a good days work, so I drank it.  It tasted like poison.  I was pretty disappointed.  I couldn't believe they even called it root beer.  It was a sad few minutes, but I drank it, and then drank some other stuff to get rid of the taste.  I’m not giving up; there has to be some good root beer somewhere!

They have this nasty root here that people feed to us all the time.  It could not taste worse.  It resembles a potato, but tastes like a rotten macadamia nut.  We always eat it when they offer because they are giving from their hearts.  Maybe one time I should have put up a fight - one of the members made us an entire root crap cake!  I told Elder Pipit "Look, we struck gold, an entire root crap cake!"  We ate it.  It was an adventure.

Since I had been cooped up all day, I was really itching to go out.  So in the evening one night we went to the church and I ran circles around it for like 30 minutes.  I have never sweated so much in my life.  It was crazy.  I lied down on the tile floor, and when I got up, there was a lake of sweat.  The Philippines is so sweaty.  It was good to exercise, but afterwards my shorts smelled so bad that I had to wash them.  It probably took longer to wash my running clothes that it did to run.  Washing clothes by hand is tough.  I miss washing machines so much.

This week we went to the church to watch some Preach My Gospel DVDs.  There were some teenagers playing basketball in the church’s (outdoor) basketball court.  We started the DVDs, and then Elder Pipit said “Let’s give those guys a tour of the church.”  So, we went out there and introduced ourselves, then invited them on a tour.  We had an opening prayer and taught them just based on the stuff around the church.  It was cool.  We got five new investigators from it.
James Templo went to the hospital in Iloilo.  They couldn't do much.  His condition is very sensitive and pretty high risk.  The doctor there didn't feel comfortable working on him.  It requires some pretty special skills.  So the next step is Manila, but even there they may not be able to do much.  From the assessment of the doctor in Iloilo, there is only a one percent chance that he'll walk again.  We went over there and I shared "Thy faith hath made the whole" talking about that woman with the issue of blood.  Afterwards, he said the other 99% will come from God.  He has so much faith.  I really love that family.  They are undeterred.

On Sunday, I gave my fourth talk in ten weeks.  I talked about faith in Christ.  It was a faith in Christ kind of week.  I did a lot of study on the topic because of my talk, and thus was able to share a lot of it with others this week.  I really enjoyed studying about it. Giving the talk is a little different though.  I didn't really enjoy giving it - it's kind of a nerve racking experience, especially after my unintentional blasphemy the previous time.   It went ok this time.  I asked people if there were mistakes, and they said that there were none.  That's really good to hear.

Also yesterday, there was a bird in our chapel, just flying around.  Right before Sacrament Meeting, I turned off all the fans and lights and opened all the windows, but it stayed up in the ceiling.  We finally had to turn all the lights and fans on because it was time to start.  So, we’re all singing with this bird flying above the fans, and I jsut knew what was going to happen.  During the Branch President’s opening remarks, the bird hit the fan and dropped with a thud.  I looked up, and there were feathers just floating down on me.  I looked to my left, and the bird was about three feet away from me.  One of the young men got up and picked it up, no doubt to put it outside, but then an old man got up and took the bird from him.  The old man showed the boys in the white family the bird during sacrament meeting.  The white boys just passed it to each other.  Man, I love the Philippines.

As I mentioned before, there is a white family living in our ward.  Everyone speaks English to them, but not to me!  It's ok, but man, I've been trying so hard to communicate with them!  It's funny though.

Yesterday we visited a member who is less active, and just had and baby, and is sick.  We went over there expecting to give a blessing.  Nope.  We just talked about fire breathing dwarves and aswangs for 40 minutes.  Aswangs are creatures that eat babies.  The locals blame miscarriages on them.   The Philippines is so superstitious.  This lady swears that there is a fire breathing dwarf in Antique.  I can wait to go there and see it for myself!

I'm on splits with Elder Light, and we’re going to hike in the mountains for P-day.  I've been looking forward to hiking all week.  Sister Danner has been feeling kind of low, so sometime this week we're going to go over there and do a surprise service project by installing a hammock for the sisters.  It should be fun!

I'm doing pretty well.  Sorry for such a boring email.  I love you all.  I miss you so much.  This week we will work harder, because Elder Pipit will not be sick.  I will be leading.  I hope all is well back home.  I love you!

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