Monday, March 28, 2011

Then I say "ready, sing"

Monday, March 28, 2011
Tangalan, Aklan, Panay Island

Elder Pipit was sick again!  He has to rest for two weeks.  We tried to find people to work with all week, but we only succeeded in finding people on Sunday.

We did do one full, rigorous day’s work last Tuesday.  Let me tell you, it felt great!  It was a rigorous day, and the lessons weren't of great quality, but we found five new investigators, and worked the whole day.  I felt so happy.  I started dreaming of a full week of work, but Elder Pipit relapsed, and we visited the doctor in Kalibo.  We got the news that he had to rest for two weeks.  I considered buying a guitar right then, but they don't have any good one's here.  I'm not going to buy <an inferior item.>

I did buy a new hammock, and gave my old one to Sister Danner.  It was nice to have during this week.  It's impossible to be anything lower than content while sitting in a hammock.  If Hitler had a hammock, no WWII.  If Nancy Grace had a hammock, she'd be a nice person.  The conflict in Libya could be solved if we dropped hammocks instead of bombs.  Kids who don't like to read in school just need a hammock to read in - and bam!  They're the best readers in their class.  See?  Why am I not president?

With Elder Pipit, it's a very high quality type of work. Most of the people we teach will progress if they have any desire at all.  It's good for me.  I really learn teaching skills from him.  One thing he struggles with is contacting and tracting.  So, I have stepped up in this area.  It's hard for me because of the language barrier, but I went on this mission with the “never tell me the odds” attitude, and I'm going to keep it that way.  

This week on the way to Kalibo I placed a Book of Mormon.  I spoke in all Aklanon with no help.  I bore testimony and everything.  It was sweet.  Earlier in day, just before we left, I grabbed a Book of Mormon in Tagalog and put it in my bag.  I never do this, especially if we're just going to Kalibo.  So, I grabbed it and started up a conversation in the van to Kalibo with a 17-year-old who is studying to be a priest.  At first, I just talked with him, and he helped me with my Aklanon a little bit.  We talked about his seminary and the requirements for being a priest, and why he wants to do it.  I then told him about added revelation in our modern day, and said I taught from a book like the bible that was brought to us by a modern prophet.  He was happy when I pulled one out of my bag and gave it to him.  It was swell.

I know that just sounds like a normal thing, but for me it was big step.  It was on my own, and something I had not been taught to do in the MTC or from my trainer.

Yes, Sister Emily is the one who is the sister of a devout ward member.  She didn't progress, and didn't really want us to teach her.  I still wanted to, but Elder Pipit called the shots, and it was the advice of her sister to not try and teach her.  So no luck there.

And No, there is not another apartment in the whole area of Tangalan available for us.  I swear.  We talked to a variety of people.  It's ok, though.  I have beaten the rats.  I have come off conquerer.  After we cleaned, the apartment isn’t so bad.  I call it the club house.  With the addition of my sweet mahogany desk and new hammock, it's a nice place.  I like it.  The broken toilet is an issue, though one we seem to just be ignoring.  We take two or three trips during the day to the church to do our business. 

Last Monday we went and taught a less active family, and afterward Elder Pipit started to "hang out."  I was determined to stop it.  I picked up his bag, and put my bag on, and said that we were going to go tracting now.  I'm leading, and I get to call the shots, so it felt great to do this.  We left and went tracting again.  I lead tracting.  We walked along and passed up a lot of houses.  This is out of character because all the other times we tract, we stop at every house regardless.  So we walked along and finally I saw a house I wanted to go to.  Little did we know, but it was an entire family!  We got to teach them!  It was a big family, too, with about ten people.  We taught them about Prayer and prophets!  It wasn't a great lesson, but it was cool to see what came of my choice to work instead of hang out.  We didn't get to count all of them as new investigators because a number of them had to leave to carry wood before the closing prayer.  It was a cool experience.

I am the piano player in church now.  I get to choose the hymns, and I write them out in chord structure the night before.  This last Sunday we sang Nearer My God to Thee, High on a Mountain Top, There is a Green Hill Far Away, and God Be with You ‘til We Meet Again.  A lot of people thanked me for playing the piano - more than ever thanked me for speaking in sacrament meeting - all four times combined.  Maybe I should just stick to my strengths!  It was fun to do.  First i learn the first line in melody and I play that.  Then I say "handa awit" (ready, sing) and play chords and the congregation joins in.

For the most part of this week, I was bored out of my mind.  I was all kinds of insane.  We’re doing our best for James Templo.  It was what I thought about most this week.

Yesterday I got to go out with an 18-year-old member boy while another stayed with Elder Pipit.  I got to show him the ropes of missionary work.  It was fun and he helped me with my language.  We got punted three of the four places we went, but it was good to be outside working!  It's funny how much I can do when I have to do it.  Maybe it's time for a follow up trainer.  It was great to work!  His name is Darwin, and he was fun to work with.

This Friday, Jaymarsh, the son of Brother Templo, is graduating.  We have been invited to attend!  I want to go, but I told Brother Templo that it's probably not possible.  I will lend them my camera so that Brother James can see pictures of their son’s graduation.  It's funny how big of a blessing a camera is!  I am happy to help that family in any way possible.  

The district had some changes.  We got two more white missionaries.  One's from Arizona, and is a giant, but super humble and nice.  The other is a farmer from Idaho who was Elder Lowry's companion in the MTC.  I am excited to get to know them.  There is also a new Filipino Elder.  I forget his name, but I talked with him and he is a very nice guy.

Today we did role plays in district meeting.  We've always done that, but Elder Pipit never calls on me to be in the role plays because I'm his companion and I learn from him at other times, but today he did.  It was my second time being in a role play.  The first was a long time ago.  I did teaching to pray, pray to know, teach the Holy Ghost, and invitation to pray – all in Aklanon!  It went very well.  The district didn't really say that I could have done something better.  I felt like I was doing my best.  I was so happy.  I taught clearly, to his needs, addressed his concerns about praying, and in the end got him to pray.  It was just a practice, but I was happy for the opportunity.

Sorry that this is real short.  It was a boring week.  I'll write more when more happens.  I love you, and I'll try to upload a picture or two.  I love you.

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