Sunday, May 29, 2011

unplanned act of service

Monday, May 30, 2011
Tangalan, Aklan, Panay Island

Yesterday when I woke up, I felt like I hadn't slept.  It was one of those days when it was close to impossible to get up.  But I did because we had church, and that isn't really the kind of thing you skip.  I suffered through it, and afterword rested the entire day.  I slept a lot of the afternoon.  It's weird because I did sleep the night.  I have no idea why I was so drowsy.  I feel fine, and I don't feel sick.  I was just super tired, and it took too much effort to stay awake.  Today I feel just fine.  We woke up this morning, cleaned our apartment, and studied.

We had six at church this week.  That was pretty sweet.  It's funny we had so many at church because we didn't have a great week of work.  Only two of them stayed for all of church though.  Filipinos are a lot like me - they have no attention span. 

We had zone conference this week.  It was O.K.  Elder Arrieta gave a good talk about revelation through the Book of Mormon.  Most of the other stuff was the same that we learned in the MTC.  At least for me, I really think most of those meetings are a waste of time.  I think splits with zone leaders would be a more effective alternative.  It was really boring to sit there for 8 hours and listen to the same stuff you read from Preach My Gospel every companionship study.  Really, all I want to do is work.  It was good in one way, though: free lunch.  It turned out to be all the food we could eat because the zone leaders had over ordered.  It was all really good food, not that any of the food besides watermelon even mattered to me. 

Kalibo Zone - click to enlarge
After zone conference, we all took a picture as a zone, with the AP's and the mission president.  I stood behind President Pagaduan.  Someone was complaining that they didn't have a chance to get their camera out.  I could not resist the chance to make a joke, but silly me, I did it in my dry humor (which Filipinos don't get.)  I said "Don't worry, I'll put it up on Facebook on Monday."  President turned to me and gave me the look of "Are you serious?  I'm right here!"  He did not get that it was a joke.  Oh well.

I got second worst haircut of my life this week, the worst being in the MTC of course.  I got it from a guy in the salon in Tangalan.  He cut it so short on the sides and in the back.  It's kind of long on top, but really only in the front.  It's a good thing hair grows back, because this is a terrible haircut.

We dropped Fred.  We'd been teaching him for five months and he was not making the sufficient changes.  I wanted to help him because he was super lost.  Who does the gospel help most?  The people who are the most lost.  But when we got right down to it he hadn't been making the sufficient changes in his life.  We decided to drop him after we caught him ditching our appointment with him to go to a party while he was wearing a skirt and blue jeans.  We gave him one last lesson during third hour on Sunday.  He didn't seem to care that we aren't going to teach him anymore.

We have this fun investigator out in Baybay.  Her name is Estelina.  She is nine years old, and lives right on the beach.  Her parents aren't members, but her neighbor is.  Her neighbor brings her and her older siblings to church every week.  Since the parents aren't members, we teach her.  She's really energetic and happy all the time.  She really loves us and can't wait to be baptized.  Elder Pipit and I taught her a few times, but only off and on because he didn't really like to teach to kids.  So, Elder Arrieta and I started from the beginning.

The lessons have been going great, and she really gets it.  We had been hearing from her older siblings, who are already baptized, that the parents didn't want Estelina to be baptized, so we had to talk to them.  We went a couple times this week, but the parents weren't there or hid from us.  I had prayed that everything would work out with the parents.  On Friday we went there and found Estelina and her older sister, Jussclair, carrying pieces of sod and transplanting them into Sister Gloria's yard.  (Sister Gloria is the neighbor that brings them to church.)  They were carrying the squares of sod with a homemade carrier, which was a rice bag stretched out on two pieces of bamboo.  We jumped in and took it from them and finished the job.  They led us back to the source of the squares of grass, and that's where we found Estelina's father.  We helped him until the job was done.  We didn't talk about Estelina or anything like that, we just did the work.

Afterwards, when the job was done, we asked him about Estelina's baptism.  He said it's fine, and that he'll stop giving Estelina coffee.  I truly believe that unplanned act of service made the conversation go well.  Before that, the parents had been just cold to us. 

I hit my seven months mark.  It's actually kind of slowed down.  Or maybe I'm just ready for some change. 

This week we washed in the rain for like two hours.  The last time we washed clothes Elder Arrieta had been preparing his talk for zone conference, so I had washed alone.  Elder Arrieta had double to wash this time.  As a Filipino, he is very reluctant to be in the rain, and stayed in the cover of the church's overhang.  I rinsed his clothes for him in the rain.  I didn't care - it's just rain, but for a Filipino, it's crazy to be out in the open rain. 

We have started to play chess in the evenings.  He kills me at it. 

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