Monday, August 1, 2011

prune-like toes

Monday, August 1, 2011
Sibunag, Guimaras Island

Elder Conjeldado and I are both still here.  (Transfers were this past week.)  We're doing very well.  One of the new zone leaders was transferred, and they’ve reorganized some things.  We can no longer sleep over in Alibhon.  P-days are now the most hectic day ever because we have to skedaddle back to the middle of nowhere in the evening, and Tuesday wake up and come right back here for district meeting!  Most everyone in the zone is way ticked.  My companion didn't go to bed last night until 12 because he was so ticked.

We had a <great> FHE this week.  We showed the restoration video to a family that we are teaching.  It was cool.  We talked for five minutes about the apostasy, and then turned on the movie.  It's actually kind of funny in Tagalog.  That's the closest language they have to Hiligaynon.  All the things the pastors say are so heavy - crazy and over the top.  It's funny, but it was way cool because the spirit was there, and a lot of the neighbors joined to watch.  Afterward, we had an unplanned “question and answer” session.  We ended up talking about prayer.  It was so cool.  Every one of the people there committed to pray to know if it's true.  We'll follow up tomorrow.

We taught 23 discussions this week, and four people committed to baptism.  Let me tell you, that is insane for this area.  But it's not us.  Really, things are just happening.  I can't describe it besides it being divine help.  Earlier in the month, the island had a fast for missionary success.  We only had one person at church though, but the weather was bad, which it has been lately.

My shoes had holes, so I bought new ones today for 2,000 pesos  (about $46.)  Every day, my socks were soaked.  I had prune-like toes at the end of each day.

Elder is really helping me learn the language - even when he isn't trying to help me.  He only speaks to me in Hiligaynon, or sometimes a little Tagalog.  He quizzes me on words, and if I miss one, I have to do a pushup.  We went through my entire pocket notebook, and I only did like 30 pushups.  It's funny - what I know, I know with no problem.  But I am way lost in some parts of the language.  I don't know the word for some fruits, but I can teach the entire lesson 2 with no problem.

It's been storming pretty good.  In fact, one of our investigators house got ruined.  It looks like a tornado came through.  Her house is made out of bamboo, so it's not that surprising, but it is sad.  We will CSP over at her place this week.  We tried to this week, and went there with our machetes, ready to haul bamboo for a new house.  When she saw us, she said "I'm sorry, I have to go somewhere, just come next week.  I'll just live without a house for another week!"  I was thinking "Are you serious?  We’re here to help you build a home, and you telling us to come back another time?"  We’ll go back on Friday.

We have this awesome progressing investigator.  Her name is Rayline, and she's pregnant.  She is the one who was craving watermelon, and the Word of Wisdom pamphlet had a watermelon in it.  Anyway, her father-in-law wouldn't let us talk to her, and told us she wasn't interested and to go wander someplace else.  He was lying, and practicing unrighteous dominion. Some males here are just <redacted.>  I see it all the time.  There are awesome guys who work all day in their rice field to feed their family but there are the other ones who drink cheap coconut moonshine, play cards for pesos, and treat their women badly.  That leads into another story.  Gosh . . .

The one investigator who came to church – and has a baptism date - wasn't planning to come.  She was just wandering around, and we ran into her on our way to church.  We stopped and talked with her, and she was way upset.  Apparently her husband had been drunk the night before and had beaten her.  We brought her to church, and she talked with our Group Leaders wife, Sister Angie.  Sister Angie works for the local government and deals with this issue a lot.  They talked, and after church they worked it out.

Our house is plagued with cats.  It' not too bad, but I wake up with a scratchy throat and stuffy nose each morning.  It goes away when I go outside and get to work, though.  I'm going to talk with Sister Pagaduan about it.  Maybe I can get some medicine, or maybe make Cat Adobo for dinner.  One or the other.

This last week I went on splits with the zone leaders.  I stayed and worked here in Alibhon.  Let me tell you, I had a lot of fun.  The zone leader that I stayed with is Elder White.  We played live chicken football.  I won't go into details, but you will be appalled when you see the videos.  We also visited some investigators of theirs who have a bunch of kids.  The kids beat up on each other.  She has all boys, from ages two to seven.  At one point the, five-year-old socked the four-year-old in the face, square in the nose!  Elder White and I literally yelled "Oh, dang!"  It was bad that they were fighting, but we couldn't do anything about it.  We can't touch kids, and the mom didn't really care.  She's eight months pregnant.

Also while we were on splits, we visited a place that makes Catholic statues and stuff.  They had a black Jesus.  We asked about it, and he went off for about five minutes about how some church had burnt down, all but a statue of Jesus, and the statue was charred black.  Now they make a bunch of black Jesus statues. 

Later that night, Elder Price and Elder Light brought back the first anti-Mormon literature I've seen on my mission.  It was bogus.  It basically was the experience of some girl whose father was a polygamist, and they said it was the regular LDS church.  They got in a little bit about the temples, and it was so wrong and backwards that Elder White burnt the book.  I usually frown on burning books, but that book was so wrong, and slaughtered some sacred things.

Church was good, and nine people came.

That's all I’ve got.  I love you.

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