Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Prayer, Bogus Journey, and No Goat

Monday, September 19, 2011
Sibunag, Guimaras Island, The Philippines

(Please note: to protect privacy, the names of many in this blog have been changed.)

It's been in interesting week.  I'll follow up on some stuff.

Remember Sister Johnson?  Well, we gave her, her daughter, and her friend baptismal dates.  Before, they used to be pretty scared of Elder Workman.  Now they love us.  For some reason they didn't go to church, so that was a bummer.  They said for sure next week, and that they had some place to go.  We had some darn good lessons with them this week.  We taught them three times this week.

We only had Sister Rita at church.  She's the one whose preacher told her not to go.  She came anyways.  I like her a lot.  Previously she let me ride her carrabou.  We actually have a few older ladies in the group.  We've never really done much with them, because they are old, but yesterday they fellowshipped Sister Rita like champs.  Apparently they go way back - as in back before I was born. She showed up late, but the group re-arranged so she could sit by some of her peers.

Elder Workman has got me on a workout program.  I have done it every day since Tuesday except Sunday.  I'm pretty sore.  I previously had the desire to  work out, in hopes to one look like Scott Avett, but man I’ve got to tell you . . . working out is no fun.  Zero fun, sir.  All my workout activities are names weird things.  Like "goat pushups" or the "dying cockroach" or "bok-choy curls."  It makes it a little bit more fun.

We've really been trying to get members to work with us. We tried to get people to work with us almost every day, but they only pulled through on Friday and Saturday.  Both those days we got punted way bad, and only taught three discussions.  On Saturday, we worked from 10 until 7 and only got three!  For five of those hours we had a member with us!  

By the end of the day, we were super pooped.  I'm sure you know what that's like.  Coming home, tearing off your polo and tie, and running to turn on the electric fan.  Well on my trot over to the fan, I stepped in something.  I looked down and the entire floor was wet!  I surveyed the damage, and then Elder Workman steps in it too.  We were thinking "what the heck?"  So, I had left the water on.  We have a filter on our faucet, and it works very slowly, so you don’t notice it when it’s on.  Well, I left it on and the container filled up, and then started leaking all over the floor.  Nothing important got wet - most everything is up on the table or desk, and nothing of value was on the floor.  The tile is slanted in the middle so the water did not reach the walls.  That's good because we had our luggage against the walls.  

Elder Workman's skating injury
We swept the water down the drain in the CR (comfort room) and we were getting out the mop.  Then we realized how much fun it was the slide across the tile floor.  We had a lot of fun doing that.  We took some fun videos of sliding across the floor, and then Elder Workman took an ill fated ride and got a chunk of his toe taken out.  He bled pretty a lot.  It really hasn’t stopped truly bleeding since Saturday night.  He's been walking on it quite a bit, though.  He's got it all wrapped up in band-aids and then electrical tape.

You remember how we did that lesson with the two member girls accompanying us?  Well, Jenny went to our FHE last Tuesday.  We had it at the church!  So technically she kind of came to church.  She seemed relaxed and laughed with everyone.  Sometimes people don't need the gospel as much as they need a friend.  Or maybe those are the same thing.  She said she was going to come to church on Sunday.  Sister Meyda Rose swung by there Sunday morning, but I guess she was still asleep. After church, Elder Workman and I decided it was better if we didn't visit her.  Instead, we sent the two girls her age over there to "chit-chat."  They wanted to know why we weren’t going to come too.  We explained if we went too, the girls could not chit-chat to the full potential.  So we told them to share like five minutes worth from the scriptures and then chit-chat until they had to leave.  Jenny knows all the stuff we could teach her, she just needs gal pals.  That is something Elder Workman and I cannot be.  I don't know how their visit went, but I do know they went over there.

Elder Workman and I have been having some real success.  A lot of our investigators are reading and praying and growing in faith.  For some reason, only one person came to church, so we'll work on that.  Elder Workman and I are really going at it here in Sibunag.  We are actually doing really well.  We are getting organized and the members have really taken him in.  I think if Sibunag is ever going to get going, it's now.

Sister Mary has a teenage neighbor girl who has always sat in the lessons.  She has always been squeamish about praying.  Whenever we ask her to pray, or try to get her to pray, it ruins the spirit of the lesson - she just doesn't want to.  So last Tuesday evening, we went over there to teach, but had no plan. We started asking questions to try and figure where to teach.  From our questions, we found out that Sister Mary was for sure going to Manila on Saturday, and then on to the middle east.  We really couldn't decide what to teach to Sister Mary as a last lesson.  We kind of floated around until we got on the subject of prayer.  Then it just clicked, and we got in the groove.  We both bore testimony and read a verse or two from the scriptures. I told about praying for James Templo, and Elder Workman talked about the peace that comes from prayer.  Man, the spirit was there.  We asked her to pray.  She did.  Sister Mary helped her out a little, but she did it.  Elder Conjelado tried to get her to pray every time we visited, but she never did.  Man, I know this is kind of sappy, but the spirit makes a difference.  We had been teaching Mary and Ellen for at least two months now, that was the first time Ellen prayed!  We were so stoked.  
We got invited to eat there.  As we sat down to eat, we got a text saying "Elders, Diin Kamo haw?"  That's means.  "Where are you at huh?"  We were late for our FHE!!  We had forgotten about it.  We ended up being about an hour late - which is just fine if you're Filipino, but as the missionaries, it was kind of bad.  We were the last to show up actually. We got from Mary's house to the church in Dasal mostly by foot.  At night there are no motors to hitch.  We ended up just asking someone who had a motor to drive us.

Last Friday I went on splits with Elder Andrews.  He's really cool.  He's the zone leader.  He's not stuck up at all.  I really think a lot of him.  We did get punted pretty badly, but we tracted into some crazy folks.  I guess their religion is classified as "Jesus Miracle Crusade."  The lesson was all over the place.  We did our best to control it, but by the end of it, we were thinking "let’s pray and get out of here."  The whole lesson they were talking about how it's against the commandments to wear jewelry and pants.  They just wore skirts.  So I made the mistake of asking them to pray.  They gave us the craziest prayer ever.  We all kneeled down, they raised their hands in the air and said the oddest, most exaggerated prayer ever!  It took every ounce of grown-upness in me not to laugh. I controlled it until we left.  Then 
Elder Andrews and I had a good laugh.

Now that there are two Americans out here in Sibunag, we've been getting ripped off left on right.  The thing is, I know the prices too!  Last Tuesday on the way to district meeting, it was the worst!  We hitched a ride with this one hothead.  He agreed to 80 pesos, that's the normal price we I usually pay to get to Alibhon.  He was driving way slow, and being a punk and complaining about how big Elder Workman is.  His motor was fine!  I've see him fit 6 Filipinos on his motor, and Elder Workman and I don't equal six Filipinos.  So, we told him to just keep going.  He said he would if we added another twenty pesos.  I argued with him a little bit.  He had already agreed to 80.  He said his motor couldn't do it!  That was a load of crap.  His motor was fine.  I said to him "Your motor can't do it for 80, but it can for 100?"  He said yes.  We asked for all of our money back.  We weren’t even halfway there, and in a spot that we could not get a ride.  He only gave us 37 pesos back, and we stuck in the middle of nowhere.  We ended up hitching a ride on a moped all the way to Alibhon from there!  We were pretty late to district meeting.  We talked to some other people who drive motors for money about it.  It turns out that this hothead's nickname is "Bumper," and he always pulls crap like this.

Mary left for Manila on Saturday.  We tried to visit her on Friday, but apparently she was out getting good and drunk.  So that's that.  She's going to send us her address when she knows what it is.
Magic Show

Elder Workman is a lot of fun.  I like him a lot.  He does magic for the kids!  The other day, he was in front of about 30 kids for fifteen minutes.  We had to leave for an appointment, so for the last trick he told them to close their eyes and then we ran away.  They all chased us.  It was like a scene from "A Hard Day's Night."  It was so much fun.  We would run and jump behind bushes and stuff.  I have a good video of running away from them.

You know that hint I gave?  The hint was that I was planning on buying a goat.  I wanted to name it mud.  We've been looking at some goats, and it seems like goats are out of season?  What?!?  The cheapest we have found is 1000 pesos for a female, super ugly goat.  We might cook it when I transfer, or just give it to some members that raise goats.  We looked at some goats earlier this morning, but there was no go there.  I don't want to waste money on goats, but goats are so sick.  We'll see what happens here, but right now it’s looking like it won't happen.  I hope it does though.  It's not technically a pet because it's for the grass in our yard.  If I can't get a goat here, I'll get one when I go to college.

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