Monday, September 5, 2011

as missionaries do

Monday, September 5, 2011
Sibunag, Guimaras Island, the Philippines

 This week has been cool.  I like it here.  I don’t think I’d want to serve anywhere else.  Though really, truly, Alaska would be a nice change.  It’s too freaking hot here.

Now, I’m just placing a hint here.  Every other Friday, we have to chop the grass in the yard with machetes.  It takes a long time, and it isn’t effective.  I have found a better solution.  Ngaaaaa.  This is epic.  I’ll tell you about it next week, but something big is in the works.

Last week we went to some waterfalls.  It was way cool.  You know those falls up on Mount Charleston?  Yeah, that isn’t a waterfall; this was a waterfall.  It was actually three different ones.  Most people just stayed at the bottom, but Elder Light and I got up to the top.  I really don’t know what to say about that except the waterfalls were big and cool and really awesome.  We had fun here.

Elder Conjelado and I got a little sick this week.  It was just a cold, but for some reason in the hot Philippines a runny nose really runs.  Plus my throat was sore, and I had no energy.  I thought maybe it was just because of the cats (I’ll buy a slingshot soon) but it didn’t go away when I went out to work.  Plus, Elder had it too.  Our numbers were a little lower than usual, but still higher than before we got here.  Not that numbers matter or anything, but we were really on a roll, and I was sad to see it stop.  I’ll pick it up again with my next comp, though.  Elder Conjelado is going to transfer.  People are scaring me, telling me I might train.  If I do, I feel bad for my comp.  First, he has me as a trainer, and second, he will be starting out in Sibunag.  Eeeeeeuuw.

I’m sure you guys know that I have really been clashing with Sister Angie.  She’s a real perfectionist.  She tagged along with Brother Glenn and I last Sunday during splits.  We went and taught Jenny.  Sister Angie had to go move her cows before she came, so got there after we started.  Jesssa May is a 14-year-old inactive who is very shy and kind of hard to crack.  Brother Glenn and I had her laughing, but then Sister Angie arrived and Jenny got all hard.  The lesson went horrible.  Jenny wouldn’t talk, and I got all intimidated by Sister Angie, and it really was no good.  Afterward, Sister Angie pretty much told me off.  I wasn’t in the mood, and ended up being a little rude to her.  That night I felt kind of bad, so I decided from now on I’m going to be her best friend.

A little about Sister Angie: she went on a mission at age 36 because she didn’t have anything better to do.  After that, she worked in the MTC, and then got married at about age 40.  She is now a perfectionist know-it-all.  She is way sincere about the church though, and loves to help if she can.  She is usually too busy with her job, and I’d rather kill myself than spend time with her, so it doesn’t happen often.  

After that evening, I decided to make her my friend.  That next night we had a way fun FHE.  (The Group made us buy ice cream, and we could have said no, but we didn’t.)  At that FHE, I talked almost exclusively to her.  By the end of the night, we were joking.  She HATES my corduroy pants, so I joked that I’m going to get a corduroy skirt made for her.  Then I did the unimaginable: I asked if she could help me with my teaching skills and language.  Last Thursday night, we did exactly that.  I taught the law of chastity to her.  It’s awkward enough already, but to teach it to her, man that was bad.  She really tore me down, but I learned a lot, and just from that I’m now not bad at teaching the law of chastity.  I’ll try to go to her once or twice a week for help.

Long-awaited Carrabou Ride
Last Tuesday I finally rode a carrabou.  I’ve always wanted to, but just now I finally did.  I tried riding it like one of Brother Marx’s horses, but it didn’t respond.  It’s so fat that it doesn’t care if you kick it.  You say “sh sh sh sh” to make it go, and “HAW!” to make it stop.  It was fun.  It ran me onto a tree, and I grabbed a limb.  The carrabou went out from under me, but I kind of fell at the same time.  It’s no problem.  I didn’t get hurt at all, and I landed on my feet.  I do have it on video.  You guys will probably have a good laugh over it.

Elder Conjelado and I sometimes kind of struggle with each other about what to do with investigators.  He likes a real “in your face” but not saying anything approach.  It bothers me.  For instance, someone will drop us, and he won’t say much but will just stand there or sit there forever.  We now have the reputation in one barangay that we “disturb” people.  I don’t know where they get it.  (That’s sarcasm, folks.)

Sister Martha is one of our progressing investigators.  She and her daughter have baptismal dates.  Sister Martha had come to church a couple times.  Her husband, George, doesn’t want us to teach to her.  At first he said it was ok, but he isn’t interested.  Last Sunday, we found out he was mad.  Elder wanted to go see him, but I wanted to let him to cool down first.  I stood my ground and he stood his.  I wanted to let some time pass, and then we could probably talk about it with him reasonably.  Elder wanted to talk to him before he transfers, so we went.  He said George wouldn’t be mad because he “knows people here.”  We just went there and started talking to him.  He knew what were there for, and tried to excuse himself.  Elder started to talk to him about it, even though it clearly wasn’t the right time, and George walked off.  Then Elder was like “I don’t know what to do now.”  I pointed out he actually hadn’t said anything, and I approached Brother George and told him that we will respect his decision, whatever it is, because he is the head of his household.  He just told me he had different beliefs, and got on his motor and rode off.  That is how I foresaw it going down, and that is how it happened.  I didn’t say “I told you so,” but sometimes Elder just kills me.  Somehow, I do like him though.

This last week we taught a family - a mother, her two daughters, and her brand new grandchild.  The mother (now grandmother) was super proud.  The baby’s name was River John by the way.  That’s kind of cool.  Anyway, it was a cool lesson about how the gospel blesses families, and I told them about Dad.  This grandmother was only 43, and I talked about Dad being 52 and not having any grandchildren, and how he’s disappointed with us because he isn’t a grandfather, and none of us are even married.  It was funny with the way I said, in Hiligaynon, that we kids of the Waggoner household are “good for nothing.”  But yeah, forget it Dad.  Dugay pa.

FHE with the Sibunag Group
As I mentioned, this week we had a cool FHE.  We played the tie race game.  If you lose three times, you have to do a talent.  Elder and I did the talent together.  We sang “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission,” but it went like this:

I hope they call me on a mission
When I have grown a foot or two
I hope by then I will be ready
To teach, and preach
And walk and walk
And walk and walk
And walk and walk
as missionaries do.

That’s what we do out here.  We walk.  The Appalachian Trail is going to be so easy.

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