Monday, February 6, 2012
San Joaquin, Panay Island, Philippines
We’re doing well out here. If I only had the time, I would tell you a lot more in a lot more detail. I miss you all and stuff, and I mean that pretty sincerely, but man, I have no desire to come home. We'll see how I feel when I'm a little longer out, huh? (kay nahidlawan gid takon sa bae)
This morning we had an earthquake. I just thought I was dizzy, then when Elder Matthews said "woah 'der" I knew he was feeling it too. There is a tsunami warning, but no one around here cares. In just another hour, the tsunami warning will be over. Maybe I'm just one of those people who would mock Moses, but I don't feel scared at all. I think that I'm up to date on my repenting anyway.
We had a great Sunday yesterday. We only taught one lesson, but it was easily the best day of the week. Sacrament was great. The spirit was there, and in control - if you know what I mean. Elder Matthews and I bore our testimonies. One of our investigators even bore hers. She asked me if she was allowed to. I told her "pwede gid" which is an Ilonggo way of saying "hell yeah," but not really cussing. She got up and talked about the power of fasting, and about her desire to be baptized, and thanked us as elders for helping out their family. I felt like a proud parent.
We had been fasting for her husband whose body is giving him some trouble giving up smoking.
Friday night we had an activity at the church. It was for the less active young men. It was a fellowshipping activity. We played basketball, volleyball and some people did karaoke. We had a great turn out from the branch, and every less active young man we had invited ended up coming. It was such a success. I had suggested having more activities in the past, but Elder Matthews helped me push this one through. It was such a success!
We're planning a fireside before too long. A real fireside, and not one of those so-called firesides that is actually in the chapel. If these guys are anything like me, they're going to be a lot more receptive in a non-chapel setting.
I love having Elder Matthews as a companion. We just bounce ideas off of each other till we find what the best thing to do is, and then we do it.
This last week we went to Oton for a baptismal interview. While there, I became friends with a dog and a baby goat. The baby goat's mother had died and was missing her pretty bad. The family there was feeding the goat crappy fake milk. It was surviving, but it apparently hadn't gotten its fill, because it was pretty hungry. It tried to get milk out of my fingers for a good ten minutes.
We had one crazy day this week when we taught seven lessons. It was ridiculous. I, the evening, we came home so beat. You can't even imagine. For the most part, we slowed down the work this week. We finally had to take care of stuff like fixing a bed and doing laundry. It still went well, and we are doing better than this area used to - but even then, the way it used to be going was good too. We're having a lot of success with the less-actives here. It's actually so much fun.
On Sunday, we went up to New Gumawan. It had been so long since I had been there. In fact, Elder Matthews had not been up there yet. We went to that golden family that lives way far away. On our arrival, another sect was there sharing. They invited us in, but fearing a confrontation, I declined and said we'd go to some other former investigators first. It wasn't too bad, though. When we did teach this family, they asked if it was ok if they listened to other sects. We were like "Yeah, Joseph Smith listened to all those other sects, right?" The lesson went great, and the spirit was in control again. I love that family. The only thing is that one of them is trying to go to Manila to work. She doesn't have money to go to school, and can’t find a job around here to pay for her schooling. I wish I had a way to fund her schooling. I'm afraid that she will turn to a restrictive catholic sponsorship thing and won't be allowed to listen to us - or that she goes to Manila and we can't teach her.
|New Gumawan susent|
As we left their house, the sun was going down over the mountains. I snapped a way good photo on the sunset behind a banana tree.
We visited another family after church. We got to break our fast with that family. Man, it's hard to explain how much I miss sitting around a dinner table with a family. We taught them about journal writing. They enjoyed it.
We had dinner with Phil and them twice this week. We always sing them a hymn or two before we leave. We sang "In Humility Our Savior," "Come thou Fount," "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Greif," and another hymn-like song I had written back in Tangalan. Actually, I wrote it in Ibajay. Anyways, they seem to enjoy having us over for dinner. and we enjoy it too. They feed us well, and the conversation is so nice. It's kind of a slower conversation, but it's nice.
This morning we went out to where Phil grew up. He showed us some stuff from all the stories he's been telling us. He grew up in Pitogo, and apparently it's the witch capital of San Joaquin. We also got to ride his Carrabao and see his mother's grave. It was a very nice morning.
Elder Matthews and I are always singing. He and I and some others in our district are going to sing "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy" on Friday at zone conference.
I played with another monkey this week. I know this email was mostly just cool stuff, but let me tell you, we are working hard.