Tuesday, April 3, 2012

brown out, ear wax, bad water, snakes

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Bugasong, Panay Island, Philippines

So this week was pretty crazy. We're meeting with the couple missionaries in a little bit. They called and asked to meet with us.  I'm not sure why.  If it's about medical stuff, I might kill myself.  Doctor offices are an earthly trial that I'll be glad to be rid of when I die.

A brown-out occurred while we were in church.  So, we had tropical temperatures and no electric fans.  I suppose we went to church and got a preview of hell?  So, that was rough.  We told all of our investigators to come to church at 9:00, so they did.  We forgot to mention to all the members to come on time.  It was actually embarrassing. We started priesthood with us four missionaries and one male investigator.  I taught from the George Albert Smith book.  I taught about the power of kindness. 

It was fast and testimony meeting.  I slaughtered the piano on the last hymn.  Filipinos do not sing the songs with any rhythm at all!  First off, I didn't know the chord changes quickly enough, and I couldn't get the rhythm.  Plus, I couldn't really hear them either - ill discuss that later.  The worst part of the meeting was that one of our local leaders, sitting up front on the stand, was a chatterbox.  No one was looking at the people giving their testimonies because he was laughing and smiling and whispering - but kind of loud.  He was like me when I was seven.  I wish I could have been his father, taken him out in hallway, dragging him by the wrist, and told him a thing or too.  After church I was pretty angry.  I just went into the apartment and calmed myself down for a few minutes. 

You’ve got to understand.  The whole time, I was trying to catch his eyes so I could help him be quiet.  He looked at me once.  He saw what I was trying to say, and then he wouldn't look at me again.  Then I tried praying in my heart that he'd quiet down.  By the end of the meeting I had worked myself up.  I brought up reverence in the correlation meeting; even though I didn't say his name, he got offended.  Oh boy. looks like I’ve got to go and school my feelings again.

Good news: we had four investigators at church!

This week I had to visit a few hospitals, only down in San Jose where we go on Tuesdays for district meeting and to send e-mail.  Why?  Well. . .

I couldn't hear well for most of the week.  My ear wouldn't pop.  I asked Elders Thayne and Gregerson for a blessing on Friday night, and I tried a ton of stuff, but it just wouldn't pop.  After church on Sunday it got to be too much to handle.  I could barely hold a conversation with someone.  So, I did what I hate to do - I called Sister Pagaduan.  She set an appointment for me the following day.  Since I was going anyway, she also set up an appointment for me to get a new skin test for TB.  I just did it despite the suckiness of it. 

The ear check-up went great, though I had to wait forever, but it was really ok.  Apparently I had a bunch of hardened ear wax in my ear.  They had me lean over into Elder Montecer's lap, and then they poured stuff in my ear. Then Elder Montecer tugged on my ear for 30 minutes until the stuff soaked in.  Then they drained the liquid and pulled the wax out with tweezers.  Laying my head in the lap of my companion was weird, but it's nice to hear again. 

The first doctor I went to for the skin test doesn’t actually do the test, so she wrote me a referral for another doctor in town.  This doctor was a pediatrician, and really nice.  She had me wait maybe five minutes, gave me the test, and told me where in Bugasong I can get the results checked.  The doctor visits took most of the day yesterday. 

We had a member make us four missionaries matching planner cases.  Mine has a picture from the Children’s Friend of a kid fishing. 

Sunday afternoon we went out to the bukid.  We have a bunch of less-active members in a far away area.  We decided to go ahead and break our fast before the hike back to the road.  It was a rather hot day, and we felt like it was better to do the hike with water in us.  I was thirsty and chugged a bunch of water.  I don't know what happened, but about halfway through the hike I got a really bad stomach ache.  Elder Montecer and I sat down on some farming equipment for a while.  I expected it to pass, but it didn't.  Then at a certain point I realized that I had to go.  I made for the woods like I was running from a bear.  I jumped down a wooded hill to a ravine for some privacy from anybody who would pass on the road, and then I did what bears do.  I barely made it.  I won't go into detail, but it was quite an experience. 

I went on splits with Elder Thayne on Friday.  We did an excellent day of work.  He was my pal back in the MTC, so it was great to catch up with him.  It's funny - we used to talk in the MTC about what kind of missionaries we'd be.  Now that we've got a year and a half under our belts, it's cool to see the missionaries that we came to be.  We actually didn't do much talking because we had a full day planned, but it was cool to see each other's teaching style.  Man, I wish we could be companions. 

On Monday, between hospital visits, we got lunch with Elder Thayne, his companion Elder Foshee, and Elder Perez, whose companion just finished his mission.  We got seafood, and the restaurant was showing the NCAA tournament.  It was Kansas vs. Ohio State.  That was fun to watch.  It was from that TV broadcast that I learned the terrible news: Louisville lost to Kentucky.  It was nice to relax and talk and watch basketball. 

It rained most of the week. Talk about mud. 

When it rains, the snakes come up from underground.  We had a ward missionary working with us.  We were walking on the rice paths and she came across a snake.  She freaked out!  We all laughed about it after the snake took off, and then about twenty feet later a frog jumped out at her and she freaked out again.  We all laughed again.

Elder Montecer playing for older lady
We have this extremely old lady in our area.  She is confined to a bed, and was baptized back in the 60's in Manila.  She's fun to visit, but isn't all there anymore.  Elder Montecer and I go visit her because we want to.  It may not be the most effective use of time, but we feel good for visiting her, and no one else does.  We took the guitar with us to visit her this week.  We sang her a bunch of hymns.  Elder Montecer even premiered his guitar skills for her.  After we finished, we asked her to say the prayer.  About halfway through the prayer, she started drifting off and she forgot she was praying.  She started telling us about her children.  Then she couldn't figure out why were we wanted her to say "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."  It was super funny.

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