Monday, August 6, 2012

Raining and Working

Monday, August 6, 2012
Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines

Have I ever mentioned that the key boards in these internet places are often horrible?

Last Monday, after a Ward Baptism service, we taught a lesson that went awesome.  We had about six ward missionaries with us, plus four elders.  We taught a referral named Danielle.  It was the third time teaching her.  I didn't teach too much, but conducted the lesson.  We covered the restoration, Book of Mormon, praying to know, and then went on to baptism.  It went kind of long, but the spirit was there strongest at the end, so it was O.K.  I actually tried to close it up after “praying to know,” but Elder Galloway stopped me and took it a different direction.  That direction led to a good baptismal commitment, so I was glad he stopped me.  It was one of the best lessons of my mission.

Before the baptism, I had a misunderstanding with a ward missionary.  The baptism was at 5:00 p.m. at the chapel, and we were there to be supportive.  While talking to Elder Galloway before the baptism, I motioned for a ward missionary to come and talk to me.  I put my arm around him and asked him if he could stay after the baptism to teach an investigator who would arrive at the church at 7:00.  He said he'd try and then walked away.  I called after him. "What do you mean try? It would take more effort to not be here."  I did not say this in a harsh way.  He stormed back to me and got in my face.  He was being so dramatic that I thought he was joking.  He said "What do want from me?  Who do you think you are?!  You need to respect me."  So I joked back, and told him he was cut when he was angry.  After I said that, he gave me the look of death and stormed off to the bathroom.  I then asked Elder Galloway "He's messing around, right?"  He said “I don't know, man."  I then realized he wasn't joking, and I went to him and apologized.  He went off on me and it was pretty tense.  I did manage to apologize, though.  I sat by him during the baptism, and then he stayed for the lesson.  I figured we were good and all was forgiven. 

Then the next day while at mang inasal, he walked by us and didn't say anything.  He flat out avoided us.  There was no way he didn't see us.  So, the following day we brought him and his family cookies. 

Tuesday was district meeting, and I taught about repentance.  I taught how to teach it to someone instead of just covering the points of the lesson.  I've noticed my entire mission that missionaries are afraid to really teach people in that lesson and to ask specific questions.  Instead they are vague.  It turned out to be a pretty good lesson. 

it's been raining. . .
It's been raining non-stop for about three weeks now.  I’ve grown tired of it.  I don't mind the rain because if it’s raining, it’s not as hot.  However, it floods, and we have standing water on the streets and stuff.  In the bukid, we couldn't cross rivers if it rained, but at least we could walk to appointments.  One night here, it was raining so hard that we literally could not walk down the street.  We hid under the roof of a nearby "chungie."  We stood there for maybe twenty minutes, and then the owners of the "chungie" invited us in.  Little did we know, but there was a birthday party going on inside.  We got fed dinner and cake!  We met a lot of people that maybe could be investigators.  The birthday was by candle light because the power was out.  It's been out a lot cause of the rain and wind. 

Wednesday I went on splits with Elder Nunez, the mission recorder.  He's a terrific missionary.  We got rained on super hard, but still worked super hard.  At one point his umbrella caught the wind wrong and got killed.  It turned inside out and snapped.  It stormed the worst I'd ever seen.  At one point we hid out behind a building.  We got invited in.  The building was some kind of water selling business but it closed.  We talked with the worker and taught her lesson 1.  It actually went really well. 

We have this sweet investigator named Mikel. He stopped Elder Manwill and Elder Christensen last week when he was on splits in my area.  He asked them for a Book of Mormon.  We went through lesson one with him and he really liked it.  We left him Alma 32 for the third lesson with him.  He read it, in English, and understood it all.  It was sweet.  We discussed with him, he guessed the point we were making, and then made it for us.  It was sweet.  He's also real good at English, so Elder Manwill loves him.  He came to church this week and got fellowshipped like a champ.  He even participated in Sunday School.  He had his eyes closed most of the time he was at church, but he was listening.  I guess he was trying to internalize everything or something.  Elder Manwill thought he was sleeping. 

We had an appointment set up for Wednesday night with Danielle, but it didn't happen because she came down with dengue.  On Friday night she texted us, saying she was well enough to be taught.  We met at a member’s house, quite a ways from her house, to have the lesson.  She looked pretty bad, and every five minutes had to get up to go to the bathroom for some reason.  She seemed pretty sick, but still insisted on being taught.  We were amazed at her determination.  I have not found so great determination in all of the Philippines.  Anyways, she's cool and we talked about the baptismal commitment.  We have another lesson with her later this evening. 

We are also teaching a group of teenage boys who are gay.  They need the gospel, and as long as they listen, we're going to teach them.  Another teenage boy who is a member and lives near them had told them the church’s stance on homosexuality.  That ended up being a good thing because it got that subject out in the open.  It would have been super awkward if we had to bring it up.  We ended up teaching the six of them about the law of chastity.  Some of them were super immature about it, but the main one of them was pretty mature about it.  The next lesson we had with them, we brought that same teenage member with us.  It was another good lesson, but still super uncomfortable.  While some of the teenagers are really listening, some other ones try and hit on us, which grosses me out. 

We had zone conference on Friday.  Elder Galloway gave a great training on the less active situation.  We've heard a lot of stuff about what to do in the rescue effort, but it's all been from a ton of different sources.  He gathered that all together and made it super clear.  He even had a ton of numbers and averages and ratios from the Iloilo mission to support what he was saying.  It was still dry, but it was very insightful. 

Also I played the guitar and sang "I'll go where you want me to go" with Elder Vennard.  I sang first verse alone, and he came in on the chorus in harmony.  We did the opposite for the second verse.  On the 3rd verse, I sang lead and he sang harmony.  The sisters were swooning.

I helped an old lady Friday night.  She was walking very slowly along the highway.  She was using a bamboo stick to help her walk, and she was walking baby turtle speed.  We took maybe 30 minutes to walk a football field or so.  She also had me help her cross the street about three times.  I was starting to get the feeling that she didn't know where she was going.  Finally somebody walked by who recognized her.  He grabbed the old lady from me, walked with her four times the speed I was, and led her maybe 60 yards back the way we had come.  I provided kind service, but it was not effective.

Correlation meeting was cancelled, but that was fine because that meant we got to teach Maria, who had come home late that night.  Elder Galloway and I did that while Elder Manwill stayed with Elder Loe and practiced Illongo with a member.  Elder Loe is very good though.  We had a great lesson with Maria about tithing.

Elder Manwill lost the keys to the apartment.  Our tag-iya, Brother Dako, wants to replace the lock to front door now.  That's going to be expensive.  It’s kind of frustrating because now if we want inside our house we have to ask him for the keys.  Last night, when it was raining really hard, he handed us the key on the end of a long fishing pole - so he wouldn't get wet.  It was pretty funny.  He then brought us over some warm Filipino soup called arroz caldo.  It was very nice of him.

Our Ward
Church was great. We had three investigators at church.  We've had more, but it was nice this time because our investigators got super fellowshipped.  We were so happy.  Besides one whacky lady, testimony meeting was great. 

Every Sunday after church we come to Arevalo and do Sunday lunch with the office elders.  It's way relaxing and the food is good too.  It reminds me of Sunday lunch back home.

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