Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 9 in the Laoag Philippines Mission

Hello Hello!! 

     So this week went by super fast! I found out that my MTC teacher Brother Warnick served in my Companion's home area!! So that's crazy fun, and its such a small world. Here in the Philippines you high five everyone you meet (the Tagalog word for high five is 'appear' pronounced 'up here') and instead of slipping on banana peels you slip on mangoes. I nearly fell flat on my back because I did not see a very ripe mango right in front of me and slipped like crazy, but luckily I didn't fall down. My companion, Sister Bagalay (bag-ah-lie) said I looked like someone form the Matrix. 

     So while we were out tracking we found these two brothers who had been initially contacted in 1991 and 1999! They still had the original Book of Mormon that the Elders had given to them way back then. The scriptures were really cool as the book looked like any other book and instead of verses it was in paragraph form! It was really cool, sadly we had to defer him to the Elders to teach. 

     We started out this week with only 3 people who were willing to let us teach them, and one of them being a child who's parents will not let her progress beyond the lessons. Now we have 24 new investigators, 10 of which have a baptismal date, and 5 of which came to church this last Sunday! Sarrat, my area, is considered one of the hardest areas in the mission. When I first got here the members would say "welcome to the hardest area" and there would be about 40 of so members attending church out of the 100 members in the area. 

     But there is no such thing as a hard area. People don't hold a council and agree that all the people who would be willing to listen to the Mormon missionaries live in one town and all the people who don't want to listen to them live in another. They are all spread out and so long as we depend fully upon the Lord we can do anything. It's funny, as I honestly can't remember what scripture I put on my plaque back home so I keep telling everyone my favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me." It's a nice all-inclusive scripture that applies to members, no members and less actives. If there is anything you are struggling with you can be healed through Christ.

     So, fun language mishaps... When introducing myself I said that I had 5 children instead of 5 siblings! Whoops! That was really funny!! The group that we were teaching (1 investigator named Lorenzo and two less active boys named Christian-Dave and Kenneth) just kinda stared at me until Sister Bagaly interpreted for me. That's basically how most lessons go. I speak in broken Taglish, she interprets and teaches. It's rather funny, I'll stumble over the pronunciation of a word and who ever we are teaching will fill it in for me! The people here are so sweet.

     Our schedule is a bit different from the standard mission schedule. 
6:30 am we get up 
8:00 am we are out the door and out finding
12:00 pm we return home for lunch and studies. 
     We do Personal, Companion, and Language study, along with 12-Week Training.
5:00 pm We then head out and teach lessons that we prepared for during companionship study
8:00 pm return home
10:30 lights out

     It's a blessing to have this schedule. If we eat lunch quickly we can get a quick nap, which I think is absolutely vital to us being awake and enthusiastic during our lessons! It's like in the scriptures where King Lamoni is being taught by Ammon; he has an incredible spiritual experience and then he passes out. We do that same thing here!

     During our study time the craziest thing happened. In the Philippines the weather is the same as Houston, but without AC so everyone has their windows and doors open all the time. We were kneeling down to close out our study time when a chicken walked into the apartment and started running around like it had just gotten its head chopped off!! We quickly cornered it and put it back outside where its mamma was having a hissy fit. It was really really funny!!

     That's all for now. I love you all and I want to thank each and everyone of you for your prayers and support.

Mahal Kita! (Love you!)
Food Prep.  Notice the bowl of fish on the counter.

Pumping for Water

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