Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 28 in the Philippines Laoag Mission: PANTS! And other GREAT STUFF!

Pants make me SO HAPPY!!


So this week has been absolutely insane. Lets start at the middle and then jump around randomly so you lose all sense of direction and begin spinning in your chair with a headache. I'm kidding, well start with Monday then just go down the line to today. So last week I forgot to mention this but i tried the 'cheese ice cream' that i have heard so much about, and its way good. Cheese here is nothing like cheese in america, cheese here is sweet and creamy, its like... i have no idea what it is like, but its different. So cheese ice cream makes sense; its already sweet and creamy now its also cold. that's everything you look for in food here: sweet + creamy + cold = sarap! (delicious) another interesting thing i ate this week was cow brain soup. Its 'surprisingly ok.' i'm kidding it was actually really good, it was just strange thinking that I was eating some cows old thinking cap. I also tried this dish, i forgot what its called but its basically pig bbq sauteed in the pigs own blood. Sounds violent and cruel but it tastes good and once the pig is dead I don't think he cares much how he is eaten. But iv'e personally never been in that situation so I cant say so for certain.

    Anywhoos...My favorite scripture for this week is Psalms 150, the last psalm, as its the lyrics for a song my high school choir sang my senior year... or was it my junior year? I cant remember. Since I participated in the wards choir for their Stake conference I kept thinking of the psalm:

1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

    For me this means dedication and obedience. God has given us a bunch of rules or 'commandments' and He expects us to not only follow them but to follow them with joy. Its like parenting. Parents don't let their kids play with fire because obviously it could hurt them or cause a situation. Yes fire is hecka fun, especially when you are a kid it is fascinating but we, as children, simply don't comprehend the destructive power and we are safer and happier when we follow the rules and guidelines. Something my mother said when I was a kid comes to mind: parents who love their children give more rules. This didn't make sense to me as a kid. rules suck, rules make it so i cant have ice cream for breakfast and stay up late on school nights, but rules also protect you from diabetes and help you develop healthy habits that will bless you later in life when there is no one to enforce the rules. Sorry if I seem to be blabbering but everything in the bible and the Book of Mormon, all the 'rules' that our church have are for the eternal happiness of all. They may seem restrictive but so is a harness when you go bungee jumping. Would you want a loose harness when you are going to drop hundreds of feet? of course not! It's just for your safety. O.K. i could go on for ages about this so i'm going to move on before i get more repetitive.

     So when Sister Aquino and Sister Arcayan got back from their meeting in Laoag they were wearing PANTS!! and they had some for Sister Gabut and myself too!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I may have been prancing about like a twitterpated Bambi and that is exactly the point. We only get to wear the pants during Denge season and we cant wear them on Sundays or when we go to meetings (which i understand the Sunday thing but meetings are always held in buildings with AC and i cant handle AC anymore so i become a little frozen Popsicle in a skirt and all the elders are sweating in their suits) anyways we have pants and all the ward members are having a fun old time about it because I wore a red shirt with the pants and that is the color of Jolibee (the #1 fast food restaurant in the Philippines, its bigger than MacDonald) So i still have some members coming up to me and pretending to order Jolibee. But its worth it because of pants.

    Also I am teaching Inigo Montoya, luckily I didn't kill his father so I will not prepare to die. I'm kidding, his name is Ruben, but he looks exactly like Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride. Its the best thing ever. I'll try to send a picture next time. We met with him and his wife Percibeth (for those who read Percy Jackson you understand why i love her name) and they were sooo active in the lesson and they had questions and insights, just like Ernesto and his wife, who we had met with earlier that day. After our lesson with them Sister Gabut told me that they had barely said a word in the previous lessons (it had been my first time meeting with them officially) and I am just amazed at the grown in their hearts, they had tried reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and had already began to feel the change in their lives, before we began the official lessons with them. This gospel is true guys, for real. If you just try it out, and be patient (which means being joyful as we wait for the lord to bless us) the blessings will come. No doubt about it.

    We go on splits a lot here; we have this one member who was baptized about 2 years ago now and she works with us almost every other day, and the ward has a handful of recent return missionaries (RM) so I have had to get really good at teaching all of a sudden. There is a definite difference between working with the members and working with the RM's and i love finding out how to work with all of them. I've heard that there are some missionaries who don't like working with RMs and I think its their loss as the RMs are just dying to get back out into the field. They are filled with the spirit of Elijah and who are we to deny them? We went on splits this last Thursday and I loved it. Sister Gabut found a less active family that asked if we could help them know how to regain activity in the church! it had been a few years since they have been active- to the point that some of the children have not been baptized, but the sincerity of the father just touched my heart.

    Then this Sunday after conference and a few lessons we went to visit one of our investigators in the hospital, as she had just given birth. Her baby, named Princess Kate, is only 7 days old and her head is so small it can fit in the palm of my hand! oh! I wanted to hold her but missionaries aren't allowed so i just kinda did a weird 'that baby is so freaking adorable' dance and talked with Joanna. Apparently the fellowshipper we had with us on my first week here has been visiting here every other day since she entered the hospital! (Fellowshipper is a member who works with the missionaries to help those who are investigating the church)

    All in all that has been my week, since i'm still considered 'new in the area' i'm trying to get accustomed to all the people staring at me all the time, but apparently its not rude to stare in Filipino culture so... ill just get used to it i guess. I'm the first white foreigner in the area (Batac A) in over a year, i believe. There was a sister from Idaho but she worked in Batac B so all the people in my areas haven't seen a white person in ages... so that is always fun.

    From the sister who still sticks out like a sore thumb, Sister Eldredge
Nothing Better Than Receiving Packages, Even If It's Just Stuff You Forgot When You Were Transfered!

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