Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 56 in the Philippines Laoag Mission, but Still Clearly a Foreigner!

Saying Farewell in My Last Area to this Wonderful Family

Ever since I arrived in the Philippines I knew I was a foreigner. When kids come up to you and ask if you are sick because you are white and they thought that was something only real on tv, or when people tell you that you glow in the dark because you are so pale… you kinda get the hint. I knew from day one that I could never pull off the ‘oh, I’m from Manila’ besides in a joking manner. When I introduced myself to the branch this week in Vigan I joked about how my companion doesn’t have to worry about losing me because I'm about 5 or 6 inches taller than  most people, brown hair, white, and apparently I have ‘rainbow eyes.’ Despite all of that I was still rather surprised by how much people stare at me. Yes I'm a foreigner. No I know what I'm doing and no I know the tricy fare is not 100 pesos its 20. It's ok. It's still fun to startle people. When I first moved into the Vigan apartment a tryce driver came up to help lift the luggage off the bus and onto his tricy. I had already carried it down the steps and I'm just a little noodle arm so he thought ‘ha no big deal I can lift this’ (this is a big burly looking guy) and his eyes literally bug out of his head when he tried lifting it.
Me: “Yeah, sorry those are all my books.”
Tricy driver: “Are you sure they aren’t dumbbells?”
Another tricy driver walks up and thinks he is all that so he tries to lift it and he also gets a surprize! Haha They could lift it but they just didn’t expect it to be that heavy.
So as I said in my last email this area hasn’t had a convert baptism in a long time so I was a little apprehensive about it. A little worried about it all, but it turns out I was worried for no reason. We recently got a new Branch President and he is on fire! I honestly felt like I was back in Batac with the kind of organization he has going on. Because we are both new he took us for a tour around our areas and pointed out Investigators he knew and we stopped to chat with members. It was incredible, and then from that we were able to start working with members from week one. We work with new ones just about every day and we are now working to pair our Investigators to the members, and it's wonderful!  We are really starting from scratch though. Every time we ask if anyone had seen  or talked to the missionaries before they would say “Yeah, we see them walking down the street all the time. But they’ve never talked to us.” It’s a little strange to see that these incredibly receptive people are sitting there watching their salvation walk past and  the missionaries never stopped to talk to them.

Not much to say about this week besides finding 37 new investigators in one week which was exhausting , but none of them came to church!! We did find one girl, Ivy, who is actually a referral from Santo Domingo- we gave the referral several weeks ago but she was never contacted. We found her and she has been reading the book of Mormon a bit and will come to church next week- she was going home to visit family this Sunday. This town is a college town so there are no end to the fast food and BBQ and Indians everywhere. Not cowboy and Indians. Actual Indians. It's fun! My companion is a little scared of them but I hope to do some finding in a female dorm this week.
From the sister who is meeting a million people a week

Sister Eldredge

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