Here in the Philippines we have decided ice cream trucks are too mainstream so we are going for the more useful fish trucks that sell freshly caught fish. Its an interesting way to wake up, before the alarm rings you hear “BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNGGGGGGGGGUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSS, FREEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH BAAAAAANGUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSS!!! And right after him comes the guy yelling ‘bote’ (bow-tey means bottle) but it sounds a bit more like ‘wookie.’ So we have wookies chasing after the fish here. As both my companion, sister Abdul-haq, and myself are very close to going home we have come up with interesting ways to not get trunky. This includes face spas, setting up activities at the church and having a baptism.
Yup! Tatay Perfecto Agular got baptized this week! He’s been investigating the church for almost 2 years now and is now ready for baptism! While there were only a few members there at the baptism the spirit was strong! When Brother Perfecto got up to bear his testimony it was truly powerful. To have a strong testimony doesn’t mean you string words together in a poetic way, it means the words are true to you. He practically shouted hallelujah that he had been baptized which was awesome. There are still some kinks we are working out in the branch but the members are incredible and have the desire. We are actually working on what is required to create a group (in the church the biggest congregation is called a ward, then a branch or a group. A ward is 100+ and a group is anywhere from 3-30 people) in a far area. There are a rather large number of members in this area, it's just so far out that they cannot afford to go to church every week- 100+ one way sort of things (the average is 20 pesos per trip) so we will see how this turns out!!
We hope to be able to start teaching Tatay Perfecto’s son JR, but he works out in the rice fields and gets home super late and we have a curfew at 6ish so we will have to be creative about that I guess!! I was feeling really stressed my first week here as the area we are allowed to work in is so small but we are finishing little pockets of houses that have not seen the missionaries before and/ or had good relations with members and are interested. Its pretty much 50/50 with reactions from people here. Its either ‘don’t talk to me’ or ‘missionaries? I’ll listen to what you have to say.’
When I was at my most stressed I pulled out the scriptures and said allowed ‘please give me inspiration on what to do with this tiny area’ and then flipped open to D&C 54:7&9 “Wherefore go to now and flee the land, and take your journey… and after you have done journeying, behold, I say unto you, seek ye a living like unto man.” So the scriptures say I should go home and get a job. That’s comforting.
Honestly that is all I have to report on this week besides we did a mud mask as a way of distressing and we all tried to make each other laugh because when you laugh while wearing a bentonite clay mask (shout out to Grandma Awesome! Thanks so much!!) it crinkles and makes you look like an old lady. So we had fun looking like an idiot for a while.
From the tired but happy missionary