It sounds like you guys have had quite the week! It's so cool to hear about all that's been going on. Though I am saddened by Ds injury and am of course praying for his well being, and you know what... maybe he will be able to go back and be able to recover at home. Which that would actually be a blessing in a round about way. I know that he will heal :)
Anyway, I love to hear all about your crazy goat stories and sheep and stuff, it sounds like they're doing super well! I guess I'll share this crazy story and you HAVE to read it to everyone because imagining it is so funny! We were teaching these less active brothers outside their house in the middle of nowhere and they were letting us have these starting to ripen mangos (a little sweet, but mostly bitter) and so our Ward Mission Leader, Brother M, was peeling them during our lesson for all of us... when all of the sudden in these super spiritual lesson... a HUGE PREGNANT GOAT come running in from I don't even know where and gobbles up the mongo peeling faster than anything I've ever seen! It pretty much made me whole day, because we still got the spirit back and it was really great... and I was reminded of home by huge, pregnant, food hunting goats! :)P
Aww, I'm so grateful for your dad! That's really really a blessing for both me and for you guys because if he does that, that'll really make it a bit easier :)
So, this week... I suppose that there's a bunch again that has happened this week! I suppose that the best place as any to start is going to be the fact that after last Monday, the computer did something really weird to my camera and now it won't read the card... so there aren't any pictures until I manage to buy a new memory card for my camera. Which is SO LAME because I didn't even use a 10th of how much memory it had! xP
Anyway, I picked up a chick this week! She was the cutest thing in the world... not a human chick, but I saved the life of a chick... a baby manok! (chicken) because it's mom was running away and the baby got stuck in some tall plants, so I went over there and helped it out and returned it to it's Mom! That was really fun, and right before we went to find a less active who wasn't home but at someone elses home! We got there and got to teach a new member who was with this less active, talk about prayers answered! Another cool experience happened the next day when we were getting punted all morning, I think 6 times in a row and then decided to go to an area pretty far away to visit a less active member. It turned out that she wasn't home so we did what usual Filipinos would do, as the neighbor where they went! We soon found our less active at some sort of funeral dinner rememberance for one of their friends husband. Sure it was sad, but at the same time I saw the hand of the Lord because we taught them ALL the plan of Salvation. We found 3 new investigator families and a different less active who was baptized in 2004 I think and then was inactive for like 10 years, so we'll be going back this week and hopefully work on reactivating this less active member!
And my final super special moment was actually yesterday in Sacrament meeting, of course it was fast sunday and testimonies were being borne. What was super cool is the fact that there are at most 65 people who come to church on Sunday and it was one after another of testimony for the whole time! The bishop actually had to jump up at the end and stop others from getting up so that we could close. What was really special is that even though I understood maybe 50% of what they were saying, I felt the spirit so strongly in their words and could really feel the strength of the active members here! I've been humbled so much to come to know them and be among them and their homes. You wouldn't believe they types of homes I've been in! Some are dirt floors while most are plain concrete. Often concrete or bamboo walls and a tin roof!
I'm really grateful to be serving in the best mission in the world, Philippines Urdaneta for LIFE!!! (okay... for less than 2 years left, but these memories will be with me for life) :)
Time for my other assorted funny stories for this week, one is that I heard Styx again, funny enough it was the "don't let it end" song and I heard it while we were teaching the Plan of Salvation AT that funeral... probably the best timed song in the whole world!
Another is the fact that I saw a roadkilled cobra just the other day, turns out that there are in fact cobras here! When we walk back at night, my companion and others always remind me to stay away from the sides of the path because there are sometimes cobras in the grass off to the side! Not going to lie, that was pretty freaky, but cool!
And finally, is my experience that this totally old Filipino man went out of his way to give me a high five! Which was kind of strange to me, but I kid you not when I say that people here love americans! Every day I hear SOMEONE yell "hey joe" or ask "what is your name"... so I'm going to start with replies like this! "Who's joe? The only Joe I know is Joseph Smith, and he can change your life" and for the other "OH MY GOSH YOU SPEAK ENGLISH TOO?! *what them freak out a little* Joke lang, ano ang pangalan mo?" :)P
Well, that's all for this week, it's been really fun! I can feel that my testimony has grown so much since i"ve come here and every time I do personal study in the morning, it's like my own Spiritual renewal for the day ahead! What a wonderful time!
Until Next Week,
PS- I think my hair is getting lighter ever since I came here xD
and also, you should totally get me that persons name going to the same mission and the day... what if I totally got to train him?! xD
ps- that weird thing that Elder Q, me, and Brother M are riding on is called a Kuliglig... rather interesting!
I wish I had gotten a picture, but Elder Q and I also went back to that less active across the river and this time caught a ride on a waterbuffalo pulling a cart when we asked the old Filipino man if we could get a ride!
I know, jeepneys are so fun and colorful... since I can't send a picture right now... I'll help your imagination a little by saying imagine that Jeepney with 21 Filipinos, and one really tall, sweaty, American xD THAT's how it is to be here! YIKES... I hope D is okay, that sounds really tough. I'll be sure to keep him in my prayers :)
And it so cure that y'all have new goats, I can't wait to hear about the new baby animals that are going to be born in the farm soon! How exciting :D
Wow, this week has really been interesting. It was also really hard for us due to various things... such as getting punted all the time. Or the fact that I went on my first companionship exchange, or even just the fact that everyone is just so dang far apart! I guess first things first, my companionship exchange with the Zone leaders! It was so nice to have that because I got placed with a zone leader who also had to learn Tagalog and he gave me probably the most useful advice anyone has ever given me about learning another language... okay, that's probably an overstatement, but still it was really helpful! :) What else? Oh, well I'm just going to be rambling if that's okay... I don't really know where to start or where to end, so I'm just throwing all these things together! But it's been pretty difficult because we have an investigator who is actually keeping out commitments and that's been awesome: but the problem here is the Philippines various laws, and tons of people are what we call "live-in" couples. Or that they aren't able to get married so they live together without marriage. I think part of that reason is just the expenses... so anyway, he's been progressing really well and we had committe him to get baptized, but of course, he can't because of a live in partner.
Yeah, so anyway, I had a pretty awesome experience with foods this week... I know that y'all are going to think that this is SO GROSS. But I had two foods... Isaw, and dugo.
Isaw- Chicken intestines cooked over a fire on a stick
Dugo- Blood cubes cooked over a fire... need I say more?
The scary part is that Isaw tasted really good and Dugo tasted like liver, but with a slightly different texture! What a crazy adventure it has been to be a part of that! :O And lastly, I had some corn that oddly resembled to me the corn from Nacho Libre, of course it wasn't the same... but it looked pretty similar!
Oh my gosh, and I totally forgot to share this super funny things going on here... every single day, we're walking around and there is ALWAYS people doing Kareoke... apparantly they love it here! And they're almost always English songs... so I've hear REO Speedwagon, Alphaville, Queen, the Eagles.. you name it! I mean really, ALL. THE. TIME. I have not gone one day without hearing Karaoke... :)
Well, this has really been a great adventure so far! And I've been out here in the actual field for a month now... isn't that just so crazy? This last months has just flown by, I always feel like there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done! We are always trying to do better and better and we're always on the move, what an awesome and special opportunity I have to be out here in the field :) I know that this part of the world is where the lord wants me to be and is the best place I can be right now in my life! My testimony has become stronger and stronger with each passing day and reading some of the book of Mormon is so cool! I guess my advice would be when you read it... try to read it as if you're an investigator trying to learn more. Or sometimes I read it and treat it like a journal of ancient people... which makes the scriptures just come alive! SO cool :D Well, that's probably all for this week! I think what I'm going to start doing is writing down various things that happen in this week so that I can share more of the experiences both spiritually with our investigators and with awesome foods and stuff!
Totally just reminded me, last though... we have a group of less active members actually coming back into reactivity, which makes me smile so much to know that Elder Q and I are helping people come unto Christ, whether it be the first time or if they're coming back after years of inactivity :)
NOW that's all, so I'll talk to yah next week!
I love you guys!