Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 11 (Sept. 22, 2014 San Leonardo, Philippines)

Week 11 - Come What May, and Love It.

Hey all!

This week has been as exciting as the rest of them, with more rain and
floods throughout our little Pacific Island. Sadly, my Eccos aren't
all the water proof :) Anyway, let's get started!

Tuesday wasn't incredibly special in the sense that anything life
changing happened, but I did get to practice my hand stitching during
my lunch break! :D So far I've patched up a pair of socks, rebound a
rod on my umbrella, and had to re-hem a pair of my pants. It's not to
difficult, but takes FOREVER. I think I'll just pay the seamstress
next door from now on :)

Wednesday, we had our weekly District Meeting, but this once was a
little sad. One of the Elders, Elder Jacobs from Bountiful Utah, has
nearly completed his two years and will be returning home tomorrow.
He's fluent in 3 different dialects, and occasionally writes to me
with the Ancient Tagalog alphabet, because I studied it as well in his
early days in the field and likes to continue to use it. It's always
excited trying to decipher the code :)

Thursday was the Trainer/Trainees Meeting, and we got to hear from
President and Sister Clark. ALWAYS a treat :D They're both so
inspired, and I always love what they have to say. Sister Clark was
especially helpful, in my opinion.
Ever the mother, her topic of comment is usually about health or
safety. Because this meeting was to a bunch of Greenies, though, she
made sure to help us stay happy despite being separated from our loved
ones for a short time while serving the Lord. For me, the highlight of
her teaching was a Mormon Message featuring Elder Joseph B Wirthlin.
It was an excerpt from his final Conference Talk before he passed
away. "Come What May, and Love It." Having been one who suffered from
depression before my mission (self-diagnosed: I never felt it was
serious to seek a professional opinion :P ), and still occasionally
having those "pensive" moments, this was a HUGE help for me. I've sort
of turned that into my Mission Motto. Just "Come What May, and Love
It" :)

We had our second set of splits and Friday, this time with the Zone
Leaders. I was paired with Elder Magno in his zone, and we had quite the
enjoyable evening :) We were in the splash zone of another typhoon,
and the drainage systems aren't great out in the Philippines. You'd
think that'd be a priority for these people, huh? :P Anyway, we were
wading through the murky street water once again, and Elder Magno
wasn't to pleased with the situation. I shared with him "Come What
May, and Love It." He didn't like that :D The circumstances, however,
just made him that much more determined to get inside someones home,
and it worked! We ended up meeting a family in preparation for a
birthday and were given the privilege to taste test. Everything was
delicious :D We shared with them the Message of the Restoration, and
all 5 of them seemed pretty interested, but as we were walking out the
door we found out that only one of them was a resident. The others
were only in town for the party :/ Ah well; we still got food and at
least one new investigator :) We had to end the night early though
because of the flooding. So we went back to the apartment, planned for
the next day, turned on some music (approved, of course :) ), popped
open a big of Mini-Mallows, and roasted them with a candle. It was a
fun day :D

Saturday was a BAPTISM!!! :D :D Sister Juliana Alexis Salimbot Conde
is 10 years old and was baptized on September 20th by Elder Syphus
(that's me!). She was confirmed the following Sunday as a Member of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the San Leonardo
Group. Elder Maestrado and I were able to teach her from the very
beginning, so we've all gotten pretty close :) Though definitely
spiritual, it was also a little stressful for Juliana. A lot of
Filipinos actually don't know how to swim, swimming pools are
uncommon, and bathing is done with a bucket over the head, not a tub.
This means that being completely submersed in water is a new
experience for a lot of new converts who don't live near the Ocean.
The first attempt freaked her out a little bit, and she came up
spluttering before she was completely immersed. We reassured her, gave
her a few more tips, and tried again. The witnesses approved it, and
she was gone. I don't know if she would've let us try again :P Anyway,
Elder Maestrado and I congratulated her with a Snickers Bar. American
candy is Heaven for Filipinos, but it's pretty pricey as well, so they
don't have many chances to indulge. We figured it was a special
occasion, so why not? :)

Juliana, Elder Maestrado and Me. Not in that order :P

Sister Conde and little Julianne. Julius had the flu :(

Group Picture!

Church was a little more civilized this week, but then again, I got to
attend a Ward Missionary Meeting rather than Gospel Doctrine class.
Thank goodness :) I also learned a lot more, because there were less
people, and the majority knew English or speak very clear Tagalog :)
After our Block Meeting, we went to the Zone Leaders Ward to get the
Bishops signature for Juliana's Baptism. We are apart of their ward,
but meet as a separate group because of the distance. Anyway, we were
able to sit in on the last 30 minutes of Sacrament Meeting, and enjoy
as much as I could understand of the Talks :P The actual church
buildings have Air Con, and the Members are happy to take advantage of
that. It was FREEZING!! And I loved every second of it :D

This morning (Monday), we met with some Members and other Missionaries
and played Basketball at the Church. They played full court rather
than just half though, so I stepped off to the side with another
missionary (I'm sort of a stickler for the rules), and we did our own
little workout. My personal fitness goal is to have a Six-Pack by
Christmas. I actually think I can make it happen :P

Anyway, that's all for this week! Love you all!!

Elder Syphus

PS. I also got to try Rat this week!! It's probably my favorite meat.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Delicious. The meat it actually super high
quality, but it has to be a field rat, not a house rat. That will kill
you :P

This isn't fuzzy camera quality. Those are bugs.


I almost forget to tell you all about my super foods this week! This is called Kiti, or Day-Old. As the name suggests, it's a Day-Old chick that's killed and deep fried. I thought it sounded a bit inhumane too, until I remembered what eggs were.

You eat the head first, then the legs, then finish with the whole body. It's crunchy like a cheeto, not like a bag bones. :P

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