Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 12 (Sept. 29, 2014 San Leonardo, Philippines)

Week 12....12?

Hello! Friends, Family, Acquaintances (That means I know you, but
we're not friends), and Random Strangers surfing BlogSpot that were
lucky enough to find this!!
It's Week <insert week number here> out in the Bukid, and life is
still just Handy Dandy Notebook. Yes. I'm on something right now. I
got a haircut earlier today and the place was full of fumes. I blame
that. Anyway, let's begin!

Monday was P-Day, just like every P-Day. We finished shopping, went
home, and taught a lesson to a recent convert. We taught her that we
belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. Not "The
Mormon Church." I blame the previous missionaries. I did get to eat a
Krill pancake for dinner though!! Soooooo many little heads. The
antennae are like needles though. It was a depressingly painful
​(I had to look "Krill" up on the internet to see what he was talking about)​

Tuesday!! We decided to rinse out our pool of non-progressing
investigators and started OYM-ing.... or maybe just OOM.
​(From what I found on the internet, OYM means "open your mouth" and I'm assuming OOM is "open our mouths"​. You missionaries out there can correct me if I'm wrong, I'd like to know)
Anyway, we
found a family who were interested enough to let us in. At least, the
Nanay was. Her daughter and 3 granddaughters plus one boyfriend were
just hanging out. They decided it wasn't a very good idea after we
started asking them questions and inviting them to participate. One by
one, they would say "'Scuse Po," stand up, and walk into the back
room. After about 10 minutes, it was just us and the Nanay, but we
were no longer teaching. We were listening to her tell stories. I
don't know how it happened, but it did, so we said "Amen" and left.
Hmm..... -.- We saw the group of teenagers a little later while
walking down the street. They were more than a little embarrassed when
I waved to them and said hello. Haaawk-warrrrd.

Wednesday was a little bit more SUPER AMAZING o.O :D
We started off the day with a District Meeting and TRANSFER
ANNOUNCEMENTS!!! We're all staying.
After that was back to work. A lot of our Appointments were falling
through, though, and everyone either said "next time" or "not
interested." I said a little prayer to myself asking "Please just let
somebody come to us." I felt the urge to say it out loud, so I did. I
don't know why, and I don't know what would've been different if I
kept it to myself. But no more than five minutes later, a Nanay
stopped us and said "Do you speak Tagalog?"
Yup. She asked...... THE QUESTION.
So I said "Sort of."
Anyway, it's what she said -after- that the made the experience so
awesome. She simply told us "Come to my home tomorrow at 3 o'clock and
share with me your message. We will have snacks."
Also, my prayer was answered!!! It was such an incredible
feeling/experience. The spirit was SO strong within me, just because
of a few conversational sentences from an old lady on the street. We
gave her a pamphlet about The Restoration, and said we would see her
tomorrow. Gaahh!!! You can't tell how happy I was!! SOBRANG ASTIG!!

So Thursday, we went back at three to teach her, and the first think
she did when she saw us was hold up the pamphlet we gave her and say
"I read your Bible!"
Sure, she thought it was our bible, but at least she read it! Since I
got into the field, I've met maybe a total of 3 investigators who
actually read the pamphlet we gave to them. We taught her The Message
of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and she answered all
of our questions, and seemed pretty interested. When we started
talking about Joseph Smith, she said "The Bible talks about a
Messenger of the Lord (Malachi 3:1?)... is this him?" Yes!! It's him!!
We confirmed her suspicion, and she looked me straight in the eye and
said "This is the man I've been looking for."
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
:D :D :D :D :D
Let the Smiles shine on me!
She accepted our baptismal invitation, and we scheduled another
appointment with her. So excited!!!

On Friday, we got to meet with another promising Investigator. This is
the one that I wrote about before, Miguel "Gil (Hill)"Garcia. He used
to smoke during every lesson, at least 2 cigarettes. We taught him
about the Word of Wisdom, and when we followed up with him Friday, he
said he'd gone down from more than a pack to a single cigarette a day!
Plus, his last cigarette had been the previous morning. More than 30
hours! He seemed a little cooky during the lesson, so I'm hoping he's
okay. We've yet to follow up again, but will be meeting with him again
tomorrow. The problem is that he insists on something warm in his
belly every morning, so he drinks coffee. He says Hot Chocolate is too
expensive, and Energen (sort of like a cereal drink) has too much
sugar and that it might give him diabetes. He smokes to get rid of the
smell of the Piggery nexy door (I've never smelt anything, and neither
has Elder Maestrado), and he doesn't come to church because he has a
"Kaaway." Basically an Arch-Nemesis that lives across the street from
the meeting house. That one is actually pretty serious. Apparently, he
carries the risk of getting shot if he's seen. They had an
"Eyeball-to-eyeball" the other day. Pretty intense stuff. Thankfully,
no one was armed. Anyway, we continue to pray for him, and hope
everything works out.

Saturday was a Reactivation Meeting for the Less-Actives. We were
supposed to meet at 3 at the meeting house, but no one else showed up.
So we taught the Lady that lives in the backyard. We waited after that
lesson for about another 30 minutes before we go a text from our Group
Leader saying he just got his Trike. It was 5 o'clock. At 5:30, he
showed up and we went and taught a few Less Active Families. We walked
in on one Brother as he was lighting his cigarette :( He had been
coming back to church lately as well, but didn't show up yesterday. It
can be tough sometimes, but we've just always got to do our best, and
hope they'll put in their part as well.

I think the fumes are wearing off.

Sunday was interesting, as always :P I still understand the lessons at
church, but there were pictures this time, so that helped :) I don't
know if it was taught like this, but this is what the pictures told
me. There was one with a man holding a single giant stone on his back,
struggling to stay standing. Another showed the same man, equally
exhausted, but he was now trying to keep multiple plates spinning on
sticks, so they wouldn't fall and break. It made me think that
sometimes, rather than a single huge trial in our lives, we're faced
with multiple smaller obstacles. Neither is necessarily more
difficult. Different trials try us in different ways, just as they're
supposed to. And, as we all know, they are for our benefit and
progression. I feel it important that we realize all of these trials
and tests in our lives as learning experiences because that's truly
what they are.

Well,that's all I have for you this week, and I love you all and wish
you the best!!
Merry Christmas!!
Elder Syphus
PS. Sorry... No pictures this week :(

​(Extra tidbits)
:D I'm still a little under the weather, but it's not
too bad. I just have to interrupt a lesson every now and then to clear
my throat. I've been taking my multivitamins and exercising every
morning. I was actually a little sad when I woke up yesterday morning
and realized I couldn't exercise because it was Sunday. Surprised? So
was I :P

It's awesome that the temple is open again!! Ugh, I miss the
temple SO much. I'm hoping I'll get to go in December and attend the
sealing of some recent converts in our area :) I'm also happy to hear
that the TV still finds its home in a bathtub. That will never make
sense to me :P

Who do I have for Christmas this
year? And what is everybody's shoe size? I'm thinking of getting
everyone a pair of Authentic Chinese made Filipino Tsinelas, but I may
not be able to afford that :P Still let me know though, and we'll see.

Brayden and Brittney are leaving already?? That's crazy!! Remind
me where they're going again? They're both going to do SO awesome!! :D

THAT IS SO INCREDIBLE ABOUT PACKER!!!!!! So, same birthday as
Kylie, huh? :P Anybody happy about that? ;) Still though, awesome!!
Honestly, the first thing I though when I saw the picture of Kari
kissing his hand, was "Bless, peasant" (Sort of a Filipino/Sam Smith
joke). The next thing was "Babies look like aliens." .........
Anyway, what's the news on Bjorn?? Ugh, this is so excited!!! I can't
believe I'm missing it all!!! :D :D I remember when Linkon was born. I
was still in intermediate school, Kambree and Kendyl were still in
Elementary, and when school got out, Kambree and Kendyl ran up to me
:D :D :P THAT was an exciting day :P Friday the 13th :)

Anyway, just a few questions/requests. Could you send some recipes for
me? We don't have an oven, only a stove, and rice HAS to be a part of
it :P I've got a few from Sister Clark, but I never get the chance to
try them out. My comp won't let me cook :P I like what he makes
though, so not really any complaints. Also, I have a bag of cocoa
powder and nothing to use it on. Do you thing Shaun could get creative
and throw me some ideas? I haven't had a good desert since the MTC :P
Finally, how do you make home made rootbeer? I told Elder Maestrado
about it, and he wants some :P That's about it though!! Love you, and
I'll start the big letter now :D

Love you!!!
Elder Syphus


  1. Thank you for raising a son who understands that true Christlike love transcends above someone's often confined comfort level.

    What an invaluable lesson about humility and true giving for your son to learn! He is provided freely of food, often at the expense of their own children, just so they can feed the missionaries.

    He is to be commended for looking at it from the perspective of a culture trying to serve whom they consider to be the Lord's representative.

  2. Thank you John for reminding me of the sacrifice that so many make for our missionaries. Each of our children who have served have such tender hearts when it comes to the people from their missions. In fact, it's such a sweet moment for me when I see my grown boys get teary eyed as they reminisce about them. Thanks for your kind words.