Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 14 (Oct. 13, 2014 San Leonardo Philippines)

Something hit me this week. I'm a Missionary. Of course, for the past
3 months I've woken up, got ready, and slipped on my name-tag. I've
told people, "Hey, we're missionaries. Wanna get baptized?" It wasn't
until this week, though, that the word "missionary" didn't bring
thoughts of The District, The Best Two Years, or even just the Elders
that would stop by our house back home every now and then. Instead, I
saw the same face I see when I look in the mirror each morning (I need
more gel. And another haircut). So ya. Guess what, ya'll? I'm a
missionary :)

And as a Missionary, I get to do fun stuff with fun people, fun stuff
with not fun people, not fun stuff with fun people, and not fun stuff
with not fun people, all week!! Let me tell you about it!

On Monday, we sort of had an appointment spent with a Recent
Convert/Less Active Return Family: The Carpesos! I say sort of because
they were under the illusion that our appointment was to attend their
now 11 year old sons birthday party, and since they ended up only
having enough extra money for Celebration Soup, they thought we
wouldn't come. Well they were WRONG. We did come, and we came bearing
gifts :) We bought the kid pizza and Sisig (basically deliciously
roasted pig face with peppers and onions. It's super wonderful and
such). You wanna know the best part?? After we said "Ho Ho Ho" and
walked in unannounced, we caught them reading their Scriptures as a
Family!! Woo!! (((On a very unrelated note (hence the triple
parentheses), there is a Security Guard across the street staring at
me right now who looks almost exactly like my brother-in-law,
Robert.))) They welcomed us in their home, we sat down, and let them
finish their Scripture Study. Oh happy day :) After that, we all sat
down for a dinner of Celebration Soup, Pizza, and Sisig. Of course, no
Family Home Evening is complete with out activities, and every
birthday needs a cake (*wink wink* *nod nod* (I'm poor)), so we
whipped out a bag of flour, a metal cup, and a cough drop. Pack the
flour in the cup. Dump it upside down on a plate. Top with Cough Drop.
Now cut the cake! We took turns cutting the cake, with the intent of
keeping the cough drop on top. Jam Jam, the birthday boy, is the one
who dropped the cough drop, and had to pick it up with just his mouth
amidst all the flour. His dad plays dirty, and shoved his face in it

We had to pay our Electric bill again on Tuesday, so we went to the
office, pushed the little red button, and took our number, 1263. They
were helping number 27. I cried a little bit. But then a nice little
lady (They're all nice and little, especially the ladies) gave us her
ticket, saying she would just go up with her friend. We were now
number 85! We still had to wait 2 hours :P
In other news for the day, we were teaching an investigator, and
things were getting excited, so I started using hand gestures. I put
my hands forward, palms up, explaining that God will "give" (the hand
gesture meant "give") us gifts and blessings if we follow his
commandments. I got a gift too. From a bird. Right in my outstretched
hand. I cried a little bit. But then I composed myself, flung it away,
wiped it with my pocket hanky, and sanitized with 70% Isopropyl
Alcohol. She didn't notice a thing :) (((The Security Guard is still
staring at me )))

On Wednesday, we went a searchin'. We had dropped basically all of our
investigators, because none of them were progressing, and we needed to
find those Children of God that were ready for the truth. Imagine our
surprise when we found an unlisted Member in our group. They still
thought the nearest church was 20 miles away! The Sta. Maria Family
have been inactive for 12 years, and only the parents are members.
Their oldest is 19, but she's spatial, as the Filipino people say
(basically it just means she has a form of a mental handicap). She's
really sweet when she's smiling and happy, but most of the time she
just stares. Usually at me cause I'm white. It's a little unnerving.
Anyway, there next oldest is 14, and she's our main focus right now in
the family. The father and mother were ecstatic to learn that there
was an LDS Meetinghouse just a block away, and asked us to teach there
14 year old daughter, so that's what we're doing, as well as working
to bring the family back into activity :) It's actually crazy how
often we just find random people that happen to be members. I think
this is our fourth. There are no concrete records, because we're just
a group, and so we don't know how many members we actually even have
within our boundaries. It's always really exciting to find them :)

Thursday, we took the opportunity to teach Nanay Gelma. Her Daughter,
Arlie Conde is a Less Active Return (LAR), and her Granddaughter,
Juliana Conde, is a Recent Convert. She asked us about the Word of
Wisdom a few nights before, so we gave her a pamphlet, and set an
appointment :) She accepted what we taught, and agreed to strive to
live this Commandment of God :) Because, we hadn't gotten much of an
opportunity to get to know her yet, we sat down and helped her tie
newspapers and just talked :) She was thankful for the help, and I
think it helped her trust us more :)
Later that night, we were teaching a sister (sibling) of one of the
Members, when her daughter, about four years old, walked up to her and
whispered something in her ear. The Mom picked her daughter up, sat
her in her lap, and started breastfeeding. Uh..... ..... ......
..... Elder Maestrado didn't bat an eye, just kept teaching. I guess
that's normal here. Ya....

Friday! Friday was actually pretty rough, because most of our
appointments fell through, and no one we talked to was interested. We
only ended up teaching 3 Recent Converts that day :( The kicker
though, is that after we closed our last lesson of the night with a
prayer, the Sister offered us some Red Wine. We laughed, but then she
stood up, went into her room, and brought out a bottle of Red Wine. We
continued to smile but didn't completely understand. She offered
again, saying it wasn't really wine. She reinforced her case by saying
that some previous Elders tried it too. Elder Maestrado poured some in
the bottom of the glass, smelt it, and said "Ya, there's definitely
alcohol in this." :P Her husband took the bottle from her, smelt it
and agreed. Her nephew, also a member, took the glass we had poured,
and drank it. He agreed too. I still don't really even know what was
happening that night :P Needless to say, I didn't drink it :)

Saturday and Sunday- General Conference. So Incredible! :D We watched
it as an entire stake, with the Priesthood Session Saturday Morning,
and a one hour gap between each Session. It came and went So fast :(
My favorite talk was probably from Lynn G Robbins of the Seventy,
about Which Way Do You Face. I've become incredibly excited for the
Conference edition of the Liahona to come out so I can add to my only
very basic notes :P It's crazy to think that I only get to listen 3
more Conferences while on my Mission. The talks and music were so
uplifting and inspiring, and it's such a blessing that we all have to
hear and grow from living Prophets of God. All of our lessons those
days came directly from the talks. Just re accounting everything
brought the Spirit so strong :)

Anyway, that's my week! I Love you all, and am so thankful for all of
your continued love and support!! Until next time!!

Elder Syphus
 Herons. Prolly my favorite Bird :)
 These are hanging from Every Single Street Light. -.-
 This is what a chapel in the Philippines looks like. Ya. They're small.
Jam Jam with flour :)
 Time to wash the Bed Sheets, but a laundry load takes 3 days. So I used a blanket and T-Shirt in the mean time. Basically I just took this picture because I blue :P
 Creepiest floating, glowing Santa in an unfinished cement building I've ever seen.
 Yup. Still creepy. And out of season
This is a trike. 
This is me inside of a trike :P

PS Linkon looks sharp, Liam's uber cute. And yes, GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING!!! So sad it's over :( I didn't catch Elder Oaks talk though, because the English room hadn't been set
up yet when it started. I heard somethings about Peanuts, Charlie Brown, and Schultz, but that's about it :/ I'm just excited for the Conference Liahona to get here :)
Some other random things: Is there anyway you could get me some MoTab
music? Also, what's the Hymn that Greg told us to sing Stocatto? Or at
least the final verse. That's all :) Sorry, my mind is sort of Going
haywire right now. :P Tell Kratelet I love her, and the new babies
too! LOVE YOU MOM!! :D :)

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