Nope, I'm not serving in a city :) It's sort of like Winchester, but a lot noisier and bigger. No big buildings or stores or anything like that. We've got the market and a couple gas stations, and there's a 7/11 on it's way! :D
Mary Rose, Shiela, and Denmar are all doing well :) Mary Rose and Denmar attended church yesterday, but Shiela had to stay home and help her mom with something. Her mom is also an investigator- Vangie Alcantara. Mary Rose is now in 2nd Nephi of the Book of Mormon, and Denmar just finished Joseph Smith's Testimony, but Denmar is a lot newer than Mary Rose :) We taught him the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity yesterday with the help of a Less Active Returned Member. He had a lot of questions (not arguments) that we were able to answer well enough :) He said he used to smoke and drink, but when we asked if he'd quit, and follow both commandments, he said "Of Course! It's a Commandment of God, right?" Right :) He was also wearing an earring, and as we started talking about the law of chastity, our member friend told him straight up, "Earrings are forbidden." I cringed a little, but then Brother Cabrales showed him the piercings in his own ear, reassuring him that he need not be ashamed. Denmar was happy enough to get rid of it :)
Thanks for the quote Mom!! I needed it :P Although being a Missionary helps a lot with staying positive, you do start feeling down when a Progressing Less Active starts smoking and drinking, and a strong member entertains the thought of going apostate because of something she heard on the news (Apparently, Joseph Smith had 40 wives, the youngest of which was 13...) I guess that's what we're here for- to help these kind of people fight there trials and restore their faith. Carry on!
So, Monday and Tuesday weren't terrible exciting- I spent my free time writing replies to letters I've received, and reading "Our Heritage." Excellent book about the History of the Church, by the way. I definitely recommend it :)
During our weekly District Meeting on Wednesday, one of the Zone Leaders walked into the Room with a Water Gun, giving us each 10 seconds to convince him not to shoot us. When he came to me, I yanked the gun out of his hand and shot him in the face. Boom. Convinced.... He still shot me. -_-
During our Lesson with the Ecot Family (the Part Members we found in the Jungle) this week, like twenty 12-15 year olds showed up to listen... and a chicken. This was the weirdest chicken I've ever met in my life. It kept jumping off of the ground and sitting in my lap!! I tried moving it onto the bench next to me, but he started eating my bag, so I put him in a tree. Then he jumped out of the tree and onto my shoulder. What is wrong with this thing!! He wasn't afraid of people, just chillin' with us. Eventually, we used him as part of an object lesson. Really, we just spun him in circles, watching as his head stayed in place. It's a wonderful thing :) I named him Gus, by the way. We became okay friends. After the lesson was over, we stood up to leave and all the kids that came late just got really big eyes and started staring at me, saying "Tall... tall... tall... tall...." Um..... thank you?
Another lesson was to Danilo Nagano (squiggly n), another investigator progressing towards baptism. We gave him a WoW pamphlet at the end of our previous lesson for him to look over, and when we returned, he had read the whole thing voer to cover at least 3 times, and readily blamed his daily cup of coffee for his stomache problems. But ya, he committed to live the commandment on his own because of a pamphlet. Sounds good, sounds good :) Oh, also, he doesn't really have legs and cuts hair for a living. He's sort of my favorite :)
Anyway, love you and hope you're well!!
Love, Joel / Elder Syphus
I was going for a bunny. Platypi are good too :) Yay circles! :D
IN THE SHADOW OF THE GREAT VOLCANO, THE DIAMOND BACKS ARE KNOWN. ....somethin somethin somethin rice fields somethin.... WITH COURAGE all/on OUR OWN!! WE'RE DEPENDABLE.... and something something..... NEVER ENDS. sometinh somethin somethin somethin somethin somethin else..... WE STRIKE!!! SSSSSSSSSSS... WE ARE THE DIAMOND VALLEY DIAMOND BACKS! DIAMOND VALLEY!!! :D :D :D
(can I get the rest of the words please?)
The jungle next to the field. and orchard.
The Orchard of calamansy. (sp?) Sour little lime babies.
The sunset above the orchard.
Biggest Ant I've ever seen. It's longer than your finger nail, and about as wide (legs included) as a pencil. And it has spider web powers.
After setting up the meeting house for church the next day. That's the podium in the bottom left.
The Beetles got trapped in their yellowish submarine. Thankfully the wonder pets were there to help.