Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 17 (Nov. 2, 2014 San Leonardo, Philippines)

So on Monday (I have literally no idea how to start these things), we headed to Cabanatuan. It's a whole different Zone from us on it's own, and would usually be off limits, but Elder Maestrado needed to get a X Ray before he goes home and the letter said to do it in Cab. So he went and got his X Ray, he emailed (that's why it was so early) and went shopping at the Biggest Mall this side of the Mission. It was still sorta junky :P I mean, it's nice and everything, but super cramped. I prefer City Creek in Salt Lake :) Th one plus side though, is that we got to go to Pizza Hut for Lunch!! It was about as expensive as Little Ceasars, which is pretty expensive here, but it was good :) We got an Italian Bacon Margherita, and I enjoyed it, but Elder Maestrado was disappointed with the lack of toppings. It was a little sparse, but still enjoyable :) After our time at the Mall, we returned to pick up the X Ray results, but they still didn't have them and told us to return the next day. Not possible... So right now, we are again in Cabanatuan, a week from his X Ray, to pick up the results. We probably won't be doing Pizza Hut again, though :P

Tuesday was a Party Day. I bought a can of Pepsi and a jar of Peanut Brittle (something I've been craving since I got here), at the Mall on Monday, put them in the fridge Monday night to re-solidify the Peanut Brittle, and to cool the Pepsi. Yup. That's how poor Missionaries Party :P We also taught Brother John Robert on Tuesday, and found out that he actually had attempted to attend church on Sunday! He wasn't sure how to get it, and was "shy" to go looking for the entrance. Shy is just the word the use. I guess it works :P We decided that although we still weren't going to count it as Church Attendance, we wouldn't restart his counter, and just continue from where he left off :)

Wednesday was was Sad/Happy in the Morning, and then sort of both/neither in the afternoon :P We had our Final District Meeting with quite a few Missionaries on Wednesday, because they're all "dying" within the week. They're all great, fun people, and it was sad to see them go, but they've served the time they were called to serve, and now get the chance to serve back home :) Elder Olila (guy's a fashion master), Elder Tsunoda (old AP... mediyo bakla ;) ), Sister Ocampo (didn't know her too well. She's Sister Shipley's Nanay), and Sister Leonaue (she did a fancy Hula dance for everyone. Yay Polynesians! :D )
That afternoon was exciting because we got to eat Ants. Yay... We were visiting a Less Active family, and after the lesson, they offered us "snacks." The Mom grabbed an old box of Pizza off a pile of broken furniture, and gadgets (basically a trash pile), and dropped it down on the table in front of us. We opened it a little hesitantly, and for good reason. There were four pieces left, and every single one was literally COVERED in Ants. Like, an entire colony was trying to to lift the thing out of the box, and carry it to their Queen. The Mom looked at us and said "Eat!" Uh... No thank you? "EAT!" Oh! okay ... I don't know if she didn't see it, or just didn't care. Anyway, she started getting pretty upset because we weren't eating, so Elder Maestrado Grabbed a piece, and took a big bite. Then gagged. Then swallowed. Then we shook and blew on, and did everything we could to get rid of the ants. The worse part? One of the better Pizzas I've had in the Philippines. Yup :P

On Thursday, we learned some interesting things, and taught some interesting lessons :P One of our Recent Converts, June Lester Lopez, hasn't been to church in a while, so we went and visited him. He's been a member for about 10 months, but his Grandma (who he lives with) only found out 2 weeks ago. She got super mad, hid his White Polo, Scriptures, neck tie, and dress slacks, and pretty much put him under house arrest. Hmm... Anyway, we saw her before we taught Lester, and she smiled and said, "Ya! He's just in the House, go right ahead!" So I don't really understand anymore :P He says she's gotten more used to it, and that it shouldn't be a problem for much longer :)
Another lesson was to a Returning Less Active. I won't put in her name, but I will say she's psycho. It's awesome :P It literally seems she's always high or on drugs, and that's why it's a party teaching her :)
One of our last Lessons was to a really promising Investigator, Jessica Talana. She's been praying the way we taught her, has read the assignments, and is already starting to have the beginning of a Testimony. It's Golden :D The Lessons we teach to her ALWAYS seem to be Super Spiritual :) The only thing that's a little strange, is that she refuses to shake hands. She shook our hands when we met her, but not since. Hmm. Ah well. As long as she has the Testimony and Desire, we're fulfilling our purpose :)

Happy Halloween!! Just kidding because that doesn't exist in the Philippines!! Everyone was still drunk, but that's for preparation for tomorrow. The big shock today was this morning during our Personal Study. A Less Active showed up at our apartment, said good morning, and walked inside. O.o The only thing on our Door is a big sign that says "DON'T come inside." I guess it would be more effective if it were in Tagalog, rather than English :P Anyway, he just wanted a picture for a job application, and knew we had a digital cameras. We snapped a couple shots, and sent him on his way as fast as we could. Turns out he just started asking around as to where we lived. We go jogging every morning, and a lot of people are awake by 6:30, and I'm the only white guy in 20 miles of the place, so we draw quite a bit of attention. Anyway, that's how he found us :P
Not a lot of lessons this afternoon because, again, everyone was drunk :P

Because Saturday was All Soul's Day! Also called Day of the Dead, everyone gathers up their families and heads over to the Cemetery. Graves in the Philippines aren't just big stones sticking out of the ground, but full fledged tombs.I would literally rather live in a lot of them, than our apartment. The places are decked out. People spend the entire day inside them with their families, just eating and hanging out. There are a bunch of stalls set up around the cemetery, with Pizza, Soda, Ice Cream, Cotton Candy, Games, etc. Basically just a huge fair without all the rides and a bunch of dead people. It's pretty awesome :P We had lunch in one of the Niches with a Part Member Family, and then headed to Gapan to withdraw our support for the month.
We didn't teach or talk much Saturday, either, because everyone was still drunk or at the cemetery celebrating. We did teach John Robert and his friends that night, and they fed us left over soup and Soda from earlier. Good stuff :)

Yesterday was another good day :) We had a few investigators and Less Actives Attend Church, and got to attend a Live Broadcast Devotional by Elder Dallin H Oaks and the Area Presidency. He taught a lot of stuff that I think applies to ALL of us :) The main things he taught is that we need to be Full Tithe Payers, and fill the Temples the Lord has caused to be built for us. We need to make Serious Scripture study a DAILY thing, not just "whenever we have time." I also really liked what he said about the 4th Commandment. We all know it as "Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it Holy." Fact of the matter is, there's another part. "Six Days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work." We need to be a hardworking people. We ARE a hardworking people. God has commanded us to take advantage of the six other days he has given us each week, so that we can be better prepared to fully worship on the Sabbath. Just a couple tidbits I thought I'd share :)

Anyway, that's all for me! Love you!!
Elder Syphus

Some cool Flowers I found Proselyting during this week. I've never seen them before, and this was the only bush in sight. Any one know what they are?

"Mani" is Peanut in Tagalog. After I finish the Brittle, this will be my Money jar. Bwahahaha, I'm so clever :D
 Pepsi in a Coke Glass, on the rocks
 I've been taking the pictures of the Temple out of Conference Ensigns to Decorate my Study Area. I'm hoping to build up quite the collection throughout my life :)
 Sandugo 72 hour kit pack. Boom. So beautiful :D
They told me not to scratch my bug bites, so I rubbed it with my heel. Friction burns hurt.

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