Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 37 (Mar. 23, 2015 Guimba, Philippines)

Hi Mom :)
Tell Kari Happy Birthday

We got a few pictures of the baptism, but no I didn't baptize any of them. Our Branch Mission Leader wanted the prospective Elders in our Branch to have the opportunity to baptize, so he basically just picked out a random elder and told him to baptize them. Yup... Luckily the random elder he picked happened to be an okay friend of the three, so it worked out well :)

Left to right: Paul Jhon Barcelita; Jimber Corpuz Granil; Patrick Gamora Barcelita.

The one on the far right is the random elder they chose. Miko Frondarina.

Their baptism was right in the middle of the Church Ball Practice, so we had quite a few attendees. The two on my left in the blue and grey are investigators. They're both progressing pretty well, so I'm pretty excited for them. Far left is Norillito and next is Jeremy. Our branch President is on the far right. He's 27 and about 5'4... Maybe :P

I think I love the Filipino people people the same way I love the American People. I like the ones I like, and don't like the ones I don't like. But were I to try to answer the question you're Really asking (and I'll try), I'd have to say.... not sure. As you said, the Filipino's are a very care-free people, and that isn't inherently a bad thing. I used to think before my mission that I was a pretty chill kid as well. I don't know how true that is now, but I like to think it was before. Anyway, sometimes I just get a little stressed that they may be TOO care-free. My new companion's favorite saying is that we need to be "flexible." Which basically means completely disregard the schedule given to us, just as long as everything gets done. He's a hard worker, and is a pretty happy guy for the most part, but he's made it very clear in very little words that I'm not allowed to suggest we follow the schedule. (But then again, I'm not really allowed to suggest anything to him. He asks for thoughts and then when I share, he just tells me why I'm wrong.) I think that's just how Filipinos generally are. They're very "flexible." I think that's what I'm having the most trouble loving. I haven't seen a lot of order in the Philippines, and it sort of gets to me sometimes. I guess that's just the part I need to learn to love.
Ironically, in the Fire Emblem game I played before my mission, the Antagonist was a Goddess of Order, while you're working with her Sister, a Goddess of Chaos. The big theme or whatever is that you needed the balance of both for the world to keep on turning. For things to keep on moving. I guess it sort of makes sense. I just struggle letting that little bit of Chaos into my life and still maintaining the image and dignity of a Representative of the Lord. Sometimes I'm afraid to have fun, afraid to laugh. I think back on my days with Caleb and Luke, and smile to myself, but then think "is that appropriate now?" It was never anything bad; as much as it was a little goofy or childish. I think that's the biggest thing I'm struggling with right now.

I can't think of anything I need or even really want. You're right, I'm not a huge candy fan, but I as long as it doesn't expire before I go home, I think I can get rid of anything you send me :P

Ya, I think I've been receiving letters all right. I think I've gotten up to Number 3. I still get Mark's weekly form letters, which I love, and Grandma White is really good at keeping me smiling through hers. I think hers are my favorite :) I get Dear Elders every now and then, but that's about it. I got a letter from Joel and Trish the other day. Tell 'em thanks for me :) Besides that, It's all just email though. Wouldn't mind a few more handwritten letters, though. That's always I gift for a missionary :)

Well..... Here's some pictures I guess.

This is the only picture I have of Elder Gallego. The two oldest kids are investigators, Hazel and Vince, but I don't know how long we'll continue with them. There's not a lot of progression :/

This is what a rice field looks like. Greeeeeeeen.....

View from our Study Window.

One of the less active members has a monkey. I'm awesome as taking pictures of monkeys.

This is a cashew fruit. It has a pit, like apricots and other similar fruits, but the pit grows on the outside

This is a picture of one we got still in the tree. The thing on the right side of the fruit is actually on the bottom. That's the pit.

This is the pit removed from the fruit. The cashew nut is inside. However, if you try to open it as it is, the acid will burn your skin. The fruit can be dangerous too if you eat too many. You can get burns in your stomach and on your lips. It's kind of cool.

Elder Llona.

Love you Mom. Sorry my letters have been pretty low on quality these last few times. Just trying to get some things smoothed out. Don't worry though, I'm fine.

Love you!

Elder Syphus

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