> This week was the week of champions. I don’t even know where to start in my explanation ha. I will start on new years eve…
> So, as can be expected, and as you said you already knew, I had a curfew on new years eve. I was skeptical at first because its just new years eve-I have been out tons of times before on new years eve what would be the difference. FAIL. I got the feeling that I should follow the curfew after I had to jump out of the way when I drunk guy almost ran me down on his swerving motorcycle. I went to bed at 10 to peace and quiet and woke up to the onset of world war 3 holy COW. It was the MOST noise I have ever heard at one time. In the Philippines they don’t have restrictions on fireworks (just like they don’t have speed limits…not the best idea…) so little kids can buy like the shoot up in the air and explode fireworks. I woke up and elder Banawan wasn’t in my room with me I was like what in the world is that boy doing? So, we have a water tower next to our apartment and so I met elder Banawan in the zone leaders apartment (right next to ours) and we climbed the water tower. I kid you not, there was fireworks going off in every single direction. In the air, on the ground, one kid almost took my facial hair off with his ghetto rigged firework display cause it shot and almost smacked me straight in the face (iminent domination was about to occur-americano vs. pinoy). People were on their motorcycles sitting there and holding them at full rev and holding the horn down. It was like the most annoying display of noise I have ever seen. What in the world? That mixed with parties-I went to bed with akon, taylor swift, and flo rida (all people who sing songs that I have to hear EVERY DAY OVER AND OVER CAUSE THEY ARE THE ONLY SONGS THEY GET HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES). The following day kind of sucked because everyone was sleeping and all the food places were closed down because the people decided to keep me up all night and not go to bed…
> And that was my new years eve. I have a sad story to tell. I was walking with elder Banawan and we came to this dominatory rice field. Whenever we come to a big big like 20 acre (they use hectres but I don’t know how much that is compared to an acre) rice field elder Banawan always sayd “ay, masarap ang hangin” which literally translated means “oh man, this air is delicious” but more culturally translated it basically means the expression when you are in the mountains and you smell the air. Fresh is more like it. Anyways, I pulled out my camera and turned it on and it was like “ooooOOOOO EEEAAAHHHHH shargle shargle SHHHIIIIIIIOOOOOOPPPPP” and it screamed at me and died. My camera gave its life up in the line of duty. So, needless to say, you all wont be getting any more pictures for a while. I am gonna price cameras at sm (the mall) so we will see how that goes but I don’t want to drop like 150 on a camera but anything less will be made of rocks and sticks so only time can tell…
> On to item number 3. New years eve was a sad day for one of our investigators. We will call her “ate” cause that is the tagalog word for sister “mind you that isnt pronounced ‘ate’ like the verb, its pronounced ‘ah-tee’) Anyways, in the Philippines its common for the husband to decide to just get up and leave and go live with another woman. Its really difficult because once the husband does this, there is no way to get a divorce. The government is really strict on divorce so there is practically no way to get one. When the husband does this he screws over him, his new “wife” his ex-wife and her new “husband” because they are all now living together and they are not married (and they cant get married because they cant get divorced from the old spouse until they have lived with another person for 7 consecutive years) and so they cant get baptized. Anyways, Ate’s husband completely tightened up his boot straps and left Ate on new years eve. He just got up and bounced. Cool husband thanks for being such an awesome influence to your kids!! That is Ate’s story :/
> I have a cool story actually. I got to be elder Rambo last Saturday for a service project. We try to get service every Saturday and so the sisters told us that they had service in their area (which is called atemonan not anti-monan like I said in a different email) and so we made the 1 1\2 hour bus ride and met them at their stake center. After we treked in the jungle for a good bit we came upon this house that needed their “back yard” cut down. Now, I can guarentee that a weed-eater could clear that baby out in a good 10 minutes…but we got to use machetes. It was TIGHT. Mine was all curved and arabic army like and I dominated those weeds. They didn’t even stand a chance. I now see why Filipinos are all so skinny. Cutting down the amazon in that guys back yard was tough stuff. When we got done we rocked some boku salad (boku is under ripe coconut. To explain that takes FOREVER the whole coconut thing. Long story short, coconut is NOT what you think it is…) and then left to Gumaca (halfway between lopez and atemonan) to go eat and then went home. It was fun stuff actually. The philippines have some intense plants. There is this cool plant that is really really sensetive and it is green and it looks like a big fern. When you touch it, it folds itself up and turns red it is SO COOL. All the natives were trying to pluck off a fern at the stem without it closing up on them ha. I failed miserably on that one cause my hands are so flippin big, but it was still cool. You just touched the end of the machete to the leaves and the whole thing folded itself in half. It was way way cool…and gave me much entertainment.
> So, I have been on my mission for over 4 months now, and I have been in the Philippines for 2 months tomorrow (Tuesday) Just thought I would share that
> I have a funny story about needing the spirit for the gift of tongues. Elder Banawan and I were teaching this group of ladies that we tracted and Elder Banawan was speaking and all the sudden this radio turned on. I don’t know why it turned on, but it was hooked up to subs so it was really really loud and some songs that reminded me of back home came on-songs that I used to run to and songs that I listened to A LOT up at usu. Well, needless to say my mind totally wandered and I was rockin out to the music-I know I shouldn’t have. It brought back a flood of memories in my mind. In the preceeding teachings, I told them “tsaka tuksuhin natin si satanas” which means we tempt satan and “ang priesthood ay wala ang mundo” which means the priesthood, the earth was lost. Better than the other mistakes that I have made, but less than correct by far. It happens when ever videoke comes on near our teaching. It is hard to teach and stay in the right mindset when songs are going off around you that make you think of home haha. But, I am working on such a thing and trying to get better.
> I was looking at the picture of samuel that you sent me on the train and that kids eyes are SO BLUE HOLY COW. I wonder where he gets it from…I still don’t believe that he is a mini me though. I want some documented evidence of such a thing. I swear brady looks like he is 15 with his hair and such. Who does he think he is? Shaggy off scooby doo? Speaking of kids, I want to show my extreme gratitude for the clean running water that everyone in america is entitled to. Yesterday we went to the Lungasa family and I was talking to Novelynn (one of the daughters of the family) and I was talking to her in english (she is only 13 but she is studying english in school) and I looked down at her feet and they were cruddy-like the equivelent of a good weeks worth of not bathing. Bernard came out and gave me his fat greeting like normal and I noticed that he was filthy also. All the kids were absolutely engulfed with dirt and mud from head to toe. The kids (along with all the people) out here have to shower, like I said before, using a bucket and a pan. I will be walking and saying “oh look, a pretty coconut tree, oh look, one of our investigators, oh look a naked child, oh look, an elementary school, oh look another naked child…on a good day I will only have to witness 2-3 people bathing, but sometimes we have to witness half of Lopez bathing. People don’t care about what other people think about them which is good and bad. There are signs all over the place out here that say “bawal umihi dito” which means it is forbidden to pee here (here is a tagalog lesson for you-bawal means forbidden, umihi is a conjugated form of pee, and dito means here) because people will just drop their pants and start watering the lillies right there in front of you.
> Random tangent, I am still going to ask about the whole you all coming to pick me up thing. Like I said on skype, there is an outback steakhouse in Manilla, along with wendys, tgi Fridays, and burger king ha. Anyways, if you all do come up, I am way stoked to show you all 1)the sunsets, 2)the stars, and 3)the moon. The moon shines like the sun and on the full moons I could write a novel under the moonlight it is SO bright. I will have a new mission president by then so I will ask him. I have been getting peoples opinions about the whole fall semester or not thing and most of them agree with you mom, so I will see how things turn out. I am going to ask derek, max, and this guy named Elder Sanders what they are gonna do. Derek, Elder Sanders, and Elder Bernard (the elder in my zone-another american) and I were going to go tear up USU when we got back, but with your suggestion, and the suggestions of those around me, I think I may just take your suggestion. It would give me time to work, and I want to take a day or two and go through every temple in utah (hey mom, can I use your van again) so this would give me time to do that too. Only time can tell. Plus it would remove the stress of having to go through all the trash of registration while I am still here…7000 miles away…and would give me the opportunity to go up to Logan and scope things out(employment, a residence, all that UHEEA crap…) before I jump right back into school so it is sounding more and more appealing (the stuff we talked about) so we will see.
> I started the new testement yesterday. I finished Jesus the Christ and it ROCKED MY SOCKS. I definitely suggest reading it. It is kind of long (800 pages) but it is definitely worth it. I learned SO much I never knew before. I couldn’t put it down. Being missionaries, we get a whole bunch of literature that normal members don’t get so I plan on going through the book of mormon with this textbook like thing that we have in the zone leaders apartment. It has so much random stuff that I never even knew. I am gonna start the BOM again. Haha mine already looks like a comic book with all the colors of my highlighting and my writing. I am going to get my cover redone on my scriptures because they are falling apart. You can have leather covers made here that are REALLY REALLY nice so I am gonna get that done. I am way excited to dominate institute when I get back. Institute and institute choir (I learned the blessings of a choir in the MTC) are going down when I return to good ol Logan-fresh and ready to rock.
> How are Rachael, Eric, and the girls doing? How is Stefanie doing down at school? I hope she is doing well. I told that kid to study study study so she better have taken my advice or else domination will occur. Can you ask Rachael to fly over here and make me some banana bread because I am in dire withdrawl from no banana bread. Sad day once again. By the way…I dominated that peanut butter in like 5 days…no more peanut butter for me…
> Today is one of the members of the zone leaders’ areas birthday so we are going to this island for her birthday. It is really really expensive but this lady comes and cooks for us and cleans for us out of the kindness of her heart. She loves the missionaries like I love skittles so it is the least we can do-go with her and celebrate.
> That is all she wrote for this week. I hope you are all rocking life and staying out of trouble (brady…I am watching you kid…ha just kidding) I love you all and wish you all the best!!
> Aka Elder Muller