> So, this week has been a way cool week filled with domination and coolness. As with my other emails, I will start with the stories first because I have some…believe me. This email is gonna be REALLY REALLY LONG. Sorry, is my English sucks…it is slowly going down the toilet…
> So, to start out, I had some bomb spiritual experiences this week. The first was with one of our investigators in Conception-one of our areas in the political boundaries of the boonies. Her name is ate Gina. She is like 35 or so and has kids, the whole family-work shebang. We have been teaching them for a fairly short time, before the appointment that I am going to tell you all about, we had only met with them for a total of like 45 minutes. So, one day this week we were talking with them and we were teaching about the pre-mortal existence, the creation, the fall, and this life-all the purposes and good stuff like that. After we got done our lesson and said the closing prayer she was like oh, and sorry about me leaving throughout the lesson and coming back, my kids were screaming and we were like no its all good no worries. This is where it gets cool-now remember, we had barely taught her about the restoration. She looked us in the eyes and was like you know, I have gone from church to church-catholic to seventh day Adventist, to jehova’s witnesses to iglesia (that church I was telling you about last time) and there is something about your message. Then, with the power of a fire hose she was like “I know your message is true” Elder Banawan and I had to pick our jaws off the floor so they wouldn’t get dirty. We were like holy cow that’s what we’re talkin BOUT!! It was the first time that an investigator that early in the teachings had testified to me and it was way way cool.
> The second story would make a good movie. This girl named Hazel May has taken a liking to our teachings and is always up to date on the readings and pretty much dominates everything that we throw at her. She is like 23 and she is married with a kid and is a college student so we have to catch her at the right time or she isn’t there. Our last lesson was going along swimmingly when she randomly started to cry. When Elder Banawan gets serious, he lowers his voice and goes into auctioneer mode and flippin destroys with speed and so I was COMPLETELY lost amongst translation. After everything was cleared up I asked him what was said and apparently she was Adventist and her dad was a pastor. Her boyfriend is a catholic and when she started dating him the Adventists shunned her to the max and kicked her dad out of his position. She was like “there is something unique about your message, I can feel it in my heart” Once again it was way way cool.
> The third story is about how I learned to liken the scriptures to myself. “…for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength…” This is the council of King Benjamin (one of my favorite stories WOOOT) in mosiah. I learned what this meant in the most literal sense a couple days ago. After the first story that I told, we decided to go check out the top of this hill to see if there were any people living up there. The trail is like a 86 degree angle and it dominates with steepness. Well, Elder Banawan and I climbed that piece and got to the top and, to our disappointment, there were no houses. Elder Banawan needed a rest so I was like ok, well im gonna go down way quick and wait and he was like ok. The trail was straight down to a point and I was gonna go wait down at the “landing” of the hill if you will. Remember the advice? Now, imagine this tall lanky elder running down this crazy steep trail going really really fast-cause its downhill obviously while making a stupid high pitched noise being annoying as usual. Now…imagine that same elder sliding off the trail, falling, and smashing into a thorn bush. Yea, my arm looked like a rose bush stem. It did NOT feel too good. Never again will I run faster than I have strength cause it turns me into a rolling piece of mass falling into the thorn bush of pain.
> My last story is NOT funny so no one should laugh at it cause everyone laughed at me when I told them. It was a sad day. So, yesterday it rained ALL day. 80 % of the Philippines is mud, so all the trails were absolutely liquefied. Well, we were visiting one of our families who lives 432563 miles in the mountains and it was night time so it was dark. Let me put some background in this…Caribou (which is actually calibou but Americans englishisized it...) poop is ENORMOUS. It looks like pancake batter when you put it on the griddle. It is a good 12” X 12” circle of dookie. Creepy right? Why am I telling you this trash…WELL, now remember, it was dark so it wasn’t my fault. I was walking at the bottom of this path jumping from mud mound to mud mound cause in the lower parts it was filled with water…and I jumped into a enormous pile of dookie and it shot ALL OVER THE PLACE. My foot is just as big as the deuce that some caribou dropped, so add that to me jumping on it…yea. ALL OVER THE PLACE. I realized it at once and I was like “WHO THE FREAK PUT THIS DOOKIE HERE” and Elder Banawan almost had a heart attack he was laughing so hard. He was like “Elder, you look like moses and the red sea.” Hey thanks Banawan ya butt. So, needless to say, I spent some quality time in the grass wiping my foot off.
> That is that. Is Benjamin ok? Ha the weirdest stuff happens to that kid. How did it go at the hospital? Benjamin, I realize brick walls can come out of nowhere, but you have to watch out bud ha. I have a habit of running into things and tripping over stuff, but I can say that I have never ran into a brick wall. Brady almost ran my car into a brick wall though…and that is all we will say about that…poor guy. Samuel and Ben have this weird obsession with stitches. Like every 2 months one of them has to go back and get stitched up for something. Samuel cut his leg open with a spatula and ben ran into a brick wall. I broke my stitches in my mouth twice, and Brady…I don’t know what happened with Brady yet, but im sure there will be something haha. Its ok brady, ask mom about how well I respected the stitches in the bottom of my foot after the asateague(spelling) island incident…
> Anyways, I have had chances to speak at church. I testify every fast and testimony meeting and conduct a lot. My tagalog is slowly inching forward. Its really cool when you sit there and you think in tagalog. Sometimes, just to mix it up, I will say a companionship prayer in English and I like stutter and have to pause cause I cant think of the word that I want to say in English. Unfortunately I usually end up just saying it in Tagalog cause I cant think of how to say what I want in English. If I had to write a talk on preparing about a mission…oh the stories that would be included. A testimony is something that no one can take away from you no matter what. Houses crumble, cars rust, money corrodes, but a testimony does none of those things. Even when it isn’t used, it still stays there in your heart until you decide to take it out. Man oh man. If I could only go to every single youth in the church and tell them how much they NEED the church whether they realize it or not. A mission has made me get my priorities in line, has made my testimony grow like a chia pet, and has cleared up the haze on my future. Being a missionary rocks my socks!!
> As for the camera, yea I priced out the cameras at the mall. An acceptable one was like 15,750 pesos which is like 300 dollars. No thanks. Please go to best buy and tell them the situation and see what they say as to what I should get and stuff. I am gonna run my camera by someone here to see if they can fix it. Speaking of best buy, did dad take my computer to them yet? Please run the price by me and stuff.
> As with Brady, the prayers of a missionary are with him. Slap a fat limitation on the xbox and see if that does anything. If it doesn’t, check the influences he has. That’s amazing about the basketball though. That’s SOOOO cool. I played basketball today and I was guarding Elder Richens. Yea, he is like 6’7” so it was like the clash of the two towers going at it surrounded by 3 foot Filipinos. When we got into it backing down and stuff everyone backed away cause they didn’t want to get crushed haha. Samuel and Ben seem built for sports so this is way good that they started early. I wonder if they are gonna rock it in high school. I was thinking and consider this-when I get back…Brady will be like 9 months away from getting a license…HOLY COW. Bah ha Brady driving…I can see it now “look at this kid who thinks he is fast BUMMMMMMMMMMM” as he floors it…LIKE HE DID MY CAR…anyways once again…tell Brady I am probably gonna write him this week. I am gonna write Mr. R this week, and gma and gpa muller too. Hopefully I can get them all out by next Monday.
> Zone conference was absolutely amazing. President immediately came up to me and hugged me and was like “elder are you doing alright?” He is such an amazing person. I can safely say that he genuinely cares for all his missionaries and there is a flippin TON of them. Zone conference was ok, we went to SM and I got caught with Elder Richens (I have never clashed with someone more in my life. It will be safe to say that we…don’t get along) who totally gives us a bad name cause he flirts with every single girl that he sees (what an awesome thing for a missionary to do right?) and he looks like napoleon dynamite so they both add up to ultimate creeper status, and Elder Lee who hates shopping so we like stood there the whole time. But, on the whole, it was a good time.
> The weather is, according to Elder Banawan, freezing. It has been dropping to like 75 and rainy and such and I feel bad because we went and visited bernard’s family and poor Bernard was wrapped in his tank top cause he was cold, but he doesn’t have any other clothes that are warmer. I was going to go get my sweatshirt for him, but 1)it would eat him, and 2) it was too late and it was time to go back. It has been unnaturally rainy lately and such but other than that the weather is the same. Sad day that you all don’t have any snow. For what its worth, we don’t have any either haha…
> There is pure gold that I found in the hymn book the other day and I want to share it…
> Should you feel inclined to censure faults you may in others view, ask your own heart, ere you venture, if you have not failings too. Let not friendly vows be broken; rather strive a friend to gain. Many words in anger spoken find their passage home again.
> Do not, then, in idle pleasure trifle with a brother’s fame; guard it as a valued treasure, sacred as your own good name. Do not form opinions blindly; hastiness to trouble tends; those of whom we thought unkindly oft become our warmest friends.
> I don’t know why, but this smacked me in the face yesterday. Just wanted to share!
> Mom, I asked president about those books I asked you to send and he said it would be totally fine. If you could get them and then send them it would be amazing!!!
> As for the thing that Chelsea asked you, I have not yet received her hand written letter. I got a BUNCH of dearelders from her (the Christmas batch-she knows what im talkin about) and this card with some tightness inside…that girl thinks she is Martha stewart with her craft skill…but no hand written domination yet. I have am about to write her a FAT letter though cause I have ten million things to respond to and there is something that I want to send in the envelope. Please tell her that I say that she better not have forgotten (is that correct English? I just had a debate with all the elders, and no one knows English anymore cause we only speak Tagalog…sad…) what tomorrow (tuesday) is cause if she did…tsk tsk…domination will happen.
> I recently remembered that Ben’s baptism should be coming up. His birthday is way close. DANG. Take a picture and send it to me on my memory card when you send it back. Yes I have sent it I sent it a while ago so you should have gotten it. I sent 2 memory cards inside so hopefully you get them. I will write him and Samuel a letter too in addition to the ones that I am going to write now. You should establish an email for brady so I can email him every week too, that way I get to talk to him more than every month and a half cause snail mail is HORRIBLE. If you do (that would be amazing if you did) PLEASE make him MORE than aware about the insane DANGERS of the internet holy cow. He probably already knows but the internet is a disgusting dingy place with no regrets. Just make sure he doesn’t fall into the trap that the internet holds for anyone willing to enter.
> I wanted to share some coolness with you all. There is a plant here called makahiya. It has hairs up the stem and on the leaves. It looks like a fern, but when you touch it, it folds itself up and withers and changes from green to red. They are so sensitive, you can lightly blow on them and they all fold up and turn red. Well, I have finally mastered it and I have acquired the ability to pick them without them folding. I have the hands of skillful domination…ness. Mahiya in Tagalog means shy for the record. Cool stuff.
> As for the valentines package, just put variety in it. I don’t really care what you put in it actually. Pictures are absolutely AMAZING but candy works as well!! What in the world happened with the Haiti thing by the way? I heard about something happening there but all I heard was “earthquake” and “100,000 body count” so I don’t know what went down.
> Other than all that stuff, things are going well. Elder Banawan, like I said, gets transferred the 29th so that’s not fun, but change is good. I got the card that you all sent-please tell grandma and grandpa clark. With that said, life here is good. I only have one more transfer here in lopez so I am excited to be transferred to a city with malls and coolness like that…not just mud and caribou poop…
> I hope you all are still doing well. Please, like I said, establish an email for brady so I can email him and not write him because, in all honesty, writing SUCKS…and I talk a lot so my letters are always really really long…ask Chelsea…
> So, that is the way the cookie crumbles. I hope this wasn’t annoying to read haha. I love you all and hope you all are doing well. Listen up-tell Brady to go to the temple this week. Mom, and Dad, you too. Go rock it and go with a question in mind. Why does this gospel dominate so stinking much?
> Love always,
> Aka Elder Muller