This week has been a weird week. I do have some stories, but they are all rejection stories. I want to share them cause I think they are a wee bit funny:)
The first one deals with this lady that we had been teaching a couple of times. She lives way off not too far from the boondocks and she seemed receptive when we taught her a little while ago. We taught her about families and about Christ's Atonement for us and she said that we should come back:D So, we went back and her friend was there so we repeated the lesson to the friend and told her that we really wanted to come back and share a message with her because it would change her life. They both agreed and so we returned. Well, we ended up going on splits the day we returned so my companion was Elder Etcitty-a legit native american elder who lives on a reservation in Arizona. Well, we went back and she saw us and started yelling "ayaw ko na" which means I dont want it anymore or I hate it now. Mind you a lot of Tagalog has no direct english translation because there is a lot of stuff implied in the tone and the suffixes that you attach so it is hard to give you the exact meaning. Well, we were just like standing there and she was like "AYAW KO NA AYAW KO NA" and I was like what in the world is this woman freaking out about? So I was like well, can we know the reason why you want to stop our visits? "AYAW KO NA" Well, can you like just tell us the reason and we will leave right away... "AYAW KO NA" Ate (pronounced at-tay) do you want to stop or does your husband or mother want you to stop? "AYAW KO NA" So, we thanked her for her time and went about our way. We happened to be walking by the other day and we saw her sitting next to the road outside of this monastery and she saw us and got all awkward and I was like "ay, kumusta po kayo" which is a really polite way of saying hi, hows it going and she waved us like keep on going so I just thought that was kind of funny. Satan has a way of twisting things and making them look like garbage. That wasnt the first time that that happened and it wont be the last...
On another note, I apparently had a small go at it with this catholic lady the other day. Mind you, some things like dude and slang wasnt said, this is all translated. None of my stories are in english unless I say that they are. Ha I need san francisco to warn me to stop because I always have to get the last word in...always...and it has really gotten me into trouble sometimes. I am working on it I promise:/ Anyways, we had taught this tatay and he told us we could go back to him. We tracted him and he lives like 30 minutes walking away from the main road back in this secluded spot that has like real trees, not coconut trees, and a cool breeze and stuff. So, we taught him and set up a return appointment. When we returned his whole family was there which was cool and we were way excited. Well, I, trying to break the initial "oh my goodness there is a tall white man in my house" ice, started talking to the nanay. I was like nanay, how are you doing? "We arent gonna go to your church" I get this a lot so I was like thats ok, we just want to add to your knowledge of our savior. She was like "well, we are catholic and we are not gonna change" Unfortunately, this is where I, apparently, got a little...apprehensive. I was like, so nanay I am curious, what are you beliefs...she was like "I believe in the catholic church" I was honestly curious so I was like yea, but what are your beliefs about god and Christ and stuff. She was like "I...believe in the catholic church..." At this time, she looked at tatay and he started talking to me in her place. He was like "well, we believe in prayer" I was like really? Hmm...so does every other christian religion in the world. What else do you believe in? He was like "well...uh...worshipping, repenting...faith..." I was like "yea...once again, so do we. Is says in ephesians 4:5 that there is one faith. Which faith is right? What do you all have that makes your religion special; different from all the other ones?" Tatay just turned and stared off in the distance so I was like "nanay, I am still curious about what you believe in" she turned, and right as she did this guy came up and she got all excited and was like "ask him, he knows" and I was like "well nanay, I am sure he knows what he believes in...but I want to know what YOU believe in" And she turned away and elder francisco was like "can I borrow your pen" and I was like yea sure dude shoot for it and he wrote in this scrabbly english "cancel...they not interested" on his hand. Ha I was like yea, thats probably a good idea because nanay has a head as soft as a bowling ball:/ So we gave them the pamphlet and told them to read it and offered a quick testimony and went about our way. That is the whole story. Ha, rejection, but its all good. Whenever I meet people like that it just makes me want to spread the gospel that much more to those who will listen.
My final story has to deal with retarded missionaries doing stupid stuff. You all might remember me mentioning Cebrara-my old zone leader. Well, he is who this story has to deal with. Let me say this-one of the WORST ideas one can have as a missionary is having a girlfriend in the mission. Now, let me clarify what I mean when I say "in." One of the worst ideas that one can have as a missionary is having a girlfriend who lives 2 minutes down the road from you. Yea, so apparently Cebrara has a girlfriend here in Lopez. When he got transferred he decided to take a night off and go visit her...while his companion went to a completely different area. Mistake #1-being alone with a girl AS A MISSIONARY mistake #2-splitting with your companion and being 30 minutes away from him mistake #3-having a girlfriend in the mission mistake #4-being an idiot. So, we came here and his companion went to calawag. Lee got emergency transferred out the next day and got sent to replace a zone leader...cant guess who that could be...oh wait, it is the same area that cebrera got sent to. Hmm...lets connect the dots here...yea. Basic moral of the story-dont be an idiot. Did Cebrera get sent home? I dont know. The mission is full of tsismis (kind of like gossip) about it so while one person has the truth, his companion heard that he hijacked an elephant and rode to manilla so this is als coming from a kid who witnessed it all. Cool huh? Way to represent christ.
Those are my stories for right now. Not too impressive, but stories nonetheless. That is awesome that the people received my letters. I still have tons to get out to people like Mr. Rubeling, Jules, and tons of people in my batch in the mtc. It is free if I pouch it to them cause they are here in the Philippines haha! I am so busy writing letters cause I am still trying to catch up to everyone. Please tell Leah that I am gonna try to start emailing her. I am gonna ask President tomorrow (tomorrow is zone conference which means SM WOOOOT aka the mall) is I can and if he says no I will just write her a letter. Ha we have been trying to get communication but my katamadan (or laziness) has been hopping in the way:/ I will see what is going down with that. Ha that made me smile about scott. He is such an awesome guy and I learned a TON from him. There is so much he taught me about life and the church he was such an answer to my prayers. That is way exciting about the ogden temple. Are they doing anything to the Provo one as well? I am way stoked to see what it looks like. Apparently the Logan one, when it was renovated, flipped 100 % on the inside and became something completely different so I am stoked to see how they change the Ogden temple.
As for the amazon thing-that works. Hopefully none of the office elders will freak out about how it says amazon on the side haha. I really appreciate that, and I have another favor to ask you. Can you send a few more gold dollars? ha sorry to ask, but I gave my other one to elder Banawan and I really want to give one to this family that we baptized a bit ago. Tatay and his son are advancing through the priesthood and they are going strong. It is so AWESOME to see how the gospel affects peoples families. Oh man oh man ha!
Please take tons of pictures for me to see of your trip. If you want, when you get back sent them back on my memory card. My camera lens is broken, but my screen still works. Speaking of which, I am taking a whole bunch of pictures from Elder Etcitty's memory card so I have a TON of pictures to send now! I hope you guys absolutely have a blast! Haha man, no Brady, Samuel, or Ben to fight around you and peace and quiet. Sounds awesome! You should go through the Temple while you are there (haha thats totally coming from a missionary:/) Be sure to take tons of pictures and I will look at them when I get back!! But, of course, send some of them too!
Transfer day is coming up fast. Less then 3 weeks left in lopez. That also means that march 2 is coming up fast-the 6 month mark. I cant believe that I have been out for 1/4 of my mission. It is way sad to think about it. I think about how much I have grown and how much I love the Philippines and it makes me sad to think about how I will be leaving in 18 months. But, all the more reason to go out and kick some butt!!!! Elder Francisco and I have become good friends actually. It made me really think about the words to the last verse of the hymn the hymn"should you feel inclined to censure." I can understand his tagalog now, I just had to speed up my brain to 455% its normal speed haha! I speak to president tomorrow at zone conference. He is such an awesome guy and he lives in Kaysville. I told him I would take him to burger bar when I get back cause its his favorite restaurant and he laughed and said it was a deal. He is one of the most amazing men I have ever met. He is absolutely awesome. We have an area seventy coming to speak to us tomorrow so that is gonna be cool too. To answer the hot season question, the napakainit, or hottest, time starts in march. Holy cow, I dont understand the Philippines. This morning we got up at 5 to go play basketball at the chapel and it was FREEZING. We rode a trike and I was almost shivering. It was SOO cold. At night I will have to turn off my electric fan and either curl up in my top sheet or put on my sweatshirt. BUT, with this said, the days are INSANE. The Filipine sun is UNFORGIVING. Plus, everyday there isnt a cloud in the baby blue sky so the second it hits you it gets like 20 degrees hotter. Right now, it is only 33 degrees, which is like 90 degrees farenheit, but on insane days it bumps up to like 40 or 42 degrees Celsius which is like 105 degrees farenheit and you can most definitely feel it. But, it is all good. I am starting to look like a Filipino haha cause of all the stinking sun. It is funny cause I was talking to one of our members yesterday and trying to explain a tanning bed and she was appalled. You see, here in the Philippines, everything is whitening. Skin whitening soap, skin whitening lotion. In the Philippines, you are beautiful if you are pale. I told her that in america, people think you are beautiful if you are tan and she was like "oy, pangit" which literally translated means "WHAT? Ugly..." haha so basically, dont feel bad if you are pale cause you would be seen as gorgeous in the Philippines, which means I am becoming more and more ugly haha:D
I do have one more story though. If I were to give anyone advice...it would be dont drink and drive...a scooter. Last night I was coming home from a way far area when we came upon a gathering of like 200 people with a bus on the side of the road and glass covering every square inch of the street. We were like what in the world... So, let me lay out an area for you. This road goes up a steep mountain, then pulls a SHARP 45 degree turn and goes down just as steep. If you arent careful, you will smash into people coming up the other side. Well, as to be guessed, the guy had been drinking and decided to pull a back to the future and try to get up to 88 miles an hour...and smashed into a bus. We drove by and he was dead and his body was all contorted into this weird shape that most definitely was NOT natural. Half the road was covered in the guys blood and the stains are still there. Just goes to show you that life isnt something to be played with. Poor guy's family now has to deal with his loss because he decided to get drunk and go do something stupid.
Anyways, that is life. I hope you all are doing well and staying safe. I will ask president about leah, and such. Keep on going and magtitiis hangang wakas (endure to the end).
Remember, the church is true, the book is blue, and Jesus is with the Mormons!!
aka Elder Muller