Sorry that I didn’t email you last Monday. This week is zone conference throughout the mission, and it is also the week president’s family decided to fly over and visit him. My zone conference day is Thursday, but president moved it to Monday because his family is flying in today!! So, today is my pday and then I get another pday again on Monday ha!! So, do I have some crazy stories accumulated from 10 days of proselyting for the lord? Uh, you better believe it!!! I will relay them first, cause they aren’t…as boring as my other ones!!
So, we found out at zone conference that one of our sisters in our zone is in the hospital. No one knew about it until yesterday. So, we asked what happened and apparently when she was walking her appendix randomly burst which, we all know, is NOT the best thing to have happen. So, she booked it to the hospital, and she got it taken out. Yesterday was Wednesday, thus we went to the zone leaders area to have our district meeting. Afterwards we went to the hospital and visited with her which was kind of bittersweet. We had to go in groups of 5 so we wouldn’t disturb her, so when it was my turn to go I went up and was talking to her. I asked her where her appendix was cause I wanted to make it into a wallet like the frog wallets here, and elder Kitzmiller said he wanted it to make it into a keychain. BIG mistake. She started laughing and then started balling. I was like what in the world why is this woman crying and then I realized it-she has 30 stitches in her side…let alone no appendix. She would laugh, and then cry because of the pain. Then she would remember what was said and start laughing again and then start crying. It was horrible…but kind of funny at the same time. She heads off to Manila here in a bit to the MRC (missionary recovery center) for about a week-until she is back on her feet.
I also had a little run in with some people that really made me hate that thorn in everyone’s side called pride. It started with this Canadian guy. Elder Duco went back for a return appointment in one of our areas (to get punted:/) and found out that this Canadian guy was in the house of this member. I asked if I could go down and talk to him and they said yes. Now, I had no idea what to expect because the last time I had come buy he was completely drunk…like beyond recognition. I walked downstairs and saw him sitting there and was kind of taken aback. I don’t know, maybe it is because I haven’t seen chest hair in a while, but this man was rockin it gorilla style. He had his shirt unbuttoned down to his bellybutton (uh, where are we? Woodstock?) and literally looked like santa clause. That was my first thought-wow he can play santa clause. His beard was brown, as was his hair. That was the only exception. So, here is this enormous Canadian mountain man sitting in front of me. I started talking to him and I must say he might have been one of the most uneventful conversations EVER. You know those people who have NO personality? He couldn’t talk about anything. I had to ask where he lived, what his job is, how weather in Canada is…etc. etc. Like honestly? He didn’t even ask me why I was here. The tv was on so he spent half the time speaking to me, and the other half watching the tv. Nothing I said could get him engaged in conversation. Man oh man that is way sad. How can you not have any personality? How can you just be some butt sitting on a couch with nothing that makes you different from anyone else (besides the fact that you can play santa clause perfectly). It was a surprisingly disappointing hour. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, as we were talking he got up and started chowing on Spaghetti. What in the world? Where did that spaghetti even come from-it just like spawned from the wall or something. Stop eating such a thing and talk to me. But, its ok. He did have a cool job though. He was from quebec, quebec and drove a horse drawn carriage. So, this kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, but it was nothing compared over the next few days.
One of the following nights Duco and I were coming back from an appointment when we passed this American guy sitting on his minivan. I said hi as I passed, and then decided to go back and talk to him. I approached him and was like hi, where are you from? He was like jersey. I was like oh really, what are you doin here in the Philippines? He was like I live here, and then was like THIS IS MY HOUSE and made it a habit of pointing out that he lived in this enormous mansion behind us. I was like oh…cool…thanks for showing me that. That was like our whole conversation. What is up with these old guys that cant talk to anyone? I was like so…what was your job back in the states and he was like transportation. I was like oh really? That’s cool, like trucks, or trains, or what? He was like trains…I was the boss. The way that he said I was the boss made me want to throw up. Like he said it in the “envy me and all my money” way. I decided that it was going to be an epic fail trying to talk to him, so I turned to his daughter and started talking to her. She was raised in new jersey so she was fluent in English and she was like this is my boyfriend and this is my cousin. Her hands went at 322 mph, so I didn’t get who was who, and so I asked her to repeat it and she got all mad and did the exhale HHHHhhhhhhh. Apparently I was speaking taglish cause someone asked me if I spoke tagalog and I said yes so we started talking and about 20 seconds in my conversation the guy and his daughter were like ok we are leaving bye. They stormed past me into their van. They didn’t shake my hand, they didn’t say anything to me, they just left. Their whole tone of voice, the way they looked at me like “who is this guy? Where is his money?” It was disgusting. I was like oh…ok…well bye bye and elder duco came back up to me and was like he was solid pride wasn’t he and I was like holy cow man how could you tell did you understand us and he was like no, but I understood the tone that he was using. I told him that I was gonna change my skin color and become a Pilipino cause they live in humbling circumstances (with this said, the rich are still prideful). I am glad that I am becoming a teacher and will never be rich (especially if I live on the east coast) cause it seems as if (for the most part if you aren’t LDS) in America, the richer you are the more of a prideful stuck up jerk you are. I don’t know, from every single American that I have talked to here that is what the mentality is. Like, you Pilipinos are no where near as rich as I am-I am above you in intelligence, and happiness. No wonder no one here likes Americans.
Last last Wednesday (as in like 2 Wednesdays ago) after district meeting we decided to go to walter mart (basically a mall…that has dunkin donuts and ipods insideJ) to eat. Lo and behold I saw yet another American. So, I decided to go and talk to him. I walked up to him and asked where he was from and he said Louisiana. I started talking to him, and it turns out he met this girl (he is like 55 and she was like 42) on facebook and is gonna marry her (can we say marriage security?). There was something he said that almost made me just turn around and walk away. He was like “you know, I haven’t seen any ‘blacks’ here” I could tell by the way that he said “blacks” that he wasn’t a normal person, and then he was like “yea, I kind of like it.” Are you serious? Who are you to sit here and tell me that a man, just because of the color of his skin, is any different than you? Who are you to sit here and here and tell me that someone, because of the color of their skin, should be denied something? Gotta love racial intolerance. Man, I wanted to smack that man…but I didn’t. I just said adieu and went on my way.
So, those were my experiences with Americans this past little bit, oh and one Canadian. We are teaching these 4 kids in one of our areas and they are an emotional rollercoaster. I really really want them to be baptized because I see their potential, but they cant get over the fact that just because other people in the world do something, doesn’t mean its right. They have something that keeps disqualifying them from being baptized-their baptismal goal date has been postponed twice, and now has to be moved back 4 more weeks. Here, you have to attend church 4 times in a row because there are a lot of people who just want to get baptized because their friends are members, or because of the welfare program. Hopefully they will rock baptism here in a little bit. Snookie (that is her name) and Irene are running towards the finish line (or the starting line rather) so we are way stoked for that. Work here in Calamba 2nd ward is going swimmingly. I am kind of frustrated though because I have this feeling that things aren’t gonna work out with conference so and I will only get to watch a little part of it. Elder Duco told me that we were gonna watch conference from 9-12 this coming up Saturday…and that is it. Call me crazy…but I think there are a little more than 3 hours of conference. Were there any new temples announced??? Man conference rocks my socks. Guess ill be spending my upcoming pdays watching conferenceJ
So mom, you went to your first business meeting being the bigshot eh? How was that? That is way way cool that you are now the person at the top. You know, Scott Bradford told me something that I never forgot. I was talking to him about leadership and he told me a story about one of the seniors that he had. He said “you know jake, you are a good senior [companion] if you don’t acknowledge that you are senior. You are a good junior [companion] if you DO acknowledge that you are a junior [companion].” Basically, humility is needed in leaders. Man, this is gonna sound REALLY stupid like DUH jake, but the Lord knows what he is doing when he calls leaders. You can tell it when he calls zone leaders. They have something special about them that the Lord can see. Basically mom, and I know you probably already do this, but don’t put yourself above those you work with. Richens (you might remember me saying something about him in one of my previous emails, was thrust into the zone leaders position because of the whole elder/his girlfriend situation in Lopez) back in the day didn’t get that theory and didn’t get along with our zone. But, you are gonna make a bomb leader-you made an amazing leader for our family!!!
Speaking of which, how are Scott, Monika, and Matthew doing? Is Kevin doin’ alright? Tell them I say hi and hope they are all doing well!!!
My Easter wasn’t anything other than a day of reverence for the resurrection. It was a day as normal as any other Sunday. I went on splits with our ward missionaries (ariel) didn’t sleep the night before so he didn’t teach at any of our lessons, but his presence was nice nonetheless. We went to this one investigators house and I got kind of flustered. Regarding the Sabbath, I have some “weird” views. I don’t buy things on the Sabbath. If I know that the thing that you are about to provide me was bought on the Sabbath (i.e soft drinks, bread, snacks) I wont eat it cause, to me, that is kind of supporting the breaking of the Sabbath. Well, we were at this house and ariel told the family that I was hungry because I had been fasting and so they gave him money and he, my ward missionary, went and bought food on the Sabbath. Yea, its not the end of the world, but it was for me. To me, the Sabbath is a VERY sacred day. So, he bought it back and the sister got out sandwhich spread and I told her sister do NOT make me a sandwhich. I am not hungry and I am NOT going to eat, do you understand what I am saying? She said yes, and for verification I turned to ariel and I was like did I say that right and he was like yea, why? I was like ok, just making sure there was no mistake. She made me some sandwhiches. She was like eat elder, eat! I was like what in the world dude, I just told you like 20 seconds ago that I did NOT want you to make me food. Then she and her roommate person dude got all mad at me. Its like listen ya butts, to me it is more important keeping the Sabbath day holy than not offending you. Im sorry that I wont go against the doctrine that I teach and give you my support for breaking the Sabbath. So, that was kind of a mind wrencher, we left with a less than welcome kick out the door. But, easter is easter. It is a special day in itself. Man, look at you guys. I completely forgot about ham. I actually have a question, and don’t make fun of me for it. I have eaten rice every day for the last 5 months…what do Americans eat daily? People ask me and I am like well of course we eat…uh…stuff. I cant for the life of me remember what we eat besides skittles and mike and ikes. Oh, and rachaels banana bread. Can you get that recipe by the way?? So, off of the tangents and back to your epic deliciousness. I hope it was nice. Easter is definitely an awesome time to spend with your family. We get to eat with members about 7 times a month. There is this one family that lives in a gated family (with a guard that always gives us a hard time when we try to get in. Yes, being missionaries we have bombs in our backpacks and we are gonna blow this place to new Hampshire) and are plain awesome. We went over to their place last night and had dinner…and watched the end of monsters inc and the beginning of open season on their Samsung hdtvJ They are awesome. There was this girl over there who gets married in the Manila temple next week. How absolutely AMAZING is that!!!!! I wanted to give her like the fattest hug and be like OH SNAP CONGRATS but a handshake had to do. The Cebu temple is close to being done with the dedication on June 14th so that is also way way cool. That is good that grandma and grandpa got to spend easter with you all. I hope you took pictures!!! Did you watch conference together? I hope you did!
I got my new pants-one pair in black and one pair in blue and they are a little…short. I asked the lady before I paid her that if they were short could I bring them back and have them redone and she said they aren’t short-they are an EXACT replica of my template. Yea, uh, FAIL. Elder Duco says I look like Michael Jackson cause they are practically skin tight, and they are…short(that is an understatement) but its all good, I wear them and represent my 900 piso transaction. They are made of this silk like material though so they are fun to rub cause they feel all weird haha. Weather is sticky hot. It is really miserable at night time cause the electric fans just circulate hot air so I have started opening the door downstairs and putting the fan in the doorway to pull in the cooler air from outside. Our apartment retains heat so when it is 70 degrees outside at nighttime, it is a good 85 inside. Probably weird for the passerbys seeing this fool American sleeping there in the doorway with the door wide open, but too bad for them, they shouldn’t look!! Luckilly we are in the hottest time right now so only 3 more months then its back to cool 82-85 degree weather!!!
Mom, I have a quick question. On both of my knees, it feels like something has exploded. The inside of my knees, like the right side of the left one, and the left side of the right one hurt when I walk, and when I exercise. Like, more than hurt, like HURT. Stupid knees. It was probably all that running I did before I left. Why did they randomly go yanus on me? Oh well life is life. My back is broken in 4 places, but the factory warranty will take care of that, and we are getting new mattresses here soon so that isn’t a problem. You wanna hear some fun news? Ha remember that ingrown toenail that I got “fixed” in Lopez? Well, its back and twice as deep. I get to go get that taken care of here in a little bit when I finally have time.
Man, I am stoked to hear about the whole mike situation. Tell Aunt Laura that I say hi. I forgot to tell you all to tell Grandpa Clark happy birthday so I hope you told him for me. Tell brady that I never said such a thing and that my xbox better still be kickin when I get back or metaphorical heads are gonna ROLL!!! I have a favor to ask. Can you go to best buy and get a webcam that is actually worthwhile so I can see you all mother’s day? If need be, ask aaron tracy to install it for you (and PLEASE GET ON MY COMPUTER like can you ask him when you read this and not keep it until a while off?). I really want to see you all and I felt like I was looking through the eyes of a drunk guy with that last video chat that we had. When you plug in my xbox camera, it should pull up the proper window to help you along with the download of the appropriate driver, but that’s not guaranteed. Can you get a cheap webcam? It would be cool to hook it up to your labtop, then take it through the house with youJJJJJHmm…about the package thing. Within the past 2 weeks I have been FLOODED. I got like 15 dear elders dating back to march 7th (cool, I get them in April) and apparently there is a package waiting for me at the office so the next time I see the office elders I will receive such a thing. Like, im not even kidding, its dear elder central at our apartment. Guess its time to roll up someones sleeves and get to work responding:D Ill send my memory card when I get pictures. I only have like 40 so far.
I have one last story to tell you before I close my novel. Here in the Philippines homosexuals are almost as common as clouds. They are everywhere…especially in the hair cut places. Well, I went to get a hair cut today. I had been searching and searching for a place with a girl to do my hair because I didn’t want a man in a womans body stroking my head while they were cutting my hair. Well, I thought I had succeeded. I thought I had found the person to cut my hair. After searching and searching I walked into the hair cut place with my head held high and was excited to find that this person was there. They motioned for me to come over and sit down in the chair, which I did. I hate to say it, but having a girl do my hair just felt safe. Yea, uh turns out my hair cutter person wasn’t carly, they were carl. They looked like a girl, but had a voice deeper than mine. I give up. Elder Duco told me that they have a “language” where they use code words and stuff. I was typed as a “level 5” by him…her…that child of god. What that means, I have no clue, but that is what I am. It is a sad day because those who get sex changes aren’t allowed to get the priesthood, let alone get married in the temple so exhaltation is kind of out of the picture. I was thinking about that when…the person was cutting my hair. Tsk tsk. So, the next time you are in the Philippines and go to get a hair cut…don’t be surprised if the woman has a deeper voice than grandpa Muller.
Well, that is all. I will email you the trivial details of things that I have forgotten this coming up Monday. Tell Eric and Rachael hi from the Philippines. Tell them to tell Stefanie hi and to stay out of trouble! Tell the world that I say hi haha!!! Draw closer to the Lord this week. Remember, he said “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” I love you all and hope your days are filled with amazingness like Bavarians are filled with deliciousness.