"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."
All is well here in Majayjay, Laguna. The Lord continues to show his tender mercies to us through the blessings we receive on a daily basis. Although time seems to be the only enemy here in Majayjay, we are giving it our all. It seems that this week was national have a baby day cause pretty much everyone in Majayjay had a wee young lad or laddette added to their family. Last tuesday we went and visited a family that just had a baby and it was definitely inspiring to see the joy shining in their eyes as they held a child fresh from the baby factory on 127 Moroni St. in the Celestial Kingdom. The baby was blessed on Sunday. I had an opportunity to take a position in the circle in the baby naming and blessing and the only word that can describe it is electric!!!
Last Wednesday, Bishop McMullen, a member of the presiding bishopric, and Elder Teh of the 70 came to San Pablo Mission on an assignment from President Packer and spoke to us Missionaries. It was really cool because we got to have a question and answer portion where questions such as "What, as missionaries, is our responsibility concerning those [beggars] asking money from us? According to the doctrine of King Benjamin, we should 'administer of [our] substance unto him that standeth in need; and we will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish'...," and "How, in the view of the Church, will the 'weak things' confound the 'wise [things]'?" and "What, as missionaries going home, should we know or remember about the Temple in our lives?" It was a really really cool question and answer segment. It was in Cabuyao so I got to go visit my old area, and I wanted to go and visit Diwata and Lovely, but time didnt permit such an action:/
I went tracting the other day and had the opportunity of seeing something that I had never noticed before. The life of a missionary is kind of like the life of a dirty suit as you take it to the dry cleaner. Once you actually decide to give it to the person who will clean it, It is cleaned, pressed, neatened, and given back to you in a condition 500% better than what you started with, with a tag dangling out of the pocket that says "new CleanCoat, now with added dicipline!." We went tracting a few days ago and came across a house with a bunch of people inside. We introduced ourselves and entered, only to find them watching the PBA (Philippines Basketball Association). The look on their face was almost scary-as if their whole soul was put into this inanimate object. As we were teaching, we didnt ask them to turn it off because the Nanay was the only one who showed any remote interest in us. Even my comp got sucked in to the tv. I dont know, it was just kind of like wow...tv really is a virus. It sucks you in and gives you nothing back in return. It was really sad because the guy traveled way far just to watch the tv at this lady's house. Cool, what a way to spend life right? Did you know (well, it is simple math actually so I guess the flar of "did you know" is lost cause it doesnt highlight any intelligence...) that if you waste 1 hour a day for 2 years, it adds up to a complete month of doing absolutely nothing? Ha think about it the next time you say "well, this show is only an hour..." ah ha but oh the places you'll go in that hour!!
Yesterday was blessing central. Elder Miranda and I were cranking out the blessings. I always love giving blessings because it allows me to help people, while learning how to use my priesthood correctly. One of the blessings yesterday was particularly cool. As I mentioned earlier, Majayjay is baby central. We visited one lady whose due date was yesterday (Sunday) on Saturday and wanted to know if they were planning on coming to church. She said they were and I told her that I think the Lord understands if you have been in labor for 8 hours and 9am rolls around if you dont say "well...although I am in excruciating pain (epidurals here are impossible) and I have a baby trying to greet the world, I think ill walk the mile to church in the 566 degree heat." She said if she wasnt yet in Labor, she would come to church. Sure enough, the next day, there she was huffing her way up the 30 steps to the chapel, and the 30 more to get to the second floor of the church. After Sacrament (sacrament is last) she came to us and was like "uh...elders I need a blessing...and like NOW" Apparently she started having complications with her child and was in alot of pain. My favorite part of the blessing is the actual blessing because I always (call it selfish) like being the tool that the Lord uses to reveal his will and promises to his children. Elder Miranda is still new so he isnt very comfortable with giving blessings so he annointed and I sealed. It is really hard to describe the feeling of being spoken for if it has never happened to you, but that is pretty much what happened. The blessing was only supposed to be for the pain she was feeling right then and there, but the Lord extended it to the labor and delivery of the child-that no complications would arise and that she would feel no pain during the labor. Now, im not a woman, or an OB/GYN, but I can use my 20 year old brain and conclude that childbirth is not a bowl of cherries, and, especially without an epidural, has some pain associated with it. Hence, to promise that no pain or complications would arise was something heavy to promise. But, with trust in the Lord (and shaky hands for the things that I had said to her) we gave her a blessing and continued on our way. There was something that was said in the blessing that makes me wonder. While I was blessing her, the phrase "that your feelings may be light now until after the labor and delivery." Just a cool phrase! This morning, as we were walking to the Palengke (kind of like flea market) a man on a tricycle half ran us over-turned out to be her husband. She gave birth easilly and successfully and no complications arose. They werent going to go to the hospital because they dont have any money and she was just gonna do it at her house (midwives here are way good at what they do) but at the last minute, she decided to go to the center down the street. Hey, let the Lord's will be done!! That's my motto!
About the typhoon, we heard news that there was going to be such a bagyo, but we havent felt its reach...yet. There is nothing we can do. Our roof might get torn off, but that is easilly fixed-a couple hours and everythings peachy. Thats pretty much the best approach you can take cause yelling and "shaking the dust off your feet", as Christ commanded his apostles to do, wont make the sheet metal nail itself back to the frame. Such is life, but hey bring it on. Maybe the roof will fly into the room of a married couple and we be able to use that as an excuse to teach them "well Mr. Ignacio, it seems to us as if roof just happened to have flown into your room and destroyed all your imported chinese furniture...do you mind if we retrieve it...and tell you how you can keep your life from looking like this furniture??"
My dumb ear is fine. I dont know what is going on with it. Sometimes, after my all too fancy bucket shower with cold water, my hearing goes away so I guess its just water. I use those cue-tip things, but it does nothing, but it usually comes back in like 8 hours or so. But hey, who needs hearing anyways? Such a sense is overrated:/
I must say that when I see our Father in Heaven, I will thank Him for my talkativeness. Maybe that is why I send emails such as this-ones not 2 sentences long like other elders-cause I can just keep talking and talking...and talking.... Well, last Sunday Elder Miranda and I forgot that we were speakers, hence we had nothing prepared when Bishop came up to us and was like "so elders, what are you gonna be speaking about?" So, I wrote down 5 scriptures that came to mind, and gave a 15 minute talk in Sacrament. I think that is something that I found out in my mission-when you have a talk, dont write down every word of it. I go in with bullets, scriptures, and time limits, and just go off the spirit. I believe that sometimes the Lord has things he wants you to say that you wont find out unless, like teaching the gospel, you rely on the spirit. This is the way Elder Muller works. Maybe other people are different. Some say that these things come in the preparation for the talk, but hey, thats why we are all different right? Now we know how the gears in Elder Muller's head work huh?
I also want to correct my Tagalog in my last letter. That is what I get for typing in a rush. It is not "Aanhin ang kabayo kung patay ng damo" but "Aanhin ang kabayo kung patay na ang damo" Such a childish mistake...that sentance actually means, "what good is the horse, if the grass is dead" It was said to me because I forgot to give a blessing to someone and he was basically meaning well, what good now is tatay, you didnt give him a blessing. Tsk tsk tsk...
About the Crocs Mom, just make sure they look missionary appropriate, and they are black in color. I shower with a croc and a flip flop now cause my one croc shrunk. I look like a wierd-e, but hey, no one sees me rockin the bucket method so I couldnt care less!! But, it is rainy season. Shoes that can get wet, and dry in an hour without breaking would make me jump for joy:D
I wanted to put in a special Happy Birthday in this letter to Grandpa Muller. I didnt get the memo, so to say, that your Birthday was coming up...well last week actually so I wanted to say Happy Birthday and Maligayang Bati!! Another year down, decades more of happiness to go!!!
Funny you mention the whole police incident that happened at the house. Nice to see the neighbors are filled with charity towards their fellow man...and fellow member...and stinkin' neighbor. Oh well, what goes around comes around. Maybe ill send a Pilipino dog to their house and give them 1)a flaming case of rabies, and 2)a blinding parasite infestation in their carpet!
I am looking forward 1000000000000% to my call at Christmas time. I actually have a list of people I want to call so I am gonna run it by president. Haha one of them lives in the UK!! Cool huh?! Anyways, the Pilipinos start Christmas music in September in all the stores so I have been rockin out to christmas songs for the past month and a half!!! But, 2 1/2 months to go and then BAM my fingers start the dialing. That is scary cause when I call you all, it means I will be home in 9 months...uuggghhh. As much as I love Utah, I am NOT looking forward to my leaving the mission. Not fun. But, good thing I have awesome family waiting to make up for the hole that will develop when I am no longer a missionary. Maybe ill just extend another 30 days! Hey, im not going to fall semester so well see:D
Well, I suppose I shall bring this email to a close. Wanna see something cool? Look up the Doubleday edition of the Book of Mormon on Amazon. It is a Book of Mormon that people can buy for 25 bucks. Basically, a commercial edition of the Book of Mormon. Why would you buy something you can get for free? I dont know, but hey-whatev!