You know, I was thinking, and the mission goes way too fast. Geez, as of January 1, I have 250 days left in the Philippines. That, besides burning banana bread, is one of the saddest things I have ever heard:( To be completely honest, its been weighing on me for a while. I just hope this next 9 months will be as good as the past 5 have been!!
This week was zone conference. We had what is called "lechon baboy" which in english, if my english is correct, is roast pig. They take a pig, shave it a little on the close side near its juggler, and roast it over a fire. I kind of wanted to eat the skin, but the guy didnt give me any when I was served. It was fun because you get to see a whole bunch of missionaries again, and play some games, eat some good food, have a gift exchange, have your soul filled with light with peanut m&ms, and feel the spirit through an awesome lesson. It was a fun time! There are 2 sisters that came in a couple months ago that are from Salt Lake, and one of them was in my zone conference so we chatted up a storm-it was way fun.
Last wednesday, I got your package with the crocs...aka boats in them. I dont think I have seen shoes bigger in my life. Needless to say...others have noticed as well...but hey, they are just jealous that they cant fit a car in their shoes!!! I appreciate the things you put into the package with my crocs-many thanks!!!
We have this one investigator who is really struggling. She seems to be confusing herself regarding the gospel-constantly looking for a deeper answer when the correct answer is right there in front of her. We got together on Saturday and watched The Restoration (which sounds weird in English by the way) and told her that we were going to fast and that she should to for her struggles in finding an answer. Well, Elder Durano and I opened our fast that night, and before I went to bed I asked the Lord to help the investigators who needed to find the truth. Well, as he always does, the Lord gave two fish to him who asked for one. Joan (the investigator) didnt actually come to church (which really bummed us) but, randomly, after sacrament meeting, the second counselor came over and was like "Elder, I want you to meet someone! This is Brother Allen-he is from San Pablo. He has been going to church here for sometime, just hasnt come approached you all. He now wants to be taught by the missionaries!!!" Not only did the Lord give us an investigator, he gave us an investigator with a desire to know the truth. Talk about sweet deal!!! It was a way good day. That fast and testimony meeting was way good-with an enormous variety of people bearing their testimony:mothers with missionaries out, single seniors, youth about to go on missions, amazingly handsome elders who rock socks, and more. Haha this one tatay got up and was like "Brothers and sisters, I want to tell you...that not all temptations are bad!! They encourage me to get a wife (he is like 50 and is still rockin the single life)" Practically everyone in the audience started laughing-poor guy. But, he had his heart in it and that is what counts!! Then, this random chap came and talked to me who works in a call center in Manila for Verizon! He spoke to me in english and I was almost taken aback because he practically had no accent at all. I was like where to do work? He was like "Yea, I work for verizon!" Ha, that night I had a big chat with our investigators and our members about how the east coast is compared to Utah. Interesting talk...Utah-1, East Coast-0
My new area, Nagcarlan, is way cool. I have actually been into my area back when I was in Majayjay because Nagcarlan ward boundaries butt up to the Majayjay boundaries. I got permission from President to go to my investigators baptism in majayjay on December 18...but unfortunately I have a either 1 or 2 marraiges to go to, and 3-5 baptisms to perform so I hope I can get time! The members here are absolutely AMAZING!! Plus there is a LOT of youth who are about to serve missions. We have a couple young women preparing and a few young men. We have some members who own a pizza franchize so we get free pizza!!! In all honesty, I love my comp to death. He is really nice and has such a strong testimony! But, we arent on the same level kind of. One thing my mission has taught me is not to stand by when there is something productive to be doing. I cant STAND just hanging out somewhere when I can be working. My companion always wants to chill at members houses. He is, in all honesty, a chick boy so I really have to watch him. A couple weeks ago, I had to run and get him because he had walked into this girls room by himself while she was in her pajamas. Dangerous stuff. If I have 15 minutes to spare, I want to go work. I want to go convert the world, but he kind of wants to hang with members at their pad or take the chill side of life. But, its ok because he is here for the same reason that I am so there is no sense getting all judgmental on him. Its wierd what the mission does. The other day we were sitting at the church, it was noon, and we had 2 hours to blow before work started. We had no meetings, and Elder Durano was chillin with some members in the outside...and I have never been so agitated in my life. Like, sitting there not being able to work at all was HORRIBLE!! So I just ran and got a broom and cleaned the church (there is no carpet here-its all tile) Atleast I was able to do something productive as opposed to just sitting there!
Christmas will be an amazing scrumdiddlyumptious time! We are eating at the mission home, sleeping in the office (warm showers, air conditioner, carpet), and rocking christmas Pilipino style. I think I might call on Christmas day. I can call on the 26th, but church ends at 12, I have meetings from 7-9 in the morning. 12 is like 9 or 10 at night christmas day in America which is HORRIBLE timing! If I call on Christmas day, it will be Christmas eve there, but hey thats better than in the still of the night!! I will call you all when the time comes around and do the set up call-tell you all when I will be calling, and all that good stuff. Yea, we will be using skype. Funny thing about the time limit-President Anderson brought it up with the area presidency and elders from the missionary department in Salt Lake and they gave no time limit, but president limited us to 2 hours-which is an amazing blessing. That is TONS of time. I still havent decided who I will call because president gave no rules on that one-he said it is up to our best judgement. Hmm...might surprise some people!! Ill call either your cell or the house when the time gets close and well make a schedule!
Tell the Bradfords that I say hi. Ha, outside of the family, they are probably my favorite people ever! Quite possibly the coolest family ever!!!!!
We went to San Pablo today and rode bikes around the lake that is situated in the middle of the city. Fun times!! Then we went to SM and Hansen and I tore it up. Ha while we were shopping this girl working there told us she would wait for us. Hmm...well see how that works out:/
Well, I am off to teach. I am way excited to chat at Christmastime. Ha we have tons of stuff to talk about!! Please tell B-rizz, Sammy G, and B-slice that I say hi and that the moon will turn to blood and the stars throw themselves down from the heavens before they pass me up in height (knock on wood...many, many times). Way excited to see you all here! Please tell grandma and grandpa that I got their letter here a bit ago. Love you all and wish you all the best.
"Where love is, there God is also, where love is, we want to be!"
Remember-Ang taong matapat ang pinagtitiwalaan ng lahat!!!!!!!!