Sunday, December 15, 2013

Maligayan Pasko!!! (Merry Christmas)This has been a week of adventures!  I went on my first exchanges with the Zone Leaders this week and boy was that fun.  We got punted all day long but oh well; it was just a like a normal day for me.  Well I know that Dad's going to laugh at this.... I just know it.  Elder Villanueva and I started to teach a Jehovah's Witness. (Let me guess he started to laugh right)?  He's a nurse at a Brngy Hall in Pacol and he's trying to get a job in America.  When I try to speak Tagalog  to him he insists that I speak English so it's easy for me and so he can practice his English.  But let me start off by saying that this guy has done his research.  He brought out all of these maps of Jerusalem to prove his point.  In Alma 7:10 it says that Christ will be born "at" Jerusalem and in the Bible it says in Bethlehem so we had this big ole discussion about that.  He also believes that the sign of Christ's birth was evil because it let King Herod know that Jesus had been born.  That's not even close to 1/10th of the questions/doubts that he has.  He even had a doubt about the Articles of Faith because of when it says "We believe in the Bible as far as it is translated correctly".  So explained to us that he thinks that we have doubts about the Bible.  I didn't even know how to go about that because every time that we read from the Book of Mormon he always Bible bashed us.  He is definitely one of those investigators where I think to myself "The MTC didn't train me for this.  Then on top of that.... I finally faced the dreaded Balut.  I will say right off the bat that it was just as kadiri (gross) as I imagined.  Just as crunchy too.  The ironic thing was that it was on Friday 13th.  I won't look at that date the same ever again. 
Well I love you all and I truly do miss you all.  Every time I see pictures of you guys  it reminds me of how fast you are all growing up.  Two years are going to go by in the blink of an eye; but don't make it go any faster because I love it here.  Even though it's hard and I have my challenges I have truly felt the love that our Savior has for each and every one of us. Continue to be awesome!
                                                                Balut! Yeck!

Down the hatch.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Well this week has been a tender mercy from the Lord.  There has been a lot of success in our area even though our numbers don't show it.  Elder Villanueva and I have been able to get 8 new investigators this week!  But that came through just two families but I'd rather have families than anything else!  We are currently helping two of the investigators get legally married because they both were previously married but have been separated for 15 plus years.  They had 4 kids together so that brought up a few issues but President Reeder is helping us through the process.  This last week the Tatay and two of his kids came to church and they loved it!!  The Bunso (youngest) is 8 and he really enjoyed being around kids his age in primary.  The Primary President here (Sister Dela Cruz) reminds me a lot about mom.  She's always working hard and is always concerned for the kids.  Honestly I never thought I would be helping people get married.. but well here I am.  It's a really really weird thought to be thinking that next month is going to be my 6 month mark!  This time has gone by in the blink of an eye.  Transfer day for us is on New Years Eve so I really think that my time here in the Naga First Ward is about to come to and end.  I have really truly grown to love the members here; the support and encouragement that they have given me is beyond belief.  I'm starting to pick up Tagalog a little bit faster now.  I can understand it pretty well but it's still difficult to speak because there are so many different conjugations and it's hard to decide which one I need to use. May God be with you till we meet again.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dad I think I might have found out a way for me to actually gain weight...... RICE!!!  I have gained 9lbs from the time I got here to now and we walk a good 4-5 miles a day in our area.  Right now I can almost eat a kilo of rice in one sitting.  But before I get to the fun stuff I just thought I'd like to mention that I think being a chorister is my eternal calling.  I always lead the music in church and for when we have FHE's.  I thought when I went on my mission I'd get away from having to lead but I've ended up leading just as much as I did back home.  You can tell bishop that just for some comic relief.
About the work; it's very difficult at the moment.  Elder Villanueva and I are struggling to get more than 8 lessons a week and we have very few progressing investigators.  Our strength is finding because "I'm white" and everyone wants to talk to us.  At the beginning people seem very interested but when we return they are always "busy" or not even there.  Yeah its frustrating at times but I've just got to keep my head up and keep smiling.  There's always a lesson to be learned, and as you know my patience could always use some improvement so that could be it.  Another sticky situation is with Ann Bon.  Both Elder Villanueva and I feel that she is ready to be baptized and she really wants to be to; the only problem is that her whole family is against her being baptized and she doesn't want to ruin her family relationship.  She's 19 so the choice is up to her but I really hope that her family has a change of heart so that she won't be worried about being baptized.  On the bright side of life; when we were teaching Andrew the other night he told us that he's going to prepare to serve a mission!!  I don't think I've ever smiled so big in my life (well close to it).  He dyed the rest of his hair black instead of red so he could go.  It's been amazing to see the growth in that young man.  He's already told me of how much he doesn't want me to get transferred (well the chances are pretty high).