Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oct 28, 2013

I don't know where to start, so much great stuff this week... We have 3 baptismal dates now. We found a lot of people through member referrals this week. The baptismal dates were for Nov 30, but none of them came to church, so we are going to have to move it back at least a week. (Our investigators have to come to church four times without missing 2 consecutive weeks in order to get baptized here.) I think I am going to start with the reason why I had to email so late today.

So this morning Elder Acidera (my kasama), after he is getting towards the end of doing his laundry, calls out "Elder Merrill, come here!" (or something along those lines.) I figure he wants to show me something about doing laundry, but when I get out there, there is blood dripping down his face. (He had bumped into the iron roof and cut himself on it.) I really had no idea where I could go, or really what to do, but Sister Edna (who is a member) comes out and quickly cleans Elder Acidera up, and then all three of us get on a padyak (kind of like a bike with a side car) and we go to the hospital where he gets stitched up and then gets three or so shots. (There was also a random orange cat just walking around the hospital.)  Now he is ok and everything is back to normal. (Except for the fact that we have to go get his bandage changed everyday now I think.) It made for a really crazy pday... We finished our laundry and then ate some 7-11 hot dogs, and now we are emailing.  

The jeepney rides are great. We actually had a mission tour this week (where the area president or someone like that comes and visits.) We had Elder Ardern(sp) come visit. It was decent, but the reason I bring it up was because I got to ride to the Pamplona chapel on the back of a jeepney, holding on for dear life for at least a good 45 minutes. It was awesome. 

The pictures are great! I love the costumes and the mustache. It looks like the Halloween party was a blast. For our Halloween, we get to stay in our apartment starting at 6pm... . 

I hope you aren't too disappointed to find out about this, but we actually sing all of our hymns in English at church.   Speaking of singing, I actually got to be the chorister for the branch this last week. I'm not really sure why, but almost everyone was really late to church this week.

No balut yet.  The weather has actually been pretty near perfect this week (a little hot, but not bad), and we have fans to point directly at us while we sleep, so the weather hasn't been too much of a problem fortunately. 

About my haircut... I am having some trouble getting my pics to upload, so you might have to wait until next week when I have a faster connection before you get to see my haircut. I think it is pretty nice. We ended up having to go to a salon to get our haircuts. There was no room at any of the regular barber shops... I got my hair cut by a bakla. He had his hair up in a bun and half of it was dyed red. He did a good job though, so I guess that is what really matters. Just quite the experience, and they were blasting Filipino Christmas music the whole time (all of the classic Christmas music we listen to in America, just in Tagalog). 

We actually just visited Sister C again yesterday, and she said she had been praying for us to come over. It was really neat. She wanted to give us the names of a few other inactive members that we should visit. I think they are in the other elders' area though. Sometimes it almost seems like she isn't really inactive.   Yes, and we have quite a few investigators now, so I have had an opportunity to teach about four or so lessons to investigators.    

It just started raining... (I'm wearing sandals...)

I have to tell you about the skates now. I got that railroad picture when I took the skates to go to Edmond's house. (Turns out he was at his cousin's house, but that's ok, because we still found him that night.) The skates are like these little carts that run on the railroad. They cram like a million people onto them, just like the jeepneys. They are really cool though, because they take you out into the middle of nowhere. I got a lot of cool pics that I can't send because of the connection... 

A few more cultural type things: I have seen an infinite number of Kobe Bryant jerseys here. They love the NBA. I also heard Hansen's MMMBop playing really extremely loud as we were walking through the city the other day, and I have seen a lot of Yankees, A's and Raiders hats. I also hear Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon on a regular basis. 

The work is really going a lot better now. We have a lot of investigators, as well as many other people that we have met/ received referrals to go meet that we are going to go teach.  I can't believe that three of our investigators said yes to baptism already.  I got to be the one to commit them (and in Tagalog). We are in the middle of teaching a fourth investigator, Cherry, who is  40. (It isn't rude to ask people their ages here.) We are definitely going to go back, because I think she is pretty interested. We also contacted an older sister who was a referral, and we have two other older sisters that we have given pamphlets to and have appointments to go teach this week. I am really excited. This is Edmond( on the left) and his friend.

One more thing, every morning as we walk into town, and usually when we come back home, (our apartment is a little bit out of the way, which is nice), all of the kids come up to us and say "Brothers!" and we give them high-fives. (When you give a high-five here, you say "Up here!") It always makes my day.

Let me know if there is anything you would like to know more about.

Marai na bangui,
Mahal ko kayo!
Elder Benjamin Merrill

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