Friday, November 15, 2013


We had a typhoon. The power in our barangay was out all day, and we had to stay inside all day. I felt really lazy. The storm really wasn't too bad in our area, fortunately. We just lost power for ~40hours, which was actually pretty rough. Everything was back to normal as soon as they got the power back on in our part of town.  The storm hit much harder down far south of us though. I really hope that no more people get hurt. It sounds like there has been a lot of flooding, and that very few buildings are even still standing.

This week was a pretty good week. We had a CSP (community service project) on Tuesday. We pulled out like a million weeds from someone's field, so they could use it for farming again. We actually used machetes, or what they call 'itak's to do it, so that was kind of cool.

The work here has been good this week too, except for the bagyo of course. We have been teaching Edmond a lot, but he is living kind of far from the church now. He didn't come this week, which was really dissapointing. However, one of our other investigators that we were having a really hard time getting to church actually came this week which was really amazing. We are probably going to visit him tomorrow to find out how he liked it (and why his sister didn't come). 

We also had a trainer/trainee workshop, which was kind of cool. We taught one of the AP's for one of our practice lessons, and it actually went really well. I feel pretty confident about my Tagalog when it comes to the lessons (especially the first few), but I feel like I am still very lacking in Tagalog skills when it comes to everyday situations. I think it will all come with time. 

I thought I should tell you about a few of my  favorite things that I have eaten here. There is sinigang(sp) which is like soup kind of, but you put it on rice. It is kind of sourish, and it has pork and vegetables like asparagus in it. Also, siopao is really good. It is like those little bao things from Costco, except way better. They are like little toasted rolls, filled with delicious meat of some sort (probably pork) and a hard boiled egg.  Soy sauce and rice has in a way become my bread and butter.

Not too many dull moments here. It is really great. Even the haircuts are an experience. My schedule keeps me really busy too. We get up at 6:30 and then have time until 8 to get ready for the day, exercise, and eat breakfast. We then have an hour of language study and an hour of personal study. At 10 we leave the apartment and proselyte until we return to the house at 12 for lunch and then companion study from 1-3. We then proselyte from 3 until 7:30ish at which time we go back to the apartment for dinner and planning. We then have from about 9:30 to 10:30 to write in our journals or get stuff ready for the next day. We sleep at 10:30 and then start the next day. It really is going by fast already.

Sorry, this letter is going to have to be kind of short. 

I love you guys all so much!

Elder Benjamin Merrill
  Ben on a "skate," which moves on railroad tracks.

Sister Edna, the lady who cooks for the missionaries, her kids and Elder Acidera.
Ben by the railroad tracks.

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