Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Another Great Week

Sounds like everything is going really well back home. Sounds like it has been pretty cold there lately. I can't imagine temperatures below 70 degrees anymore... I am probably going to get cold easier than mom when I get back. 

The answer about Christmas lights is yes. There are actually a lot of Christmas lights out and about. There is even a huge Christmas- tree -shaped formation of lights near the big Catholic chapel here. I don't know anything about a lot of other Christmas traditions, but I will let you know if I experience any.

It has been a pretty good week, and we are super close to having a baptism on the 21st of December. The name of the family is the B family. We will just be baptizing two of the daughters  who are 11 and  12.  We found them through a somewhat less active member, who is like their grand-uncle or something like that. He is really great, he is even endowed and has a super strong testimony of the church.  They actually live in the same house, so we always get a member present when we teach them. They have had some trouble getting to church in the past because they live kind of far from the church, and they don't have a lot of money for their pamasahe (I can't think of an English word for that...), but they will be ready for baptism if they come to church this week, and I would be really surprised if they didn't come this week.

One more story for this week. I got to meet another normal American. He served here in Libmanan in 1983ish. He doesn't know any Tagalog. He came here and visited a lot of the people he taught while he was here, and got a few of our less actives to come to sacrament meeting. He is actually really good friends with Sister C, and his son is serving in the mission where Elder Acidera is from (Laoag). Elder Acidera has actually met his son. Isn't it such a small world sometimes? Another crazy part of this story is that as we walked to Sister C's house, where we were going to meet this guy for the first time, Elder Acidera was telling me how he needs a vial for consecrated oil. It just so happened that this guy had brought some extra oil vials for us. Isn't that amazing?

I thought of something else. I have actually had the opportunity to give a lot of blessings for the sick while I've been here. It is really neat to be able to serve people in this way. I have seen so many people benefit from the power of the priesthood here. It makes me want to always be worthy to be able to help others with the priesthood. 

I love you guys! 

Elder Benjamin Merrill

Monday, December 2, 2013


My Tagalog is coming along pretty well.   I've actually learned a decent amount of Bikolano too.

We got three investigators at church this week! It was so wonderful that they were all able to be there. It is sometimes hard for Edmond to go to church, because he often has to ride the skates by himself. Sometimes his older sister is able to go with him though. The other two just don't have money sometimes, I guess. We feel pretty confident though that we will be able to have a baptism on the 21st of December.

So, I think it is time for the Thanksgiving story. We didn't get a single key indicator on Thanksgiving. We just got punted over and over again. We did hand out a few pamphlets, but none of our planned appointments were there/available when we tried... I was probably the most tired I have been in my entire life that day. We decided to visit Sister C before we went home though, and we talked to her for a little while, but we couldn't really teach her because wala kaming kasama na lalaki. We needed another male member with us. We decided that we should go get some bulastog ( hard-boiled chicken egg dipped in orange-tinted batter and fried in hot oil), because it is super delicious. As we started to eat our food, this old lady with pigtails came up and started speaking crazy English to us. I accidentally left without paying for my bulastog because I wanted to get away from her. I did pay for it the next day though. My companion thinks it is so funny every time I say, "I stole an egg."

My cold is almost gone now, which is nice. It certainly decided to hang around for a long time. 

It is the wet season right now, which means it is a little cooler. (It still seems pretty hot to me for the most part. I am a little worried about how hot the rest of the year is going to be :P) 

That is about all I have for this week. We did buy some ice cream at 7-11 yesterday. Pretty interesting flavors... Mango and Cashews, and Ube keso (keso means cheese) pretty good, but I don't really like the cheese one that much... Ube is that purple flavor, I think it is like yam or something.

I love you tons and miss you too!

Elder Ben Merrill

Thanksgiving Day Sprite