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Monday, January 10, 2011

Week 11: Celebrating the New Year in the Philippines!

Hey Everyone!

A great week here in the Philippines! Early this week we were having trouble finding people to teach but we have been working like crazy and we had an awesome weekend with tons of lessons taught.

Sunday was sad though. We had just had some awesome days teaching but only 1 investigator came to church :( And our solid investigator, Jefferson a 12 year kid who is awesome and has been keeping all the commitments and has a baptism date didn’t show up either so we have to move his date back. At least like 5 people or so committed to church and they all didn’t show.

Its hard, in the Philippines all missions have a standard for baptism of 4 consecutive weeks at church and obeying WofWisdom and LOC and one slip up with WofWisdom or a missed church and the month has to start over. So we are at least a month away from any baptisms now....

Oh the other hard rule is we can’t teach women or children unless an 18 year old male is present so that costs us a lot lessons of people inviting us to teach them but we couldn’t. Plus all the nanay (moms) that you could teach that are just doing laundry or taking care of the house or kids......All the men are at work during the day too.

We did have an awesome lesson Sunday night and then challenged baptism to this cool family -- the Rodriguez family (4 of which committed) but then we ended the night rough when we went to one of our new investigators and she said she didn’t want to hear any more about our church :( "ayaw nila" is what she said which directly translates to I dislike or hate them... talking about our church.

Oh well it’s hard when that kind of stuff happens but we have a lot of new investigators and we will continue to work hard. We truly have an awesome calling and privilege to be sharing the gospel and I love every minute of it even though its hard and crushing when people reject this message that I know is true.

So my comp is awesome. I really love him and think we could be good friends for a long time. Elder Weaver is a spiritual giant and really good at Tagalog plus its cool to talk about and look for stuff like food from America.

Today we played ball for like an hour with our district and then we taught them how to play touch football. It was really awesome. I couldn’t believe it but a few of the native missionaries had NEVER played football before!!! That’s crazy!! Things are so different here.

A fellow-shipper we were working with on Sunday, about 23, said he has never driven a car before. It is really humbling to be here and people are still so generous and kind even when they have literally nothing.

This week I have taught in huts and farms and in the street and all kinds of places...

Oh, my apartment is pretty nice it’s pretty plain... its a two story little house, we have a fridge, a toaster oven and a real toilet and shower, although only cold water, its quite the wake up call. Oh and we have to hand wash our laundry, although Tueguaro has a few Laundromats, where you pay about 3 buck American or 120 pesos and they do it and fold it and give it back to you the next day, so we do that sometimes but I need to learn better how to wash because most areas have no Laundromats.

The first week or so I was here it was really pleasant but all the natives and my comps were "cold" ha-ha it was like 70 degrees or so. It has been a lot hotter this week though and I get kinda sweaty, especially where my backpack covers.

I think I told you this last week but everyone here worships Lebron.  When I talk to them about basketball and ask what their favorite team is they always are like well it was Cleveland but now its MEE ami (Miami). The Philippinos also love The Eagles, Journey and about everything else 80's which is awesome and McDonalds ha-ha.

We have one of 3 McDonalds in the whole mission. Oh and I think their absolute favorite thing is karaoke...Its pretty bad.

There is a surprising amount of English, it seems like everyone at least knows a little bit of English and I guess the church is really pushing for the people to learn English, so they sing in English and about half of their talks are in English. Some only know itwas, illikano or another one I forgot the name or just Tagalog. We only talk to them in Tagalog though. Some words they just use English because there is no tagalong equivalent. I basically can only teach and (that’s limited) and have just a really simple conversation in Tagalog.

A lot of the time I know the words but they talk too fast and I can’t put it together to understand it but I know it will come. I am just going to focus on studying the lessons and words for the teaching first and when I get those down then I’ll try to get more everyday stuff down.

Everything is really cheap here but it kind of equates because we just basically have the amount we need for food and stuff in Philippine money. If we got the same amount missionaries have in the US and other places we would live like kings. But we still can get every thing we need pretty easily. We even found PB and J , and its not too terribly priced (more than other foods but still worth it). They have cereal here but NO real milk and NO real cheese, although my comp did find some real cheese because he had a meeting in Cauayaun. On Wednesday we are both heading to Cauayaun for trainer/trainee meeting and the store in Ilgan is supposed to have real cheese.

I have to give a talk in Sacrament meeting next week all Tagalog (or mostly anyways, you can use a little bit of English if you’re stumped) and this week we will work hard and hopefully we can have more success in getting people to Sacrament meeting.

By the way we saw at least 10 naked kids running around in the streets and heard "Hey Joe!" at least 50 times hahaha!

Well its really different here but I love it!!! I love you all and pray for you every day. I’m sorry to hear that grandpa got hurt and will pray for him too. Pray for our people to come to church!!


Elder A.J. Griffin

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