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Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 13: Week of Splits


It was kind of a weird week, we went on splits twice (2 full days) so it seems like I haven’t been in my area that much. The next few weeks when we go on splits I’ll be the one staying in the area so that’s cool. We are healthy and working hard. The people are still hard to motivate to church and other commitments but we have 2 solid investigators that we should be able to baptize near the end of the cycle. The language is still hard but I understand a decent portion of what they say and I'm working really hard on getting better at the lessons. I love the people and the work.

So here is the rundown for the week...

Monday night - Got punted from two of our lesson or more... I can’t remember but we just kept trying to teach people and they were all either busy or gone or drunk or whatever. (Btw that is a huge problem. There are so many drunk people’s terrible!)

Tuesday - After Zone meeting (it was cool, President Carlos came and he sent us to buy 500 pesos of pandesal. (which are little bread breakfast biscuits --  they are awesome, one of my favorite things here, the bakeries). 
That is a ton of Pan De Sal -- plenty enough for the whole zone. 

Hot Pan De Sal -  YUMMY!!!!

Then after meeting we went to McDonald’s and went on splits. I was splitting with Elder Cledera. He is pretty cool Philipino, hard worker. He is short so we really probably looked pretty funny.

Highlight of the day was this lady we taught in really bad English said to me "I would like to taste you this mandarin." Everyone thought that was pretty funny. Also that night we taught the Law of Chastity for the first time...
Wednesday - I returned to my area and we had a pretty good day of teaching. Found some cool new investigators (part member family) and the lessons worked out a lot better.

Thursday -  We split again, this time with the zone leaders. It went pretty well. They have a really cool investigator and they are baptizing her next week.  She actually went around with us for like 3 hours and taught parts of some of the lessons. That’s awesome and she isn’t even baptized yet. They said at first she wouldn’t even listen to the missionaries and now she plans on going on a mission 1 year after she is baptized.

That night we found a pretty sweet spider in the ZLs apartment. I'll try to get some pictures emailed next week. He was huge. The middle of the spider (the head or whatever its called) was the size of a half dollar about. And legs were huge too.

The next morning I had to go observe planning with the Zone leader. It was really really boring. Planning is already my least favorite part of the week. It’s that much worse watching someone else plan.

Later that day we taught one investigator then helped to do less active work. It really needs help there. I guess there are 600 members in our ward but the average attendance is around 120. That’s a lot of inactive. A lot of work to be done. The home teaching here is almost non-existent. It seems like the leaders are the only ones that do home teaching, but I guess it’s a lot the same in the states.

Saturday - was a lot the same.  We got in some good lessons and helped less active work.

Sunday -  we only had 1 investigator come to church. It’s hard but I know if we just keep working hard the success will come eventually. The other solid baptism had a decent excuse so we can probably let it slide if they come the next few weeks.

Sunday we went on splits with ward members.  It was kind of weird and the guy I split with didn’t speak much English at all but I actually had to show him how to get to the house. It is kind of cool I have been here almost a month. I don’t feel as helpless and dependent on Elder Weaver. I still have a long way to go though.

Every thing is fantastic and I love the work and the people and all the weird things here (for the most part ha-ha)

Most of all I love you family. I hope all is well, keep fighting the good fight!


Elder A.J. Griffin

Some questions:
1. Have you heard how your area compares to others as far as technology, etc. Are other areas really podunk, third world?

Well our area has people that are about mid-class and all the way down to really, really poor. Like literally a few people I have taught had almost nothing. A shack and a wooden bench for a bed and few flashlights. It’s really pretty humbling. If you head into Central (where MacDonald’s and stuff is) there are tons of little malls and stores and stuff and lots of computer places.  Most people have electricity and a small TV, it seems like. If they are well off they usually have a TV, a lousy computer and few wooden furniture items. But some days I am like jeez this is poor... just what you would picture as a third world country. There are some areas which are more poor than here but there is plenty poor, poor poverty in Linao/Annaufunan. (Oh btw we live in Annafunan West just off the highway, and our area includes the parts of town called Annafunan(east and west) and Linao (North, East, West)

2. Seems like the weather is a lot more pleasant than you thought. You said it is going to get really hot though, right? Sis. Watkins actually had her family send some sweaters and stuff cause she was cold.

Ya, everyone said Tueguaro kind of has the extremes. It was a little chilly the first week (still a lot warmer than St. George is now) at night but now I sleep with a fan because it is warming up. March is when it is supposed to get really unpleasant. I guess from March to October its down right miserable, especially as Tueguaro is said to be the hottest spot in the mission.

3. How much do you think your total $$ output. Could a non-missionary live there pretty cheaply?
Bro Pete (an American living here) says you could live really comfortably with good food, decent apartment, cable and all the essentials for about 300 bucks a month.
We get about 80 bucks every 2 weeks (we have pay utilities, travel and food with that) and we really can get whatever food we want. It would be a bit harder without dinner appointments but we live pretty easily on that.

4. Do you think you will have mostly native comps the rest of the way.  Has Elder Weaver had mostly natives? How is that?
I am Elder Weaver’s second American companion but he says that is odd. We guessed about 7/10 comps would normally be Philippinos... It has its pros and cons. A lot of people try to rip us off but either way it is cool. Just different. Seems like I get sick more with the Philippino comps because I have gone on splits a few times and they always want to eat at sketchy places... On the bright side Elder Weaver said they usually get as sick from that kind of stuff as he did.

5. Do you have an actual address and would you get something if we actually mailed it, or does it go to the mission home?
Everything goes to the mission home, but they disperse the mail as soon as either someone from our district comes to Cauayan or the President or APs come to our area they give them the mail for the area.

6. The Carlos sent us a letter. It was nice. They urged us to urge you to keep the rules. So keep the rules! What are the hardest ones to adhere to?
The rules aren’t too bad. The one I dislike is the rule that you have an 18 year old male present to teach females. Even older ladies. Or sometimes when there are like 10 people in the house it seems kind of unnecessary. But I can see how that rule would be important at the same time. It just forces us to miss a lot lessons.  We either have to track someone down or try to make a return appointment when we have a fellowshipper.

I saw Darren Walker and he said one night his son (Kyler) decided he wanted to change his life and go on a mission, so he is out in California somewhere serving the Lord.  Remember him?

Ya, I actually saw him my last week in the MTC and I was running to gym and I was like what? I did a double take and sure enough it was him. I talked to him for a bit. That’s cool though. That’s really awesome. I am glad he is out there on a mission.

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