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Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 16: No transfer!

So we didn’t get transferred. Yea! Things are going really great here and time is flying by at an unbelievable pace! We are healthy and happy and working hard and having success!
This week Michael Rodriquez was baptized.  He is 18, and his family has been investigating for like 3 years. We think the past missionaries have waited for the whole family and they never could all get it together.  They have a lot of problems. The dad always is on army duty and the mother always disappears. It’s pretty sad but we baptized the 18 yr old. His 15-year-old brother has been really inconsistent in going to church but he came to the baptism and for the first time has told us he really has a desire to baptized. I think his brother’s example is going to be huge. Michael also gave us some referrals of his friends so that is really awesome. It is sad that their parents don’t really help them much. The other day they hadn’t seen their mom in like 3 weeks and they had no more food. We went and bought some food. It is sad though.
Elder Weaver and I were talking about it and we both agreed that we had never once been neglected by our parents before. We are pretty lucky. And Mom and Dad, I am really grateful for you and all you have ever done for me. We are lucky in the United States. There are a lot of sad, humbling things happening here.  It is definitely a third-world country in every sense.
We are just trying to share the gospel with them. We can’t change the world but maybe we can change a few people's lives if they will accept the beautiful gospel. Some good things are happening though. We have some pretty promising and impressive investigators and we should have 4 baptisms on Mar 12th. Two of them look really solid but the other 2 might have some snags or problems along the way. Either way we have a lot to teach them and they need to grow their testimony as well. But things are looking good.
Oh ya, the baptism was great. Every one was ready, investigators at the baptism, baptizer and candidate -- everyone ready on Saturday. But because our bishop wasn’t there and there was no other presiding authority there we couldn’t start till 2 hours late. Pretty ridiculous. But everyone pretty much stayed. And thankfully the relief society was cooking a ton of food and shared with everyone at the baptism while we waited for the bishop.

So last week our ward had the best sacrament meeting since I've been here. The sprit was there, it was reverent, it was even testimony meeting and nobody sang or talked about weird stuff, even the kids were pretty quiet.  Then this week they had a relapse. They started really late and it was rowdy. There was literally a dog running around sacrament meeting and the kids were crazy.... oh well… all in a days work in the Philippines I guess. This country really blows my mind some days. For instance,  all the time we see kids with their kites stuck in power lines and they are trying to pull it down... Am I mistaken or is that dangerous?
Ha so a lizard got into our cereal box and Elder Weaver and I burned the whole box to the ground. Hopefully I’ll send you a picture of the inferno ha... (note: pic did not come out good)

We taught the Iglesias. They are pretty umm…I don’t know any other way to put it but…stupid... They just tried to argue the whole time. Needless to say we aren’t going back. At least they gave us merienda...

So that’s the highlights of the week. I’ll get to the questions (from Dad) now and shoot off some pics.

Fishballs (dough mixed with fish meat, usually fried)
1. Any other strange eating experiences there? What about that half-grown baby chicken egg thing? That sounds gross!  I had some "fish balls." I guess it is just bread dough cooked in fish sauce and oil. It was ok. The dinner appt that made Elder Weaver sick tried to make us eat dinuguan again but Elder Weaver told him our stomachs aren’t used to it... I don’t think he was real happy we didn’t eat it... Everyday I see balut (the half grown egg, and cooked dog (Aso) for sale.) but I’m not real interested in trying either.... [Editor's Note: I had pix of both Balut and Asocena (dog meat), but both pictures were a little tough to stomach. If you really want to see them, search those two words in Wiki, but only for those with strong stomachs]. 

AJ took this pic of the busy streets in Tuguegarao City
2. What is a door approach like there. I guess you don't really "knock" on doors do you?No actually about half the people don’t even have doors, or at least real ones. We just talk to people and ask them if we can share with them our message. Most people will listen to the message. If they aren’t interested, depending on how shy they are, they will say they aren’t interested or that they're busy or have laundry or something ridiculous to do. A lot of people will listen, but rarely are there any commitments or see any real progression.

3. Has it gotten hot and humid yet? You are prob gonna sweat big time soon, huh?Ya last week was terrible but the last 3 days have been amazing weather. Really a lot cooler. The locals pulled their jackets back out yesterday haha. It was like 70 degrees.

4. Is your bed long enough for you? I never did have a long enough one on my mission. It’s all right. A lot better than I was expecting. It’s just a little too short but I don’t mind at all. I am sure I'll have some pretty bad ones later.

5. Are your clothes holding up well? How about your shoes? Can you get cheap stuff there then?
Um, maybe. They don’t make stuff my size. I’ve looked in a few stores and no one has my size of anything shirts, pants shoes. I don’t know how much custom made stuff is. Pretty cheap compared to the USA. I am sure. My shoes are already wearing out but I took them to this old guy that sits on the sidewalk and fixes shoes all day and he sewed them up pretty good for 100 pesos(3 bucks)  At some point I might need shoes from the states or maybe I'll be able to find a custom made ones.

6. You gaining weight or losing or what? About the same or a little less. Summer is when it hits you though. So when I am sweating all day its gonna fly off.

7. You want us to send you powdered milk? Or just drink a glass of milk for you here? Just drink a glass for me. They have powdered milk here and some other fake milk. It just ain't very good !

8. Should we try to send you pix via email or snail mail or what? Email would work fine I think!

Does your apartment have a lock?  Have you had any problems with theft? 
Yes it has 2 pad locks and a regular lock. Only one way to get in as well. It’s a pretty sturdy door. We shouldn’t have a problem. Plus there are nicer houses around us so they can go rob them first right?

Funerals? Here funerals are like a huge party for a week. So when someone dies, they have an open viewing for a week in their house (disgusting) and they rent a big party stuff. And invite everyone they know to come and gamble and drink for a week... then they usually end with slaughtering a 600 pound pig. Pretty crazy eh? I don’t know how they bury them or anything though.

Gotta run, all is well here. Hope everything is great in the Utah!
Love you all & thanks for your prayers!
Elder A.J. Griffin

AJ and Dad in 2002.

1 comment:

  1. There is an outlet store in SM mall that sells your size everything for like 2dollars. And balut isn't that bad =)and don't ever tell anybody there that you burned the poor lizard. Filipinos think they are sacred. They are harmless. And they eat the mosquitoes:) but yes definitely don't eat anything they crawl on. Keep the faith