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Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 18: A Weird One

Wow, another week is gone!?

Dad: Had to get my birthday hug before he left.

How is everybody! Happy Birthday tomorrow DAD!  It also sounds like it could be the best year ever of BYU bball too. That’s amazing. I can't believe how good they are doing. That would blow my mind if they got a #1 seed in the big dance. Cheer 'em on for me!

So this was a pretty weird week.. Our best week teaching, we got 22 member present lessons...but super weird, I don’t know where to start...

So starting Monday weird stuff just started happening and kept happening all week. On Monday, one of our lessons was with Jofferson and his friends and neighbors, etc. We were going to watch a video. Then this crazy Jehovah's Witness lady (who always tries to tell us we need to praise the Jehovah god) on this one particular street apparently followed us and joined our FHE. So we watched the restoration video instead. We bore our testimonies, gave her a Book of Mormon and challenged her to read and pray about it. She then told us we were stupid and wrong.

Anyway she is a pain and followed us into another lesson on Saturday. She doesn’t really interrupt the lessons, but at the end tells us we're wrong and don’t know how to read the bible.  She also tells how she finished 3rd in her class in college and that all JW’s "memorize the bible," and most of them also know Hebrew (right).  She's really a pain in the butt. I swear she sits in front of her house and waits for us all day. It's getting kind of annoying. 

To continue the weirdness one day we went to Jefferson’s house a different way through the bukid (or fields) and there were like 20 college kids sitting in their little compound supposedly doing a service project. They don't do those here. Don't know what they were really doing.

Out the back balcony
Just a weird week. So on like Tuesday we OYM'ed this guy and got an appointment to teach him the next day (note: OYMed = Open Your Mouth, used to be called GQing or asking the Golden Question).  The next day we went over there and apparently his cousin and friend were out drinking a few days before and were on a motorcycle and hit a curb and the driver was able to hold on to the bike but it worked like a catapult and threw the kid (18 or so) in the air. He hit his head on the cement and went to the hospital.

That day we went to teach him he wanted us to go to the hospital and bless him (he didn’t really know who we were or how we would bless him but he wanted us to go there), so we did. Hospitals are crazy here. So we went in and they took us to the ICU.  It was bad. We couldn’t even bless him because we couldn’t touch he head but we said a prayer for him at his bedside. We then went back and taught basically what seemed to be his whole extended family about faith and just kind of about life. It was a crazy experience. They were definitely humbled and ready to be taught. We found out more information. Unfortuately the kid had internal bleeding and really never had a chance. He died early Sunday morning. We went back on Sunday and they had the funeral already set up and we gave our condolences.

Hopefully we can teach them this week. But with funerals being basically a huge party here, it might be hard.  I can't help but think that there is a reason we were there at that point in time. It's a pretty sad thing, but maybe God is trying to help them see what they need to do with their lives. We don’t think it was a coincidence we were led to them at this point in time. 

AJ in front of Manila Temple when he first arrived two months ago.
We have some good new investigators. Some of our baptism dates have been pushed back, but I think with time we will dunk them too. We will only have one bap. on the Mar. 12th, but we should have some more on the 19th and on the 26th.

Missions are definitely a time of learning and growth, and I don’t think after its all said and done that I'll ever be the same person. But I know it will be for the better. I am so thankful for how much the Lord loves and cares for us all and watches and is part of our lives every single day. I love it here.  This place is really, really different and has a lot of problems but I am thankful to be on a mission and I am glad to help the Lord.  There are so many people already that I will never forget and I am so glad to have met here in the Philippines.

Thanks for all your support and prayers. I miss you but I know that this is where the lord needs me and that soon enough I'll get to see my family again! I love you and I am safe, happy and healthy here in the Philippines.

Shower/toilet all-in-one in AJ's place
1. Did your apartment ever get inspected?
Not yet, but we spent a long time cleaning it and it looks way better.

2. Glad you're developing a real love for the scrips. Bishop wanted to know your favorite scripture for your plaque here at the church house.

Oh man, that’s a hard question. I have a lot favorites... but I'll go with D & C 64:33-34

34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eeat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.
 35And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land.

3. You guys ever drink soda pop or just water or what?
In the apartment we always drink water and out we pretty much always drink soda. Soda is just guaranteed safe so it's better than a sketchy water any day. It's lame though -- they have no Dr. Pepper. They have Coke, orange soda, Sprite, harder to find they have Pepsi, Mt. Dew and Sparkle (basically Mt. Dew made by Coke company).

4. You get some new shoes made? Get 'er done! 
Not yet, but I'll look for some today.

5. Do you get peanut butter locally or just shipped to you? Do they have USA snacks like Snickers or Doritos?
PB is made in the USA or sometimes New Zealand. They do have some PB made here but it's not as good. And they have Snickers and Doritos but they are kind of pricey, but we get them sometimes. They have some good snacks here, like just cookies and stuff, and they have tons of flavors of mentos (Mom would be jealous).

6. Are there any big people there, either fat or tall? Or are they all small?
90 percent of people are skinny and small. Then there is like 9 % that are short and fat. And like .00000000001 percent tall people like me. 

7. Any girls following you around (figuratively speaking) like there were in New Jersey?
Ah I don’t know.  There are a lot of girls that try to flirt with us but we just ignore them. I'm pretty sure we look like a one-way ticket to the states to them.

8. Give us some basic Tagalog. Where is the bathroom? Or: I believe in Christ. Stuff like that.

Nasaan and SR? (where is the bathroom) Nasaan ang pantaloon mo? (where are your pants, useful around naked children)

Alam ko po na si Jesucristo and tagapaglitas natin ( I know that Jesus Christ is our savior)

Alam ko po na ang simbahan ni Jesuchristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw ay totoo ( I know the church of Jesus Christ of latter days saints is true!)

Si Jesus Christo ay pinakamakapagyarihan (Jesus Christ is the all Knowing all Powerful ominpotent)

9. Was that pig sleeping or dead in the picture you sent?
Sleeping. Those things are sleeping everywhere and they are disgusting.

Sige, Ingat Kayo 

Mahal ko Kayo

Next week na lang

Elder A.J. Griffin

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