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Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 23: Spongebob and chickens

Haircut time!

Hey everybody!

I miss you and love you. I am having a great time here in the Philippines! My first whole week with Elder Daq. has been awesome. He is really obedient and hard working. I love it! We now have a dinner appt every night of the week  -- which is awesome. Work is kinda tough but we have had some success.

Sister Lanie is progressing really awesome and she has a date. She is like 30ish has 2 small children and is the oldest daughter of a less active family that recently returned to church. She is really bright and the other day we were teaching repentance and she practically taught us. She used the pamphlet a scripture and a church lesson manual -- haha. She is really golden. And she has a baptism date of May 7th. She used to be a treasurer at some Methodist church but she has had some hard trials in her life and I think is prepared for the gospel now.

Interesting experience. We followed up on a former investigator we found in outer darkness. And when we first found her she was really not happy to see us. Elder Daq.  asked her if she knew the church was true, then she immediately said come in.  We talked to her and basically her attitude was that she was comfortable with her church and didn’t want to change and that God didn’t care which church she was in anyways. It was too bad. She said she didn’t want us to come back because she has heard all the messages anyways. Too bad. She then tried to give me her oldest daughter... She asked how old  I was and if I was married and then she was like "well take mine!" That wasn’t awkward  -- haha.  After Elder Daq. says -- "Good job Ammon."
Highlight of the week:  We meet a mom and dad at a less active members home. It was really by complete chance that we met them. Then a couple days later we met their family. They are so awesome. The dad doesn’t drink (I am pretty sure, which is extremely rare) They are both really interested and they keep always trying to give us lots of food. We taught them once and they seem really awesome. They have 3 kids 6, 8, 11. That is really the missionary dream, a whole family. Elder Daq. said "Siguro, yung pinnika receptive nang pamilya nakillala ko sa boung mission ko" or the most receptive family he has ever met his whole mission. We are really excited and praying hard for them.

I love you and I am having a great time.  I love the work and I love the people . Hope all is well.
Elder A.J. Griffin

How are you getting along with your new comp? Is it hard to mesh your different cultures?  Does he do anything that you find strange?  What about you?  Does he find things you do strange?  Are you having good success together?

He is awesome and really hard working. I am sick of rice is all. But that’s ok. He is really cool and we talk Tagalog together. Good things are happening here. We are happy. I probably do some weird things, but I am not sure.

1. Tell us about your conference experience. You hear any or all of it. Conference meant a lot to me on my mission. A touch of normalcy and home, you know?
Ask me next week. We get conference a week late. I am excited: Saturday at 8 a.m. and 10, then at 2 p.m. we watch priesthood on Saturday. And Sunday at 9 and 11 I think.

2. Any advice for Dallas working his new job?
Work hard and save that money!

3. You learning to love rice yet? ;-)

4. How's your wardrobe holding out? Shoes?
Pretty good. It is a good thing I brought lots of clothes. Clothes my size are hard to find.  Shoes are all right.

5. Do you sleep well there? I guess it's not quite that hot there yet, is it.We have lots of really loud chickens outside that go off all night. My first month here was really hard because of them, but now I mostly just sleep though the chicken noises. It’s not that hot yet, at least at night with fans we are fine. It’s coming though. Some days we feel its wrath. Most of this week was really awesome though. Elder Daq. kept telling me how cold it was (about 70 degrees). It was perfect weather till Saturday. We got roasted Sat. and Sunday though. [Note: We are sending him a box of earplugs]

6. Did you hear Pres. Monson in priesthood? He's telling young men to stop waiting to get married (like a lot of your friends. We better pick you out a wife for when you get home ;) Didn’t hear it yet, but I’ll be listening. Elder Daq. says he isn’t excited to go home and start the hunt. I personally am excited. You could pick out some candidates for me. That would be convenient.

7. We had Wendy's Frosties after Priesthood session. Do they have Wendy's there? Or any other US restaurants besides McDonald's?They have Mister Donut and Jolleybees (I’m not a fan) -- supposedly they have those back in the states. They have a place called Max's that is fried chicken supposedly from America. I haven’t been there yet. And they are remodeling Mc D’s so now we have no Mac Donald’s :(

8. How have things changed on a daily basis with the new comp?Not too much. Just more rice..:)

9. Have you seen anyone from back here out there? I had 2-3 Elders come out after me that were from West Jordan High. One of them was a guy who dated the same girl as me (not at the same time). Boy did we have some laughs.Not yet. Just Elder Katoa from St. George. But I never knew him before...

10. I guess Filipinos don't like American baseball? Astros are going to be awful this year ... but I will keep you posted.Ya all they like is NBA basketball as far as I can tell. They really love basketball though.  The kids sometimes play baseball with a stick and a tennis ball though. I don’t think they watch it though.

p.s. -- UConn and Butler are in the NCAA finals, which is Monday night. Go Butler. UConn has the 30 percent grad. rate right? I hate Kentucky and that cheater John Calipari.  Who plays for Butler now? I thought their only good player went pro?

p.p.s. -- DT says Taylor is on date for baptism on the 30th of April and to keep him in your prayers!  Oh cool, I will!

p.p.s.s. -- Jimmer won AP Player of the Year and a bunch of other awards, including first team All-American. There were some mean things written about him after they lost to Florida and he didn't play well, including a harsh column by Rick Reilly. But The Jimmer has weathered it well and just keeps smiling. It will be interesting to see where he goes in the draft in June.
Cool, when do they say he will go?  Top ten?

Some other notes from AJ during our live email conversation:
* I got emails from you only. I havent got any real letters from you. You guys should give something cool to Elder Daq. He said he hasn't gotten any mail since January. I really feel bad for him. Its weird, too. His family is active and the church has a free mail pouch system for families and missionaries. Anywhere in the Philippines is free. They live in Manila too. They should write him... that's too bad. I don't know what you can do. I just feel bad that he doesn't get mail or really email either. I really don't know. He says he doesn't care. but I don't know...
** Just played basketball at a church close to the computer shop. Basketball here is kind of annoying. No one takes the ball back after rebounds and there isn't really any rules. But whatev. I get lots of easy stuffs on these little guys. It's still fun. I miss real basketball. Oh and the handbook says we can't play full-court basketball. Super lame.
*** I wish i could hang out with you and go to baseball games or play dunkball. Sometimes I just think about stuff, and holy cow, I am a long, long, long ways from home. haha
**** [I told him he was out almost six months now] Uhhhh holy cow. I dont even know what I'll do when it's done. It's gonna be so weird, driving a car and using a washing machine. And drinking real milk. And watching football. haha... I will miss the work and sharing the gospel, though. And speaking Tagalog. I hope I can find people to talk Tagalog to. They have Spongebob and Dora the Explorer in Tagalog. I was thinking I should buy some before I leave. ha

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