Search This Blog

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 27: Dancing Cops and Seaweed Pringles

AJ (in the far back center) at a recent Tuguegarao Zone meeting. 
Hey hey,

Well this week was hard but I would still say good things have happened. With the exception of the awesome Bulbuana family, this week has been lots of tracting with little success, hot weather and lots of crazy and/or drunk people. It seems the hotter it gets, the less people want to hear about the gospel.

For one thing, in the afternoon, basically the whole country is asleep I think or hiding from the sun and missionaries. People aren’t very happy when they wake up to missionaries, ha. So let's see, some notes on the week:

1. We saw a crazy drunk guy with a machete arguing and threatening a crazy drunk lady.  Then some other people came and wrestled the machete away from him.. Then the lady beat him with a big stick. The whole time they were yelling at each other in Itwes...pretty cool eh?
That's not a knife ...

2. Thurs after getting roasted all day, it rained buckets for about an hour, and we were both drenched head to toe. At least we didn’t have to shower right? Also in other tracting experiences, we seem to find drunk people all the time, regardless of the time of day. Tracting is also pretty difficult here because Missionaries have been here in the area (a very small area too) so everybody is either a less active member or they know about the church and missionaries and don’t want to talk to you. It is pretty tough. Elders Weaver, Andreason, Daquioug have all said this is/was the hardest area of their whole mission. But there is still work to be done and we are having success with the Bulbuana family
AJ's no fan of most fruit, but he loves Philippine mangoes!

3. Mangos are amazing. Do we have mangos in Utah or the states? They are pretty awesome. On the other hand I saw at the store "seaweed Pringles" and "Queso Ice Cream, With bits of real cheese!" Delicious? Maybe?

4. Ugh so Friday, middle of the night got upset stomach, sparing the details but needless to say I was pretty miserable until about Saturday afternoon. I mustered enough strength to work for a couple hours and then go to the 50th anniversary of the church in the Philippines celebration broadcast. I picked up a cold and headache somewhere along the way this weekend too. My stomach isn’t really settled now and my nose is going nuts but I am doing ok. I was at least able to work all day yesterday, although I felt terrible and I am sure I didn’t teach very well....

5. So like I said earlier, this weekend was the 50th anniversary of the church in the Philippines. Saturday night they had a 2-hour dance choir celebration thingy that we watched and then Sunday all wards were at the stake center. Elder Teh of the 70 spoke from Manila and then Sis Beck of YW, Elder Cook and Elder Packer of the 12 spoke to the Philippines from SLC, (I don’t know why they didn’t come) They were pretty good. They talked about the history and cool things that happened that has made the Philippines one of the fastest growing countries in the gospel of the whole world.

AJ says: "Oh man those traffic director guys are ridiculous. They dance and direct traffic to really bad disco music. They are in Illagan. Supposedly they have better job satsifcation if they get to dance?

6.So the Balbuena family ( Mom is a member then their two daughters (15- Mercy-Joy, 12- Jasmine) and Jr.(9) are doing great at church, the ward has done awesome giving them a warm welcome to church. They are set and pretty much ready for their baptism date of May 14. I'll probably be transferred before they are baptized :(...The dad is also an interesting case. He doesn’t join the family for lessons but he is really nice to us and has listened in the past. We think he listens in the other room but maybe he is shy or not sure or something. They also have one 13 year old brother who listens sometimes but has yet to come to church. I feel in the future and with time they can all be baptized. They are pretty awesome and I want them to be able to be a forever family!
How come they don't have these in the USA? Mmmm, Spam ...

7. Despite all our tracting efforts we still haven’t had any progressing investigators except a referral our next door neighbor(member) gave us. His niece, I think or something like that. She is Emily, a mother with 3 kids finishing up her studying here in tug.  We taught her twice now and she has awesome questions basically all the questions the first 2 lessons answer (why are there many churches, how do we know which is true, Where do go when we die, why are here?) and she also came to church as well. Which is awesome, and she lives with a member. The only problem might be that when summer school ends she goes back to her home, somewhere in the mountains she said. And we don’t know if there are missionaries anywhere near.

Well, things are pretty good and I’ll probably have transfers on Thursday so who know where all be next week. But next week I get to Skype you! Yeah!!!!

Love you, Miss you

[Note: AJ was really excited about being able to video chat with us next week on Skype, but he cautioned us and included this excerpt from President Carlos' letter:
Really? I mean, seriously?!
(2)  Mother's Day:  You are allowed to call home on Mother's Day.  If you have it available, you can SKYPE.  Remember my counsel, just like at Christmas-- : "DO NOT LEAVE THE MISSION".  rather, BRING THEM TO YOUR MISSION......  If you ask and talk about the good old days with your buddies and girlfriends and boyfriends, you will be homesick and you will not bless your family.  On the other hand, if you share some of your most spiritual experiences on your mission, tell them about your investigators, your own personal growth and progress, you will be bringing them to your mission.  What a great blessing that would be for you and your family.....
I have never given you a fixed time limit for calls to home on Christmas and Mother's Day...However, I do not think you should be on the phone or Skype longer than 45-60 minutes.  Most missions have guidelines of 20 minutes. 

Yep, seaweed, shrimp and crab Pringles

Some questions from home:
1. Get the package? What'd you think?
Nope, no package.

2. Tell us all about transfers ... Probably I'll be transferred -- Tuesday after district meeting we will find out who is going and who is staying then We have transfer meeting Thursday at 10 a.m. in Cauayan.

3. How's your shoes situation? Kinda hard, I got them fixed, kind of, but no one really has the tools to put a brand new sole on them. The biggest I have seen at any store in Tug. (and I have looked at a ton) is size 11 only.

4. Do you eat cereal for breakfast. I guess not so much since you have no milk, huh? (We hardly ever run out of milk since you left ... we even had some go bad). Oh man, that pains my heart to hear that you let milk go bad... They have it, it's really expensive and not as good, so I have only had cereal in my first cycle.

5.  Do you have a shower. You never said, did you? Here we have a shower. But maybe not in my next apartments. less than half the missionary apartments I have seen have shower. If not its good ole bucket showers.

6. Any message for ward members. Kevin Lewis asks about you a lot. And Kenny Gordon. And Ben Brown. What mission did Ben brown serve in? Does he know Tagalog or what did he learn? Definitely it will be awesome sharing experiences with them, especially other Philippines missionaries.


  1. Most mangoes in st George are from Mexico or south America and stink compared to Filipino mangoes. We go to Vegas to get mangoes from the philippines.

  2. The Philippine mangoes are the best in the world, bar none. I have bought a lot of mangoes here in the States trying to find a good substitute to Philippine mangoes but never have found a great one. Enjoy those mangoes by the bucket... every time I go back I buy and eat as many mangoes as I can!