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Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 31: Baptism and a Super-Typhoon (sort of)

DAD: Hey AJ!!!!! How's it going over there?
AJ: Doing all right. Baptism was really cool. Sister Betty's testimony is awesome. Nothing really happened with the typhoon. Literally nothing. It rained the day before the typhoon was supposed to come and the day after but nothing happened on the day of the typhoon.
DAD: I guess that's good that the weather didn't get crazy. So glad you had a good baptism. Kinda makes it all worth it huh?
AJ: Ya, it was pretty awesome. We should have some coming in the next few weeks too. I had a Dr. Pepper this week too. We went to Santiago on Thurs to Mission Possible... went to the store that supposedly had Dr. Pepper... none. Later saw Elder Weaver. He had been there earlier and bought all of them (5 or 6) ... I begged him to sell me one.. and he sold me one of them.
DAD: He should have given them all to you -- he's going home to the land of Dr. Pepper and tall women!! Some Tatay he his (nickname for trainer), huh?
AJ: Ya, I told him in 3 weeks he could buy unlimited Dr.Pepper, but he wasn't giving them up.
DAD: Got your pix, looks like a pretty area. So that's the infamous Elder Lim, eh?
The weather looks decent there. Not too hot?
AJ: No not bad at all. Kinda hot in the afternoon but nowhere near like in Tuguegarao (which was almost identical to St. George summer). At night I only use the electric fan on setting 1. Sometimes I wake up and turn it off because it gets too cold even. In Tug, we both had a fan on setting 3 (max) and we would sweat all night anyway. Not much a fan does if it just blows hot air around, eh?
DAD: Jonny is in Malaysia and he was saying he can't sleep because no matter which way he turns, sweat drips off of him and down his back and stuff. BTW, he is coming back to USA in about two and a half weeks with his new wife, an Ebon native.
AJ: Yeah, Jonny should be in America were when it is hot you can just go inside the house with air conditioner. Does she speak English?
DAD: Demas is her name and supposedly she speaks English really well. They're having a wedding reception when they get here. Oh, and Marcus graduated from Westminster last Friday. I was doing games or I would have gone.
AJ: Oh that's pretty cool. What is Marcus gonna do with his degree?
DAD: Marcus said he is gonna keep working his job for now. His degree is in Aviation management, so maybe he can get on at Sky West or something, I dunno. Dallas got hired part time at the city. He is also trying for a night job for the summer, maybe at Brick Oven or Outback --- remember going to Outback with Worthington and Stubbs. That was pretty cool.
AJ: I would pay big bucks for Outback right now!
DAD: Do you get chased by Philippine girls there. You gotta watch out for those missionary chasers.
AJ: Ya, I get asked by ward members if I am going to marry a Philippina. I usually say no way! When they ask why I just tell them my Dad forbade me. Also, a funny situation: We were walking to an investigator and then these 3 teenage girls came out of a store and started talking to us and they ended up going on the same road we were going. Anyway, they were like what's your name, do you have a girlfriend and all this garbage. So I was like, “Oh yeah, I do have a girlfriend in the States.” When they asked what her name was, I said “Shelly!” And then one of them said "Oh, I'm Shelly." I was like nope! They were defeated and sad, haha. We gave them a pamphlet though.
DAD: Funny story. It's getting pretty warm here. Do you have the same seasons as us as far as time of year r is it opposite? Some newspaper article I was reading from the Philippine Inquirer online said the rainy season was there now, but I don't know. It was some weather guy saying the typhoon was bringing the rainy season early, but it's been dry mostly huh? That's good for you, right?
AJ: It's been the same season since March (hot!!!). There are only 2 seasons, too -- Hot and rainy. Supposedly here in Aritao it actually gets kind of cold during rainy season. I guess crops are ready to harvest every 3 months here, too.
DAD: Ah well, is rain better than hot? I guess they both have their goods and bads to them. Are you always sweaty when it is not raining. How do you keep from stinking? Do they sell good deodorant?
AJ: No, deodorant sucks here. I'll have to send a pic but they mostly only sell these lame mini deodorants. At least here the rain cools everything down, but we end up walking though mud most of the day as a result.
DAD: Geez, I dunno how you get and keep your clothes clean. Plus, you must run into some pretty smelly people with no good deodorant.
AJ: Ya, my clothes got pretty dirty/muddy this week. Doing laundry is gonna suck. White shirts are sooo hard to wash.
DAD: They need to let you guys use members again. All the guys that went Philippines here are shocked that you have to do your own (Melvin and Ben Brown especially).
AJ: Ya it totally blows. Takes me 2 hours on Monday morning and Thursday morning of doing laundry. Then it has to hang up for a day or two still.
DAD: Seems like you should be able to work out a deal with the taxes or whatever. Your time teaching the gospel is more important than doing laundry, right? Oh well, I guess there's a lesson to be learned in there somewhere.
AJ: So what else is going on over there? Man I am a long way from home. President is way cool. We always talk about BYU and Jazz and stuff when I see him. He loved my Jimmer Fredette shirt on Thursday. I brought the football, he started throwing to people during the meeting. It was awesome. He was surprised I had a real legit football.
DAD: Things going better with your companion?
AJ: Man I've learned a lot of new patience. I've been stretched to my breaking point several times by this dude. He is really quite the hoser. But I guess if that's all I come out with, I really appreciate my old comps a ton more and even when I think about how we got in fights every once in a while they were silly and now I think I am a lot more patient person.
DAD: Anyway, you are becoming a better man because of your experience there. Just remember that you can handle anything for a short time and soon you will both move on and life will be better/easier. Someday you will have a wife that does something to drive you crazy and you will be patient because of the lessons you learned from being with Elder Lim.
AJ: Yeah that's what I always think about. I guess changing and becoming a better person is just as important as helping other people. I guess the work here must be doing better than in the past, too, because he said his old companion was disobedient (I was thinking “You're one to talk, buddy.”), but ya life goes on. Two weeks left 'til transfer meeting. We've got splits tomorrow too. This is the first time I look forward to going on splits. Usually I don't like splits.
DAD: You forgetting English?
AJ: Ya well I speak Philippine English now, haha, which is terrible terrible English. I think you might cry if you heard some of the English I've heard people speak here, haha.
DAD: Worse than Washington City English eh? You might be a Philippino if your English is as bad as Larry the cable guy …
AJ: Ya, worse than Larry the cable guy-English. So your new phone seems pretty nice. You love it, huh?
DAD: Dallas wants one so bad he can taste it, but I told him he needed to match any phone money with mission fund money and he has cooled down.
AJ: Did you give him my old one or is he phone-less now?
DAD: Dallas has a new phone, we had to get new ones when AT & T bought out Alltel. His is similar to your old one.
AJ: Oh man he has all the stuff I had at 18 and he is only 16 haha. He better start saving money, he can't afford that stuff haha
DAD: That's why he's trying to get 2 jobs, ha, he is a sweet kid though. He really took care of Mom while I was in SLC all week. Cooking and driving and babysitting, etc.
AJ: I'm gonna be a lot nicer to you all when I get back. I had it good, haha. I'm learning good things here in the mission. Well I'm headed out love ya dad!
DAD: Luv ya, be good son!

Dear Family,

Another week down. So this week we had zone meeting on Tuesday in Solono(hour and a half each way) and Mission Possible in Santiago (3 plus hours each way). It was cool, way too much time sitting on the bus though. We were actually supposed to be in Banau right now but every one bailed so we are just here in Aritao still.
Highlights of the week:
Monday: Had a FHE with this family and played a game and at one point this litte girl had to guess Elder Lims name, but she forgot, so she said ungoi! (no clue on spelling but that's how it's said) which is Tagalog for monkey! And then every one was like Tama! Tama! (You're right ! Your right!) That was pretty funny.
Tuesday: Went to Solono, after we went to Mang Inasal, this chicken with unlimited rice place, which is usually really good. But for some reason they were ridiculously slow and and not very good. We were all waiting for our food for over an hour.
Wednesday:Rain, Rain and Rain (fortunately I got a new umbrella Tuesday).
Thursday: Mission Possible -- So we had a training meeting competition thingy about health, exercising, cooking and money and if we did good we got a clue and then at the end we had to figure out a phrase from the scripture. Luckily for us we had Elder Moffat on our team and he had it figured out like half way through. Then we won the competition and each won baguio bags...I think Sister Carlos took a picture of us – you can probably check it out.
Friday: Level 5 Typhoon!!!!!!! Oh wait nothing happened. Not a single drop. It was supposed to hit at 2 in the afternoon and we were waiting for something to happen but nothing ever did.
Saturday: Awesome Baptism, Betty was so excited and gave an awesome testimony after... She is awesome. Later it rained all day and we had to go to this one place in rice fields. For those of you that haven't seen rice fields, they just flood them and its basically a big muddy mess except for a little (and I mean tiny) strips of earth that you're supposed to walk on to get to the houses. For me, it was like one foot at a time could fit. Also very slippery. Bad, bad combination when you have a really tall, not that coordinated foreigner with terrible shoes. 3 times I slipped... (No I did not fall on my butt mom) but my foot slipped into the mud 3 times. Pants got really muddy and shirt was really muddy too... But at least it was fun!
Sunday: Splits...Work was good, not much else to say there... We didn't go to Banau... Maybe next week . At least next week I get new shoes!
Love ya! Gotta go!
Love A.J.

Here are the questions1. Tell us all about your typhoon experience ...
Nothing happened. Not even a drop on Friday. Pretty decent rain before Friday and after but really nothing the day of.

2. Airplane shoes coming soon?
June 6...My new ones and ones I am getting repaired will be done. This week my remaining pair took a turn for the worse, they are absolutely terrible. I can't wait to get the new shoes.

3. How's the work? Did your baptism happen like you thought?
Work is really good. Lots of investigators come to church, 7 again this week. We keep teaching families and referrals but half the investigators that progress are 14-16 year old girls...

4. Do you tract at all in this new area or is it mostly just greet and meet?
Not too much tracting if we don't have appointments we just talk to whoever is out. We rarely do a door approach.

5. How long until transfers?
June 16 is transfer day

6. Miami or Dallas for the NBA title?
Go Dallas, I don't want the evil empire to win – Boooo Miami.

7. Any message for all the B-day people (Laura today, G-pa tomorrow, Diane last week)?
Happy birthday! What else? Love you!!!!

8. Fave thing about the Philippines? Least fave?
Favorites – The people are really really really nice. Zagy is awesome (it's like a smoothie thing, I don't know, I can't explain it, but it's awesome. Supposedly they have some in Calif.). It's absolutely beautiful ..I guess more than anything is the people. They will do anything for even a stranger, and even if they aren't interested they are still really nice (exception: the Iglesio ni Cristo (or Church of Christ) are pretty mean).
Least favorites – Tryces, no milk, no washing machine, the terrible highway systems (only a 2 lane highway all the way through Luzon). Takes forever to get places. AND RICE!

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