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Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 34: Football and a new companion

AJ got a new companion and stayed in Aritao. He is so excited about both those facts. Or Sunday night conversation:

AJ: Hey Dad!
We just got done playing football in your honor! We had transfers and I couldn't have asked for a better companion!
DAD: Awesome. You have to teach some Filipinos how to play?
AJ: Only one. This is like the American District -- 7 Americans 2 Polynesians and 1 Pinoy.
DAD: So did you stay there and get a new comp? What's your comp's name?
AJ: Elder Balaich, from Colorado Springs. My first zone leader in my first area. We have been good buddies my whole mission. We were so stoked! This is his last cycle too. So I will be in Aritao for a while . AWESOME!
DAD: You're killing him off? Wow, that might make you a little trunky ... Is he a rock? Even rocks get a little antsy at the end ...
AJ: Yeah he seems ready for the duration. We have some sweet plans this cycle, though. We are gonna hit up some waterfalls, hit up Banaue (supposedly there is an even cooler part I haven't seen yet) and just work really hard. He is pretty awesome.
DAD: Sounds awesome! What did they do with Lim?
AJ: He is a Jr. again to a district leader. He is in Santiago. I don't really know anything about his comp or area. His comp is Filippino though. Our branch as it turns out really had a hard time with Lim, too. They keep talking to us about all the dumb stuff he did. It's kind of funny.
DAD: Well, hopefully you won't have too many other comps like Lim and you will look back and remember a few good things about him, probably.
DAD: Cool pix, you just took those? You literally played in a cow pasture, eh? No one got hurt?
AJ: Yeah, this was all there was. And luckily no one got hurt. We had some victims of cow pies though. There was also a cow that wasn't too happy we were there. But it was fun. I was thinking about you too!
DAD: Cool. I haven't played football in awhile, but have been to a few semipro games the past few weeks. Too bad real football doesn't start here for two more months.
AJ: Cool. How has Father's Day been? Breakfast in bed? Sorry I didn't send you anything. I realized last week and it takes like a month for anything to get sent. I haven't done anything yet. I feel bad. How was it, though?
DAD: Well, I had a 7 a.m. bishopric meeting, but then came home at 8:30 and Bryce had made me breakfast and they got me a few presents. Then I got a nap before church. Later, we went to G'ma's and had ribs and cheesy potatoes. It was pretty good. Been a good day.
AJ: That sounds like heaven Dad!!! YUMM!

AJ's mom going down the slide at girls camp.
DAD: Your Mom sure is hammered -- she is over there sleeping like a baby. Camp wore her out big time.
AJ: I bet. Especially with all the girls waking her up in the middle of the night and her sleeping on the ground.
DAD: Here are some pix of your mom at camp.
AJ: Thanks for the pics. Love ya dad! We are out of here!
DAD: K, love you be good!

Dear Family,
Well, transfer day was totally awesome. Until Thursday, Lim was driving me even more crazy than usual, but I was like “One more day...” Then finally I woke up Thursday morning and I was like “YES I DID IT!” We had a 4-hour bus ride and then had transfer meeting.
Elders Balaich and Griffin
On Tuesday President Carlos was in Solono and told me I would be getting a new companion. He said my new comp would be "one of the very best... the difference between night and day ... and someone about to finish their mission." So then we had it narrowed down to a few people and I was really hoping it would be Elder Balaich. I saw him right before transfer meeting and President said he was going to Aritao! So this is pretty awesome and we had some really good days working already.
So Nanay Fontervarious (the one with problems with cigarettes) is now at the longest she has been clean. She hasn't smoked for 3 weeks, and 6 weeks with only 1 cigarette). She passed the baptismal interview, so on Saturday she can be baptized. I read something that said that the 1st month clean is where the hardest temptations come, so I think she is in the clear and she has been coming to church for over a year, so that is really awesome. She is finally kicking it!
Sunday, like all our investigators didn't come to church for some reason. We had over 7 all last cycle each week and only 2 came yesterday. It was raining pretty good. Elder Balaich says that people just sometimes won't come if it's raining. Kind of frustrating. But its all right. We'll get em next week.

Things are great and I am excited to learn a lot from Elder Balaich and, yeah, things are good. We are going to Solono right now to grab some material so we can make pants and grab some McDonald's, too!

Tomorrow we have Zone Conference in Santiago (3 hours away) and Elder Keith R. Edwards of the 70 and president over the Philippines area will be there. Should be pretty cool, but I am a little scared. Everyone has to prepare talks on 3 different subjects and we might be called randomly. Supposedly he might interview random missionaries and other people said it's really scary getting interviewed by him.

Love ya all. Things are great here.

Q and A
1. Tell us all about your new companion.
Elder Balaich, from Colorado Springs -- my first zone leader in my first area. We have been good buddies my whole mission. We were so stoked! This is his last cycle too. So I will be in Aritao for a while. too. AWESOME! He is really obedient and really hard-working, so I am really happy. We can work hard together.

2. Shoes? We bought you some new shoes. How long do you think they will take to get there? Anything you'd like us to add to the box to send you. How are your shoes holding up?
The shoes I got repaired are really nice. There is this Ukay-Ukay (thrift store) in Bambang that supposedly has big shoes from America, so I am going to look for some there. Maybe hold off for 1 week. Let's see if we can find some. I feel bad cuz it costs a fortune to send anything.

3. I have had a half-dozen people comment on how much they enjoy reading your blog. Do you have any messages for your blog readers? Keep on keeping on!!! daw...
4- The weather maps show a really big storm in your area...did it hit? Or is it still coming? How has the weather been?
Really really rainy. We are just in the mountains so nothing really happens except lots and lots of rain. We are supposed to be really safe here. Tuguegarao was supposed to get the brunt of the storm. But I'm not there any more :)

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