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Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 41: Return Missionaries and the Philippine Bryce

A Philippine artist depicts Elders Balaci and Griffin battling evil.

AJ: Hey you old man, how's it going?
DAD: Pretty awesome. How bout u Mr. Tatay?
AJ: Pretty good pops. Just work, work, work ... its fun!
DAD: That's great man. We just left grandma and grandpa's. Ben/Laura and Eldon/Diane were there. Good eats, too.
AJ: Yummm rice ... wait what?
MOM: No rice. We had pork and cheesy potatoes and creme brulet cheesecake. Yummy. Wow … you really are integrating into your country … thinking rice!!!! Funny guy (I did have teriyaki rice at Winger's this week). Do you get that kind of rice? I really like that. Maybe we should send you that sauce.
AJ: Teriyaki sauce? We bought it once in Tuguegarao. It was good. I have only seen it at Save More. Maybe I'll get some next trip. Or a different kind of sauce. No, but I am really not a fan of rice all the time. It is super cheap. Usually when we eat at home our meal is like less then 60 cents American. But yeah, we eat rice 2 times a day. I draw the line at breakfast.
DAD: Don't blame you there. Guess you miss bread and stuff, eh?
Man there won't be anything I won't eat in the States. The Philippines is weird. They will eat anything. Even stuff in the States that I hate I would eat way before half the stuff they sell on the streets in the Philippines.
DAD: Dallas is trying to decide what to do for a double-date Saturday with Carlos and some girls. Any ideas. It'll be his first date. They want to do a day date.
AJ: By the way, Elder Fantony is bacially the Philippine Bryce. Not sure about the date. Don't want to get too sweaty. It's way hot over there right now isn't it?
DAD: Yep. 100 degrees.
AJ: Man that's hot! Its been pretty nice here up in the mountains. He better do a water fight or go to some waterfalls or something. By the way, I've decided Zion's is way better than Banuae.
DAD: Good ol' USA -- Zion, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Disneyland… So are you and Greenhorn getting along well?
AJ: Like Bryce, he is funny and kinda crazy sometimes, and he definitely knows how to push my buttons, but I love him and we get along well.DAD: Can you print? I was going to send you this talk I found that I really like, but I am sure u don't have time to read it now.
AJ: Yeah I can print. Go ahead and send it.
DAD: (Here's the link to the talk by James E. Faust. I sent AJ the actual text instead of the link) –
AJ: How hard is it to make salsa? Sister Carlos sent us a salsa recipe but maybe Mom has a better recipe?
DAD: Um, it is not too hard if you have a good recipe and the right ingredients. If you do fresh salsa (not cooked) it needs to be eaten right away. The cooked kind lasts longer.
You would need a blender or a food processor or a lot of hand chopping.
AJ: We have a blender. Oh yeah, we make fruit smoothies all the time. Especially when I was with Elder Balaich. Smoothies are awesome by the way.
DAD: So the salsa recipe:
10 tomatoes (approx) -- drop tomatoes in boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes (carefully pull out and peels will fall off or you can pull them off -- discard the peels
1 large onion
garlic powder or a clove of fresh garlic
2 jalapenos
2 green chili peppers
tsp of cumin
salt, pepper and other seasonings
You can put a little cilantro in or for a different salsa, add lime and more garlic

Throw it all in a blender -- chill and serve!

AJ: Yeah, I think we can get all that stuff. Maybe we will give it a try.
DAD: This kind should last a couple weeks if you keep it refrigerated. Feel free to tinker with the recipe as long as you have that base of tomatoes and onions.
AJ: I miss everything Mexican food wise. They should have Mexican food here.
DAD: Oh yeah, refried beans and Spanish rice and burritos and eating seven or eight tacos … or nine!
AJ: No refried beans, no Spanish rice, no tortillas or tacos (I have seen tacos and tortillas at Save More). Just rice and whatever they throw on top of it. Boring.
DAD: Well, you can make salsa and you can get Doritos to dip with -- And I will make some Mexican food here in you honor ;-p
AJ: Oh all right, we might give it a try if I am feeling motivated.
DAD: DO IT!!! You leaving? It was good to chat with you son. Don't be homesick. We miss you but are so happy you are where you are!
AJ: OK, I'll try. Love ya!
DAD: LOVE YA TONS!!!!!!!!!!!!
AJ: Oh yeah!!! One of our investigators is this dude that's way good at painting/drawing. So we had him paint me and Elder Balaich. Here is the original (painting is above).
Hey family,
Hows life? Things are good here in the Philippines and this week just flew by. I was sad to hear about your tires ... that's expensive. So this was a good week with lots of work and we had a good time. Sunday was cool and sad at the same time.
The model for the above painting.
On Sunday 2 missionaries from Aritao returned from their missions in Guam. It is really awesome and they are way cool, but they and their Moms testified and ... I might've gotten a little homesick for a second.
But everyone was super happy and I am excited they both said they want to work a lot with us and it should help the work here a ton. The branch was stoked this week and the two RM's seem really cool. Their names are Elder Garcia and Elder Iglesia. They seem like they probably know English pretty good. I guess Guam is like the Philippines with all the languages, except in an even smaller area.
They said the island of Guam is about the size of Aritao to Bambang.  
Maybe like the size of Washington County or smaller, but has 7 languages including Tagalog, English, Ilakono and then some native languages of Guam. Sounds pretty crazy. I also felt bad for them in that they haven't even been released yet and everyone is coming up to them, saying, “You got 6 months to get married!”
Elder Fantony is great. He is obedient and loves to work too, he is not shy and a pretty good teacher. So it has been no problem. Things are going good with the investigators. We will have a baptism of 10-year old Erickson this Friday. He has been doing pretty good and passed his interview Saturday. We really have just been focusing on his parents. His dad is doing really good and is active and is getting a calling. He bore his testimony yesterday. As for his mom, well, not too great. She keeps disappearing to far away places. But hopefully we can get her active again, too.
The Book of Mormon is awesome and we have a few investigators that seem to really be falling in love with it. One investigator Elder Balaich and I found tracting, a young mother name Jemah, was having a really hard time understanding it. So one day we just read the first chapter with her and she was getting way confused and we were a little discouraged. But we came back 2 days later and she was already on chapter 15 and said she loved the stories and stuff.
Then there is this old grandpa and grandma we have been teaching. They were referred by a member. Their name is Calica. Anyway, the man had been always kind of hard to teach and didn't want us to use the Book of Mormon and stuff and I guess he used to be a Jehovah's Witness. Well, we finally got him to start reading the Book of Mormon last month and now he just finished 2 Nephi and loves it and knows it's true! He even came to church (and his house is pretty far away). It's really true -- doctrine understood changes behavior faster than anything else. The Book of Mormon is awesome and can convert on its own. I love the Book of Mormon.
I know the Church is true and that the Priesthood is real. It is the same Priesthood and authority that Jesus gave his apostles. And I know that Our Savior lives!

Love ya,

1- Are you able to print out our emails to read later or do you just have 1 hour to look at everything?
I can print, But I usually just read them on the computer cuz it's kind of expensive to print.
2 - Tell us about where Fantony is from. Would he be considered well-off there by Philippine standards?
He says he is poor, but they have internet and cable and a car at their house, which is better off than about 75% of people here.
3 - Has anyone else been writing you regularly that we need to thank?
Dee writes me every once in a while and Grandma and Grandpa always write me.
4. Any message for Riley Lewis. He is coming home in less than 2 weeks.
Good work Elder Lewis. Go find a wife. I am sure he was an awesome missionary.
5. Are you loving your new shoes? How about the Velveeta? You have a nacho party?
Yeah. I kind of don't like to take the new shoes tracting though. They are too nice. I haven't done the Velveeta yet. I need to buy some real Doritos so we can do it right. We did make some brownies yesterday after fasting, which was especially good because we were super hungry.

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