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Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 42: Grabbing a duck and eating goat

Email conversation with AJ late Sunday night (Monday morning for AJ)
AJ: Hey, how's it going?

DAD: Good, how about you?
AJ: Good. We played football and basketball for a solid 2 hours this morning!
DAD: Dang, you are already too skinny boy! Does your comp know how to play football?
AJ: Earlier was his first time. He got a few touchdowns. He was better than I thought he would be.
DAD: Must be fast huh? How many guys did you have? Nobody plays around here anymore. Been playing lots of hoops though.
AJ: Uh, it was just 4 on 4 and half the people were Filipinos, so there wasn't really much defense going on – haha. But he is better than most Filipinos because he could actually catch the ball.
DAD: So hows life? You feeling strong and healthy?
AJ: Yeah, I haven't gotten sick in a long time (cross your fingers) and life is good! So we made the salsa. And it was really easy to find everything in the palengke. I don't know why they don't make it all the time. But we made it and it was really good. But then we put it in the fridge and came back and it was all really peppery (tasted like pepper), so maybe we put too much in or something. But it didn't taste good after that, so I don't know what we did.  Also this is the baptism of Erickson Mejia.. His dad baptized him and he is getting a calling and hopefully the Melchizedek Priesthood in a few months.
DAD: Not sure what happened with your salsa. Coulda been a bad pepper or something. Mom made a bunch of salsa yesterday. It is yummy! We saw Wendy and Eddie tonight. She is due in six weeks. I think they are going to name the kid Winston or Owen our something like that.
(AJ sends the duck picture)
DAD: What ru doing to that duck?
AJ: Ulamhan ko siya! (making him into ulam) Just kidding. I don't know. I just felt like grabbing a duck.
DAD: Sweet pix. Poor duck! Stay righteous and you will stay strong.
AJ: I put him back – haha.. But then Elder Fantony grabbed a duck, too – haha.
DAD: I can honestly say I have never felt like grabbing a duck. Probably couldn't catch one anyway …
AJ: Oh, but I did eat some goat this week. Tastes kind of like beef.
DAD: Goat huh? Didn't know people ate those. Remember Grandma's dumb goat? He might have been nicer if he knew we might eat him at any moment. You look good, glad your having a good time. By the way, you are supposed to wear the new shoes everywhere. That's what they're for.
AJ: Yeah, I will now. My old ones just fell apart to beyond repair, so I am using the new ones. Yeah, the Philippines is weird. I swear, I get asked at least once a week if eating blood is against the commandments. I always think, “No, but why in the heck would you want to eat blood?!” By the way, it was not allowed in the Old Testament, but I guess it's OK now since Christ fulfilled those old laws, I think. Either way, it's disgusting. Hey, can you find out which mission Stephen Anderson is serving in? I am pretty sure he is in the Philippines right now. I might send him a letter if he is in the Philippines.
DAD: OK, I will find out for you. Need anything else?
AJ: BBQ sandwich ... But you can't help me there. All right, I'm outta here. Love ya.
DAD: K love you
Hello family!

Wow, another week flew by. So this week we went to Cauayan for the trainers/trainee meeting. It was a pretty cool meeting and I learned a lot and it was very motivating. They talked about what effect a trainer can have on a trainee and about how a trainer needs to be a really Christ-like person to help the new missionary get off to good start. I have a long ways to go.

The food was awesome at the mission home and President Carlos told me about BYU and gave me a Dr. Pepper, so that was awesome! Also, I guess Elder Tyler Haws is AP of the Philippines Quezon City Mission. President said he called the other day and then he and president talked basketball – haha. President bleeds blue – haha.

Also Sister Carlos made spaghetti, mango rice crispies and gave us lots of ice cream. She also gave me a can of Stagg chili. It was like being in America for a day, with all the air conditioned buildings and good food and stuff.

We also had district conference and President and Sister Carlos came to Bambang, and they came to our baptism on Friday in Aritao, which was cool except people showed up really late so the baptism ended up starting almost an hour late. Oops. It was good, though.

We met lots of crazy people (as usual) tracting. There is this one lady that always claps and says "Praise the Lord" when we teach. And there is this inactive member dude that apparently got offended by some member back in the day and never came back. Seriously, we meet some weird people sometimes.

We did meet a cool family in Daripidup the other day and they were super nice. They understood pretty well and the best part is the dad seems like a really good guy. We go back tomorrow, so we will see. Still, my ultimate goal is to find a whole family and get them baptized. It's pretty hard.

Me and Elder Fantony are having a good time and I think he is enjoying his mission so far. We made some brownies last night before bed and we had smoothies a couple times this week. This is gonna be a good cycle and hopefully we can stay together in Aritao for a while. I love it here in Aritao.

Well, I love this gospel and know it is true. I know Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's representative and that Jesus Christ is our savior. I love reading the stories in the Book of Mormon and Bible and I know they are true as well. The scriptures are awesome. I know also that this church is true and every day I am grateful to be a missionary and if things ever get hard, I just sing the song "I Hope They Call Me On a Mission," in my head. Then I realize I am living the dream and I am here on the mission that I have been waiting all my childhood to go on. Even though it is hard sometimes, it is totally worth it.

I am so happy to be here in the Philippines experiencing all these adventures and teaching the only true gospel and meeting great people every day!

Love you!
A.J. Griffin

1. Do you use bottled water for sacrament or what?
Hopefully! I don't know if they do or not ... yeah ... hopefully.
2. Did you get Grandma's package?
Yes! The Reese's were awesome. And I was excited to get a package. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!
3. How often does it rain this time of year?
Almost every day, at least for a little bit. Usually it rains like once really hard for 20 minutes ... just enough to soak us if we forgot our umbrellas.
4. What do you cook at home to eat?
Pretty lame usually. We usually at night just open a can of 50 cent tuna ulam (basically the word for anything you put on rice). This tuna is mixed with sauce and vegetables. Usually at lunch, we just eat at a canderia (word for anyplace that sells ulam and rice).
5. Any typhoons lately?
Not that I know of. We are usually the last to know unless it is a really big one. Nobody tells us if it's only level 1, 2 or 3, i think. We are pretty safe here in the mountains of Viscya though. It just rains if typhoons come.

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