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Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 43: BYU football and an ugly dog

AJ doing a little language study in the missionary apartment.
AJ: Hey pops, you still awake? (It's about 11 p.m.)
DAD: Yep, I'm up editing some stories. How's it going?
AJ: Pretty good. We climbed a mountain today. It was hard. Bummer about Pine View losing to East.
DAD: The PV game was really good even though they lost. They let East score late so they could get the ball back. It was 28-27 after a blocked extra point. I'll try to keep you updated on football. Here's a copy of my story: (I sent AJ the actual text of the Pine View story I wrote for the DesNews. Here's a link if you're interested)
AJ: Cool. It's weird to think it's football season now. I am probably the only person that owns a football for at least 100 miles. Sweet. Sounds like a sick game. Sounds also like Pine View doesn't have a kicker?
DAD: Kicker did OK. The last kick was blocked after a bad snap/hold. By the way, BYU starts in 13 days – against Ole Miss.
AJ: Oh, can you send me their schedule? The APs and President Carlos wanted to know my pick for their record this year, but I haven't seen the schedule yet. I think I told them 8-4, but I don't know if they got some tough ones or what?
Sent BYU schedule.
AJ: BYU can probably pull out 8-4 no problem with that schedule.
DAD: I think the very best we can hope for is 10-2, but 7-5 could also happen if they don't gel early. Ole Miss will be tough at their place and Central Florida is actually really good.
AJ: Oh, and that's mean, giving me all this temptation – hyperlinked texts to! haha
DAD: Sorry, tried to cut and paste like three other things, but none of them would work until that one. Not much to talk about yet anyway, with the season still two weeks away.
AJ sent pix
DAD: looks like some good eats! And it looks like you're wearing your poor trainee out. That's good!
AJ: Ha, yeah, I am worn out, too. I always go to bed as soon as possible after we are done work and planning. Usually before 10. Then we get up at 6:30. It's always a solid 8 hours, but I am always way tired. That's the good life i guess :)
DAD: Yeah, nothing like a good day's work. Go to bed tired, then get up ready to go!
AJ: About the pix, the cakes turned out awesome. We ate them on splits with Elder Fry (a red-headed American who is brand new – 2 or 3 weeks into his mission). Also some of the nachos. Later we had a huge thing of macaroni and more nachos with Elder Fantony. He didn't really like it. I guess it had too much flavor ...
DAD: How soon til transfers? Think they'll leave you one more cycle?
AJ: Sept. 8 is transfer day. I hope I have a bit longer left here in Aritao. It's a little hot here, but it's supposed to be downright miserable in Isabella and Cagayan Valley. Also, we are going to Santiago for some reason this Thursday. The zone leaders just said we have some meeting there, but I am not really sure why. I guess also in September there will be 2 transfer days (3 weeks apart), and then there won't be another transfer day for 9 weeks. Weird, eh? Somebody told me a reason and it didn't really make sense, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
DAD: Sounds like maybe you will stay for the 3 weeks and then get shipped out before the long one, eh? How far is Santiago? Isn't that where Sis. Martinez (MTC friend) is/was?
AJ: That's where she was. Now, she is like a block away from the mission home. Santiago is about a 3-hour bus ride away. Cauayan is a 4-hour ride. Either way, it's a long ways away.
DAD: Any leg room on those buses?
AJ: Not much. I hate them. They stop like every 5 minutes, too. It takes forever to get anywhere.
DAD: I imagine it's especially cramped there with no tall people around. Poor guy. I don't much like airplanes either because of the legroom problem.
AJ: Yeah. I will say the airplane is way more cramped than the bus. That 16-hours from LA to Hong Kong sucked. I don't want to come home now – haha. It was long and so cramped. The bus is way nicer than the airplane. By the way, I love our mission president. He was telling us how sometimes when he is working on the computer sometimes the viruses attack him and all the sudden gets opened. Or sometimes he said all the sudden his speakers say, "This is Greg Wrubel from Cougar Stadium.” -- haha.
DAD: I'm actually gonna miss some of their games because they play a few on Friday nights when I will be broadcasting high school. But we'll keep you posted.
AJ: OK, Dad, we're outta here. Love ya!
DAD: Hey wait! I got your letter, but you haven't answered our questions for the week. Gonna answer the questions?
AJ: Oh dang it, I forgot. We are outta here now. Next week I'll answer them. Sorry.
DAD: K, Love ya!!!

Hey family, time goes so fast. Yet another great week here in Aritao. We found 3 really cool families that seem receptive to us and the Gospel. And we found this family this week that had been former investigators in Pangaisanan and they didn't know that there was an LDS church here. On the first visit, they said they wanted to be baptized and we gave them a date. But they did disappear on Sunday, so that was a bummer.

I am just really happy right now. It seems like we are teaching more families than I have my whole mission. Hopefully they will all progress.
We are also trying to teach this old couple who are investigating the Church. They are like 75 or so. They are a referral and the husband is an ex capitan of the barangay (village). That's kind of like being mayor, but of that barangay only. Anyway, we have been teaching them for a long time now and it's kind of hard to reach them. They aren't real great at Tagalog (their native language is Ilakano) and the wife is really slow at picking stuff up. As an example, some neighbor of her's said that she heard that Joseph Smith is thought of as a god, so we had to explain to her like 5 times that Joseph Smith is a prophet, not a god. I think she is still confused.

At first, the husband always kinda wanted to argue and wouldn't accept the Book of Mormon. But now he has read the BOM almost halfway through Mosiah and says he knows it's true. He finally came to church and it took him awhile to accept a date. His first answer was, “We'll see,” then his answer was, “It's coming.” Yesterday his answer was, “Yes, it's coming.” Elder Fantony said that means 75% yes. The BOM is so powerful, though.

Tuesday we went on splits. Me and the District Leader traded Anaks (sons/trainees) for the day, so me and Elder Fry worked in Aritao. He is brand new, fresh from the USA. We got rained on and most of our appointments were no-shows but it was still good. We just mostly tracted, but we found some cool people that would listen to us. Then we had nachos and cake for dinner! Go America!

Speaking of America ... This guy in our branch that has a car worked with us all day on Sunday. It was so weird. We got in tons of lessons and we didn't even hardly break a sweat. I didn't really like getting out of the car with every one watching, especially all the newer investigators. They probably think we are rich now. But yeah, cars are awesome!

Well, I am running outta time, so I gotta say: Thank you Mom and Dad for all you do and for all your sacrifices for me and my brothers and sisters. I love you. I know the church is true and I am happy to be a part of it. I am especially happy to be a missionary of the true gospel.

Love you!

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