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Monday, December 12, 2011

Week 59: Cowboys and Filipinos

AJ: Hey, how's it going?! Merry Christmas.
DAD: Hey, you're on early. It's halftime and Cowboys lead Giants 17-15.
AJ: Hey, tell happy birthday to Holly!
DAD: Yep, she is in kitchen with Mom making a yummy Oreo ice cream cake.
AJ: Sweet! Oreo ice cream cake masarap.
Eighth birthday for Holly (in the middle)

DAD: She wanted to help Mommy with her own cake.
AJ: It's Holly's birthday already here. Hey you got any new pics lately?
DAD: Let me try and send some from my phone. What about you?
(we exchange pix)
AJ: Ah, oh yeah, I got your pix. Thanks! Cool. Oh, and rumor on the street is that people close to the mission home get to have Christmas and maybe New Year's eve at the mission home. I've never been close to the mission home until now – haha.
DAD:Wouldn't that be nice, get a little taste of home around the holidays. I hear Sis. Carlos is a great cook, too.
AJ: Yeah, she wrote some cook books. I saw them! She is an amazing cook.
DAD: I bet she enjoys feeding all you boys, too.
AJ: It's probably hard for her, not having all the ingredients she wants here.
Yeah, that's true, although that Save More has a lot of stuff doesn't it? BTW, Cowboys up 27-22, early 4th quarter, Giants driving …
AJ: Is Felix Jones any good nowadays? Or Miles Austin?
DAD: Austin just caught a TD pass, but he's been out a month with a leg injury. YEAHHHHHHHH!
COWBOYS JUST GOT AN INTERCEPTION. Dallas ball, 7 min left.
AJ: I've only been to the nice Save More once and it's been almost a year so -- I can't remember. The one in Viscaya is way smaller. It is way better than other grocery stores here, but still isn't as cool as America. And sampre – no milk.
DAD: DEZ BRYANT 50 yard TD from ROMO, Cowboys up 34-22
AJ: Turn out the lights, the party is over!
DAD: Romo is playing great! Cowboys will be 2 games up with three left in the NFC East if they can hold on.
AJ: I am so out of it. I thought the Cowboys were bad. I don't know anything about BYU either. High school basketball probably has started by now, too.
DAD: Yeah , I mentioned HS hoops in my letter. BYU hoops is good, they are 7-2, lost to USU in Logan and No. 5 Wisconsin. Beat the Utes by 20 Saturday, but Utah is pretty lousy.
AJ: Dang it! BYU always loses to USU. They need to cut that out.
Giants scored quick, now 34-29 with three minutes left. Dallas needs two 1st downs.
AJ: Wild game, huh?
DAD: Uh oh, Cowboys have to punt, Giants ball with 2:12 left, killing me – agh!
AJ: Gosh. The Cowboys always let people back into the game.
DAD: Giants at 1-yard line.
AJ: Grabi (holy cow)!
DAD: Giants up 37-34 with 46 sec left and kicking off, Dallas no time outs ... it don't look good.
Blocked kick saves game for Giants.
AJ: Oh no.
DAD: Romo gets it down to field goal range -- 42 yarder to tie and get OT -- kick blocked, giants win, CRAP!
AJ: Boo!! By they way we are here in Santiago. Wooden and his comp just walked in here in the computer shop.
DAD: Major bummer with the Cowboys. Romo had a great game, but missed a wide open Miles Austin in the final moments that would have won the game, overthrew it by five yards. Oh well, it's only a game, right?
AJ: Super Bummer!
DAD: Mom and the boys went to bed.
AJ: We gotta leave, too. Love ya! We are going to MACDOS with Wooden!
DAD: Bye son, love u!

Dear Family!

Merry Christmas!

So we had a baptism this week! I only taught him like 3 times but it's still cool! He is a stud. Elmer Limon is his name (see picture!). He has been going to seminary for 6 months to a year. He said his family isn't really interested, but his mom listens sometimes and she came to the baptism, which was really cool. We will keep trying to teach his family. We have a lot of cool newlywed part-member families that seem pretty cool. We have a lot of current investigators, plus a lot of new ones. Just trying to get people to church.

So yesterday was Elder Valdez's birthday. He turned 20. We bought a big cake and he made fruit salad (not really fruit salad like we know, but fruit with cream and tons of condensada [sweetened condensed milk]) and we gave some to the young men and our dinner appointment. By the way, we got a super cool referral from them last night (the Ramos family).

Oh, I have a funny story. So my last P-day with Elder Wooden, we had just played football and I had a decent cut on my knee, plus it was covered in mud. So I was sitting on the steps at the bank while Elder Wooden was getting money from the ATM and I was pouring alcohol on my cut, trying to get rid of the dirt and stuff. This bank dude in Tagalog asks what happened. I say, “Oh, we were just playing football and I got a cut,” in Tagalog. Then he pauses for a second and then says really loud in English "THAT'S DISGUSTING!" and then walks off. I was shocked. I was like, Wow, thanks dude.” hahahahaha. It was pretty funny.

Tuesday I had my first ever district meeting with me running the show. It was about the divine companionship and the spirit. I mostly used a talk of Elder Hollands that he gave in the mission president's seminar. We played a 3-legged race and turned it into an object lesson and I brought lots of candy. Then we practiced teaching with more unity. Elder Holland says every 1 or 2 minutes a question should be asked, testimony borne, scripture used or a switch to the other companion made. It was a lot less stressful than I thought it would be. Elder and Sister Breese (the senior couple in this area) were really helpful and gave lots of great insights. But it was hard to teach in straight English. I screwed up my English a few times and kept wanting to just speak Taglish. Haha. I haven't had a baptismal interview yet, but I probably will have some on Saturday, I think.

Elder Valdez is pretty cool. He is from Laguna, Sta Rosa, about an hour out of Manila. He is pretty funny and I have learned tons of Tagalog from him. He is pure Tagalog (no other dialects). For his birthday I gave him a wooden snake from Banaue and some movies (Joseph Smith, Legacy, Mountain of the Lord and stuff). He was super excited for the cake and stuff.

We cleaned up our apartment and it looks really good now. There was so much garbage and stuff. It's sweet now, though, but still has lots of rats. Haha

It's been really rainy and really cool this week. A few days it really poured hard.

When you first get transferred in a area, everybody always asks what area you are in and how long you have been out. It's my fourth area now and I've been out for over a year (including the MTC). Everybody is always like, “Ah! malapit na!” (It's close) like you've been out a long time. I feel like I am still new sometimes. It doesn't feel like I have been out that long. Time is really on a different scale here on the mission!

Well, I have loved my mission so far and would advise all young men to prepare! It's been so awesome. I have seen miracles and met people that I know I was meant to find! I am a lot different and better person than I was before and I know that this work is true!

It absolutely is thrilling and exciting to go tracting and know that you could change someone's life and eternity! This is the greatest work ever! And I am glad the Lord wants me to be a part of it.

The church is true!

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