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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Week 88: Wildfires and Katie's duck friend

AJ's sister, Katie, and a friend.
 Email exchange between AJ and his dad Sunday night:

Evacuations in Colorado Springs.

AJ: Hey pops, u awake still?
DAD: Hey man, I just sent you some stuff a few minutes ago. You get it?
AJ: Yeah of the house? By they way I got a "trunky letter" this last Tuesday. I leave the mission on October 31st. I also got a new comp and I am still here in Roxas.
DAD: Wow, the trunky letter!!! Focus Elder!! hahaha

New comp eh? Another Filipino? Who and where from? Are you disappointed ur not moving?
AJ: A new Philippino comp. He is from Bucolod City, down south on some island. He is a stud and super nice guy, hard-working, too. He is pretty tall (for a Philippino) -- he is like 5-8 and yeah he is cool. I am fine, we have lots of cool investigators here in Roxas so I'm good staying here still. Thats a pretty crazy fire in New Harmony.
DAD: Yeah, that fire was psycho. Only feet from my Mom and Dad's house. The whole state was practically on fire cause it's so dry. Herriman (up by SLC) Oak City (by Delta), Midway (by Manti) all had evacuations and had homes burn and stuff. Biggest fire is in Colorado. Practically the whole city of Colorado Springs went up. I think I have a pic of their evacuations ...
AJ: By the way, is there anything we all need to do if I were to go to BYU in winter? The other missionaries say we are supposed to get on it early. I am still not sure, but just to see if it's a possibility
DAD: I will have Mom check into it. I might be able to get you a job working for my cousins at BYU if you want.
AJ: Yeah see what you can do. That sounds good. By the way what is the name of the St. George Airport? Is is just that or something else. I will see if I can fly right into St Geezy in November.
DAD: Yeah, I think there is a connection flight through L.A. so you should be able to. Officially it is St. George Municipal. The airport code is SGU. Mon thru Fri. it has a flight arrive from LAX at 7:20 p.m.

AJ: I think I will be leaving Cauyan on like a Wednesday and then leave Manila early Thursday morning philippines time then I get a day back or something so we might make it. I am not sure.
DAD: There is only one flight from LA each day. There are like eight from SLC every day.
AJ: Someone was telling me there is like direct flights from Manila or Hong Kong to SLC but I don't know. I guess it doesn't really matter though. They'll figure it out.
DAD: Yeah, Delta does a direct from Honk Kong (Paris too). Talk about a long flight! But then you would just be an hour from home. Or we could meet you in SLC.
AJ: I'll see if they can do STG but SLC is just fine too.
DAD: Friday might be bad during football season ... but we'll make it work.
AJ: So I guess down in Nueva Viscaya, some missionaries were involved in a serious accident earlier this week.

From President Carlos:
“Miracles come to our mission in various ways. To many missionaries, miracles come when they find an investigator who is ready to be taught. To others the miracle happens when an investigator starts keeping commitments and has a change of heart. On Tuesday June 26, another type of miracle came to our mission.

Elder Romano Valdez was doing a companion exchange with Elder Tadena. A fellowshipper was working with them. The three of them walking abreast on the busy road. Elder Valdez suddenly felt impressed to step behind Elder Tadena and move over closer to the side of the road. Just as he stepped over he felt something whiz past him and ruffle his pant leg. He looked up to see a motorcycle speeding ahead and plow right into Elder Tadena and the fellowshipper. The motorcyclist continued on down the road, hitting two students before flipping over the cycle. In the end the two students, the driver of the motorcycle and his passenger were all killed in the accident.”

Elder Tadena was bruised from head to toe, had a severe broken leg which required surgery but is expected to eventually fully recover. The fellowshipper received lacerations and a broken collarbone. Elder Valdez was unhurt. Yes, on Tuesday our mission experienced the miracle of protection. Praise the Lord for watching out for his missionaries!

Colorado Springs fire.
AJ: I guess this Elder Tadena was in pretty bad shape and almost lost his leg, but they said he will be able to walk again. I think they will be sending him to Manila this week. I don't really know him, but I know Elder Valdez. Pretty crazy though. They said the dude on the motorcycle was drunk.
DAD: Wow, lots of miracles this week. Here are a couple more Colorado Springs pix. Very sad and scary.
AJ: Did people die in Colorado Springs? Did it literally take out that city?
DAD: A couple of people died, but most got evacuated before the fire hit homes. Nearly 400 homes were destroyed. This last pic shows it. It's been 72 days since we had any measurable rain here. AJ: Wow, that looks like something out the movies.
By the way Balaich wrote me a letter he said the only time he gets to use Tagalog is on Facebook and he is at the Y.
DAD: Oh, that's too bad. Well I know we have three or four RMs in the ward that went Philippines, but don't know where. Bro. Miller knows Tagalog.
AJ: I am still shocked all the time at how many stinking languages there are in the Philippines. In our little town there is Tagalog, Ilakano and Ibanang and others as well. My comp speaks Cebuano, Illongo, Tagalog. And there are tons of tribes and if you go 30 mins down the road you can find even more different dialects. And it's like that all the way through the Philippines.
Anyway gotta run love you!!!!!!!!

Dear Family,

Wow so what a week. First of all, on Tuesday I got the infamous "trunky letter" and am now considered to be "Pauwi na" or "on the way home" (people have already been doggin me for like 6 months that my mission is almost over).

Second of all, we had transfers on Thursday and Elder Velez was transferred and I am staying here in Roxas for at least another cycle (I am now 6 months in Roxas) and my new companion is Elder Delector from Bacolod City in southernish Philippines. He is 13 months or so in the mission and was the ZL is Bambang (we used to go to district meeting there when I was assigned in Aritao). He is a stud. Super hard working, kind and obedient. He is awesome. It is cool to be with someone fairly young in the mission as well.

Anyway, work has been great and we have awesome investigators here in Roxas. One young man named Mark Deiter, 15, that we have been teaching will be getting interviewed this weekend and baptized on 14th. He lives with a member family and this last Sunday was really cool. Last week we taught him about the Sabbath and keeping it holy and then Sunday at church I was talking to him and asked him what time we could go and teach him later that day and he said that he probably couldn't listen until late because his uncle (member, but inactive) was going to make him sell ice cream after church. So I asked him if he could try to get out of working and he said he would probably get scolded for it. But I said he should try and I thought he was going to be too shy to do it. But when we went to his house later that day he was just chillin at and I asked him why he wasn't selling ice cream and he said that he told his uncle that he doesn't want to work on Sundays anymore. I was so proud of him!

Well I got a bunch more to tell you, but we gotta get going. Love you tons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Griffin property in New Harmony.

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