Hmm.. Last week's email did seem a bit homesick and whatnot. I think I was just tired when I wrote that... Though we do groan in despair whenever airplanes go by.. ^^'' I'll hit my seven month mark on Friday, and (ironically enough), my 5-month mark in the field (and in Boni 4th) on my birthday, August 10th.
We spent an obnoxious amount of time searching for a computer shop today.. The one we usually use was full, as were four others that we checked around the area. It took us at least 15 minutes to find this one. :P We kinda felt like shoving some little 6-year-olds off of their Facebook or Halflife 2 or Left for Dead or whatever so we could email. Our weekly contact with family seemed a little more important than their video games that they can play anytime. But fortunately, we eventually found a shop with available computers, so we didn't have to make any Filipino kids cry.
Since it was P-day, we splurged a bit and went to Pizza Hut. It was delicious. Mmmmm... Pizza Hut... Now I'm down 200 pesos, but it was oh, so good... :D
Restaurants tend to be pretty pricey around here, and they only give you these little portions of food for the money you spend (at Pizza Hut, they had the smallest breadsticks I've ever seen..). It's like, whaaaat? I spent 150 pesos for a smaller-than-average, slightly disgusting cheeseburger and fries? (McDo's is as nasty over here as it is over there... There's also another fast-food restaurant here called Jolly Bee, which is equally disgusting...). The best restaurant here is called Mang-Inasal, which has traditional Filipino barbeque meals for fairly cheap, and they offer unlimited rice with certain meals. It's about the only restaurant around here that can fill you up without completely emptying your wallet.
We had two people baptized last Saturday, Brother Errol Tenorio and Sister Vilma Janem, both referrals. Errol is nine; his family had gone inactive before, and with the members' help, we reactivated them, and taught their 9-year old son, who hadn't been baptized before when he was eight, and their now-8-year old daughter, Jannah, whose birthday was on the day of the baptism (she doesn't count as a convert baptism because she just turned 8). Vilma was referred by a couple who is employing her as house-help. She's attending institute and single-adult activities, and the people who referred her are very strong, so I have no doubt she'll be able to stay active.
We've been having a bit of a struggle getting a few of our other recent converts to stay active, though.. It's apparently a common syndrome around here that just after someone gets baptized, they are immediately blessed and find a job, which makes it so they can no longer go to church on Sundays, and therefore go inactive. Makes me want to tear my hair out. D:
This last week, we've been trying to visit one of our investigators, Sister Jackie (her last name escapes me at the moment). At the start, a few months ago now, she was really strong. As we were talking with one of our other investigators, who lives next door to her, she approached us (which never happens), and asked, essentially,
"Mormons ba kayo? Mormon din ang asawa ko, at gusto kong magsimba ang pamilya namin. Pwede n'yo ba kaming turuan?" (Are you Mormons? My husband's a mormon, too, and I'd like our family to start going to church. Can you come teach us?"
"...Yes. Yes, we'd love to..."
She developed a strong testimony of the truth, and she and her less-active husband, Robert, were progressing really well. Lately, though, it's seemed that something was bothering her, and we weren't sure exactly what. This last week, when we came by, she was always busy getting her 4-year old son ready for school, or Robert was getting ready to leave for work, or whatever else. And she really seemed different than before. As I thought and prayed about it, I realized what it was. Between her son, who's super-high energy, starting kindergarten, her currently being pregnant with another kid, her husband working, her managing their small store at their house, and whatever else, she was really stressed. On Saturday, we finally managed to visit her again, and the lesson we taught was really encouraging. She still has that testimony that she'd gained from going to church and reading the Book of Mormon, and she still has the desire to continue learning about the gospel; her concern is just how busy her life has been. We shared a really inspired message about peace. When the Nephites, whose very lives and homes and families were in danger, prayed unto the Lord for help, He did "speak peace" unto their souls (Alma 58:11), and reassured them concerning the future, saying that He would deliver them from their enemies. A reassuring message for all of us that we can seek true peace from the gospel, from keeping His commandments and trusting in Him.
"Waterfall"'s going a lot better than I expected. I can play all of it pretty well now except for the end. It's taken me a lot less time to learn it than I thought it would (because John Schmidt's insane). Unfortunately, the ending is the hardest part. Next week, I'll probably be able to learn the rest of it. For now, though, I get to be driven nuts by the fact that I'm SOOO CLOSE, AND YET SOOO FAAAAR.... D:
...Band camp's starting this week?! Summer went pretty fast, didn't it? (Well, all year's pretty much summer over here...) GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!! WORK HARD AND DON'T TRY TO KILL EACH OTHER. HUWAG MAG-AWAY. :O
I'm slightly jealous that Elder Oaks is visiting there for Stake Conference, but not nearly as jealous as I'd be if I didn't get to see Elder L. Tom Perry speak at the MTC. ;P Good luck to the Stake Choir. :D
Anyway, MY BIRTHDAY'S NEXT WEEK!! :D :D :D ...Won't be the same out here, but I'm still looking forward to it nonetheless.
About out of time for now. I think next week's P-day is Wednesday again, so until then, ingat!
Elder David Jones