Monday, November 1, 2010

Fw: :P


Urgh... :P So I did, in fact, email you guys last week, and attached a bunch of pictures with the email--too many, as it turns out--and when I got on today, I discovered with oh-so-pleasant surprise that the email failed.  So last week's email is tacked on to the end of this week's, minus a bunch of pictures. :P

Aaaanyway, so this last week we had interviews with President.  He told me I would probably be getting a new companion next transfer, since Elder Feinga is ready for a new area.  He says he usually doesn't keep missionaries in an area for more than two transfers.  I reminded him that I'd hung out in Boni 4 for four transfers (I just realized that the number of transfers I've stayed in an area so far has directly corresponded to the number of the ward... Boni 4... Pasig 1... Huh... o.o ), to which he was like, "Yeah, well, that was different."  He says he's thinking of putting me together with someone in my batch, possibly one of my MTC companions.  So I may end up with Elder Buzbee or Elder Palmer again, which should be pretty fun.

This last week was alright.  On Wednesday morning, we went to an appointment and got punted, so we were about to just head to the next appointment.  As we walked, we passed by someone who was hanging out in a parked tricycle, and as we passed, he called us over (not the usual "Hey, Joe!"  He asked, "Pwede bang magtanong? (May I ask a question?)" We stopped and turned around, and I said, "Pwede. (You can.)"  He then asked, "Paano ba maliligtas ang tao? (How can a man be saved?)"  I answered that a man can be saved through the Atonement of Jesus Christ by obeying the principles and ordinances of the gospel.  He then started asking us a lot of questions, and I said, "Well, can we come over and share a message with you?"  He said yes, and gave us a ride in his tricycle over to his house.  As we shared, he wanted to know more about the Mormons, why we were called that, what is the Book of Mormon, etc, so we shared with him the Book of Mormon and did our best to answer his questions.  He's a little bit slow to believe in anything but the Bible (he threw everyone's favorite "You can't add or take away" verse from Revelations at us, which we then explained simply refers to the Book of Revelations, not the whole Bible), but he still seemed genuinely interested, so we asked if we could come back at a later date and explain more.

When we came back yesterday, we taught from 2 Nephi 31, which explains the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He had many questions, many of them somewhat specifically asking about what happens if you sin after you've already repented of a sin, asking, "Is there still forgiveness for that sin?" and "How do you avoid sin?".  All of his questions, though, were somewhat hypothetical, saying, "What if someone sins..." etc. We shared with him a number of verses from the Book of Mormon and from the Bible, not only answering his questions and reassuring him that repentance is always available, but also showing him how the two books support each other as equal volumes of scripture.  It was a very long lesson, because he had a lot of questions, but I felt like he was touched by the doctrine.  After the closing prayer, he then admitted that he'd asked those questions not for any sort of intellectual purpose or anything, but because he really wanted to know.  "I've made a lot of mistakes before," he said, "and the reason I called you over was to find out what your view on it was, whether I can still be forgiven for those things."  I have high hopes for him now.

Earlier this morning, we took a trip over to Naic, and I finally got to see the ocean for the first time in months.  :D  Yaaaay!  We're, of course, not allowed to go swimming :((((( but we were allowed to wade in the water, just as long as it didn't get up past our knees.  The water here is amazingly warm (making it all the more depressing that we're not allowed to swim... :P ), sorta like it was down in Southern California, only warmer.  I was like, woah, I'm not used to being able to wade through the ocean without jumping straight back out because it's COLD.  I'll have to come back here sometime, if for nothing else then to just go swimming in warm ocean water.  :D  I picked up a few seashells (really nice seashells, too), which I'll probably send home along with other things in a Christmas package.

Ah, and yes, I DID go on a beach trip in November without freezing to death.  That's right.  Be jealous.

Speaking of which, welcome to November!  :D  Today is All Saints' Day (which they actually celebrate over here), so we struggled a bit to find an open computer shop, because the nearby shopping center where we usually go is closed today.  Yesterday, I decided to follow your advice, and after Elder Feinga and I finished with all our appointments, we switched name tags, just to say we dressed up as each other.  ;P  The Men in Black look is a bit harder to pull off out here, since we don't wear jackets.

This (well, actually, Saturday) marks my 10-month mark.  This transfer's gone especially fast, I think my fastest so far.  Someone came by and ate October, I think.  o.o  The year mark is approaching surprisingly fast.  It's a little weird...  14 months na lang.

Anyway, I'm about out of time na.  Hopefully this email won't be stupid and fail again.  I used to have like seven pictures attached, so now I've reduced it to about two.

Inggatz!  :D

Elder David Jones

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Andrew Jones <>
Date: Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 2:07 PM
Subject: Mag-email na naman kayo... :P
To: Lisa Jones <>

Hey! :D

So I made a mistake and email'd too early today... :P So I'm hoping I get an email from you guys today before my time expires...

I've been doing fairly well so far.  We went on exchanges a lot this last week.  On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Teaching Assistants.  I worked with Elder Riparip (ri-PAR-ip), who was pretty cool.  We taught a few really effective lessons and I learned quite a bit from him.  I don't quite know the area yet, since I've only been here about three weeks, and since I have no sense of direction, so we spent a bit of time walking while I tried to remember which subdivision one of our investigators lives in.  :P  Then once we found the right subdivision, we spent another 15 minutes or so trying to remember exactly where his house is located.  I knew what it looked like from the outside, I just forgot where it was.  Huwag n'yo ako husganan... :P  Eventually we found the house and taught a good lesson.  It just took a little while..

Then on Thursday, we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I worked in their area for two days with Elder Hopkins.  I don't envy them... A large part of their area is a squatters' area, with tons of small houses just sorta jammed together, one right next to the other.  The alleyways between houses were very skinny (you can't even get through them with an umbrella, so even if it's raining, you have to close your umbrella and sorta sneak through), which is all kinds of fun when there's someone trying to come through the other way.  The area is close to the ocean, and a good part of the squatters' area is raised about three feet above the ground (or water) with sticks.  The pathway is made up of large, rectangular, cement blocks placed one after another, also raised about three feet off the ground.  And it's a squatters' area, so the whole place is a garbage can.  The thrill of crossing a narrow, cement bridge about a foot wide over a pool of garbage, waste, and dead animal-filled water that I would rather die than fall into is difficult to describe... :D  Much of the time I kept telling myself, "Don't fall in, don't fall in, don't fall in..."  It was fun.  :D

Staying in their apartment was interesting, as well.  First of all, it doesn't have a shower... Instead, you get to scoop freezing-cold water out of a big tub and pour it over your head until you're clean.  :D  Also, their apartment leaks a lot when it rains, and the other two elders killed a rat at some point while Elder Hopkins and I were out.  Needless to say, I was glad to get home on Friday night after the exchanges...

The company at the other apartment was good, though.  Aside from Elder Hopkins, Elder Smith and his anak (trainee fresh from the MTC), Elder McGowan, also live in that apartment.  They're a highly amusing companionship, especially Elder McGowan.  Much of the time we were in the apartment was spent laughing at his amusing and slightly egotistical comments.  He's really super cheap;  he buys all the discount brands and stuff at stores, such as "ECONOLOAF", which is probably the very cheapest bread you'll ever find around here, and is about as nutritious as eating a piece of paper.  Elder McGowan describes it as "Not really bread, more like just some kind of  transport unit to carry the bananas and peanut butter into my mouth."  He also buys really cheap peanut butter (which actually doesn't taste that bad), and he takes an amusing amount of pride in his peanut butter.  Friday afternoon, Elder Hopkins bought a jar of slightly fancier peanut butter, and Elder McGowan was like, "What?  Do you not see the large jar of peanut butter I have in the fridge?  Why did you buy that one?"  "'Cuz this one's better!"  "Oh yeah??"  I guess you'd have to be there to appreciate how highly amusing it all was.  He's apparently like this all day; working with him is probably an interesting task. According to Elder Smith, "You never know where the lesson's gonna go..."

I finally got to meet the ward this week!  :D  My first two weeks, we had General Conference and then Stake Conference, so yesterday was my first actual sacrament meeting with the Molino 1st ward.  :P  When I went up to bear my testimony, I was like, "So, I've actually been here for a few weeks now, but now you actually get to know who I am!  :D "  We had a successful correlation meeting with the bishop and ward mission leader after church and figured out how we can better work with the ward to help missionary work.  I'm hoping now that we can finally work better with the ward members, it'll help our progress a lot.  Yesterday, we also met Brother Ed, one of the ward missionaries, who told us he had some referrals for us.  We went with him after church to go meet them.  I asked him how he knew the referrals, and he said, "OYM."  He'd simply talked to some people he met out on the street or while he was working and shared short messages with them and offered to have them be taught by the missionaries.  They agreed, so he introduced them to us.  I was impressed.  There's a perfect example of someone who takes his calling of ward missionary seriously.

Still haven't gotten your email yet, and I'm kind of hoping to soon... D:

In the meantime, I'm-a attachin' some picturz...

(1) Cavite.  As I said, the sight of open fields was a very welcome one.

(2) My current companion, Elder Feinga.  The nanay on the right is the Young Women's president, I think.  I don't know everyone in the ward quite yet.

In other news, just got your email... :D

Hmm.. Sorry the competition didn't go so well yesterday (or, the other day for me...).  :/  Just put that one behind you and look forward for Auburn.  I know you guys'll do great.  It's been my experience that the second to the last competition, regardless of where it's held, always goes terribly for some reason, and then Auburn always goes really well.  Just keep going!  YOU CAN DO IT!!!

(Don't worry, Leah, I've moved during halts before, too.  Happens to the best of us... ;P )

Huh.. I didn't know President was sending a letter about me.. o.o

As far as Christmas goes, (other than John Schmidt CD's :D ), I'm not really sure what I want this year... :/  All my clothes are still in pretty good shape (I'm actually hoping they last the full two years...), and anything I need replaced can be pretty easily purchased here.  I'll let you know if I need anything, though.  Candy is always welcome.  :D  Also, I talked to Richelle about this before, but I would like a recording of the marching show this year so I know what it sounds like.  :D

Anyway, that's it for this week.  I'm actually quite a bit over time since I waited for your guys' email.  I'll try to make sure to email later in the day from now on.. :/

Until next week, ingat!

Elder David Jones

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