Monday, December 13, 2010

Fw: Greetings


'Ello!!  :D

So things have been going pretty good.  Today we went down to the beach again in Naic.  It was pretty as usual, though it didn't have the same OMG I HAVEN'T SEEN THE OCEAN IN ABOUT A YEAR effect that it did last time.  That and earlier in the planning process, the zone had mentioned going hiking, and I'd somehow missed the memo that we were just going to the beach again, so I showed up all geared up in jeans and shoes and everything, and then I found out that we were just going to the beach.  ...Oh.  Well, that would've been nice to know beforehand... :P  But, anyway, it was still pretty fun.  The only problem is that it ate up the majority of our P-day... >.>

You'll actually find that I'm not fond of zone activities in general... They're fun enough, but you have to go through all kinds of planning, and then the headache of bringing food, traveling to the location, etc, etc, and then they always end up taking so long that you don't have any more time to take care of the things that you're ACTUALLY supposed to do on P-days... :P  So I try to argue against having any more than one activity per transfer.  Sometimes, unfortunately, I end up losing that argument...

I got my camera back!  :D  For those who didn't hear the story, since I didn't include it in my last general email, basically, I took my camera in to get it fixed, thinking that the shop I took it to was a fairly legitimate place, but they took FOREVER fixing it, over a month, saying they were waiting for a part to come in, and then one day, they disappeared completely.  Fortunately, I had the guy's number, and so some of the church members who live close to us (to whom I'm very grateful) kept texting him and calling him and bothering him until he finally told us to meet him at the store, and he returned the camera AND the 1000 peso down payment I gave him.  So now I have the camera again.  Yaaay!!  :D  Unfortunately, the part he was waiting for never came in, so the problem still isn't fixed.  Actually, upon review, the guy was a moron to begin with.  He insisted that the problem was with the LCD, not with anything else, but when you look through the pictures, the black splotches ZOOM IN AND OUT WITH THE PICTURES.  It wouldn't do that if it was really the LCD.  So now, after a month-and-a-half-long mess, the problem still isn't solved, and I've been without a camera for a month and a half.  That's a lot of stuff that happened that I didn't have a chance to take pictures of.  :P  Oh well.. Minsan ganyan ang buhay.  So now I just need to go find someone who ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE DOING and have them clean it out.

...Anyway... Now that I'm done ranting... ^^''

We had interviews with President last week.  He says that I'll probably get a new companion next transfer, since Elder Sanz has been in Cavite Zone since the dawn of time.

It's a weird feeling sometimes... I've still got 13 months to go, but a part of my brain keeps thinking that I've only got a few weeks left... Like, I keep imagining what it'll be like to come home (and freeze to death and try not to speak Tagalog at everyone and hunt down anyone and everyone who does speak Tagalog so I can speak Tagalog at them, etc...).  It's weird... o.o  Don't worry, I'm not getting homesick any more than is healthy. ^^''  It's just some sort of weird phase, I guess.

Someone in my last area mentioned that in my homecoming talk, I should be like, "Brothers and Sisters, mga baliw kayong lahat!  Pati ikaw din, Bishop.  Baliw ka rin."  :D  (Brothers and Sisters, you're all crazy!  Including you, Bishop.  You're crazy, too).  Then everyone would be like, "Wow, he's so fluent in Tagalog!!  Look how far he came on his mission!!"  I actually considered it for a while before someone mentioned that I'd probably get in trouble for doing that... ^^''

This last week, we've picked up quite a number of new investigators, a lot of which have pretty good potential.  One of them, when we taught them, said one of those things that every missionary loves hearing, "I'm really grateful you came.  I'll be waiting for you at your next visit."  The whole reason we do finding is in the hopes of being led to those kinds of people, the people who are just waiting to hear the gospel.  Our next appointment is later tonight.  It would be a grave mistake to miss that appointment.

We also contacted a recent referral that we received from Sister McFate, who's serving in Pasay Zone.  His name's June Maniego.  She'd met him and talked with him, and then gotten his address and forwarded it to our area.  We texted him Wednesday morning and asked if we could come by, and he said, "Sure, come by at around 3:00."  Alright.  We moved around a few appointments to come visit him at 3:00.  When we got there, he was waiting for us.  He's a musician, primarily a guitar player.  Right now he teaches piano lessons, "Not," he told us, "because I'm a pianist, but because I can read the notes."  Mostly, he teaches people how to read the notes, a skill he learned through self-study, and a skill which is notably lacking here in the Philippines.  A good amount of people who play piano do it by ear, but they never actually learn how to read music.  So he's teaching piano lessons for the time being to support himself while he looks for other opportunities.  He's also an entrepreneur, and knows a lot about business tactics and working with people.  He says through the things he's learned from that, he's found a way to freedom; he's not tied down by a set work schedule.  He said he also moved a few appointments around to see us that day.  He's found a way to make his schedule really flexible.  He says he's heard a lot about the Church and about Joseph Smith, and he's read parts from the Book of Mormon, and he says he really enjoyed it, saying that it seems more real to him than the Bible, that it more closely deals with current issues.  He says he's read the Bible many times before, and knows pretty much all of the stories in it, and he says he liked the Book of Mormon because it was something new, something more.  He also expressed interest in talking with me in particular, since I'm also a musician, one from another culture, and he says he could probably learn quite a few things from me.  I'm definitely not opposed to that, though I'll have to keep in mind that I'm still a missionary and need to keep the focus on the gospel.  ^^''  It's interesting how both missionaries that he came in contact with, Sister McFate and I, are musicians... He, um, also mentioned that since I'm an American, he also made the automatic Filipino stereotypical connection that I'm rich (*cough...*), and mentioned that if I ever happened to come across a nice guitar, he'd be interested in buying it off me for a price lower than normal, as a means of "helping each other out."  I told him he probably shouldn't keep his hopes up. :P  Anyway, he has a lot of potential.

It's nice to really be able to see the Lord's hand in this work.  This truly is His work, and He is preparing His people to receive His gospel.  It's up to us to do the work of harvesting.

I didn't get a chance to send my package last week (I was going to, but apparently the mission office doesn't send packages for you like they used to... :P ).  Mostly, whenever there was time, I asked around to figure out where a post office was.  I found one.  :D  So tomorrow afternoon, right before we head out to go to work, I'll ship it out.  I'm hoping it won't be deliciously expensive to send... :D

In other news, there's a certain corner outside our apartment, kind of in the front-porchy-type area, that's continually covered in ants.  Unfortunately, you also have to pass by that particular corner on your way in and out of the apartment every day.  And it presents itself as a nice spot to lean on sometimes... So every once in a while, I'll look down and be like, "WHY AM I COVERED IN ANTS AGAIN??" Or worse, sometimes I'll have an occasional brain lapse and accidentally lean on that corner, usually while waiting for someone or something like that, and then something in my brain will click, and I'll look down and be like, "AAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!" and spend the next few minutes brushing an army of ants off of my arm.  Fortunately, they don't bite like those friendly ones I found in Pasig did.  :D  But having little ant feet crawling all over you isn't the most masarap feeling in the world..

...Anyway, I'm about out of time now...  They've moved next week's P-Day to Christmas day, so I won't have any more chance to email until then, and I'll call you all before then.  :D  So, until then, MALIGAYANG PASKO!!! :D Mahal ko kayo!  Ingat!

Elder David Jones


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