Well, I've survived my new area so far. ^^'' So far things are going fairly-- WHAT? SORRY, I CAN'T HEAR YOU. CUZ EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES OR SO AN AIRPLANE GOES BY OVERHEAD, AND IT'S REALLY, REALLY LOUD. >.< Our area is right next to the airport, and so airplanes flying overhead are a common thing in this area. o.o It's a bit disruptive to lessons. I've decided I'm not even going to try to talk over the noise, so I'll actually completely stop in mid-sentence and wait for the airplane to go by before I continue. ;P The Filipinos think it's pretty funny when I do that. They're pretty much used to it at this point, so they'll just talk straight through it, so I'll have to strain just a bit to hear them sometimes. Anyway, I'll get used to it eventually.
My new area is pretty fun so far, as is my new companion. I've sorta missed having an American companion. I've only had three so far my whole mission. Not that I don't like working with Filipinos, it's just that sometimes it's nice to just have someone to speak your own native language with.
We've taken a pretty drastic, mission-wide change in focus towards member work, something that I'm actually pretty happy about. Rather than focusing just on tracting and investigators, President's told us to use our time more wisely by working more with the members. He says that if you're just tracting and knocking on doors, you're pretty much wasting your time. There's got to be something better you could be doing with your time. He's told us to focus on referrals, part-member families, recent converts, less-active families, anything, before you just go tracting, because it's far more effective. So that's what we've been doing. We got a hold of a ward directory, and, with the help of the ward clerk, we've figured out which families live in which areas, and we've started visiting them. I'm happy with this change in mission policy, because that's pretty much how I like working anyway. To be honest, tracting is not my favorite activity; I'd much rather work with referrals.
Something hilarious happened the other day. ^^'' Ahahahaha... We were looking for a member family's house, and their neighbors told us that it was in this small alleyway, so we started to go in, but then they were like, "There's a dog there..." I looked at my companion, thinking, "Well, we do need to go find that family so we can meet them... The neighbors warned us again, "There's a dog there..." I shrugged, figuring it shouldn't be too big of a problem. Most dogs here are pretty harmless, and I could probably smack it with my umbrella if it got to close. So we went in anyway. Lo and behold, five seconds later, a dog jumped out of nowhere and started running at us, and we were like, "AAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!! D: RUN AWAAAAAAAY!!!!!" We turned tail and shuffled out of the tiny alleyway as fast as we could, and I told the neighbors, "Hey, look!! There's a dog there!" :D We fortunately escaped with no injuries, though Elder Gillette, who went first, wound up with a few bullet holes in the leg of his pants. Moral of the story: WHEN SOMEONE WARNS YOU ABOUT A DOG, THERE'S USUALLY A REALLY GOOD REASON WHY THEY'RE WARNING YOU ABOUT THE DOG. :D Learn something new every day. ^^''
But anyway, things are going pretty well so far. We have one investigator who Elder Bautista (Elder Gillette's trainer, who was here before me) talked to about two weeks ago. They basically just smiled at her, told her where the church was, and invited her to come on Sunday, but then didn't actually have a chance to teach her since then. Lo and behold, that Sunday, she showed up! o.o Hey! Kamusta?? She really enjoyed it, and then this week, she came again. Wow. We've started teaching her and her husband, who's also interested enough, and I have high hopes for them.
One of the biggest problems we've been having is that most of our investigators are female, and missionaries aren't supposed to visit people of the opposite sex without another person of their own sex present. Makes it hard to teach our investigators when we don't have someone else working with us. Even just visiting members is often difficult, because we have a gigantic Relief Society, and their husbands are usually at work. >.< Grr... We're doing the best we can, though, and we've planned it pretty well this week with the ward missionaries so we always have someone with us.
Glad the concert went well. I find it interesting how I've played all four of the songs the symphonic band played. "Old Churches" is kind of a weird one. We only tried playing it in middle school a few times, so I can't say I've actually heard how the piece is supposed to sound, but it seemed weird when we played it. The rest of those are all pretty darn awesome. :D "October" is beautiful, and "Gandalf" is just awesome. Go French horns! :D
On that note, saw a French horn at the mall today. Made me kinda trunky... :/
Congratulations to Richelle on her pickshure!!!!! :D
Congratulations also to Jared George! Go get 'em! :D I expect to hear you bear your testimony in Coloradean when you get back. ;P
Anyway, that's about it. Loff you all!! :D Ingat kayo lagi!
Elder David Jones
P.S. Life is a lot easier now that I don't have to worry about a certain someone following us around and bothering us and accusing my companion of pretending to be a missionary. :D I'm free!! Free at last!!! >:D Bahahahahaha!!!!! (Don't get me wrong, I loved Molino 1st, but that was driving me crazy...)
(I feel kinda bad for Elder Magbanua and his new companion, who still have to deal with that... >.> )
P.P.S. How do you say "ugly" in Japanese? "Kamukamo!" (Kamukha mo) How do you say "handsome" in Japanese? "Kamukako!" (Kamukha ko) Bahahahaha.... ^^'' Sorry. Just one of them random jokes I've learned that don't make any sense in English... ;P