Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fw: Happy 4th of July

Herro!  :D

Happy Fourth of July!!!  :D  We celebrated on Monday by taking an American flag to district meeting.  We used a tree branch as a flagpole and walked from our apartment to the chapel with Elder Leavitt, dressed in a red tie, white shirt, and blue pants, leading the way, bearing the flag.  There were five of us Americans (and Elder Bills, who's also white, but from New Zealand), all meandering down the road with an American flag.  Needless to say, we got a number of weird looks.  :D  ...Which isn't too much different from normal, since a lot of people stare at us as we pass by anyway, since we're white.  ;P  Then, after the district meeting, we went to Shakey's pizza and had deliciously expensive pizza to celebrate.  Mmmm... Expensive pizza.... ;D

...Not too many people here blowing themselves up with fireworks, though.  ;P  That's what New Year's is for.

President Howard went home on Friday.  :(  I'll miss him a lot.  He was fun.  So now we have a new mission president, President Stucki.  I haven't met him yet.  There was on opportunity to meet him last Saturday at the temple tour for investigators, but we didn't have any investigators that we could bring with us, so we didn't go.  From what I hear, he's pretty cool.  He's established a few new policies already, probably based on instructions he received from the First Presidency.  First of all, caribou belts, which are really cool-looking belts made out of caribou horns, are no longer allowed to be worn in the mission.  The reason is, there was apparently a group of missionaries in the Quezon City Mission that had formed a sort of "let's be disobedient" group, and they used the caribou belts as sort of a symbol for their group.  The First Presidency wants to stomp out any sort of secret combinations, so caribou belts are off-limits.  Second, the only music he's allowing is Mormon Tab and variations and arrangements on hymns.  Which kinda slays half the music I brought, including all the John Schmidt CD's you sent me.  :/  Kind of a bummer, but that's the way it goes.

The work is finally starting to pick up a bit in our area.  The two part-member families we found are really starting to progress.  The one family, the Gonzaga family, went to church without us even teaching them a single lesson.  They were always busy with their sewing shop, so we couldn't teach them, but we told them where the church was, and they came.  The other family across the street came, too (except Sister Monalisa's husband, who had somewhere he needed to go), including Mona's sister, Claire, who we met on Friday.  Claire is really receptive to the gospel.  She really enjoyed church on Sunday, really felt the Spirit.  She really has high potential as an investigator, and will probably be baptized.  Unfortunately, she informed us on Monday that she's going to be working in Makati, starting next week, and will be staying there.  She'll only be able to come back here once a month.  :/  Bummer.  She'll still get baptized, I'm sure.  Just... in Makati.  Not here.  What's interesting is that she looks a lot like Aunt Melissa.  I was actually wondering if I could request a picture of her so I could show it to Claire (who thinks it's weird when I tell her she looks like my aunt, since she's only 24.  Hee hee hee...)

We've also started teaching another investigator, Sister Rovelyn, who's been going to church and been taught by missionaries since January.  She already knows it's true, and wants to get baptized.  She understands the importance of the gospel and everything--she's a good investigator.  The problem is, her parents, who live in the province (I think she said Batangas), don't want her to get baptized.  I had at first assumed that she was underage, so there was nothing more we could do about it.  Then we found out that she's 19, and thus free to make her own decisions.  So we've been stressing to her the concept of agency, and how she's free to decide for herself.  She really wants to get baptized, she's just afraid of how her parents might react if she does.  I'm willing to give her as much time as she needs to decide, simply encouraging her that baptism is the only way to Eternal Life.

Anyway, so that's what's been going on over here in Pinoy-land.  Today marks 18 months in the mission.  6 months na lang.  It's weird being on the downhill slide.  o.o 

I don't think I'll need my license here.  If I ever get called to be an AP, an office elder, or a teaching assistant, I'll let you know, but that's not terribly likely, and those would be the only real reasons I can think of that I'd need it.

I'm looking forward to giving those electric bikes a shot when I get home.  :D  Actually, there's a number of things I'm looking forward to when I get home, but I won't go too much into that.  ^^''

Anyway, can't think of much else to talk about.  I'll get to meet President Stucki next Wednesday, so hopefully my first interview with him will go well.  Until next week, ingat!  :D

Elder David Jones

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