Monday, October 24, 2011

Fw: Greetings

Herro!  :D

Things like slippery leaves covering the ground and freezing cold rain seem like foreign concepts to me right now... O.o  It's still as hot as the blazes over here and just as muggy as it is any other time of year, with an occasional (though not as frequent as they were about a month ago) rainstorm.  Coming home to cold, wet, rainy Washington is gonna be weird.  Good thing I've got a giant umbrella and a pair of rubber shoes that I bought at the mall.  :D

We got to go to Lhujay and Ehlona's baptism on Saturday.  It was a pretty cool experience.  Since I left, Tatay Dublan has received the Priesthood, and he was the one to baptize his kids.  Lyka Dublan, who was baptized on July 31st, was one of the speakers for the baptism.  She gave a short, simple talk on faith and repentance.  It's really cool to see the whole family returning to full activity in the Church.  I'm really looking forward to them being sealed in the temple, hopefully next year.

President Stucki has actually passed a new rule where you're not supposed to go back to your old areas for baptisms, because you're supposed to focus your efforts on your own area.  But I got permission to attend the Dublans' baptism, as long as we brought investigators with us.  So we brought the Borinaga family.  :D  They enjoyed it.  It was a good spiritual experience for everyone.

...Unfortunately, the Borinaga family then wasn't able to come to church yesterday.  In fact, none of our progressing investigators were able to come to church.  I'm still not sure why yet; we haven't been able to go back and visit them yet.  Hopefully they'll be able to keep coming in the future.

On Friday, we were invited to give a small presentation about the Church at a local high school, since the topic of their social studies class (araling panlipunan) was world religion.  It was pretty fun.  It was my first time to give such a presentation, so both my companion and I were kinda nervous, but it turned out well.  It got a bit.. weird.. at times, just because.... Well, picture a tall, white, gwapo American giving a presentation in front of a class full of teenage, Filipino schoolgirls.  ^^''  Yeah..  After the presentation, they insisted on taking pictures.  (They also wanted to know my facebook address... I told them no).  It was mostly fun because I got a chance to see what school is like here in the Philippines.  It's kinda cool.  It's all actually pretty formal (though occasional jokes keep the mood light).  The first thing that happened when class started was everyone stood up and said to the teacher, in unison, "GOOD MORNING, MISS!"  Then they all turned around to face us and said, "GOOD MORNING, VISITORS!"  I was like, O.O "AAAH!!"  A lot of the students had prepared assorted presentations and things, some of which were highly amusing (including a "Dora the Explorer"-themed one, and one where they were pretending to give a "weather report" using a map of the Philippines and pictures of the sun and clouds and things taped to long pieces of wood.  Hehehe).  Whenever the teacher had students answer questions, they stood up and answered her formally ("So, class, what issue was discussed in their presentation?  Marvin?"  "Ma'am, the issue that was discussed in this presentation was the raising of prices of vegetables in the Philippines!")  It was a cool experience.  Afterwards, we had an opportunity to sit down and talk with some of the teachers.  They thanked us for coming, saying it was a good experience for the kids, since all the other stuff they discussed is the stuff that they always talk about every time.  This was an opportunity for them to hear something new (and an opportunity for them to see a gwapo American in their school... >.> )  We gave the teachers copies of the Book of Mormon and told them how to contact us, in case they were interested in learning more.

...It also turns out that the school we gave a presentation at is the same school that Lyka Dublan goes to.  We told her at the baptism that we visited her school.  She seemed to think it was kind of weird.  ^^''

In other news, occasionally the jeepney drivers keep accidentally giving us extra change, because apparently they think we're students, who usually get a one-peso discount.. And then there was one time when I gave the driver a 100-peso bill to pay for a 16-peso ride, and he gave me back 104 pesos as change.  I was like, ... O.o  "What the devil...?" and gave him back the extra change.

The French horn instructor at BYU-I has been emailing me occasionally, saying he's excited to work with me this year.  He says that there's not as many French horn students coming in for the winter semester, so he's requested me to start on that track.  He also gave me a few tips for how to start work on rebuilding my embouchure strength when I get back.

...I guess I'm singing in the Christmas program when I get back.  ^^''  Should be fun.  Singing is one of the only things I've been able to keep up to speed while I've been out here, so as long as the Christmas program isn't that hard, it should be fine.

Anyway, that's about it.  Until next week, ingatz!  :D

Elder David Jones

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