Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fw: Happy Thanksgiving

Herro!  :D
... o.o Last week was indeed an interesting week...  Hope you can get the van fixed up soon.
Glad to hear that Richelle didn't die.  :D  And, yay, now we'll have a relatively new convertible!  :D  Yaaaaay!  ;P
That's the thing about Manila traffic.  It may be the CRAZIEST thing you'll ever see in your entire life, with cars and jeeps and GIANT LOUD CITY BUSES and stuff coming from ALL DIRECTIONS and CUTTING EACH OTHER OFF and SWERVING IN AND OUT OF LANES and stuff... but everyone's used to it.  Everyone here who has a license is good enough at driving to avoid getting SMASHED IN THE FACE WITH A GIANT LOUD CITY BUS.  Mostly.  So stupid stuff like people pulling out of gas stations without looking to make sure they're not going to broadside some poor girl on her way back from school just doesn't happen.  ...Often.  (First of all, little girls on their way to and from school here usually walk.  Or take jeepneys).  There are still occasional accidents, but they're surprisingly rare.  Elder Ranoco says that it's because people are afraid to get into accidents because repairs are expensive and most people don't have insurance.  ^^''
Anyway, Bro. Klein, the horn teacher, emailed me again.  He says that I should be able to participate in a large ensemble and a chamber ensemble (small ensemble) right away.  He says I should probably start on a lower horn part until I regain enough strength to move on to higher horn parts.  He says it should take me about a month or so to regain my embouchure strength and about a semester to regain the touch and skill I had before my mission.  He says to leave the 11:30 to 2:00 block open for ensembles, which I will audition for the day before classes begin.  So go ahead and sign up for one "large group" and one "small group" ensemble, and we'll work the other details out when I audition.  Also, sign up for french horn lessons.  I went ahead and indicated french horn as my primary instrument, though eventually, I would like to sign up for a jazz ensemble as well.  For now, the jazz improvisation class should work.  I'd also like to take the scoring and arranging class.
Other than that, just fill it with whatever other required classes I need to take.  If I hate the way it turns out, then it's only for a semester, and then we can work on fixing it and stuff.  ^^''  It's a little bit harder when I'm way out here in the middle of nowhere and can only look at it once a week.
I sent the housing contract through the mail, so hopefully it should get there within a reasonable amount of time.
This week's been interesting for us, too.  Last last Sunday, the day before I wrote, a member dropped by the Borinagas' house before church to remind them to come, which, ideally, is great.  Unfortunately, things turned really sour really fast.  Sister Borinaga left for a few seconds to go look for John Klein, who was hanging out with friends.  As she was coming back, the member, who she'd left alone in the house, had started heading out, saying he'd probably better get to the church, because he needed to help with the sacrament.  When Sister Cynthia got to the house, a cell phone was missing.  Cynthia called the member back and demanded to know what happened to the cell phone, but he said he simply didn't know.  It's a difficult situation, because he's the only one who could possibly have taken the phone, but he claims that he didn't take it.  Since then, it's started a humongous downward slide, and now I'm not sure if we'll be able to continue teaching the Borinaga family.  Cynthia is understanding enough and wants to continue going to church, but is afraid of a possible conflict with the member's family, who are not members (and who are also drug dealers), John Klein is okay with continuing, but has the same concern as Cynthia, and also hasn't been making much progress in keeping the Word of Wisdom, and Margaurette, Cynthia's daughter (the cell phone belonged to her), has lost all trust in the members and, as far as I can tell, has lost all interest in investigating the church.  :/  So, because of the unfortunate actions of one member, we're about to lose all hope in ever baptizing the Borinaga family.
...Yeah, it's been kinda stressing me out.  :P
But on the brighter side, one of our investigators, Sister Theresa Zamora, has been progressing really well, and will probably be baptized with no problems on the 24th of December.  Those kinds of investigators are really nice.  ^^''  I won't be here any more for the baptism, which is unfortunate, but that's not really as important, just as long as she gets baptized and stays active.
We've also been working pretty hard on reactivating the Cleofe family, who was baptized about 5 years ago or so, but fell inactive due to a few issues with members.  The bishop's been getting pretty involved in reactivating them, too (Have I mentioned?  Bishop Cabrera is really on top of things.  I've been pretty impressed with his work here in Bicutan Ward).  Brother Cleofe came to church last last Sunday, and the whole family came to church this last Sunday.  It was like, Yaaaaaaaay!   :D As far as I can tell, they plan on coming back to stay.  We've been trying to work on getting them back into good habits, such as Book of Mormon reading and going to church and family prayer and things, as well as clearing up a few doctrinal concerns that hadn't been fully resolved when they were being taught (yesterday we taught them about the Godhead, which they had questions about, and we encouraged them to remove a Santo Nino statue from their home, an old Catholic tradition).  President Stucki, as well as the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, has been emphasizing reactivation and retention, which are equally important as baptisms.  The angels in heaven don't sing any less for those who come back from inactivity than for someone who is newly baptized.
We went to a place called Divisoria today, which is a huge shopping center in Manila.  It was crowded.  And somewhat stressful.  And some would-be tricycle driver tried to swindle us by charging us 220 pesos for what he originally said would be a 20 peso ride.  We got in his face about it, and he lowered the price considerably, though we still paid more than we should've.  Jerk.  But it was kinda fun anyway.  And I bought some cool stuff.  :D
Anyway, I'm about out of time now, so that's about it until next week.  Next week is transfer day, though I don't think anyone in our apartment will transfer.  Hopefully not.
Not a lot of time left here in the Philippines.  I'm doing my best to make the most of it.
See you soon.  Ingatz!
Elder David Jones
Less than four weeks na lang!  :D

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