Littuko or Rattan Fruit
The fruit, locally known as littuko in the Philippines, it’s from the rattan tree. The snakelike fruit is small, about 1.5 inch in diameter.The skin is beige, not smooth but of a soft woody texture, and with overlapping layers. You press, the skin breaks open and inside is the fruit — stoned like the rambutan and the soft watery texture of the flesh is not too dissimilar either.
Pictures from Elder Lundy's Life in the Philippines:
|This is our kitchen area|
|Dinning room and living room|
|We share our apartment.|
I asked Elder Lundy a few questions his answers follow…
1. How are you (health, emotionally, socially)?
I am doing pretty good health wise. I’ve been feeling rather tired come 8 pm lately, but I think it’s mostly my eating habits which I am fixing. I’m shopping better and getting better things. All the food groups. Part of it is that we eat breakfast in the morning by 8, eat lunch between 12-2 and then don't eat again till we get back to the apartment at 9.
Emotionally I’m doing far better than most elders, especially the new ones. I actually want to be here. Sometimes the work makes me sad, and maybe a little discouraged, but I usually just end up feeling sorry for the people that won't listen to us. But the Lord always knows what you need and lifts your spirit. :) I’ll say more about that later.
Socially, fairly decent! :) Sometimes I have a hard time keeping myself from zoning out because of how hard it is to understand some people here. But I’m getting the language. People around here are funny. I can't go anywhere without someone calling me malaki, guapo, americano, or laughing at my name. malaki is big, guapo is handsome...they think all americans are handsome and rich, I’ve had several daughters offered to me already, lol, you understand what americano means I hope ;) , and Lundy is pronounced like the Tagalog word "landi" which means flirtatious and has a female reference to it. lol. :)
2. What new things have you noticed about the area?
Fitting two grown men in a tricey is a very difficult feat. If the people give you a miryenda ( just means snack) they expect you to finish it unless it’s huge and for everyone. Usually it’s just for you though, they won't eat. Hmmm, you can make at least one ward out of all the inactive people in just one of the barangays in my area...we have at least 4-5 barangays in my area. A little more specific about my location...I live in purok 4 in baligatan (barangay) in IIagan. Ilagan is a "big city" kinda like a county, a barangay is a city or village like Hartland or Delafield, and a purok is a neighborhood within a barangay.
Ummm, I just spent 900 piso on my groceries for probably a week and a half. We get our funds twice a month (funds are available for withdrawal from a bank on the 1st and 15th of every month.), and we get 2800 pisos each time. So basically we live off of 1400 piso a week, which is about $32. What we don't use on food, we spend on transportation to our different areas and appointments. Sadly we have to buy a ride to church every Sunday because it’s so far. It’s in Centro. I don't know how detailed your map is... though it’s probably better than any map we have. The map of our area in our area book is hand drawn by a previous elder. lol :)
3. How are your skills coming? I.e. Conversational, teaching? Tell me about your tracking/investigators?
My conversational skills are still lacking a bit. I have a hard time understanding the people here because they mumble, take shortcuts in their speech kinda like conjunctions I think i.e. can't, won't, shouldn't, and are really quiet speakers. I can usually come up with something close to what I want to say though once I understand what they are asking. My teaching skills are improving rapidly as I teach more and learn how to teach the lessons in Tagalog. I’ve taught word of wisdom, part of the restoration, faith, and born my testimony many times. Though when I teach it’s different from when I’m just trying to talk to somebody. The spirit is definitely there. Everything always goes all quiet and still and everyone pays really close attention to what I have to say. I know it’s partly because I don't speak too well yet, and they are trying to understand, but they have understood everything I’ve taught and it’s touched them.
After one lesson last night, the nanay of an inactive member we are teaching walked us out to the road. She isn't a member of the church. Two of her sons who are in their late 30's who are elders are inactive. we got one of them to go to church with us earlier that day. His mother came to church with him cause she was worried about what he would do. We watched over him and made sure he had a good time at church. (It was the first time she had ever attended church). The rest of the family isn’t members. We talked some more with her and the last thing she told us before we left, was that she loved us. "mahal ko kayo" in her words. She isn't a member but she feels the love we have for her family. She was very receptive when I taught about families and how they can be together forever. It was very cool.
Another family we are working with is the Pebenito family. They are a family of 8 with children ranging from 1 to 15 years old. They really lifted our spirits! Do your best and the Lord will make up the rest. That’s kinda been my motto on my mission, and it is soooo true.
The last investigator we are teaching was handed down through 3 other sets of missionaries and is almost ready to be baptized. He’s had a trip to get here though. He recently had a word of wisdom relapse. He is a really awesome individual though. He looks all tough and rough on the outside, but on the inside he is just one big softy! :) He really wants to do this for the right reasons. The first testimony I bore in the Philippines was to him and his wife. His wife had never before committed to go to church, but after I bore my testimony, they asked her if she would, and with tears in her eyes said yes. Sadly, she didn't make it, but that’s the most she has ever done with the missionaries. I know that when you honestly try and put all your effort into the work the spirit will accompany you. For me, at that time meant bearing my testimony since that was almost all I could do at that time. For other more experienced elders, that means doing much much more. That’s something I just learned/realized as I was typing.
4. Our Elders tell us you spend most of the morning studying and that you don’t get out doing proselyting until almost lunchtime because you are over- seas – is this True?
I spend all morning and early afternoon studying. I eat; prepare myself for the day till 8. 8-9 personal study time, 9-11 companion study/new elder training, 11-12 language study. usually we spend a little more time in all the study times and take a couple breaks so we don't finish that and finish lunch till 1-1:30
5. What are the rain storms like? Are they long, light, heavy, muggy?
The rainstorms are wet. Well, it’s always wet here. A lot of puddles don't usually ever dry. lol it comes heavy, light, just like home so far. Nothing different except for the never drying puddles cuz it’s so humid there isn't room for the water in the air.
I love you all and I hope you all have a great week! Share the gospel with someone new and let me know about it. I have a special request from dad though. I would like you to write your conversion story for me. Most everyone here is catholic, like you were. So it’s of super interest to me. Besides that I’ve been meaning to ask for it since I got to the MTC but I kept forgetting. I couldn't remember it, and it’s something that I am really interested in.
I love how the mission is changing me. Several months ago I would have never picked up a book of Mormon to read it for fun, or even because I wanted to learn something. Now I just open it up and ask the lord what he wants me to learn today. It’s one of the best experiences I get on my mission. Well, I’m really out of time now. I gotta go give a FHE for a less active family now. I love you all! Remember, the lord makes up the difference only after you have done all you can do!