Questions for the week:
1. How are your investigators? Any new ones?
We did get a new investigator this week. His wife is a member. He was almost baptized in the past but it didn't happen for some reason or other. This was 4 years ago. Since then he wouldn't listen to or talk with the missionaries. I’m learning that Elder Schmidt and I are a great combination. This Brother is slightly beefier than I am, and he is only about 2-3 inches shorter than me. But I’m still bigger. So it’s a good thing. He tends to look down his nose at the smaller elders...like our zone leaders who he completely shut down when they tried to teach him. lol. He’s really opened up to us. To me, because of my size. To Elder Schmidt because of their mutual interest in motorcycles. His wife reminds me a lot of Amanda (my sister). She has a single 2 year old girl, is built a lot like Amanda, and her husband is a lot bigger than her. They are a really nice family. Other than that, we're finding and teaching a lot of people, but no one is ready to change. My focus is on members. We really can't get much done without their help and support. So we are trying to gain their trust, and bring back and nourish the inactive and less-active families. In that aspect we are having a good deal of success. :) since we have started doing that, we have brought back 4 families for the time being, and are working with one of those families to get the father the Melchizedek priesthood and then to get them to the temple to be sealed together. I’ve really been learning that our area is not a baptizing/harvesting area. It is a planting and nourishing area. Once I realized that my outlook really changed here. The work becomes a lot easier once you know what you are doing. Last week’s letter from the president really helped me see that. Going along with that thought, Elder Hale, one of my current AP's (soon to return home) said something that really kicked me in the butt and helped me with the work. talking about missionary work and changing lives, bringing about the salvation of souls, about learning and teaching the gospel, and about being a missionary, he said "you have to want it more than anything." and summarizing the last part of what he said, "...then you have to go and do. You have to work for It." the first part is what really hit me. "You have to want it more than anything." it is all about our desire here on the mission, and in life. Whatever you desire, whatever you want, that is what your focus will be on. If you want to be a good missionary, if you want to do the lord's work and help the people of the Philippines, then that is what you will focus on. If you want to collect fun knick knacks to bring home, you'll focus on that. This week, I learned what my desire was. I learned what I wanted it to be, and now, I’m changing. I’ve prayed so hard for those we are teaching, that it’s made me cry a couple times this week. That one phrase alone will change my mission. You have to want it more than anything. I know what I want in this life, and the next. I know how to get there. Now I just need to do it.
2. Are you and Elder Schmidt staying well?
Elder Schmidt and I are doing as well as can be expected. We’re taking turns getting each other sick. This weather really doesn't help any. It’s probably the reason why we do get sick in fact. It’s always wet here. I just got my big box of vitamins from the mission home though, so I’m good. We’re both on the mend. We’ve gotten each other sick two weeks in a row now. :/ we're ok though. Don’t worry.
3. What service project did you do this week?
Service projects here are practically non-existent. They don’t help spread the gospel here. They are of no worth. People just took advantage of it in the past, so now, we don't do service projects. So to answer your question, I haven't had a service project since I arrived. Really the only time we do anything like that is after a natural disaster, or so I’m told.
4. Has the Map arrived yet? Still trying to figure out how long it actually takes to get there.
I got the map! Thank you! It has the area for ward 1 and 2 on it. We’re going to hand fill it out with brngy and prk info. I taped all the pieces together and its up on our wall now. :) We also got your thanksgiving cards! They both came into our hands on November 15th. Plans changed and the AP’s were able to bring our mail out to district meeting. :) I got "dear elders" from Steph, Bishop Arnold, and Amanda Kuehn. Also, just to let you know how I mail stuff home... I just use regular Philippine mail. I go to the post office, give them what I want to mail, they weigh it, and I pay whatever number they throw at me. No receipts or record of it either. :/
5. By the weather reports I send it seems it rains almost daily. Does it really rain daily?
Yes, it really is raining like the weather reports say. It’s not always hard, but it can be furious at times. It’s pretty much just constantly wet here. Fun fact about the weather: it’s constantly in the high 90's here. It got down to 79 the other day and we were all freezing! :) lol
6. Anything new or cool happen?
Hmmm, well as of last p-day, I had lost 10 pounds. I’m going to lose more when the hot weather comes in. all my belts are way too big now, but I ordered a caribao belt from the amazing Bro. Pete, and I should get it this next week. it’s a belt made from the horns of a caribao, or water buffalo, and is going to be 50 inches long, adjustable to practically any size(smaller than 50 in. ;) ) it’s really cool. It should be jet black in color. I’ll send you pictures when I get it. My pants waists still fit though because of the elastic in most of them.
7. I know that the Filipinos don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, will the Mission Home and Elders/Sisters?
Pretty much only the American missionaries celebrate Thanksgiving. We don't usually get to go to the mission home, but I’m sure they will be celebrating the holiday there. They do love their parties and food. lol. :)
8. I hear that there are some really big spiders and bugs there, Have you seen any?
I haven't seen many big bugs other than cockroaches. There are some pretty big butiki, or small lizards, that crawl all over your walls and ceiling. The frogs here come out when it rains, and they can get pretty big too. Same with the snails. The dogs here are all small and mean, but cowardly. I hate the dogs here. We carry our umbrellas just in case we need them to defend against the stupid mga aso. aso is Tagalog for dog. I carry a rock or two in hand or my pocket most of the day as well. they all run if you throw a rock or act like you are going to pick a rock up to throw at them. Funny story, we tao po'd a house, standing just inside their gates, and got cornered in by their 7 dogs. We almost had to battle our way out but the owner came out cuz she didn't want to get into legal trouble with her dogs attacking people, especially Americans.
Fun facts: there is no carpet in the Philippines. Only tile, cement, or dirt. Rugs are common though. Just this past Sunday, we released a brother from being Sunday school president. The odd part...he has been dead for over 3 months now. We are losing our 20 year old ward mission pres. to his mission in the southern Philippines next week (Americans can't serve in the southern Philippines anymore...). So we won't have one anymore.
We have Christmas lights strung up in our apartment now! :) It’s really fun. :)
Enjoy the pictures! :)
Lastly, thank you so very much for sending me mail and packages! I appreciate it all very much!!! Also, thank you for teaching me how to cook!!! :)
|What a view...|
|Hello from the Philippines.|
|Isn't this beautiful!|
|Elder Lundy's wondeful companion.|