Wednesday, June 18, 2014

06/16/2014 (Graphic balut pic at bottom.)

What a week.
Transfers again already? President Sperry leaves today and I'm getting a new companion tomorrow... my mother is transferring to Camarin. We actually had companion shirts made. It's a thing they do here. I'll include some pictures of them. Although I'm sad to see my nanay go, I'm really excited for my new companion. She's from Pakistan and she doesn't speak a lot of English so my Tagalog should improve a ton. I'm pretty nervous though to be leading the area.
Last P-Day after emails was the most epic p-day ever! Our whole zone cooked a huge Filipino meal, hiked up a mountain by a lake and ate with our hands off a banana leaf in this huge uninhabited grove! It was definitely an adventure trying to cross a lake with an armful of rice cookers.
Tuesday we received a referral from the elders of a man who told them that he wanted to become a Mormon after he gave them a ride on his motor. He said he spends a lot of time on our temple grounds because he can feel it's a holy place. We dropped everything and went to visit him and of course he accepted a baptismal date. But what was really cool is that previously, this investigator and his mother were the landlords of our bishop's house so they know each other. The bishop previously introduced them to the missionaries and they were taught. They believed it all, except the mother had a traumatic life and because of certain events got a... girlfriend... and couldn't give her up. Well last week, her son (our investigator), got drunk and started a fight. He was beaten almost to death by 15 guys and is in the hospital. His mother called the bishop's wife in tears saying, "We're ready for the gospel now. Please don't give up on us." So we went over to her house with the bishop's wife and it was the most incredible lesson. All we felt prompted to do was share our testimonies of the atonement and its power to heal broken families. I'm SO excited to teach them. They basically fell into our laps and I'm so grateful.
Tapos Wednesday we had a ward missionary fireside. We have yet another new ward mission leader because the one we had moved away without even telling us... the new one is quiet but he gets the job done. As a zone we're focusing on strengthening the members' testimonies instead of just hounding them for referrals. Our members desperately need strengthening; last week we fit the whole ward in the small relief society room for Sunday School. It's not acceptable. We have 90 active members out of 400. All the leaders are moving away and the people with high callings are shirking their duties. Even our district meeting was all about focusing on serving and teaching the members (including the bishop) the doctrine so that they will be able to strengthen themselves and be more able to help us. That's our goal for this transfer.
Hmm... ano pa? AH! Yes. I ATE BALUT. Yes. Me. The whole thing. It was a little more developed than I was ok with.. I spit out the feet but I swallowed it all and it didn't come back up thankfully. I also ate dinuguan which is blood soup... and it was delicious. Since it's transfers we have at least 2 dinner appointments per day until the transfer and the members are really getting a kick out of feeding me the most foreign food they can.
Our elders next door have started a tradition of celebrating the eve of p-day with a song. It started out simple, 3 weeks ago they called us at 10 PM and sang us the p-day song. 2 weeks ago, they texted us to come out at precisely 9:45. They come out on the balcony and the lights in the background are flickering and they give a full on concert with their ukeleles. Then last night was probably the best show I've seen yet. They spelled p-day in alcohol on the cement outside our apartment and lit in on fire. Then the two of them came out in robes, sunglasses, and turbans, carrying machetes, and lit them on fire. Then they slashed open a burning bag and pulled out the ukelele and threw the costume off and started singing... and then the fire burned the strings and it was ruined. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen!
I love you all so much and am so thankful for the prayers and the letters. Continue to do good things and work with the missionaries when you can! Have a great week!
An investigator made these shirts for Kenna and her companion.  Other than rice and potatoes, these two could be sisters they are so very much alike.  

The blinky rings Aunt Cheryl sent Kenna sure kept the kids happy.  Thanks, Cheryl.  

Sister Missionary Apartmentmates

Blinky rings!

The missionary rite of passage; balut.  "It took me 20 minutes to even take a nibble."

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