Thursday, February 5, 2015

December 15th,2014: New Companion, Elder Coronel and Getting Ready for Christmas

Wow, you guys know palangga ta ka! impressive. I can't remember if I sent that one. Or you can say mahal kita, which is tagalog, but I hear that one a lot more. So, for like emergency preperation. The only thing that they gave us was a little fold up thingy that you can put in your wallet. It explains emergency procedures for earthquakes, floods, typhoons, and a couple other things, but thats it.
We had a way cool christmas party this week. that was a 4 day trip for me, so that took up pretty much all of my week, but it was way fun. We have seven zones in our mission. Our christmas party was with Antique, Roxas and Iloilo south zones. I think we have about 130 missionaries in our mission, so about 60 people were at the party. I actually see Elder Chapman all of the time. I have been in San Jose every week for the last 5 weeks with the zone. It actually looks to me like he's settled in really nicely. he looks comfortable, although I would say that "cuckoo" would still describe him well. haha
That is so nice of Sister Sealy. Tell her I am so grateful. I will send a card asap.
No official word on christmas skype, and I doubt there will ever be, but I did talk to a few missionaries about what happens. They just said make sure your parents have an account set up for me before hand. I'll email you what time I'll be looking to skype. It will either be Christmas eve night for you guys, christmas morning, or christmas night. We will be coming down to the city, so I have to make sure of the plans with the rest of the Elders. I haven't heard of anyone having problems with skype before, so hopefully it will be good.
I have taken out 2000 pesos of personal money so far. that is approximately 45 dollars but I will most likely be using personal money for this month. I've already spent so much money because I have hardly been in culasi these last 2 weeks. I've spent a bunch on travel and eating out all the time.
So, Christmas sounds as busy as usual. I've been way busy as well this week. I only got one day of proselyting in, which was yesterday. Saturday, we got back to culasi, and we went to a group christmas party in pandan. I have pictures, but I forgot my camera. Next week you will probably be getting a ton of them. Filipino parties are crazy though. The members whose house we were at actually have quite a bit of money. We played one game where she had a bag full of candy and cash, and she would throw it on the tables, and the point was just to grab as much as you could. I didn't really know what to do about that, but i just grabbed candy. hhaha. And all of the games we played, there was cash prizes for the winners. aha. Eating contests with cash prizes. It was ridiculous. We ate a ton of good food though.
On sunday, I gave another talk in sacrament meeting, mostly because Elder Gan forgot to assign people, but I gave a talk about how to have meaningful prayers. I based it largely off of notes that I took in the MTC from when Elder Scott talked to us. It went pretty well. I worked all of sunday with a member, James Miague. It was raining harder than I've ever seen it rain, so I was soaked almost instantly, but I really was grateful for that day, and I was so happy to work because it was the first time I got to work in my area in 10 days. In my first lesson, the investigators had a tin roof, and at that point of the day, it was raining the hardest. It was so loud on the tin roof. I could barely hear myself yelling, but somehow, we got in an awesome lesson about the pre-earth life. It was with the Valde family. They are progressing really well. It had been 2 weeks since I had last visited them, but they said they read the assignment over and over again every day. They are praying every day as a family. At that moment when they were telling me about all this, I was just had this huge smile. There is nothing better an investigator can tell a missionary. I can see how much joy our message is bringing to them. It's been a really neat experience actually. When we left that appointment, they had given me another umbrella to use because I had given mine to James, but it didn't do much good because the rain was coming in horizantally and there was like a river on the road. It wasn't even flat, it was like a downward slope. It was a raging river, on the road, up to my shins. There was a lot of flooding on Sunday. And the river in my area, was flooding over the sides. It had so much water. And then there were like huge trees that it was carrying with it. It was crazy looking. But I was so happy to see all of my ginatudloan again. And I won't get in a full week of work again this week because I am in San Jose right now, and will sleep over here and get back tomorrow in the afternoon, and then wednesday I will have to go down to Iloilo again on wednesday to get my new companion. That will be a two day trip. Ughhh.
(Our questions for Stuart thus week:)
Oliver: what is favorite thing to say in Hiligaynon?
Mom: since you thought you wouldn't need a blanket on your mission, doyou regret not bringing one? Did you end up buying one or borrowing one?
Chloe: what is your favorite thing the Filipinos do?
Connor: what's one food that you miss from America?
Dad: are there common "mormon" type sayings like, "strengthen and nourish", "bless that those that can't be here this week, be here next week" .....

So, for questions.
My favorite thing to say in hiligaynon is probably pangamuyo. which means "to pray" Its just a really fun word. so, if you would want to ask, who wants to pray, you can say, Sin-o gusto magpangamuyo? You can use that one in family prayer!haha
I do not regret not bringing a blanket. It is so hot, and I sweat so much, but I do use a sheet, mostly just for mosquitoes though.
My favorite thing that pinoys do is maybe just say hi to me all the time. I get "Hey Joe" maybe 30 times a day while walking down the street. They call every white guy Joe. Sometimes people get offended by this, but its just basically their way of saying, oh hey, youre white! haha.
One food that I miss in america. Ketchup, syrup, and real milk, and yogurt.
Common mormon sayings.... hmmm... actually, no not really, but maybe that's because most of the members here are recent converts haha. I don't know.
Elder Robertson

New companion Elder Coronel

Culasi church building

Stuart is the Group Leader

Group Christmas Party

Getting called "Joe" by everyone they see

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