From: Mandy Elsmore
Date: February 25, 2013 10:30:53 PM CST
This week has been full of highs and lows. Its just been CRAZY! We have had random people come to our door inviting us over to eat with them, we've had people taking pictures of us at random birthday parties. I meet some Japanese people and got to speak to them in Japanese, which was super bad. I would try to speak in Japanese, but then Tagalog would come out. It was a mess, but we became good friends and they want to meet missionaries. :D Walking through pouring rain. Sadly, since I'm on a mountain, it was only a few inches of rain. No swimming through floods yet mom. ;) Had lots of people who are scared or angry at us for being Foreigners which has been really surprising to find here in the Philippines. All in all, its been a really strange week. Which I wish I could tell you more about in detail, but goodness, there never seems to be enough time.
Something that has been recurring over and over again in conversations is the dreaded Aswang. Its this witch that is only waist up (not legs) and has long pointed teeth and how they fly is by flapping its arms. It also has colored, huge eyes and it eats people. Its so funny, the things that people come up with and find terrifying sometimes. These people are so superstitious and claim to see ghosts all the time. They are also dreamers. Many people say that they receive answers from God through their dreams all the time. They love to talk about them. Which is really interesting to me that people here are so eager and willing to share about "visions." Then ask us if we have had any. There is a very different sense and definition of the meaning of holding things sacred to people here. Its really interesting.
Here is one story about superstitions that cracked me up...
We were walking out of this house with a less active sister, and we hear this cat meowing, (well it was more like it was screaming. Cats meow hear sound really horrible and sad. Not sure why...) Anyway the sister stops and tells us about this cat. Whenever she hears it, someone on the block is pregnant. Its happened 2 times. The third time she heard it, she looked around and did not see anyone, and then looked down at her stomach and asked herself, "buntis ba?" which means, pregnant? HA HA HA! She was not pregnant though.
There is going to be 21 missions in the Phillippines. 58 new missions have been annouced throughour the world, 4 more here in the Philippines. YAY!!! So pretty much there is going to be about 4,000 missionaries in the Phillippines by the end of the year! SO AWESOME!!!
Read in Mosiah 1-6. King Benjamin has always been one of my favorite prophets and leaders in the BOM. He knows and lives how a good leader and example should be, he's educated, righteous, loving, bold, but not overbearing, leads by example, knows how to work hard, and made sure that his people and his sons understood and learned for themselves the gospel of Jesus Christ and gained a education. I really like Mosiah 3:41- There are always amazing people out there that you can just see the gospel blessings working through them and guiding their lives. These are always the people that everyone wants to be like and loves to be around. You can see that they are truely happy and you feel happy around them. I hope I too can be that kind of person. We all can! Which is the beauty of the Gospel and this life. :)
Got to Go. Love you All!
Hi! Pictures from our trip to the Petrogyphs. Try to upload more recent ones next time. Sigh... so slow...HA HA HA!