From: Mandy Elsmore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: March 24, 2013 10:33:17 PM CDT
This week has been interesting. Kids are getting out from school now and summer vacation has started for them last Friday. Lots of people are heading out for vacation to the beach or to their Provinces. So its been crazy trying to get a hold of people, but its been nice to play with more children now and get to know their whole families. :)
Glad all of you liked the pictures. Just to answer your question, I don't have to slay chickens every time to get meat. HA HA HA! That was just for fun. They have pretty good markets here. We usually just buy everything at the Super Market (like ones in the US). But sometimes, for fruits we buy them off the street (its cheaper fresher, and taster). They have really good bakeries here. They have this thing called pandasal (translation: pan-bread sal- salt so Bread and Salt, not sure why though. Its not salty...) Anyway, its just hot rolls that are super cheep that you can buy. :) Its great. Especially when you are punted. HA HA HA! But they have cakes and pies. Coconut and Pineapple Pies that are really good. Never had them before in the US. Desserts, people usually always has condensed milk in it somehow. Which... sometimes is a little too sweet for me. But its good. :)
I went on Splits with the Couple Missionaries: Heywoods. They are so GREAT! Their like my adopted Grandparents here. :) Anyway, we start talking to this guy names Vigil, whose about the same age as the Heywoods and whose English is SUPER good.
Elder Heywood: "My hair used to be black like yours, but now I have gray hair"
Vigil, "Me too."
H: " you still have black hair though..."
V:"No, I'm a dying man."
Gospel Principles Class. The subject was on Prophets and the teacher, Mak Mak, was saying how important revelation from Prophets are because, no one knows everything in life, only God knows.
James (member): "Actually, there are."
Mak Mak: "There are? ..."
James: "Yah, they're called self righteous people."
Sister Christensen and I just about Died from laughing.
Tracking is hard sometimes. I'm still trying to get into the flow of bringing the conversation to the gospel in a way that is not abrupt or makes people want to run away (which people do here sometimes. Its hilariously sad.) I have no problems with just talking to people and getting to know them, but when it comes to trying to get people to give 15-20 minutes for their time for a short message. Many people shut off and are not interested. I've found its so much easier and more effective when there are referrals from people. Its amazing the influence and effect that just "normal" members have on their friends.
This is the start of Holy Week in the Philippines. Its supposed to be celebrating the Last Week of the Saviors life on earth (the week before Christmas). However, people here whip themselves and do crucifictions so they can be cleansed from their sins. Many people have drinking parties and robberies are for frequent apparently. Its really sad. One person we were talking to said, "Why do people do this. If its about the Savior, Jesus Christ, shouldn't we be giving reverence to him?" It made me wonder, "How will I show respect and reverence for the Savior this week through my actions? How can I become closer to him at such a special time where we are in remembrance of the Savior's Atoning Sacrifice?" I've decided that for me, I'm going to read the life of the savior. Matthew 1-28, just a little bit everyday this week. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He is our savior and redeemer, and there been many times where I have felt his love, help, and guidance in my life. Because of these experiences, I KNOW he lives! I'm very grateful for him, and his sacrifice for each and everyone of us. I know that he knows us more that we do ourselves and that his love for each of us is real, sincere, and a great blessing. I love our Savior. I just hope, in some small way, through the way I live, I can give back just a little bit for what he has done for me. For I know, without him, I would not be able to live and return to our Heavenly Father. For giving me this chance, I am and always will be eternally grateful.