Monday, October 20, 2014

Week #12 "And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint....."

"Yo Yo Yo"
Kumasta Family & Friends!
We did a zone activity today so I wasn’t able to get to the computers as early as usual. We met in the chapel and did a testimony meeting and then played a little basketball and volleyball. I wasn’t really in the mood for it, but I’m learning to just go along with things I normally wouldn’t be interested in doing ha-ha!
This week went by pretty quick. We had interviews with President and Sister Aquino and a few other people last Tuesday, so we got to go into the city for most of the day. President Aquino told me about his experiences in Utah and also interviewed me on how I have been doing. He is a great guy! We have an awesome Mission President!
 I wasn’t feeling very well when I got into the City to meet with President.  I ended up having an upset stomach for the next couple of days. I'm sure it was probably something I ate, but I don’t know what. I am feeling much better now! I'm still having stressful times with buying and making food for myself, but I’m still alive so I can’t complain too much! I worry a lot about finding healthy things to eat. I have been learning how to make simple meals with vegetables and chicken. I never really shopped for myself at home and then when I get here all we have is the disgusting market I’ve told you about ha-ha—so it’s a BIG learning curve! I can’t believe I’d ever say this but I miss Walmart so much!! I am learning though and that’s really part of the fun of going on a mission is learning how to take care of myself. So don’t worry about me Mom, because I can handle it and I will get used to things as time goes on! I was also able to get some physical work in this week, which felt SO GOOD! We did a service project for the Sisters at their home. We trimmed their trees because they are surrounded by jungle and picked up all the trash and made it look nice. Then we burned all the trees and bushes we cut down. It took us about 6 hours to do everything, but I have to say it felt good to get some physical work in. 

We also had District Conference this week, which is basically just like Stake conference. We hired a jeep on Sunday to transport all the Buenavista church members to the meeting house in Jordan (about 9 miles away).  So we piled everyone in including the missionaries and away we went! I feel so bad for the people here because most of them do not have any transportation--not even a motorcycle or scooter! So always be grateful for having your own transportation! I will never forget what it is like to have to walk everywhere or hire a jeep or trike to get anywhere!
The people we are teaching have been doing well. We are currently teaching about 5 or 6 families and another 5 or 6 people in addition to the families. We are still teaching the 4 ladies also—they are my favorites because they really listen. We gave them a Book of Mormon so that was a big accomplishment this week. I feel pretty confident and can do lesson one by myself in Ilonggo with just the basics now. Sometimes I forget little things that are important but Elder F helps me out.  I really don’t feel nervous about teaching, especially when we get into the lesson. But what is a big challenge for me is to learn how to start conversations with strangers and getting the people to feel comfortable with us so they will want us to teach. You know…chit chat...which you know I don’t like and am not good at! I am really praying and hoping to learn to love it, so I can start being more comfortable when we meet new people. 
 *Is there anything that you can absolutely NOT get there that your are missing? Gravy. I miss gravy. So some gravy packets would be nice. I’ve bought the milk here, but it’s really expensive and it’s the non-refrigerated stuff, so it’s not my favorite.
*Do you walk everywhere you go or take the local transportation? We mostly walk – A LOT – but if we’re going somewhere really far then we will take the trikes. We only take the Jeepneys when we go to the chapel in Jordan. It’s about a 30 minute drive. But we mostly stay on the Northern side of the island in Buenavista.
*Have you been able to have dinner with in any of the member's homes? We do not eat with the members very much, but we have eaten at the Branch President’s house pretty often because he just lives across the street.
*How are things with your companions/housemates? Do you get the chance to goof and have fun occasionally? We get along really well and there is tons of time for us to goof off in the morning and at night when we are not working. They are all very good missionaries. I look up to Elder F. a lot, and Elder W. has been really great because he has really helped me the most with adjusting to not living in the USA anymore. It has also been an interesting adjustment for me to learn to have to share my space and things, since I’ve always had my own room. But it's not so bad.
How has the weather been? It was really hot this week, but there were a few good storms that cooled things off. The only time it is miserably hot is when the sun is out but most of the time there are at least clouds to cool things off some.
Have you seen any snakes or exoctic animals? The only snakes I’ve seen are dead snakes on the road that were about the size of a blow snake at home. Not sure what kind they were. I haven’t really seen anything exotic yet, except for that monkey I saw last week. But I did see a spider the size of my hand the other day and that was pretty cool. It was the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen! Thank you for all your emails and for filling me in on all the things you are doing at home. I really like to read what is going on at home with my mom and dad!  I miss you so much! I look forward to getting back with my family and to all the camping, hiking, motorcycles, and all the other fun stuff we’ve always done together. I will keep trying to send more pictures! I Love you tons!!!  Michael 
Buenavista Elders

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