From Michelle: We had a great Skype call with Elder Michael on Christmas Night (which was Friday morning for Michael since he is 15 hours ahead.) At first the connection was terrible and we would lose him every few seconds and he would have to call back. After about the 10th time he went and got the lady the runs the "Computer Haan" (Internet café type place) and she came over and she was able to get the connection on his end to work better. It was so fun to hear Michael speaking Ilonggo to her! After that we had 2 hours of uninterrupted Skyping with him. It was a little rough for all of us at times and every once in awhile we shed some tears. We miss him....he misses us...it was bound to happen! LOL Being away from home at Christmas is never fun for anyone--but being 7500 miles away in a strange country just makes it that much harder. He had a great Christmas Day filled with baptisms and fun and besides being a little homesick, he is thrilled to be where he's at, doing what he's doing. His new companion, Elder Ducatan is awesome and Michael loves that he is very organized and a hard worker, so he's staying busy and they are getting a lot of work done together. Michael talked a lot about the heat there and how much he is missing Utah snow. He also talked a lot about never again taking for granted the blessings of our comforts that we have living in the U.S. and how spoiled we are, that we have so much. The Filipinos live so simply and with so very little compared to how we live in the U.S. but they are happy and so kind to the missionaries. He loves the church members--he has made some very good friends. It was hard to say good-bye to him. But I predict that by our next Skype call on Mother's Day, we will be "old hands" at this and hopefully it won't be as emotional for all of us <Please Please Please> So without further ado...Here is Michael's email this week:
|The Bingco Family we have been teaching--I love them!|
The last few days I have been a little bit sick. I had cold symptoms like a headache and cold shivers and my whole body felt sore but I'm doing much better today.
We had an investigator who Elder Fogavai and I talked to about 2 months ago call us this week and he wanted us to visit him on Friday. He is a really nice guy and he appears very interested in what we shared with him. His family is very interesting and the dynamics made teaching difficult at times. He has a son who has some special needs and he would blurt out random stuff while we were talking. And then there is another son who was playing grand theft auto on the computer and being really noisy, and then another son who was very focused on us and what we had to say. So it was quite the mix. But it was yet another good learning experience for me and the Lord teaching me patience.
Yesterday was a very interesting day because we went on splits with some of the members so I had to lead everything!! I didn't feel ready for it at all, but I had no choice but to just do it. I took 6 members with me and Elder Dacutan took another 6. I felt a little stressed out in the lessons because I'm still learning how to use the members in teaching the lessons and of course the language still kicks my butt sometimes. I got through it though and had fun running around with the members that day. I was really impressed with one of the young men that came with me. He was very willing to help and do anything I asked. There are some very good members here and most of them are recent converts within the last 2 years. They are really wonderful and treat the missionaries like kings.
|I sent this to Elder Michael this week to give him a laugh! Napoleon Dynamite cracks him up.|