Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nov 2, 2009

Ok,  For those of you I did not tell.. I had a dream about Josh him telling me he was safe and happy but that his companion was struggling..
Still not sure if he got his Birthday Box or not... geez there is some good stuff in there..


-----Original Message-----
From: Joshua Gonzalez [mailto:joshua.gonzalez@myldsmail.net]
Sent: Sunday, November 01, 2009 6:13 PM
To: Debbie Hicks
Subject: Re: Happy Birthday Josh


I've been honestly waiting for Monday since Friday ha-ha I was really excited to hear from you and I love to hear from you..So Friday came and a Level 3 Typhoon hit Santo Tomas the area I am in, we got woken up around 3:30 because it was really loud outside the weather was incredible, but we've been in level 4 and level 5, before we were perfectly okay nothing happened to us because the Church has us staying in San Miguel Brgy. which is a really nice area and an awesome 2 story house! So everything was okay with us, and the prophet a few years ago recieved revelation to store water and 72 hour kits, so if anything were to happy we have enough food and water for 3 days alone, and president would come rescue us we are only 20 minutes away from mission office, so we are beyond safe. But seeing the effects of the Typhoon on our investigators was really sad and some have been killed. The Busa family lost as two of their family members, they were killed, we have been teaching the whole family since my arrival here.. It will be so hard to go back with the Mom and Grandma now gone. For instance the Busa families house got flooded maybe 5 feet and the surrounding areas there and the water was just sweeping people away, a Jeepney which is roughly the size of my truck got throw into a river and this man jumped in after it, it's sad to see people through away their lives for material possession. He was killed, they got a crane and pulled it out, but he was crushed from the water pressure. I got a picture, not the outcome I was expecting while I had my camera in hand. . I have a sad story to tell, when the typhoon hit , it was raining pretty hard, whenever it rains bad they tell us to go home so we stay in our fort haha. But it was in the Brgy. of San Miguel, and this little child got swept under this bridge, and down the river so this Lolo or grandpa jumped in after him, needless to say neither of them made it. Mom you would have been proud of me as we were crossing the same bridge at the exact time, and although it hurt tremendously,, I knew there was nothing I could do, to save the child or the grandfather.. We stopped and prayed for them, but it was obvious that they would not survive the ordeal. ( I remembered what you told me at the airport, help the living and pray for the dead, and to be aware of my surroundings and not to try and be a Hero ) We were told the next day that they also did not survive. It's sad but it's very preventable. The typhoon also knocked down a few walls in my brgy. Imperial because they were made out of cheap Cement I asked my companion Elder Bondoc why Philipinos don't make things to last and he says "Because we've cheap! :)" SO i suppose that is the philosophy here. Don't worry about us mom here, honestly I've never felt safer in my life the President is always wearry of us and constantly text the members around us to tell us if there is a storm coming and tell us to go home. About your dream, I haven't gotten your box yet it is probably at the Mission Home I suppose we'll travel over there today to see if it's there if we are able to get out and the roads are not destroyed. But you are a bit right about my companion. Rumors were that he was going to be transfered and I saw him and he got really upset, last night I was messing with him and told him I think i'm being transferred and although he tried to show it I could see him crying. He means a lot to me and I love Elder Bondoc, but life is like that, I'm pretty use to being upset and the large and small sacrifices out here...but there's always a new horizon and something if not better just different. We didn't get emails today so we don't know if I'm transferred, if not then all will be well...if so then Ganoon Buhay or life is like that.
Mom, you were correct, I have seen things and witnessed things here that no one should have to see or witness and so much of it is preventable, I guess I never realized how precious and fragile life really is and how very quickly your life can be lost.

It hurt me to think that Zach lost and he was upset, I hate those feelings and hope he is feeling better, whether they cheated or not doens't really matter, they got to the finals and they played their hearts out I suppose that's all that really matters what can you do? and if the game did get reversed would you really feel any better knowing you won because you complained? I'm as proud as him as I would be if he won. By the way I made him a REALLY cool jersey so expect that in a few weeks when ever I mail it, I'm still looking for some more gifts for you guys. It was weird waking up in our apartment and saying oh it's halloween oh it's my birthday, we woke up went for a jog I did crunches and Elder Bondoc said "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE!" Joe is the name for American's here Don't ask me why haha.

About the priest who is kidnapped don't worry about me mom That's in Southern Mindonah and you are an IDIOT if you are an american and go to Southern Philippines and expect to live or not be kidnapped, A lot of the terrorist travel from Indonesia and stay there and raise hell, the Philippino Gov. has been fighting them for years, and They are ususally really nice to their prisoners, because They are Visayans and Visayans are amazing people! Don't worry about North Philippines it's say here and everyone is afraid of me because of my size haha.

Speaking of Visayans we met a family this week called the Bagyo family, and it's interesting the miracles that happen in missions, I say a big sign that was for boyscouts so I walked over to the thing and peeked over and at that exact time I saw the brother of Julies Bagyo our investigator, he is the manager of the Chicken Farm or Texas farm it's for COck fighting they imporart chickens from Hawaii and train them to fight in Manila in internation competitions each chicken cost like 30,000 pesos or roughly 600$it's crazy. Julies after seeing us decided to invite us in, he thanked us very much for teaching him and fed us pork chops he was beyond polite he also told us. That if we are ever in danger or need somewhere to hide this is the safest place i n STO Thomas to come, since there are armed guards 24/7 and they are pretty well armed with M16's he also told us if we get in trouble with the police to tell him his name and we'll be free to go, and that if we need him to rough someone up on the street to tell him their name nad consider it done haha. That last offer was very tempting but this man is so imcredible nice, and had said "I beleive it's possible you are sent form God, usually I just ignore Missionaries because I don't really trust them but then I say you in your shirt and ties and felt that I should invite you in, and what you've taught me and my family I am so greatful for" I'm not saying his baptized yet but we taught them twice already and we're playing basketball with them later tonight they are so nice. He used to fight Taekwando so he is teaching me alittle here and there haha its so great here. I really love his family and they invited us to their Christmas party on the 23rd. All is well here I am safe and the lord provides for us. Pray for me that I may find success here I love you all very much!

So excited for Tiffany going to PAris/Germany/England that's so sweet!

OKAY running out of time love you very much.
Elder Wallace means nothing to me

oh can you send an American Umbrella they are cheap and break here consistantly Love you all so much

Elder Gonzalez

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