Thanks for your letter. It's truly always good to hear about any updates from home, but I suppose when I come home I won't even recognize the place. Oh, well we get transferred enough I've yet really to get settled in and feel quite at home. As long as there is food, spacy room, and a comfy bed I'm happy. This week has been extremely good for me! We've been teaching a lot and I've been trying to work even harder. It gets really hard sometimes when missionaries get stuck in the groove of things. When all they had were lazy trainers and follow-ups they don't like to work too hard. But I guess that's all on me! I've had some really great experiences this week. I wish i could send some pictures home of Calaca it's amazing...but as always the internet shop has no card reader. We've been working and teaching a lot of families; Sinag, Aporbo,Correa,De Reyes, and Sale. Sinag is such an amazing family, they aren't married yet...that's the huge problem here no one wants to get married. They have a baby girl a young couple and we are working with them to get them married and to stop smoking so that they can qualify for baptism, it's frustrating at times...it seems that sometimes they have no DESIRE..That's the thing I want to talk about today....DESIRE. There is a saying in Tagalog :"Nasa Tao Ang Gawa, Nasa Diyos Ang Awa"--which means roughly haha 'God has the grace/mercy and people do the work' It's really interesting, these people who have been taught for about a year now, they believe in our message, they go to church, but they don't want to rid themselves of the vices and things in their lives that make them struggle. It's sad...we teach and encourage and bear testimony that these things aren't good for them and God is willing to help them change but then they go running back to it. It hurts to see the pain that's in there lives, but at the same time we are filled with so much joy when we see them overcome their weaknesses! Aporbo is a older lady and her whole family are members, but she's struggling with smoking. At sometimes I get really frustrated because they are pretty poor, but she continues to spend $ on cigerettes. We've set the goal only to smoke 3 ciggerettes a day then move on from there. I mean the Tindahan (store) is far away from her house, yet she still walks over there and buys them when she's passed three...but I still haven't lossed hope. Correa is such an awesome family! They live by a lot of members and have always seen americans walking around in neckties but didn't know why, so we decided to tract her. This lady is always waaaaay nice and feeds us all the time. We've taught her a few times, but when we taught her husband last Saturday it was amazing! At first he was kind of shy and just asked us basic questions, like "What things aren't you allowed to do, who is mormon? what do you believe, etc" After we answered a few questions, we asked if we could start the lesson. Elder Painagan and I decided to teach about Prophets up unto the apostacy (where we believe Christ church was taken from the earth, because people rejected the prophets/apostles and changed the original doctrines of the church) I couldn't deecribe how well the lesson went, everything seem to fall into place, the tagalog came smoothly the pages opened up to what we wanted to share, the questions and answers were perfect. The spirit was so strong, then when we left we set a return appointment and the father said. "Sige sa sabado sanay babalik kayo" or okay on saturday hopefully you will come back! Over all awesome lesson! The De Reyes family was a referral of the neighbor we were teaching, The neighber way nice, but her husband doesn't like when we come by the house, in fact he doesn't even speak to us haha....Lets hope it's just my Tagalog ;). Anways we went and taught them, same thing happened they just seemed to be super interested and nice! I'm so excited to teach and help them progress through the gospel I have alot of hope here in Calaca...the field truly is "white all ready to harvest!"
On another note, last wednesday was very trying. It was San Juan day! Or in other words the Catholic celebration of Juan Bautista's Saint Day. Haha did you think it was anything Holy? Nope infact it's everything that's not Christian haah. So this is what takes place on this day. Whoever you are, old or young, police, army, or office working or missionary ;), if you go out side people will soak you with beer and freezing cold water. All day, they even stop the buses and board them and throw water at you. You cannot leave the house or you will get wet. Well, that day we worked of course! We actually went to Balayan for lunch for the "Paradan Ng Lechon" Festival and to withdrawal $. Or basically this festival is everyones drunk throwing cold water, live music and a ton of Lechon baboy. Which is roasted pig, it was amazing and the first time I tried it! (This week I was close to trying dog, but decided not to....too bad) Anyways, we got soaked going there to the festival...which I didn't mind I thought it was fun I even got in on some of the soaking, when the people would run up to us while we were in the jeepneys I would take the bucket from their hands and pour it over their heads. The time I got upset was when it was about 4:00 we were teaching and everything seemed to calm down. (In Maynila the soaking stops early around 12-2pm but in Batangas it never stops daw) We were walking on the seashore going to an investigators house, then all of a sudden this drunk guy comes running up to use screaming with a bucket and stops right before us. I look at his pitcher and it's field with dirty, disgusting sea water, it was mud colored. My companion said "Huwag Na Po, hindi pwede kaming maging basa" or Please don't we aren't suppose to get wet. But sure enough, he looked at us then his water and threw it all over us, my shirt was covered in black spects and I was wet again. I kind of lost it with him, and in Tagalog chastised him. and his response and those around him was......
'Wag Kang Magalit totoy, ganoon talaga dito"
Don't get mad, boy (What you use for little kids) it's like that here.
Haha looking back I suppose it's funny, but I was pissed haha. Of well we went to a members house and deliver. Jason Lucernas' mission call to him. (Yeates knows him) He's going to the Cawauyan Mission! The videos hilarious I'll have to send it to you.
It was the most uneventful opening of a misson call every in a very silent voice he just says "Cawauyan?"
Other then getting a little sick from being wet all day! Life is good here in Calaca! :) This week we have Zone Con! I'm stoked, Good food and we get to go to Lipa!
Glad to hear Tiff made it back safe from China, Zach's magaling at football, jess is enjoying herself, and you guys are still working hard on the house...I guess this means
you won't be getting a farm for horses?
I love you all very much and miss you more than every,
Don't worry about me you can trust me out here...I'm safe
Faithfully your Son,