Monday, August 29, 2011

Dog poo.

Dear Mom,

It's been a short four days. It's hard to believe I'm coming to the end of this transfer already. The transfers seem to just keep getting shorter and shorter, then again, anything seems short after that last nine-week transfer!

Well the missions are starting to see some new, strange things as far as media and things they are allowing missionaries to now do. Missions around the world are now receiving one portable DVD player per companionship for training purposes which is great. The training DVDs have really made a difference as well as being able to watch church DVDs during study. Media is playing a big role nowadays in missionary work. Our mission now is really focusing on getting people to which seems to be making a pretty big difference. itself has changed dramatically, and we are excited to see the continuing progress. We've got these new pass-a-long cards that basically show the many faces of people in our religion around the world and the new reinforces that. It's going to be crazy to see what else missionary work will see in the next few years

It's been awhile since I had some good, funny experiences to share with you. Today, I definitely have a few!

Last week, I was able to go on exchanges with my district leader and zone leader which was a lot of fun. The first was with my district leader's companionship. I was with Elder Naraja in their area, Gen. T. Deleon. We got to go around and see the good work they've been doing. The best part was, Elder Aquielena, who I've been in the same zone with three times, has apparently been preparing all the investigators to get to know me and has been talking about me to them! Every house I walked into, they greeted me as "Am-Boy" which to me, sounded like "Ham-Boy." I was so confused until Elder Naraja finally explained it as a shortened "American-Boy." It was great, and they were all so nice! Even funnier, Elder Aquilena arranged a schedule so that I would see all the people that heard me sing at temple tour. So every lesson we went to, the people we taught forced me to sing. It is great, sharing music everyday kahit papano!

The next set of exchanges I went on was with Elder Crockett whose best friend is dating Emily Voyles, my treasurer in student council senior year! I had a couple great experiences with him that day in his area in Meycauayan, Bulacan province. First had to do with prayer. I've had a few cool experiences with prayer, but this one was definitely a really good one. So we were teaching in a typical "squatter" house with a tin roof, and because there is a typhoon coming through, it started to rain really, really hard. It's really loud on a tin rough when it rains, if you can imagine. Screaming sometimes still isn't sufficient. So while one of the sisters with us was teaching, I shut my eyes and said a short prayer, and as soon as I said amen, the rain stopped. Or at least it seemed to stop. The noise went away because there wasn't any drops hitting the roof, but one of the people we were teaching pointed out how strangely, outside looking at the window, we could see that it was still pouring. It was raining everywhere around the house, but not on the house we were in. Can you believe that? It was a great experience. And then, something happened that we really didn't expect. While I was teaching, every one just burst into laughter. I just thought that maybe my zipper was undone or something. I came to find out that the dog had apparently just laid a nice, fresh load of... crud right in front of me. Yup. Gotta love the Philippines!

And today. We got together as a district and played some games as we usually do. Today we played a game that I've never played before. You're going to love this.

So I walked outside, and I heard them talking about going home to get a "lata" which I was sure meant "can." It didn't make sense to me, so I thought maybe "lata" actually meant something else. Well, they actually did mean "can." The elders came back with a used sardines can and everyone just started jumping up and down. I was really confused being the only foreigner and just thought to myself... what on earth kind of game did us Filipinos make up with with a tin can? You gotta be kidding me right? Haha. So here's the deal.

First you have to see who, in English, is "it" or in Tagalog, "taya." So you play this game before the game and get in a circle. The person clanks the can in front of each person singing a song, until it lands on someone. That person is lucky and they are not "taya." Then every person after that has to try to flip the can and get it to land standing up. You keep going around the circle until each person has done it - as in flipped the can and stood it up. Then the last person is "it." I got way lucky on that part.

Now, the fun part. The game is played by putting the can a few feet away and then taking off one of your flip flops and trying to hit the can to free the people in jail. You get into jail by sacrificing yourself to knock the can over by throwing your flip flop. Even if you miss, you are still in jail. When you are in jail, you wait by your flip flop until someone either knocks the can over, or you decide to try to make an escape. As soon as you pick up your flip flop, you are subject to being caught, so its usually best to wait until the can is knocked over, because the guard can't chase anyone, until he puts the can back. Does that make sense? Haha, I'll just have to show you when I get home.

It sounds retarded, but it was WAY fun! I haven't laughed that much in a long time. It's a game that little kids play in the streets and here we are a bunch of 19 to 21 year-olds playing this game just like a bunch of little kids screaing at the top of our lungs. I always wondered what this game was because sometimes when the kids play it, you get hit by flying flip flops walking by. Now I know! We'll play it when I get home for sure!

On that same note, did I mention that a few weeks back, we played hide and go seek and two elders ended up getting injured because they ran into each other sliding for base? Jason and Ian? Yup. Good stuff!
Afterwards, we came back to our apartment and had lunch outside in our spacious terrace for my birthday on Thursday and Sister Lubrido's birthday on Friday. Sent a couple pictures to show!

Needless to say, this week may not have been the best at times, but I've really just focused on making it great. I've come to a point where I'm not going to let anyone or anything take my smile away now. I've learned that you really can change how you feel about things our people by changing the way you think about them. If you dwell on terrible thoughts - you bet it, you'll feel terrible. Focus on the good, and you have nothing to worry about. I feel like I've got the most power from this quote from President Thomas S. Monson:
Be of good cheer, the future is as bright as your faith.
Elder Corpuz

P.S. Really crazy thing I found out the other day. Our mission is only about twide. I'm about 10 miles from my last area, but with traffic here, it takes TWO HOURS to get there. Can you imagine that?