Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Well, it's been another week in the Philippines"

Well it's been another week in the Philippines and it's almost been a whole transfer.  This week has been...well, different.  We were really short on lessons because of what I like to call "an adventure in San Juan."  San Juan is currently part of the Cabugao area and we go into it every so often but never into the sentro.  President has asked us to find an apartment in there so we have spent a good two and a half days just searching out there and not being able to teach.  I'm not gonna lie, it's been a little frustrating. Walking around looking for apartments is nowhere near as fun as being able to teach.  It's disappointing to go out and come back without having taught a single lesson.
But here's a quick little awesome story.  I decided to fast the third day that we went out to San Juan and as you might imagine, I got exhausted from walking around all day with no food.  We were getting ready to head back to Cabugao and decided to talk to a less active member one last time to see if we could teach him or find out about a vacant apartment.  We passed a large group of kids and Elder Lynn did a magic trick for them.  We turned the corner to go to our less active friend's house and he was busy so we turned back again.  We turned the corner going back to the main road when suddenly the same group of kids and some more of their friends came charging towards us with big smiles and screaming for us to give them "uphir" (high-five).  If there's anything that will lift your spirits it's love, and as I've already mentioned, kids are the best at showing Christlike characteristics, love being one of the strongest.  That was a masayang masayang moment!
Investigators...We have a really awesome kid named Vladimir that is getting baptized on Nov. 30 and we just taught him the WoW.  He said he used to smoke and drink but he already gave that up before we taught him and all he has to do is give up cafe.  He just said "ok Elders."  Simple as that.  We haven't had a baptism yet.  The two girls that I was hoping would be baptized soon have to come to church a lot more.  They didn't come yesterday which doesn't help me or them.  There were some 16 year-old adin that sit outside on a bench really close to our apartment and they asked us if we could "interview" them some time.  We said ok, how about tomorrow?  We totally thought they were joking, but the next night we came by and they brought out some chairs.  It ended up being a really good lesson and I feel like at least 3 of the 5 kids there really had an interest in what we were saying. Now all we have to do is find out where they live.  Kind of an odd story now: we contacted a referral from a recent convert and we had just started talking with him a bit and were about to get into the lesson when his niece came in and said "namatay ang lola ni (some name I didn't catch)." Translation:  Someone's grandma died.  He was a little startled by that and we kind of figured it was a bad time to start teaching so we left abruptly and he did too.  I think it was his aunt...yata.  Hopefully we can teach him and he'll find out about the Plan of Salvation.
So I ate at McDonalds during a little trip up to Laoag...It's not the same.  We have a 7-11 in Cabugao now though so we can get slurpees!!!  We had a little leak in our faucet and got a part to fix it, but somehow the whole top popped off and started spewing water out sort of like a mini-geyser.  We had someone help fix that though so ayos na!
Last story is about what happened yesterday.  Elder Lynn brought ties for all the priesthood holders who don't have any.  The District Presidency came for the branch's primary program and one of the counselors was wearing a barong-Tagalog.  It's a white shirt with some little designs on the sides and it's made from pineapple fiber.  In the Filipino culture, wearing a tie with that is not pwede.  Well Elder Lynn asked him to wear a tie anyway and he got really embarrassed.  After sacrament, the first counselor came and told Elder Lynn that he shouldn't do that, but the other missionaries and Elder Lynn said that as holders of the priesthood we should wear ties to our church meetings.  I couldn't get more than two words of Tagalog in basically saying "ok" or "ayos na", but this guy was furious.  It wasn't the most pleasant experience and I'm pretty sure Jesus would have handled the whole thing a lot differently.  But we had an excellent proselyting day.  We hit every single goal we had set perfectly.  So in a way, it was a perfect other ways, not so much.
Ok to answer some questions now.  Filipino watermelon is orange, but they have red ones too they're just smaller.  I don't feel like I've eaten anything weird yet.  The rainy season is over so I really only got two days worth of it, now it's just hot.   The practice ACT I thought was harder than the real one, but it's not stupid...just hard and long.   (In response to Emma telling Christopher about the practice ACT she just took) Oh yeah, I did get those letters.  I was actually planning on writing a real letter today maybe...we'll see how time works out.
Well that's it for this week.  Mahal ko kayo lahat!
-Elder Egan

Fingerprinting trip to Laoag and reunion with his MTC district

Elder Egan and his companion

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