Sounds like life keeps on keeping on just like it does here. That's really sad to hear, Bro. Carling is a great guy. With pictures, I would like hard copies if that's possible, but they have printers here and it's cheap to print things so that works really well too. Nope, no piano playing unfortunately; there's just not enough time to try and coordinate that. So we managed to get through and withdraw money for the month today and we have 380 pesos from my emergency fund to spare!!! It's about 40 (some people say 42 some 43) pesos to a dollar. Buying power is huge here. You can get a weeks worth of groceries comfortably with 1000 pesos per person and then extra expenses for food puts you at about $25 US per week with food. It's dirt cheap to get some things, I bought 3 pens for around 50 cents earlier.
So this week has been stressful with the money situation, but Elder Ramsay is a really good and caring guy and he's making sure that we're taken care of and we've put all that aside and just gone about missionary work and it's been a very good week. We didn't really party on New Year's Eve because it isn't exactly pwede and we were just too exhausted anyway. We had a lunch and dinner given to us on New Year's day which was a huge blessing for us. We got some haircuts too and a lot of the little kids have been saying I look like Spiderman now. I'm still waiting for the spider senses to kick in though. One more cool thing, I had a dream this last week and I said one word of Tagalog: Dagat! It means sea and it would take too long to explain why that was the word I said in my dream, basta (can't really translate that because there is no real English word for that) I count it as somewhat dreaming in Tagalog.
So an update with the work. We had a baptism for Jenny Ann Ramirez. She's 11 and definitely knows that the gospel is true. The other Elders had a baptism too so it was double the spiritual goodness. Jenny Ann is from a family that's pretty big, but at home is tatay, nanay, Gesser, her, and Jemima. Gesser is going to be baptized on the as long as he doesn't miss church for two weeks. Tatay works in Cabugao (my old area!) but he's really far from the chapel so he can't go to church when he's working. Nanay always comes without fail. This family knows it's true and they've been prepared. Tatay still needs to work a little on the Word of Wisdom and hopefully we can figure out a job situation so he and his wife can be baptized together. One of our most committed investigators named Sheilla leaves for Manila today and won't be back until May. It's sad that she'll be gone for that long, but when she comes back she's going to get married to her live in and then be baptized, that's a goal she set for herself. I wouldn't be surprised a bit if she finished reading the Book of Mormon and started into Doctrine and Covenants maybe by the time she comes back. John Paul and Menchy are the neighbors of the Ramirez family and they have shown a lot of faith and interest in the gospel as well. We just finished up the last lesson we had for them: tithing. They had no problems with that whatsoever and are willing to pay when they get baptized. The hard part about that is they need to get married as well and it's expensive, so we're trying to figure that out as well. It's a lot of fun to work with and teach these people. You can really see a change in people's lives and I look forward to more experiences like the baptism last Saturday.
Mahal mahal ko po kayo lahat! Thanks for the prayers and thoughts.