|Flooding in the Streets|
So first, we had another typhoon. I LOVE STORMS IN THE PHILIPPINES! Even when we have to walk in water up to our calves that has floating diapers (haha) and no one is home. Only in the Philippines! Lots and lots of rain, thankfully the storm went over us pretty fast, so we just got a lot of rain for a long time. This storm wasn't quite as bad as the last one but there was way more flooding. I think it all came from the river that starts in Pilar (my area). I think I sent a quick picture last week, but literally every building flooded, every house, seriously lahat. Even the banks in Balanga, which was pretty funny. One of our areas (the same place with the dead dog skeleton) had flooding up to their shoulders inside their house, I felt so bad because when it floods, they can't do anything to stop it and they can't go anywhere so they sit on the top of their houses with all the stuff they can carry up there and then just wait until the flood is gone. It's especially hard not being to do anything really to help them. Especially when the only thing is to say sorry and then ask to teach them ha. Also, it was so cold I had goosebumps and wore a sweater all week. The twisted part of that was that it was probably still like 75 degrees. Oh the twisted sense of weather I'm going to have when I get back... in December too.
|Recent Converts-Leona and Janessa|
My area, Pilar, I don't think I've ever told you much about it, and I have room, so, great! I LOVE MY AREA! Pilar is in the middle of a couple really big cities and close to everything but Pilar specifically is kind of in between- lots of people and cars and stuff happening (mostly karaoke) but not really any big buildings or major stuff. It's the perfect in between. Everything is based on a main highway that runs all the way though Pilar (they call it a highway put it's probably only the size of our neighborhood street with as many cars as I-15) and most the buildings are right off the highway. Or in the middle of rice field. And the ones in the middle of rice fields are just funny. Overall, Pilar is the size of Murray at home, I have no idea how many people, but it's not too big. But again, none of the provinces here are super big. The branch here is sooooo awesome. (Ya, branch, ha, didn't know what that meant before I got here. Now, what does ward mean??). The leaders are some of the best in the whole mission (says all the missionaries and other leaders) and really know how to do things right. I'm starting to actually make friends in the ward now too! I know people AND I know how to talk to them finally haha! Ya, I love it here. Now watch me be transferred.
Update on the Barecante family (remember them? No money, had a dream, wants soooo bad to baptized but doesn't have money for church). Anyway, we took them to church Sunday and they had an interview with the branch president. It was really long. I got really worried. Turns out they hadn't eaten for two days and literally no more money. Great, just what we needed, even more problems, how are they going to live. BUT the branch is going to help them from the fast offering funds! SO they went home that day with food and money for the next little bit, and a job interview. They will be so taken care of by the branch and we got the okay to keep teaching them. The branch here has really grown to love them and everyone has become so invested in them I have become so grateful for church funds like that that really help people. AND NOW THEY HAVE A BAPTISM DATE!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!! BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN SO LONG!!!!! Hopefully I'm here to see it, we'll see if I get transferred (because I'll be done with my training). Anyway, so so awesome!
Some more things about food (these are actually really awesome things). Turns out I've been eating a lot more crazy things than I thought. My policy has always just been to take it and eat it and don't ask questions about what it is. But my new companion always loves to know what the food is we're eating (for good and for bad). So, for awhile now actually, I've realized I've been eating things like liver, quail eggs, old fermented fish eggs (that's a story of it's own), and ube (kind of like a potato, but purple). And turns out all of them are good! Well, except the fermented fish. But, moving on. I'm pretty impressed with myself! But, I'll have to admit, I still don't particularly like fish.
AND best part of the week ever! I ate BALUT!!! Ha, remember researching it all the time before I left? It pretty much is a duck egg that sat in the sun and fermented for awhile and then they boil the eggs for a really long time. Sounds pretty normal. Oh ya, and they're fertilized so they have a giant baby duck inside, not just the yellow juice stuff haha. On Monday night, we went over to the branch president's house for FHE and dinner. He has wanted us to eat balut for so so long and I had always objected because it's my favorite animal (of course, how am I supposed to eat my favorite animal?!). But that night he brought it instead (joker siya talaga) and I got stuck and trapped into eating a baby duck. Thankfully it didn't have its' beak or feather yet. But, yes, I ATE IT:) And it wasn't that bad:) Who's the coolest in the family now (cough me cough)?!
Funny story: I'm starting to realize that pretty much all my emails are just one giant funny story, it's kind becoming a trend, but nevertheless, I'll continue. With a picture of a cat. Can I just say when I saw this little orange baby kitty, in the middle of the jungle, just hanging out on a pile of moss and cinder blocks, I just about freaked out. Sooooooooo cuteeee! Of course I took a picture. And I will be a witness that even in the Philippines, there exists cute little cats. In the jungle. That I take a picture of:)
Yes. That's all. It's always a good time being a missionary in the Philippines.