Wednesday, December 29, 2010
(After our telephone conversation…) we headed to our branch Christmas party at the
church. we got to watch a few of the little dances/performances, ate,
then watched them play a few games before leaving, including one where
the younger kids danced boy/girl with a ball about the size of a golf
ball held between their heads, and whoever kept it there the longest
one! then an apple eating contest with the same kids, where there were
apples hanging from strings and they had to eat them as fast as they
could w/o hands. it was very fun to watch, and so fun for the kids.
Then they had a Filipino piñata! They had clay pots with a little bit
of candy that they hung and swung at blindfolded ha-ha I have some
pictures I’ll send hopefully next week. I didn’t bring my camera
because we just got back from roxas, at 6 at night! and we are in a
super rush to get our laundry and everything done tonight! After the
Christmas party was a normal day of work! We taught a couple lessons
and tried to focus on the Savior and His birth. We visited a part
member family that didn’t go to the party, because they said they were
embarrassed because they didn’t have any money so they couldn’t
contribute to the food like they should have. It was a very down mood
when we arrived, but we shared about Christ and it lightened up a
little bit. It makes me realize how blessed I have been in my life.
For this family, and many others, Christmas was a normal day of work,
maybe even a little worse than normal knowing that so many other
people were enjoying celebrating the holiday. I was glad that we could
help lift their spirits a little bit talking about the true spirit of
Christmas, but I still wish there was more we could have done. We have
been so blessed with the lives we've grown up in! We had a couple
other lessons then had dinner together with the other missionaries. It
was a very eye-opening Christmas for me.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
For other service, we've been struggling finding things. we deep cleaned our house for our service day this last week. that was fun! its nice and shiny clean. for the most part. but I can really feel a difference now. it was... pretty messy in some areas. but now I feel like it is a better place for the spirit to reside! the other service, one time we went to a less active's house and tried to help them build a house. but, they didn’t have enough materials, so the guy pretty much threw up, very sloppily, 1 and a half out of 4 walls and called it good! other than that, I can’t recall our other ones. We've weeded a couple times. if you thought weeding was a chore at home...... think again! haha but its always a great feeling to serve the people. And they think its hilarious to see Americans working, especially weeding haha
for laundry, we have 2 buckets. We soak clothes in one w/ some soap for a couple hours or half a day. Then, scrub scrub scrub with our hands! just scrub the clothing against themselves all over, focusing on the sweatiest areas! then, ring out, put in a bucket of clean water. rinse and ring out, repeated 2 or 3 times, then hang up! Fairly time consuming, and not very entertaining, but, it must be done! can only wear a church shirt 2 days max here with all the sweat and rain combined with the dust sticking to you.
I have not yet received the birthday package! But hopefully soon. Elder Adams got a package that arrived a couple days ago and only took 13 days, when Elder Andrews was sent in mid September and got it the same day! guess it just depends. elder Andrews' was full of ants. haha. But a lot of it was salvageable. For my birthday we're going to make home made ice cream to celebrate, and probably go to dinner somewhere close by one of these nights. Exciting! And I’m very excited for the Christmas package :)
We had a great testimony meeting this month. Probably the most spiritual sacrament meetings I’ve had here. The YSA group had an activity the weekend previous, and apparently it was a huge success! There were multiple less-active single adults there, and they all shared very powerful testimonies and desires to become more active in the church again! We had a low turn out on investigators at church. BUT there were lots of less actives, which is pretty much just as good! The testimonies were so strong. It was so great to here these testimonies here, and feel, even though we're on the opposite side of the world, holding church in just a small church house with no piano and a small tape player for the microphone, that the testimonies and doctrines and members of the church are strong here as well and have great spiritual experiences. Priesthood class was great. It felt so full with just a couple of 21 yr old men there that normally weren't. We talked about baptism and confirmation and the priesthood, and they were so excited about knowing they could perform baptisms that they all got out paper and wrote down the proper way to do it and the prayer for it and how to confirm people as members! I felt the spirit so strong as I watched these men so excited to become active and ready to use their priesthood. Hopefully 2 of them will be able to be ordained as Elders soon, and have the desire to serve missions! Rey, the 77 yr old that just got baptized, should be ordained to a priest in the next couple of weeks! Our branch president, President Alajar, baptized him.
This week we tried something new with some of our lessons. We took around the 20-minute restoration video about Joseph smith and showed it to multiple families. What a great movie! I felt the spirit so strong each time we watched it. And I really felt like it helped investigators understand Joseph smith's story better. We also had a very powerful lesson with John about baptism and its importance, and committed him to pray about it because he's not quite sure if he wants to be baptized yet, but he said he'll prepare to be ready for November 27!
This weekend we had zone conference where the whole zone gathers and the mission president comes and teaches and then the APs teach as well. I love president pagaduan. Such a great man. He talked about understanding our purpose as missionaries, and then being unified as missionaries. Then the APs had a great lesson on the power of the Spirit and it's importance in conversion. Great great conference!
I shook a 111-year-old ladies hand! That was cool. I did a respectful handshake where you bend down slightly and touch their hand to your forehead, and she thanked me for it haha
there are rats and cats playing in our ceiling. One of them fell thru the ceiling in the middle of the night last night. haha. we need to set up our traps again!
Well that’s about all I got this week! I love you so much. thank you so much for the emails and the thoughts. I love hearing from you each week and about how the family is doing. more to come next week!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
October 9, 2010
This last week was a big fiesta in Estancia, and right next to our house there is a big Philippine independent church, and right outside of it there was a group of teens playing concerts a couple nights in a row, which was fun to stop and listen to for a minute. They play all the popular U.S. songs because that’s what plays on all the radios! I wanted to go up there and join them but I thought it might not be very missionary like, plus it was on the grounds of another church ha-ha.
As for money, I should be ok for a while. I’ve bought a couple things here with it: a pull up bar, some cards, and yes, I actually bought a guitar a couple weeks ago! I could probably count that as an early Christmas present. I am getting some music for hymns and things and been trying to learn some of the efy songs I have on my ipod.
The weather sounds great there. I’m jealous. I have definitely NOT become accustomed to the heat, and I don’t think I ever will probably ha-ha. I’m getting more used to the feeling of constantly sweating, and of being very sticky in the afternoon, and we carry around handkerchiefs to try and keep the sweat out of our eyes! It’s just always hot. We got quite a bit of rain the past few weeks, which is a great relief w/ the cloud cover and such. But one night we had to walk a long ways from a member’s house to the center of town and got completely drenched! Even w/ our umbrellas. Sometimes it just pours! Cant decide if I’d rather be drenched in rain, or sweat, but its usually one of the two ha-ha
Conference was absolutely amazing! So many amazing talks. We went to Roxas city to watch them all, so we even got to enjoy them in an air-con church building! It was super luxury! I loved Pres. Monson's talk on gratitude, the guy that talked about the scorpion and the sting of sin and poison of pride or something like that. His talk was very powerful to me. And of course Uchtdorf's were amazing! His pride one was great, and the one about just slowing down in life and focusing on the important things. I’m so excited to go over all my notes on them these next few weeks, and to get the Liahona with the talks!
Well, this week was kind of slow. But I do have a great story about our investigator Remo: for the past week or so he's been planning a trip to Manila to pick up his mother who has been staying there and bring her here. He was planning to leave yesterday, but has no job and no money, so he'd been really worried the last few days about what he was going to do. But when we visited him on Friday he told us this: I fixed a stereo system (ish thing) a while back, but haven’t been able to find ANYONE to buy it! But, I prayed elders, and God answered my prayer. I asked to find someone to buy it, and someone showed up, just like that! And now I have exactly enough money to travel to manila, and hopefully stop by Guimarras to visit my wife and my son for his 3-year-old birthday.
It is so incredible to see him exercising so much faith. And then recognizing where his blessings are coming from. He has many many trials in his life, but he turns to Heavenly Father, and sees the blessings from it. He won’t be back for a couple weeks, but we're so excited for him to return so we can continue teaching him and getting closer to his baptism.
Other than that, it has been hard switching from focusing on Balasan to Estancia. We went back to having almost no investigators to teach, so we're visiting a couple less-active members and searching for new investigators. But the work goes on! Our teachings should escalate again as we find new people to teach.
Thank you so much for the emails! I love you so much and pray for the family every day.
Thank you for the thoughts and prayers!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
October 4, 2010
Today was transfer announcements! Where we have our normal Monday meeting, but they let everyone know who's going to be leaving their areas and who is going to be being appointed to leadership positions! So super exciting. but, unexpectedly, our whole apartment of 4 elders is staying exactly the same! We thought at least Elder Ellsworth would be transferring cuz he's been in the area for a real long time, but he's still there! My companion Elder A got assigned as the new district leader. but, we're not going to be assigned to Balasan really any more :( the area we live in, Estancia, is really struggling w/ how many priesthood holders they have, so they are going to split the city in half, and we'll take half and they'll take half. but it'll be a fun change! It’s been a great week! We had some really good lessons w/ some of our progressing investigators. We taught one of them the word of wisdom that was really cool. We had 5 investigators at church from Balasan yesterday! That’s a ton compared to the average week, especially for it being a new area! So we were way excited for that. but it’s kind of sad we'll only be spending a day or two in Balasan each week now.
Before one of our lessons, my companion challenged an investigator to chess for me. I got beat pretty bad. but it was great for building a relationship! Now I just need to practice up on my skills for the next time I play him. Its fun finding small things like that to relate to people with. One time we also walked across some teens playing guitars and so I played a song for them which they thought was cool. How often do they hear a real live American play guitar and sing? Not often! haha.Hope all is going well back home! I'm having such a great time out here.
I love my mission!
Elder Sam Pettit
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Canned 555 tuna is getting a little old for each dinner, but its still
tasty haha we're trying some new things this week, but so far nothing
really out of the ordinary has been eaten! When they cook fish, they
just cook the fish... there is one organ they remove because it is
bitter, other than that, the guts, the fins, the eyes, the head... all
just part of the food! Yum! I’m not a huge fan of it to be honest
Yes we take a tricycle to and from balasan every day, and sometimes
take it around the town too because the area is HUGE. Really spread
out. So if we have lots of appointments, sometimes we have to catch an
extra ride across town. Its sad to see us using so much money on the
travel, but it all works out. It’s pretty fun! My favorite place to sit
is sideways on the back of the motorcycle, or standing up on the back
of the sidecar. Those 2 places get the most wind (nice and cool!) and
I can just look out across the landscape better.
I got to see a baptism this weekend! The other elders, Ellsworth and
Andrews, had 2 teenage sisters baptized. We took about a 5-minute
drive down the road to a little beach area, and that’s where they did
it! It was so exciting to see! We have about 5 people right now
committed for baptism October 30, so hopefully I’ll be reporting about
those in about a month!
We live pretty close to the beach; close enough that they dry the fish
out right at the end of our street, so there is always a yummy fish
scent outside. mmm. But the ocean is very pretty, and there are a
couple islands just off the coast that are pretty.
Well, this week was really good. We had our record for lessons taught
in one week! We have a real funny 77-year-old man we're teaching that
is scheduled to be baptized end of October. He says I look like Barack
Obama. He says "Barackama!!" hahaha and he says my companion looks
like George bush. Do I really look like Obama? Ha-ha and people here
doubt whether I’m 100% American, because I have black hair. They
always ask if one of my parents is Pilipino or Mexican ha-ha that’s a
hard one to explain!
We are also teaching a 30-ish year old guy that is so excited about
the gospel. We just taught the plan of salvation, and he kept pointing
at our picture of the celestial kingdom and saying "that’s where I’m
going!!" its so great to be teaching these people that are prepared to
hear the gospel, are accepting it and progressing. It makes it a lot
easier when they aren't questioning everything we say! Ha-ha
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
So, yes, I was daring with the balut, but, I probably won’t eat anything that cool really again, because it is strongly advised against. One rule of what we shouldn’t eat is "don’t ever eat something someone dares you to" hahaha I thought that was funny.
I do have a great story about something I ate this week :)
We were teaching a husband and wife investigators, and the wife said something about what she was cooking and asked if we'd ever tried it. We both said no, and I didn’t really register what she said in English at this moment. So she brought out these bowls of steamy hot soup! It smelled good, and the broth was actually rather tasty, but there were these strange things in them that I couldn’t tell what they were. They looked like... mm hard to describe, like the peel of an onion, a little square of it, but really thick. Like pieces were probably half inch thick. There was barely any meat in the soup. So I decided to eat one of those things cuz they looked like a vegetable or something. But, it wasn’t. It was really tough, rubbery ish, quite strange to try to bite and break up to swallow, and it tasted strange. The texture was really weird. so. Guess what it was? If you haven’t guessed it yet, it was big chunks of boiled COW SKIN! YUM!!!
So in the Philippines, more so in the smaller towns, there are what are called 'brown outs' where the power just stops working for, oh, anywhere from 15 minutes to 6+ hours, you just never know. We’ve averaged about 1 brown out a day. This is rough, because that means our little electric fans don’t work, so we just cook in our house. (We have a pretty nice house, I wish I could send pictures! hopefully next week I can). But, one morning, we woke up to one, and it didn’t look like it was coming on soon, so I got my first candle-lit shower! It was pretty fun. We go thru a lot of candles. But I’m buying a flashlight hopefully today. Everything is SO cheap here! Sure, its not top notch quality (ha-ha), but dirt cheap! everything! Eating out at restaurants, no more than $3 for a big meal!
It’s funny how different the weather is in just a short distance. In our town 15-20 minutes from this one, we could have a HUGE rainstorm (had an hour long ish one last week that left us soaked) and come home at night and the other elder's have had no rain at all! our area, balasan, seems to rain almost every day! so I’m getting an umbrella today too :)
The work is going well, continuing to find good people to teach, slowly but surely. Cool experience with one of them a couple days ago: he said, in his opinion we were God's instruments, to bring him the Holy Ghost, and that he doesn’t think it was coincidence that we met him in the city hall the day we did. Wow!! How incredible! We sometimes will tell people that ourselves, but he just strait up said it! That ended the day really well for us, feeling rather good about ourselves ha-ha.
The language can be frustrating. I’m understanding more, bit by bit, but I just really wish I could hold a conversation. But, I know the Lord will help me as I focus on the people, and it will come! (Hopefully before I’m transferred to an area w/ a different language! haha)
Thank you so much for your emails and love and support. I love hearing how everyone is doing.
I love you so much!
Monday, August 30, 2010
you can send this to anyone that would like to hear! love you!
Monday, August 23, 2010
i cant believe it! i leave today!!!!