Sunday, November 27, 2011

Elder Pettit's Thanksgiving Duck!

"As for us, we had a wonderful thanksgiving dinner!  The other Elders picked up a duck Sunday night from a member, and she stayed the night in the bathroom. The following morning, we took her outside for some fresh air, and she enjoyed her time playing with the 3 little kids that live upstairs as we prepared the cement-block oven and purchased other necessary ingredients. It was sad to say goodbye, but at length we sent the children upstairs and prepared our friend for dinner. It was a little messy, and a little heart-wrenching after the time we had spent together, but we were pretty hungry. After the eulogy we began plucking it, but soon got tired of that, so just skinned it, took out its innards, and prepared it for the oven! We made it like a tinfoil dinner, and in a matter of an hour or so we had a tasty addition to our meal. It tasted good. Duck tends to be a little tough, but it had a good savor. In short, we had a very full-of-thanks thanksgiving."

Friday, November 25, 2011

New Assignment!

Elder Pettit informed us in his last email that he has been assigned as the new Assistant to the President beginning in December.  He was transferring immediately to begin training for his new assignment.  He will miss his current area and the people there, but he is excited to be working with the missionaries in the Iloilo mission! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Surprise for Elder Pettit!

Surprise! I’m staying in Mandurriao for another transfer! I was actually quite startled when I heard. This will be my first companion I’ve been with for 3 transfers. But luckily we get along well so it shouldn't be a struggle.

Last night was kind of emotional for me. After stake conference, we headed home and ate then had our studies. As we headed to our first appointment, about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, we got a text from a different area saying that they had a member in the hospital in Mandurriao that was in critical condition that we should try to stop by. So after an adventure in the hospital of trying to find him, we located him in the ER. From the moment we saw him we pretty much knew that there wasn't much hope. He was about 54, and he laid on his bed w/ his son at his side, manually pumping air into his mouth to keep him breathing. It just so happened that I had met his son, Julious, and his sister a couple times while I was on Guimaras. I asked him what there was left to do and he said, "nothing," that the manual pump was the only thing keeping him alive, and that they were just waiting for their youngest sister to show up before stopping. But he said something that lifted my spirits: "but it's ok, right Elder? Because we're sealed." he was incredibly calm as he sat there, which I initially thought may be due to a little bit of shock, but I felt like it was more due to the peace and assurance he felt knowing where his father was going and that they'd be able to be together again in the future. The rest of the family was outside, and we talked with them for a little while and tried to help comfort them as best as we could. Then we assisted Julious in giving his father a blessing, the first one he's ever given, before the other elders showed up and we headed to an appointment. This morning I read in Mosiah about "the sting of death" being "swallowed up in Christ" and was again very grateful for the knowledge and peace the understanding of the Plan of Salvation brings.

Monday, September 26, 2011

An Excerpt From Sam's Email 9/25/11

This is the first area I have been in that I’ve got fed…we enjoy it. The members are very nice. Plus it leaves us with more money to buy tasty snacks. Depending on who it is, they will normally cook lots of rice (too much most of the time) and then a couple of "sudan"s (which, being translated, means pretty much "something ate on rice") such as chicken adobo, fried chicken, fish, pork adobo, pork estufado, vegetable soupish dishes, etc. our tagia, or owner of our apartment, took us out to eat this week at a seafood/chicken restaurant that is apparently very well known. There we had lechon chicken, lechon pork, chicken liver (I’m not a big fan,) and squid (imagine eating chunks of tire...) and then we had a fresh cut open coconut for a drink. I have a picture of us eating a week or so ago after Maricel's baptism, where we ate chicken butt... ha-ha. So, overall, we eat pretty normal stuff, that I love! I have really come to enjoy soy sauce. And we'll always have the occasional weird thing that I don’t really love, but isn’t too bad, like liver and squid, and chicken butt. Ha-ha.

This week was a little bit slower with the work because we had some leadership trainings, but the trainings were very inspirational and motivating. I love learning from other Elders and our mission president. But the biggest success of the week was the baptism of Rolando and Minerva. They had a great experience, and their testimonies were so powerful afterwards. Minerva pretty much told the story of the restoration, taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, and bore her testimony of the truthfulness of the church. We were very impressed! Rolando was full of gratitude for the missionaries in the church and the work we do, because, in his words, "because of them, I found the true path that leads to the Kingdom of God." everyone that attended had a very spiritual experience.

Yesterday we held our wards "first ward missionary training" which was a great success. Even President Pagaduan was able to attend. We invited all of our ward missionaries, our ward mission leader, and the auxiliary leaders to attend. We shared parts talking about what a ward missionary is, how we are all missionaries, the purpose of missionaries and members, and our responsibilities. Bishop shared about the importance of ward missionaries, and president talked about how we all need to be united, as leaders, members, and missionaries if we want the work to progress well. The ward missionaries had a great time, and were very inspired by President Pagaduan. Afterwards, we took them on splits in our areas, and they had great experiences tracting and teaching with us. We are excited to hold another meeting the following Sunday, and to see the ward mission get up and running a little more than it has been in the past.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Update on Mysterious Photo and Latest News

Apparently the Filipino people love to play games and have challenges. They also like to have "penalties" for the losers. The brown stuff on their faces is their "penalty" for losing--mud on their face.
Sam is working hard and finding much success in Iloilo. He met a woman the other day who said she went to the LDS church as a young girl, and was happy to have them come and discuss the gospel with her. She had had a dream that 2 men in white shirts came to visit her--this was just before Sam and his companion came into her neighborhood. Experiences such as these are strengthening Sam's testimony as well as our own. He has met and baptized some wonderful people, helping them overcome challenges and repent and come unto Christ. He is loving every minute of it.
He said a nightly ritual is taking off their soaking wet shoes and socks and putting them in front of the fan to dry out over night!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mysterious Photo

We are not sure what the brown stuff is all over the faces--can't wait to hear the story!

Sam's Stitches, August, 2011

Apparently, someone went up for a lay up during basketball and the result was Sam getting stitches above his eye. We will be happy if this is his most serious accident while in the Philippines! He said the stitches are already out and he is back to playing basketball!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

After a Very Rainy Day!

After a very rainy day, Sam waded through this water for 15 minutes on his way to an investigator's house. I hope he was wearing sandals! As you can see, the people there are very used to this kind of thing! He said his legs got a very good workout.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yummy Food and a New Assignment!

This is a photo of Sam indulging in chicken intestines! Yum!

An excerpt from his email: 6/20/11

I have been transferred to the neighboring area in the city, Manduriao, awnd am ith Elder R. as zone leaders of Iloilo zone. It's the biggest zone in the mission, so no pressure right?! It's crazy that the amount of responsibility just went up again, but I’m very excited for it. I am happy to be able to serve the elders and sisters in the zone.
Just for a fun story, my first night in the area we went to one of the furthest members in our area, and got to walk for about 15 minutes through knee-high water on the roads because it rained so hard earlier in the day! That was fun. Gave my legs a good work out.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Watching a Tiungee

Sam is doing so great in the city of Iloilo! He has had some great experiences teaching people that turn out to be so ready to hear the gospel. He is coming up on his 1 year mark, and we can hardly believe it. But we are not focusing on it because we do not want to begin a "countdown". We do not want him to waste any minutes of the year he has left. Recently he was asked by a lady to watch her "tiungee" and he attached this photo so we knew what that meant. I swear the kids in the Philippines are the cutest things I have ever seen! OK--not really "things" but you know what I mean. This other photo is of him and his companion Elder B from Idaho. I think they are 2 peas in a pod!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Transfer to Iloilo

Sam has been transferred to the city of Iloilo. It is very different from the areas he has worked in so far. He is the district leader over 12 missionaries. He was very sad to leave the people of his last area on Guimaras Island, but very excited for a new adventure. He is companions with Elder B from Rexburg, Idaho. He says they are exactly alike! Now that might be a problem :) He is happy and loving every minute of it. Before he left Guimaras Island, he participated in a festival called manggahan where they try to eat as many mangos as they can--Sam ate almost 5 pounds! The picture is of him eating mangos. Yum! Also a photo of him with one of his investigator families who he is sad to be leaving. All is good, though. Next month he will have been out 6 months!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Baptism of a Wonderful Family.

Sam has had wonderful experiences lately with the baptism of the B family and several more investigators. He is in a beautiful area and is loving the people and the country.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Rooster and a Shower!

This week Sam said he met a rooster named "Kin Kin" who responds to his name! He thought that was pretty amazing and something that Dad could relate to! :) Sam also reports that they moved to a new house that has 2 bathrooms and a shower. He is excited to have a shower, which is rare, even though it is cold water. He said that at least it motivates him to exercise in the morning and work up a sweat so it feels a little better. He loves the area that he is in right now--yummy mangos are in season and the best there is! He has a baptism scheduled for Saturday and another one getting ready. He had the opportunity to help harvest peanuts--he didn't know they grew under ground! (What are they teaching these kids in school?) :) He says he still loves his mission--I think he will until the very end!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Some experiences worth sharing:

Feb. 28th, 2011, from his email:

"We had a couple of interesting experiences this week that I thought I'd share. The first was not very happy. We went to Brother N one day and when we got there we were told by his granddaughter that he was at the hospital where one of the kids of the area (a son of a recent convert, about 15) was just taken into the hospital for a burn. We asked her if the burn was serious and she said it was just a small one and it was fine. So a couple days later we returned to try to catch Nonoy again and met him driving down the road, where he picked us up and took us to the hospital with him to visit the boy. I flinched when we walked in his room. His entire stomach and chest, from waist to head, was covered in third degree burns. We talked with him and a couple other kids we knew that were there taking care of him for a while. The burns were still wet and hadn't started healing yet. So before we left we gave him a blessing. On our return two days later his burns had shown progress and he should recover well. But he'll definitely never be the same. Apparently he poured gasoline on a fire, and the container exploded. He didn’t have a shirt on, but luckily he was right next to the fishpond and jumped in it in less than 5 seconds, otherwise he probably wouldn't have survived. A little wake up calls on fire safety! We are very thankful that he wasn't hurt any more than he was, and that he should fully recover aside from the scars.

Another experience we had yesterday. We went to visit a member that lives really far out of town. When we got there 2 of the little kids (9 and 5, grandkids of the member) were working with their rice. I am guessing they and their grandma harvested the stalks of grain themselves, and now they were in the process of getting the individual rice grains from the stalks and putting them into a bag. It was just such an eye-opener for me about how different the life style of different people are. As kids at home we mow the lawn, wash the car, vacuum the house, and clean our room. These kids were putting stalks of rice in piles, and then with their feet mixing them up, and smashing them together, to cause the grains of rice to fall from the stalks. Then they would throw the empty stalks in a pile, and grab another handful and repeat. And that was their food! I am not even sure how they got the rice out of the shells, I didn’t witness that process. Elder C and I jumped in and helped them finish for a while before we shared with them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21, 2011

Sam is doing wonderfully well in his new area. His new companion is from Cedar City, Utah, named Elder C. Sam says he is very enthusiastic about the work. They recently had a baptism and are looking forward to several more! He says it is getting hot again--I think it is all relative! I don't think it ever really "cooled" down. Here are some photos he recently sent.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sam's First Transfer!

Sam has been made the district leader and has been transferred to the island of Guimaras. He is part of the Buena Vista Area. His district conisists of 6 elders. This area is huge compared to his first area, and he says he is finally away from the fish smell! There is a gentleman there who brought 40 investigators to be taught by the missionaries! They are working on following up on all those people, and finding more investigators. He is loving his mission. The island he is on now is known for the mangos, but they are not in season yet. The photos I am attaching to the slideshow show you what a beautiful area it is!