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.