Sunday, February 26, 2012

February News!

Sam continues to love his mission and keep very busy!  Here is an excerpt from his latest email:

"We had a great lesson Friday night with one of our investigators, Julian, and a neighboring family that came over to listen. Milky, 15, and Karl, 13, were the two kids, and they and their mom were very interested in our lesson. We had planned to teach Julian the Word of Wisdom, since he has a baptismal date and needs to start preparing for it, and when the neighbors came over I thought we might change the lesson so we wouldn't scare them with a commandment like that the first time that they listened to us. But we decided on sharing it anyways, and they really enjoyed discussing it. We are excited to be able to go back to them and explain the Restoration as well. Milky and Karl were excited when we invited them to church, but said they wouldn't be able to come because they didn't have money to ride there. Stories of missionaries walking with their investigators to church came into my mind, and we offered to pick them up and walk all the way with them. They were a little unsure, but agreed, and Sunday morning we got to their house by 7:45 and started the 30 minute walk at about 8:15, arriving a little bit before sacrament meeting started, without too much sweat because it was slightly overcast on the way over. They met some people they knew from school, and had a great time in all of the meetings. We are anxious to go back to their family and continue teaching them about the restored gospel.

We were also able to extend a baptismal date to one of the young women age girls we are working with, Mary Anne. When we asked her if she'd be baptized, it was like she had been waiting for it for days! She smiled big and said yes as the question was still coming out of my mouth! Her member friend, Rica, seemed to be waiting for that moment as well as she cheered and clapped her hands a little when we asked. It was like she just got told that she was accepted to a prestigous university! One of the best responses I have seen to a baptismal commitment so far. We are eager to help her continue to prepare for her baptism, and to hopefully be able to work a little more with her family at the same time."

One funny thing that happened to Sam is that one of the departing missionaries was accidentally sent home with Sam's suit!  They only wear their suits on the way over there and when they depart.  They are stored at the mission home until they leave, then the mission president's wife hands them out.  Well, this much "larger" missionary than Sam sent him an email saying that he was given Sam's suit.  He did not realize it until they got to Manila and he tried to put it on before getting on their next flight--and it did NOT fit!   It was very funny! They are making arrangements to exchange the suits.  Sam doesn't need it for 4 more months--hopefully plenty of time to get it back!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

An excerpt from a January Email:

This past week we held interviews with President for half of the zones, here in Iloilo for Iloilo Zone, in Lapaz (just a 15 minute drive or so away) for Iloilo North Zone, and lastly in San Jose, Antique for the Antique Zone. Antique is about a 2 hour drive from Iloilo, and it is the most mountainous area of Panay Island, which meant a good hour of driving through windy canyon-like roads. But the scenery was terrific. As well as being in the mountains, it borders the West part of the Island, right up next to the ocean, which extends out to the horizon. So it was terrific seeing the foresty mountains on the one side, then open sea on the other. The District Center is the most city area, San Jose, where we held the interviews. I do not enjoy interviews in the fact that they are very long, and not extremely entertaining, but it was great to be able to see and talk with lots of the missionaries that I haven't seen in a long time, and to get to know those who I wasn't so familiar with. After the interviews we went on exchanges with the zone leaders in Hamtic, just a few minutes out of the city. The hardest thing about it was the language again. People in Antique speak Karay-a, which has some similarities to Ilongo and to Aklanon, but is a complete language of its own. One of the first ladies we visited asked me "buhay ka run ridia?" (sounds something like: boo-high ka roon rid-ja) and after a few moments of me just looking at her baffled asked Elder Arrieta "oh, he doesn't know how to speak karay-a?" "Just ilongo," Elder answered. I found out later that what she said is equivilent to "dugay ka na di?" (doo-guy ka na dee). So, I know that probably doesn't make much sense, but lets just say that it was a big difference! Luckily a lot of people from there come here to the city because it isn't too far away, so they understand a little bit and can speak a little bit of ilongo. I won't lie, it made me a little jealous that I haven't been assigned in any other areas besides ilongo speaking, because i think it would be a blast to be able to learn another dialect! Once the first one is learned, it is a lot easier to learn a new one, the biggest change is vocabulary, because I can know hear all of the words that people say, I just don't know the meaning of a lot of them. But anyways, I'll be happy with what I have been given!