This past week wasn't too eventful, but it was still really good!
It is getting into monsoon season here so it has been raining just about every day! It’s amazing how much stronger the rain is here. After about 10 minutes the streets are already flooded. It’s tough to find people to talk to while it rains because they all go inside, but it’s also funny because all the little kids run outside and jump in the puddles. (I did however see a guy run out in just his boxers with some soap and take a shower in the rain in front of his hut, at first I thought it was strange but then decided it’s probably easier than using the bucket)
This week my wonderful neighbors purchased several goats! And those goats really enjoy talking to each other late at night. They scream and yell for hours! It might drive me crazier than the crickets. Hopefully it drives the people who bought the goats crazy too, I am hoping that they move them somewhere else soon...
One thing that is very different about the Philippines is that there are no addresses. People just live in areas called barangays which are about the size of a big subdivision. So when you need to find an investigators house, or contact a referral it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, if you even find it. You just go around asking everyone you see if they know the person you are looking for. When you ask Filipinos for directions they usually go with you to wherever you are trying to find. It’s kind of funny actually, especially if they aren't sure because they will ask their friends. So pretty soon it’s us and 5 other strangers looking for a house.
Tagalog is coming along pretty well. I can teach for a little while in the lessons and can say a few things to people on the street. I love the looks that I get from people when they yell "hey man!" and I say hello, or good afternoon back in Tagalog. These two older lady's were sitting with their granddaughter outside and I walked by. The two older lady's said to the granddaughter "pogi siya"(he is handsome), thinking I didn't understand. I smiled and said salamat po (thank you) and kept going. The grandpa was sitting close by and he got a pretty good laugh out of it. (On a side note they say that all white people are good looking so it’s not just me)
We have some good investigators that we have found! The only issue is getting them to go to church. Usually they say that they have to work, or that they have to go somewhere. None of them came to church yesterday so my companion and I decided we have to be more bold. We went and found a few of them and just explained that they cannot be baptized unless they attend church 4 weeks in a row. So it’s up to them if they are going to be baptized or not, based on their desire to go to church. It is difficult because we can see that they believe in the gospel but they don’t yet have the faith to sacrifice the time on Sunday.
I’m sending some more pictures this week. One of a pineapple plantation, a rambutan fruit (which I eat a lot), my neighbor’s noisy goats, the outside of a jeepnee. The last one is of a man, named Dante, who I helped bag coal so we could teach him and now he is an investigator. Everyone gathered around to watch me work with him; they looked surprised to see an American getting dirty!
I hope everything is going well with all of you! I miss you!
Elder Hayden Merrill