Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 5, 2014 - Talisay City

There are a ton of these "vulcanizing shop" signs everywhere, sometimes even a "volcanizing shop." I'm not sure what they're vulcanizing, (or volcanizing, which would be even more awesome) but this is my interpretation.

This week has been more of the same, warm, sunny windy days. It's been really nice and clear, which I always like. Though it gives the Filipinos even more use to their umbrellas. It seems they use them more for sun than rain. But I'm just working up my tan, I got horribly white at the MTC.

Walking always
The work this week has been really good. We've been able to meet with a lot of new people and reach out to new areas. We were able to visit with this one couple, the Villavers (Brother Villaver reminds me of a Filipino Mark Richardson, both in looks, and he always has a lot to say). They had been taught by the sisters before us a bit, but we had never been able to meet them, and knew nothing about them. But we were finally able to figure out where they live (there's no such thing as a proper address) and when we got to their house, they each had a Basahon ni Mormon full of notes, they had gone to church several times months ago, and when we asked if they would be baptised if they found these things to be true, they just said "Well yeah, of course." It was a really cool experience, because the both of them had been so prepared and were ready, they just needed to be invited.

Family Home Evening at a family's home in Biasong
On Monday we had splits, which was really fun and cool. I went with Elder H... to their area, and walked all around Pooc, meeting their families and all. So Elder H... is a 6'4" Scottish ginger, whose accent actually works incredibly well with the Cebuano. But he's been out for about 9 months, and is really a great missionary. And going around their area was fun, because everyone was so excited to greet us and say hi to the two taas, puti (tall, white) Amerikanos. It was actually a bit of a problem in one area, where we were trying to tract around and get to know people, but we just had to leave because there was this massive flock of very excited children all around us, and we just couldn't talk to anyone. Still, we were able to teach a few lessons, and they went very well. 

Dinner at the Bishop's house
It was good to see the teaching styles of someone else, and to be able to draw from that. It was also a good confidence boost for me in the language. To be able to work with and talk with another English native elder, and see how strong he is in the language, as well as picking up some of the mannerisms and phrases he used in Cebuano, was a really strengthening experience for me. I could really see yesterday, after I had returned with Elder Gama, that I was able to use more words and phrases and express my thoughts to these people in ways that I did not before. Also in my lessons with Elder H..., he pushed me a bit more to be able to speak and answer the questions of our investigators, which let me really see what I am capable of.
Sunny day in Dumlog
But more importantly (entirely kidding), I have made a booming start in the tie business with him. On Saturday, I bought my first okai-okai (thrift shop) proper Cebu mission tie. It was loud and fat and had plaid and weird neo-paisley designs, which is the way to go here. But when I actually put it on, I realized there was no way I could wear this kind of tie, at least not when I'm so soon from my father's banker power ties. But it turns out that Elder H... loved this tie so much. The proper Scot he is, he's trying to acquire all the plaid ties he can, and this one he needed. So for this one tie, that I had just bought and could not wear for myself, I was able to trade into 3 of his, which were all at least decent mission ties, to add to my daily wear (and future trade pool.) And on top of that, I was able to trade that plaid tie I got from missionary mall for another of his. So for two of my own ties that I did not even want, I received 4 new. It seems I have the beginnings of a proper business here in the Cebu mission.
 Our apartment! We just have one story, but it's pretty nice, and we have a water heater for our shower, which is a very sought after item. 

And speaking of the Cebu mission, it is growing! Starting next transfer, March 27, we are adding on two new zones: Escalante and San Carlos! They are on Negros, and are taking from the Bacolod mission, because the people in these areas speak Cebuano, but Bacolod Missionaries are trained in Illongo, so it's more of a matter of convenience. But it's super exciting because that's two whole new zones on Negros, and adding onto our mission! 
Children at the water pump in Biasong

Elder Gama teaching them well

But I've really been able to see a lot of personal growth this week, in the language and spiritually. I actually just read through the book of Mormon this week, too. And it is just so incredible, the testimony he bears of Christ is so strong and pure. It's truly a testament, that when all the bellows of hell blow against you, there is strength in Christ. There is solidarity in Him. There is comfort, and power against all that would bring us down. It is an incredible testimony.
Rainy beach in Biasong

Twilight strolls on the levee
I love you so much, and again and always, thank you for doing all you have to help me get here, on this mission. There is so much for me here to do. I know I belong on this mission.

Always a photo op


Elder Adam Dunford

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