Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 19, 2014 - Talisay City

This is down by the mouth of the river, behind Deca Homes, where we have a few investigators. One night we went down to their village, and no one was around, and their whole coast here was receded really far out for low tide, and we could see a bunch of people out there. So we went out there where we met with Nanay Magdalena, and helped her look for clams and snails and things in the sand bar, all as the sun was setting. It was such a really cool moment out there.

Maayong P-Day!

So over here, there is this place called Mang Inasal. It's a fast food place that's in the Gaisano mall, that basically just has barbecue chicken or pork and some other things, and with each meal, comes unli rice. They don't have free refills, but they have a guy walking around with a bucket full of rice to give unto all who ask for it. And so you just get your rice and cover it with soy sauce and this neon-orange, Castrol-like "chicken oil," which I do not trust to not give me cancer of the liver (And which every different bottle seems to have a different consistency and viscosity. I don't usually have the chicken oil.) But for my first week and a half, every day, we went to Mang Inasal. Elder Gama really likes Mang Inasal, and though it's pretty cheap, and you get unli rice, he ran out of money for that week. So we do not eat at Mang Inasal so frequently any more. But it's really good and tasty, and everyone compliments me on how much rice I eat. There's also Angel's Hamburger, which is a shack which supplies hamburgers and hot dogs, and there's about four of them in my area, they're everywhere. The hamburgers are basically a roll with mayo and ketchup with a quarter-sized piece of meat, and the Hot dog, which is the only thing I have actually eaten there, was almost entirely not unlike a hot dog. It was ridiculously large, covered with ketchup, and it was just about the most average thing I could imagine eating. It was just about equal parts sweet and salty, but not really very sweet or salty at all, and though it was over a foot-long hot dog, I didn't feel like I had eaten anything afterward. Also, Elder H___ told me that the more you eat Angel's burger, the more you get this odd craving for it, that you just can't get rid of. I haven't eaten there again, and hope not to much more. 

Elder H___ with my old tie and my new.
This picture turned out really really weird, I have no shins! But we were walking along the levee from the village of Nanay Magdalena, when these little bata (kids) started following us, all talking to me and holding my hand. It was just kind of a funny moment, so a funny looking picture is fitting, I guess.
It is also almost entirely impossible to find a ripe, yellow mango in Lawaan. There are only ever green ones, which are like a sour apple, except exceedingly difficult to eat. And there's also everywhere bakeshops, which sell various breads and things, many of which are physically covered with lard. But, striving to keep away from those as much as possible in fear for my weight, these are really good for breakfast. And we have had generally a lot of dinner with members, but it makes me feel bad to eat at their house, just with my upbringing concerning missionaries eating. But Bishop Chong fed all the Lawaan Ward missionaries with some nice squid (though I don't enjoy my food to be covered in ink), and the other day we went to a fiesta at this family's house up in the hills in Elder H___ and M_____'s area, where they had a whole baboy lechon (pig roasted). I was told several times by the family to "eat the skin! It's crunchy!" It was indeed, crunchy.

The Community Service Project at the Kubar Compound
Everyone. I broke out that hat for the occasion. 

So yes, I am eating. And it is crazy that I am about one week away from my first transfer day! And less than a week from my birthday, though I haven't even really thought about that, that I'll be twenty. And at the end of the month, I'll be an eighth through my mission! wow.

The Bacus family's house. Nanay and Tatay (matriarch and patriarch, is really kind f the definition of these) are less-active, and their children aren't really interested. Our normal chapel in Tabunok is being renovated, so the Minglanilla chapel is where we meet, and it's pretty far. It's actually in Carcar Zone, I just found out last week. But for many people, such as the Bacuses, it is really hard when they have to give up a full day's work and the plete (fare) to get out there, which is about 20 pesos one way per person. But in the last few weeks, we've seen a lot of development with them, and last week they dedicated themselves to go to church, and they did come. It was really great to see that. They live right by the bridge in Mohon.
And this is the Minglanilla chapel. It has fans on every conceivable surface and the windows all open during sacrament, and I'm always sitting right in the sun for the duration of Sacrament meeting, which can get warm. But it's good.
And today, we're having a Zone Activity, and we're going to a cave! I have no idea what this entails, where it is or anything. I just brought headlights and a camera!

There's this street in Tabunok that's lined with all this bamboo fare, including entire huge groves of 30-foot tall bamboo. I always think of "So Far from the Bamboo Grove," a book we read in 5th grade or something, because I have yet to see an actual bamboo grove here.
Last week, I was washing my clothes (I hand wash my clothes, usually, by the way. It's fun!) when it started pouring rain. I got Elder Gama to take a picture because I wanted to remember the occasion.
So yesterday we had a Zone Conference, which actually ended being an Island of Cebu (in Cebu Mission) Conference, so we had all the missionaries on Cebu in Lahug at the meetinghouse at the Temple Complex in a workshop with President Schmutz. Apparently these are usually supposed to be all full of doctrine and things, but yesterday, we really focused on member missionary work, and we have been asked to really work on this in our work, helping members to help us, and to be more missionary-minded. I really, though, just felt a new fire in the work for me. I felt a new love for what I can do here, and I felt that I have a great work I can do here. And in the help of the Lord, I can do this. I know that this is true.

They have these really cool hibiscus at the temple.

Thank you for getting me here. It is a wonderful place. Last night as we left the temple, the sun had just sunk below the mountains, but hadn't yet set. So as we were driving through the city, I looked up at the clouds, and just saw suddenly a rainbow appear in the clouds. No rain, and it was as bright as could be. But the sky was just lit up so bright, and it was really just a kind of oddly stilling moment. Of course, I had forgotten my camera. But still, there's just always something showing me: This is a cool place. This is a cool mission. And there is something great to be done here.

Love, Elder Dunford

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