Well, the typhoon that was supposed to come last week never came. Bummer, I was just getting used to them! But instead of a typhoon, it just rained for about 24 hours straight. It makes it kind of annoying because it made huge puddles all over the place, leaving me to use my cat-like reflexes and ninja skills to dodge the deep parts. I figured out that if I stand on my toes with my gore tex shoes on, I get an extra inch or so of water protection. Bill-you're welcome to truck some of the water here to Texas to help out with the drought. Crazy stuff going on in the world!
Wasn't conference pretty awesome?! Haha it was really weird knowing it was a week behind. It was also really weird to see so many white people in one place. I forgot what that is like. Luckily for me, it was all in English. It kind of surprises me sometimes how much english is used here instead of Tagalog. Most of the signs and food labels are in english too. In Church, people use English whenever they can, sometimes entire talks are in English. Most people can understand the basics and when it is spoken slowly, but I'm pretty sure not too many people understood much of what was said in conference. On the other hand, I can understand Tagalog when it is spoken slowly and in basics. People seem to speak really fast for me and I often find myself trying to pick out just one word in a sentence, but I can't tell where a word starts and stops because it all just meshes together. It gets frustrating when I spit out a sentence and they just look at me in confusion, then Elder Tangi repeats exactly what I said and then they understand. Later I'll ask him what was wrong with my sentence and he says, "Nothing." Its just my strong American accent. Sometimes people understand my english better than my Tagalog! Its coming though. Slow and steady. People still say I am already better than most people that have already been here for several months, so that is encouraging. It is cool to see how the gift of tongues works when I am in lessons and I can understand most of everything that is said during the lesson, but as soon as the conversation is shifted towards everyday stuff I get lost.
My toe has healed remarkably fast. It is definitely one of the many ways the Lord looks after his Servants. It barely hurts at all and scabbed over just after a couple of days. Definitely not as long and painful as I was anticipating it to be.
One of the cool things that happened last week was when we had a 16 year old member working with us for a couple hours and he had (and still has) several referrals for us. Referrals are definitely more effective than walking blindly hoping someone will let you teach them. One of the referrals he had was with a family of 5 (ranging from little kids to 19), then as we sat down and started talking to them, several of their friends came in to listen so we were teaching 9 people at once. They all agreed to a return appointment too, so that was even better! 9 new investigators in one sitting isn't too bad. This next week is going to be crazy. We have appointments everyday at all hours except for just a couple. On Tuesday/Wednesday morning I get to be in a 3 sum in Tuguegarao because E. Tangi has a training in Cauayan. The other 2 elders I will be with are newbies too, so that should be fun. Fortunately one of them is a fillipino that also speaks very good english.
Mom-nope, no transfer. Which I am just fine with seems how I have barely been here a month! That was a weird 3 week transfer because the Manila MTC is being shut down for a couple weeks for rennovation, so there isn't going to be any transfer at the usual 6 week. Typically, we are in an area for at least 2 transfers. The main reason is because there has to be someone that knows the area to know where the investigators and members are because there really are no addresses here. Of course there are exceptions and it all depends on president, but thats the way it usually works. I know elders that have been in an area for 3-4 transfers. I will most likely be here until at least mid January.
I can't believe it has already snowed there! (snow is that white stuff that is really wet and cold, right?) I was able to see all of the pictures you sent, after waiting a couple minutes for them to load. I'm still used to the fast internet back home. Thats really exciting that Stu finally got an official offer in Salt Lake! That will be fun to have them closer. It doesn't surprise me that B. has already had several interviews-good for him! When does he find out/decide where he is going to school for sure? With the elk hunt, glad to see the tradition is carrying on with hunting for nothing but memories. Sounded cold though! I still can't believe how grown up Jenna has already gotten! I leave for just a couple months, and she is already responding to her name and sitting up?? I have a feeling I'm going to be blown away when I see her and Gracie when I get back.
Thats it for this week. Keep on keeping on!