Magandang Hapon po!
What a pleasure it is to be able to write an email this week rather than in the subject bar! Haha good times. Last monday was pretty intense. We actually didn't go down to the Banaue rice terraces, although we did see them from the road, but we went to the Batad rice terraces which is about an hour away from Banaue. There is a tiny little village in there which is still part of Banaue city. The road getting there is crazy and still under construction, and in some places, just wide enough to keep the jeepney we rented from tumbling down the steep mountain. Mom would have loved it. :) The hike down into the village was really steep, and once we got to the village we had to ask a bunch of people where the trail was because it winds around through people's houses, but most people got upset and told us that is why we were supposed to pay the 2,000 pesos for a tour guide. I might be white, but I don't have STUPID written across my forehead to pay for a scam like that. We finally met some nice person and pointed us the right way, and trekked across the rice terraces to get to the waterfall. The trail was really steep and reminded me of Angels Landing in Zions, with tons of high steps. The waterfall was beautiful and such a shame we couldn't go swimming and cool off, but I guess that will have to wait until we go back next year. The hike back up was fun because we got lost in the rice terraces. Haha we didn't see the trail and went up about 6 terraces too high, so by the time we got halfway across and ran out of trail, we had to do some sketchy climbs to get back down. It took us forever because some of the "larger" people we were with just about threw in the towel and called it quits and were dying of exhaustion before we even made it halfway. I think everybody that went said that was the first and last time going, but that won't stop me from doing it again if I come back. When I woke up the next morning, I could barely walk straight because my calfs were burning and the back of my neck got roasted in the sun (who would of thought that sun screen doesn't work if you don't actually bring it with you?). We didn't even get back til about 6pm, which made for a long day since we got up at 4, and by that time we were getting phone calls from our appointment to see if we were still coming, which is why I couldn't really write last week.
Last week was also Zone conferences, and I got to see Bro. Tapitan, who I baptized in Cabagan and now serving part time. He also opened his mission call afterwards, and he is leaving on Aug. 16 for the Naga Philippines mission. He told me he doesn't really have anywhere to go home to seems how his parents kicked him out and disowned him after he told them he was serving a mission. I asked him if he had everything he needed, and he said he was only able to take 2 pants, 2 shirts, and 2 white shirts, and a couple pair of normal clothes when he got kicked out. I told him to not worry and I would give him all of my stuff when I left, so I should be going home pretty light. Speaking of which, Sis. Laker told me my travel plans were all done, but I still haven't seen them yet. I'm not even sure what day I get home.
Lamut is officially my last area because Elder Sogari is getting transferred this week. Transfer day will also be my last time to see Pres. and Sis. Carlos before they go home. But they are going to live in Salem, so they aren't too far away and already invited me over for a barbecue. :)
That works out nicely that I will be able to go to Lake Powell afterwards and fry my farmers tan before school starts.
Glad you could all celebrate a good Fathers Day. THANK YOU DAD FOR EVERYTHING!!!
On Sunday we had great success as we left for church early in order to pick up some investigators and an inactive that hasn't been to church in years. We have taught him several times now, and every time we go there his wife conveniently turns busy and doesn't want to listen. But after teaching him about the Sabbath Day and Sacrament last week, he was the one to suggest that he goes to church this Sunday. It is clear why he has had this sudden desire to come back to church-he has been reading from the Book of Mormon in his free time. As a result, his wife (who is 6 months pregnant with their first child) saw the Book of Mormon laying out on the table and said she got curious about it and what she could learn from this other Scripture. When we went by on Saturday to remind him we were coming to pick him up for church, his wife decided to drop what she was doing and come and talk to us-which was a first. She is now anxious to listen, all because of the power of reading the Book of Mormon. The lesson we had prepared for them that day was perfect-importance of reading the scriptures.
We were finally able to teach to a lady I met in the Jeepney several weeks ago on our way back from Solano. I started talking to her because I heard her speaking English to her 4 year old boy, and it turns out she lived in the U.K. for 6 months and came back to get her kid and permanently move to U.K. After talking to her for a while, she asked where our nearest church was and I pointed to it as we drove past it. After pointing it to her, she said she wanted to try going to church there. After teaching her, she still has a lot of questions about what the difference between our church and other Catholic churches, and committed to go to church. Even though she is leaving in a couple weeks to go back to U.K., we are trying to plant the seed so that missionaries in U.K. can follow up with her and get her baptized.
We were surprised to see the Blance family, who we found by tracting and has been slowly progressing, already at the church and waiting for Sacrament to start when we got there. We had planned on picking them up too with the member's van, but they said we took too long so they went ahead. Haha. Too bad it was only the husband and wife, but they said they had a great experience and they felt good as they went. They even ended up seeing several people they knew at church as well. When we went by after church to teach them, we also found out why they were so anxious to get to church. After teaching and telling them for weeks to read and pray to know if what we are sharing is true, they said they tried it and gained their own testimony.
We are continuing to work with Mackbilly, who is now scheduled to be baptized on July 6, which will be my exact 2 year mark in the field, so that will be an excellent way to celebrate.
Hopefully I could make up for 2 weeks of email. Salamat po sa lahat.
Mahal ko kayo,