Jan 25, 2009 - Hilongos Week 3

You are so faithful! ;) I love getting your emails. You probably are so good because you were a missionary too.

So Eva sent me a lot of questions, so I'll get to those first.

So do they have any cool foods that you've encountered?
There are a TON of breadshops here. The downtown area where there are a lot of (small) shops there are like 10 little breadshops. They have little baked good things. Today for lunch I ate Palabok(?) It was a noodle dish with a sauce of sorts. But what's really good are the two desserts that I've had here. Hala-Hala and LangDang(?) The first is a like... ultimate snow cone. There's ice and condensed milk in a bowl and there's coconut jelly and jackfruit and corn and cornflakes and red bean and ube in it, and you mix it all up and eat it. You can get it topped with Ube ice cream too if you want. And LangDang(?)... When I first saw it I asked Sister Holden if it was a fruit soup. And that's pretty much what it looks like. A purple soup thing (probably with ube in it) with coconut jelly balls (like boba but BETTER) and bananas and stuff served hot. The name of it changes according to where you are in the Philippines. Oh, and according to some health guidelines that I got when I first got here, I'm not allowed to eat Balut. Oh well. ;)

Have you gotten sick yet?
Actually yes... This week Sister Holden and I stayed in the apartment because on Thursday I had to run to the bathroom unexpectedly a lot. ;P It's was going to happen at some point or other. But I was fine the next day.

Do you have a pensionista that cooks for you or do you go to appointments/members for food?
Sister Holden has been doing most of the cooking. We aren't allowed to have househelp because the missionaries are the only ones allowed inside the apartment. We have bread/fruit for breakfast and some sort of thing with rice for lunch. The best way to make sauces is with a bit of "Magic Sarap" for seasoning. :P Oh and with onions, ginger and garlic too. Yum. We ate at a members house once, but thats because they decided to feed us after we finished our New Member lesson. And this week we met a fellow (non-member, not-investigator) who wanted to talk to us, so we ended up eating at his house. o.O Sister Holden told me: "Just so you know, this never happens." That family normally lives in Manila, so they weren't going to stay in town long. :(

Do they drink cold water?
Sis. Holden told me that Filipinos think that drinking cold water makes you sick. So for the most part, not really.

How are your showers? do you feel clean?
My showers usually consist of me dumping water over my head (from a bucket thing). It's actually kinda nice now that I'm not scared of the cold water anymore. ;) And it hasn't been that hot yet (rainy season or something) so I feel relatively clean throughout the day unless we go to a muddy area.

How are your feet? How's the stink?
My feet are fine. :) I think the MTC was worse than it is here. I don't even need to use foot powder for the most part.

How do you like your rubber shoes?
They're okay. They felt weird at first because the heel was kind of squishy, but then it was nice to have squishy things on your feet.

We have geckos that like to hang out on our walls in our apartment. I'm not sure if geckos eat bugs or anything, but I'm REALLY glad if they do. They're much more welcome as apartment guests in that case. ;) And sometimes late at night we can hear rats in the attic. They sound like dogs running. Which is a little bit frightening. =x

In my last email I said that the people call us "Mom". I was mistaken. :P What I heard as "Mom" was actually "Maam", pronounced "Mah-ahm" which means M'am. hahaha.

Brother Bishop would be happy to know that I started putting together my first Scripture Chains this week!! YAY. Scripture chains make me feel super smart and researched. I hadn't even heard of them until the MTC. So I finished a couple this week. About Baptism by immersion, God introducing Jesus, Christ's Divinity (that we didn't finish in class. Hebrews 1 is GREAT for ending that.), and how man can see God. I used the Bible dictionary for most of my research, so it was easier than it sounds. :P What I'm really trying to figure out how to make a scripture chain for is why you have to be baptized again (I have D&C 22, but I wanted some more) and why there is only one true church/one way/why you need ordinances. A lot of the attitude here is "Jesus gihapon" which basically means, "It's all Jesus, it's all good, All churches can get you salvation"

I want to read the Bible, I want to read the Book of Mormon, I want to read ALL the church magazines in our apartment! BUT THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME. AHHH. I actually like studying now. Oh my.

Investigators this week:
Loriano Beltran is amazing!! We taught him the Plan of Salvation lesson this week and he was surprised to hear that coffee was bawal (not allowed). He said it was his favorite and he spent several minutes talking about why it was his favorite. (I didn't really know what he was talking about, except that it was about coffee. o.O) But then he ended by saying "Well, I still have some in my house, so I'll have to find someone else to give it to." So he committed to keep the Word of Wisdom! :)

We've started asking for referrals from ANYONE. Including investigators, and so we got Alvin and Wilma Bilbar, the neighbors of the Fulache family (who are investigators). Sister Holden said that this is the first time she's asked for referrals from investigators. The branch is so small though, I even suggested that we might be able to "fellowship" our investigators with other investigators. Alvin and Wilma are special. :) They are very open and they said that they've been attending different denominations so they're looking for the truth. Sister Wilma just glows. We went to teach them the second lesson and her brother was at their house, so we spent all of our time answering his questions (cuz he had a lot of them) like why we don't worship the cross. So we ended up giving another MR (message of the restoration). But the really awesome thing is that Wilma and Alvin were actually trying to answer his questions themselves, with what we had taught them before! So I'm really excited because they're really understanding what is going on in the lessons.

KK~ I love you all! Write me! Send me more questions too! :)

Hebrews 1: Christ is a God
Alma 32: The Word is like a Seed
2nd Nephi 31: Why Christ was Baptized

Oh and there are way more than two areas here. Sister Holden is just special and she was only assigned to two areas. She knows all the members here and MOST of the Less-active members. So that's really great so she can understand whats going on with people, but I think that being here for so long has made her lose hope in some people. :( So I don't know if I'm annoying or refreshing when I say I want to visit everyone. :P Like tonight, we're going to visit some "perpetual investigators" of sorts. Roy Matas says he knows the BoM is true and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, but he doesn't need to be baptized and he's already enduring to the end. And he doesn't attend church, so tonight we're going to ask him about his testimony.

~the end~


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I am a LDS sister missionary serving in the Philippines Tacloban area. I made this blog so that I may share my experiences with my friends and loved ones and anyone who may need to hear my story. My sister will be updating this blog with letters that I'll be writing home.