06 January 2014

Letter 10 (Pulo): Hello 2014!

I literally just accidentally deleted my email! Whoops! REWRITING NOW.
So it's 2014? When did that happen? It's still Christmas here! (As evidenced by the Christmas trees and Lights, and people will still tell you Merry Christmas)
It's Still Christmas
I'm sure some of you have heard that New Years is a bid deal here or something. Well, you heard right. They may celebrate Christmas starting in September, and "Party-Party" Christmas Eve, but New Years is an even Bigger Deal!  The Plaza isn't normally full of stands that people put up to sell stuff (though Sister Massé and I loved it, because we got to go Ukay-ukay shopping and get some Filipino stuff! Like a Duster, and Swag Pants. (haha, I'm not joking. I now own Swag Pants)) There was an entire block, just lined with firework stands. Luckily that's one place were people actually followed the No Smoking Rule ;)

I didn't see any big pretty fireworks, (as I was trying to be an obedient servant of the Lord, and sleep) but I heard them! I woke up at midnight because it was so loud! The fireworks that people buy here aren't about the lights, it's all about the sound! I swear, you could shoot a gun and no one would even notice (not that I'm encouraging anyone to commit murder or anything)
We literally taught no lessons on New Years Eve! We even had lessons on Christmas Eve. That's how big a deal it is here. Holidays are all about having a party. (with Food. Lots of Food.. . and well. Drinking. Which is why we had to be home by 6:00 gid on new years.)

I didn't do much special for new years or new years eve. We went to district meeting on new years, and only had about three hours to proselyte (Home by 6!), but I made sure that the first thing I ate for the year was a Mango :) hahaha, I'll make sure that it's the last thing I eat this year too! (that is. If I remember)
Sister Massé and I reevaluated our investigators. We actually dropped quite a few of them. Even those with Baptismal dates, because they weren't progressing. (like a young girl, whose Mother gave her permission, but them her mom moved to Malaysia., and her Lola is Catholic Gid, and won't give permission. So there's nothing we can really do for now.) And so even though we dropped four people with baptismal dates, we somehow extended the invitation to four others, who accepted and are (hopefully) more prepared to actually be baptized!
Oh yeah. Gid is an emphasizer. So if I say Catholic Gid, I mean, Very Catholic. So like, if we had to be home by 6:00 Gid, then that means REALLY 6:00, no room for error.
Now that Christmas day and New Years have passed, we finally have members working with us again! They're great, because they testify and teach, but they also actually understand the language! (duh. Natives) We really need them. I'm pretty sure the only reason one of our Investigators (Let's call him Brother Reynald.) accepted a baptismal invitation is because they helped us teach the Plano Sang Kaluwasan.

My allergies kept me from realizing that I was catching a cold until it was too late. The joys of trying to understand a different language when you could probably barely be able to teach in English! But Sister Aquino is an awesome mission president's wife, and told me what to buy at the drug store, and I feel all better now! Though while I was sick I was not very happy (for the first time. it was weird and I didn't like it.) But after some Testimony tears (totally came up with that on the spot) from practicing the first lesson in English (way harder, but more powerful to me), I was able to remember my purpose out here, and even though this is the hardest thing I've ever done, it's been the greatest and most rewarding.

We've had some interesting lessons here. . We have on Investigator (Let's call him. . Brother Pio) Who has very good English, and has studied the bible a lot, but has a few interesting ideas. Like for instance, we taught the Plano Sang Kaluwasan, and he had somehow gotten the idea that the righteous come from Creation, and the wicked come from Evolution. . . INDI! We were just had to say that all people are children of God, ALL  are CREATED in HIS IMAGE. (with emphasis like that.) He's an interesting Character. He's called us Angels several times, and I can't decide if that's because we're both white or not. . 
However, Interesting Brother Pio aside, Brother Sulficio had his baptismal interview! He passed with flying colors!
We also passed the two deaf adults we ran into two weeks ago, and haven't really seen or heard from since. If we teach them (and I hope we do (though I hope to teach everyone we talk to)) Let's hope we'll be blessed to be able to understand each other, because I don't know any Church Signs!

The van we pushed out of the middle of the road.
I have a funny story from yesterday. So a Van had stopped and wouldn't restart in the middle of the road. The poor guy, he was so frantic, so Sister Massé and I went over and helped push it! haha, it wasn't until two Kanas in skirts started pushing the van that someone else thought to come by and help!

Ps. This is a C-Cab (also. Brother Reynan, who is a recent convert and gave us a ride. My first C-cab ride!). It's Bike and a side car (they have things similar to this in the US, deba (right)?) So a Tricycle/Trike is similar. The side car is bigger, a bit more sturdy, and has panels on the sides and front, instead of just a frame. And well, it's attached to a motorcycle, so it goes a lot faster, so it needs to be more sturdy (at least I would hope so)
Palangga Ako Sa Inyo!
Kabalo ako nga ang simbahan nga matuod, kag palangga ang Dios sa atom!

It's going to be a great Year! :)
-Sister Smith 

(I asked Brother Grunvig to translate the Ilonggo. 

"I love you guys!"

"I know that the church is true, and God loves us!")

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