So this week was an exciting one for the people here in Santa Ana. On Wednesday, while we were out proselyting, we noticed a ton of police, military, and just tons of people going down the street. We started asking people what was happening here in Santa Ana, and turns out, President Duterte was coming here! It's actually an interesting story about why he came. So I told you about Port Irene, right? It's a little port in Santa Ana... those pics I sent by the boats where it was rainy. Well turns out, they found 800+ smuggled luxury cars hidden at Port Irene. So Duterte came on Wednesday to start the destruction of all the cars. We weren't able to go in and see for ourselves, but somebody showed us a video of him destroying 15 of the cars. There was just a big tractor stomping on these nice, luxury cars. Pretty sad to watch actually knowing how poor the people here are and how much some money like that could help them. But yeah, that had the town pretty excited. (editor: This is meant to be a sign that, "we, in government service, put our highest value in integrity over greed, in honesty over fraud, and in faithfulness to our duty over deception." - click here to see article)
So remember about the dog I was telling you about last week that was killed in front of our house? Well we came back to the apartment Monday night and there were like 4 or 5 guys out front, drinking and eating the dog. I don't know if I've ever told you, but my whole mission, I don't think that I've eaten dog yet. I say "I don't think" because sometimes there will be some food put in front of you and you don't ask any questions, you just eat it haha. But before I go home, I wanted to just taste dog. So we start talking to these guys and I ask "What kind of meat is that, by the way?" and this big drunk guy says, "uhmmmm dowg!" and he starts offering us some. Well, I jumped on this opportunity and had a taste. Wasn't too bad. Had a weird aftertaste and a weird feeling in my stomach, but was pretty good. Some of the other elders were getting on me saying, "I can't believe you would eat him, he was our friend!". But I had to have the experience :)
So on Friday, we had Abby's baptism! We had about 10 people attend, then after the simple program, we all piled into one of the members tricy, and we headed over to the beach. The water felt soooo good. It reminded me of swimming in the ocean in Hawaii, but the water here was warmer. I think Mom would have even gotten in. Abby was a little scared, because she's not a huge fan of the ocean, but it all worked out great. We have another baptism this Saturday in the ocean. It's an old nanay, so hopefully everything will work out good there.
Yesterday, church was great. Even though most these people are pretty centered on filipino time, a lot of them showed up on time. That was a big step forward this Sunday as I was able to call a lot of people to different callings.The best part was seeing some of them real excited as I talked to them privately and extended them a calling. The Branch is starting to become real organized. Next week, I will have my counselors called, and it will be all progression from there. Sacrament meeting was a really good, spiritual one. We had 82 attendance, so it is increasing. Was a little weird presiding, conducting, and being a speaker in the meeting, but it was a very good, happy service. Also, we were able to get 11 investigators to church. Things are starting to look real good here in the Santa Ana Branch.
I had a really good experience the other day when we were out visiting a less active family. We walked into their home and they were cooking dinner. All they were cooking though was rice and some veggies. This is a big family of 9, so there was no way they would be very satisfied with this meal. So we told nanay, "Nay, we haven't eaten yet, so can we go get the ulam (meat) and then all eat here?" She happily agreed, and Elder Young and I went out and bought 2 full chickens. We came back and they were surprised and so happy. The kids walked out and were surprised when they saw a big feast on the table. They were so happy and said that this made their day. It's little acts of service like this that can really bring The Spirit in your life.
Love you all, have a nice week! :)