Monday, November 28, 2016

WEEK 15 - November 27, 2016 (Bangui, Philippines)

Ryan is serving in the top, left corner - Bangui

Happy late Thanksgiving every one. I hope you all enjoyed a nice turkey dinner and some football while I picked away at a chicken thigh and some rice. But yeah I definitely missed a big Thanksgiving feast at Grandma’s house. One Thanksgiving down, one more to go.

But wow, has it really only been a week? Haha This week went by a bit slow. I’m guessing that’s how it will be for a few months though until I am able to speak with people a little bit. As of now, pretty much all I can do is bear testimony to them still. I can’t understand a word of what they say, so I can’t really ask them questions. It’s pretty frustrating. I have all these things I want to say to them but I can’t. But it will all be worth it when I’m able to speak fluently with them.

The one thing I love about being a missionary here is how many discussions we get to teach. We taught like 40 or so this last week. It’s so nice having a full day of work, traveling from house to house teaching people and sharing the Book of Mormon. People are so nice here, they will rarely reject you. If you ask them if you can share a message, they will almost always happily let you in. And they will feed you what they have, even though they pretty much have nothing. And then they will try to speak to me and I have to say “Pasensya, konte lang ang alam ko na tagalog” which means, “Sorry I only know a little Tagalog.” I have that phrase so memorized haha. But the people here are soooo nice.

The weather here is pretty crazy right now. A big storm started Saturday night and hasn’t stopped. We had a 1 hour bus ride this morning that ended up taking 4 hours because there were 3 landslides ahead of us. It’s still pouring rain, and like everything is becoming flooded.

So I have been downing the food and water like its nothing, and began to wonder why I haven’t gotten sick yet. Well on Saturday night I became pretty ill. We were hiking up a mountain in the pouring rain to go teach a less active when I began to lose all strength.  By the time I made it back to the house, I could barely crawl in bed. I was in such man down mode. I had like a 38.5 degree fever - not sure what that is Fahrenheit (editor: 101.3). I woke up Sunday morning and still wasn’t well. So we had to stay home from church, which isn’t good, because Elder Costales is the Branch President haha. But it all worked out. I slept for 8 hours yesterday and the 1st counselor had everything under control at church.

I don’t have much to talk about investigator wise. We have like 43 people we are teaching, so we stay busy. And it seems like we get 2 or 3 new investigators every day. We have a lot on date for baptism, but they just need to come to church.

About me though, I’m doing good. Learning a little bit every day: about Tagalog, about Ilocano, and about the gospel. I think I will be heading into Laoag sometime this week to finally meet my mission president. (editor: President & Sister Andrada’s son was killed in an accident the same day that Ryan arrived to the mission. We don’t know any details. But for obvious reasons, they were not at the mission home when Ryan arrived.) That’s the only place to buy peanut butter out here, so I’m very excited for that. PB is my favorite right now. When I’m in need of a late night snack and can’t eat another bite of rice, a little peanut butter sandwich is incredible. Oh, and the eggs here are good too. AND I managed to find a hidden treasure in the church – a roll of TP!! (editor: google “tabo” if interested in knowing why this was such a great find for him.)

Alright sorry my letter isn’t as good as usual. I don’t have much time to write. Love you all. Have a good week.

-Elder Jenkins

(editor: Something went wrong with the sd card reader for his camera – he promised good pics, but we will have to wait. I’ve included a couple that we had from last week.)

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