Monday, December 5, 2016

WEEK 16 - December 5, 2016 (Bangui, Philippines)

Hello everyone:)

This week was really good. Went by really, really fast. I needed a quick week because it felt like everything was going by really slow. The best part about it is that I felt like I really improved in the languages. It’s really difficult, because my struggle right now is understanding people. A lot of the reason is because sometimes they are speaking Tagalog, sometimes Ilicano, sometimes both. So it’s tough to understand what they are saying. But I’m becoming a better speaker. At least with bearing testimony. I struggle a bit with street talk though haha. Right now I’m mostly just studying and learning Tagalog and picking up some Ilicano throughout the day. I’ll tell a good story about the language later.

So it seems like every morning I wake up feeling sick. I talked to an American missionary who has been here for a while and he said that’s how it was for him for the first month or so. But one morning I woke up feeling pretty gross. Elder Costales, out of the kindness of his heart, decided to make breakfast for us. Well I’m sitting there in my bed, trying to overcome the gas pain, and he walks in with a plate for me. It consisted of Spam, hot dog (nothing like American hot dog) and some rice. I kind of just looked at him with a blank face, knowing I could not eat a single bite. He simply turned around, chuckling and walked back to the kitchen. The food here is rough… haven’t found anything here that I look forward to eating yet. It’s always kind of a chore to feed here. One more food story. There have been multiple times now where we are at a member’s house eating dinner, and they are passing around a tray of food. The plate sometimes consists of meat, and something that looks like a nice sliced up potato. And somehow I ALWAYS convince myself that it is a potato, and I gamble and grab some. Well It always turns out to be a big slab of fat, with little pieces of bone it haha. It is sooo hard to eat. I don’t know why I keep telling myself it’s a potato, but I will probably continue to do so. So yes. the food is not very desirable here. 

Oh, so Sunday morning, I was awoken at about 2:45 to an earthquake!!! I’ve never experienced one before so that was pretty cool. No damage done though. Right now, Bangui is pretty lit up with Christmas stuff. They LOVE Christmas here. They started playing Christmas music in September and on the morning of December 1st they began wishing everybody Merry Christmas. It’s really fun.  

I still haven’t gotten used to all the people staring at me like I am some alien. I am getting so irritated haha. We were having lunch the other day and a bunch of high school kids were just staring and laughing at me for like 20 minutes straight. But then when I approached them to speak to them, they all look down and wouldn’t say a word. And people refuse to sit next to me on the bus!! haha  Sometimes they will stand instead of sit next to me. Honestly, I don’t mind that part though. An hour bus ride can be looong when you are squished in between two people. So yeah, the people here are a little different, but I love them. The little kids like me, so that’s good. They will come jump on my lap and climb on me while I’m teaching. They are really, really cute.

This family was Hilarious!! They say I look like Charlie Puth, and made me sing for them.
(On exchanges with ZL)

So I had a really good experience the other night when we were teaching somebody. He was speaking and I decided, instead of thinking about what I was going to say next, I would just listen to him and try to understand him the best I could. Well he finished speaking, and I didn’t really understand anything, but I just began to bear testimony. And I began to speak better than I had before. Words were flowing out of my mouth, smooth as can be. I felt the spirit strong as I testified of the Book of Mormon and the truthfulness of it. And as I testified of the happiness and blessings it brings to people’s lives. I looked him deep in his eyes as I spoke, and spoke with confidence. He nodded his head and smiled as I spoke to him, which really boosted my confidence with the language, knowing that he was understanding me. I absolutely love testifying of the Book of Mormon. I want all the people we teach to read it and see how their lives change. And I love how a lot of the people here are willing, and they give it a chance. And then they realize the blessings and the happiness that come from it.

I looooove the Gospel and the guidance it gives me. I love sharing it with these people here and blessing their lives. Hope you all have a good week!! Love Ya!

-Elder Jenkins

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