Monday, February 27, 2017

WEEK 28 - February 27, 2017 (Bangui, Philippines)

Hello everybody 😊 Another week down. First of all, congrats to Dallan (friend from home) getting called to France!! What an exciting call. Can't wait to hear about that. He’s gonna kill it in the field. 

This week was a weird week because of the weather. It was sooooo hot for most of the week, and then this weekend it cooled down big time. This caused both my comp and I to get sick. It messed me up pretty good. Had the chills and my whole body was aching. I struggled through the 3 hours of church and then got home and slept for a good 4 hours. When I woke up, I was sweating like an animal, and my eyes were almost swollen shut. Then a bunch of the members from the branch came to our house and insisted that I come outside. They brought us dinner because we were both sick. I was suffering from some kind of migraine too. So I put on the eye mask and sat in silence haha. (editor: When Ryan is sick he just wants to be left alone. Well-meaning Branch members would not have known this.)  So about that picture (below), no I don’t have an eye disease (editor: an "eye bug" as the one member wrote me).  It’s just really bad allergies.  My eyes were messed up. It really looked like I had taken a couple punches, it was awful. They are still kinda bad today, looks like I have black eyes, except they aren’t really black. But anyway, yeah, it’s getting really hot.

I’m actually kind of afraid for the summer because people say it just gets so brutally hot here. Right now we are taking at least 3 showers a day because we are sweating so much. It’s craziness. The nights are pretty good though, it gets a little cooler.

A couple of days ago we had splits with the District Leaders again and I was with Elder Lewis. It’s so fun walking around, two Americans. Everybody stares at us and are just amazed. Then they become more amazed when we speak the language haha. We went to an investigator’s house that night, she’s a teenage girl. She had a bunch of her friends over and they were all loud and crazy, there was no way we were going to be able to teach them. But I saw a guitar in her house. So I asked if I could play it, and she gladly handed it to me. I started playing and they loved it - they all gathered around and watched. Luckily I knew a few songs that they knew, and we were able to play and sing together for a bit.  It was a good time. Found like 4 more people to teach through that experience. It’s always good to be creative in your finding techniques haha.

So I’ll tell you about the culture here when eating dinner or any meal. First of all, they always tell you to eat first, and that’s what everyone does. Sometimes nobody will go first because they don’t want to, and we will just stand there telling people to go first for like 5 minutes. But then once you start getting food, they watch and make sure you try everything. And if you don’t take something, they ask “ayawmo? ayawmo?” which means like “you don’t want?” or “you don’t like?” and they want you to take some so bad. It troubles me sometimes when I know that it’s a dish that I don’t really like, and I try to sneak by without taking any, and I always get called out haha. So yeah, I guess I’m still adjusting to the culture a bit here. It’s different, to say the least in a lot of different ways.

I had a great experience last week. I was doing language study and I was starting to get so frustrated and mad at myself because I just could not understand one thing I was trying to learn. And I was just beating myself up so bad for it. And then I felt prompted to open up my notebook that had all of my General Conference notes in it from last October. And when I did, I opened to Mark Bassett’s talk. And I read the words “Don’t worry about the things you don’t understand, search the scriptures.” There are no words that could’ve been more comforting then those words, honestly. So, I stopped what I was doing and went straight to the scriptures. And I felt calm again and peaceful. Little things like that remind me that God is always there. I see God’s hand in my life every single day, it’s amazing.

 Love you all, have a great week,

-Elder Jenkins

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