Monday, May 29, 2017

WEEK 41 - May 29, 2017 (Aparri, Cagayan, Philippines)

Hello everybody!! 

Happy Labor Day weekend (editor: hahaha...wonder what he'll say in September?!). Unfortunately they don’t really celebrate that here which is too bad because we could really use some labor. There is trash all over that place. I don’t know if I ever told you, but when people have trash, they just throw it on the ground. It's part of the culture. Pretty sure littering isn't illegal here haha. The problem is, there aren't many trash cans, and the city does a terrible job at collecting trash. So if you are responsible, you gather all your trash and go burn it somewhere. If not, after you’re done drinking your coke or eating your bag of chips, you just drop it. So there's your cultural fact for the day.

But anyway, this was a pretty good week. It rained almost every day this week, which is kinda nice, but at the same time I don't like it very much. Makes the work a little more difficult because everybody just goes inside and sleeps. The other day it was blazing hot in the morning and there wasn't a cloud in sight, so I left the umbrella at the apartment. We went and worked in Dodan, and all the sudden the biggest storm drifted in. We simply waited on the side of the road for a vehicle to come by that we could bum a ride home on, but there was nothing. Finally, a little trailer was slowly driving by with like 15 people packed into it. Luckily 13 out of the 15 were teenage girls and had no problem deciding if they would let us hitch a ride or not hahaha. There were all headed to a wedding, dressed nice, and all the sudden it started down pouring again. I’ve never experienced rain like this in my life. It literally felt like I was taking a shower. The raindrops were so big they kinda hurt a bit. Everybody was soaked - it was hilarious. And this vehicle could only go like 15 mph because we had so many people in it. Turned out to be like a 20 minute ride in a complete hurricane.  

Speaking of Dodan, our solid investigating family in Dodan is doing good. They expressed that they feel happiness when they read and pray, and committed to going to church on Sunday. Well we went to visit them Saturday morning, and their TriC got a flat tire, and they told us they weren’t going to be able to make it. I could tell though that  they were a bit sad and really want to go, so that's good. They should be able to attend next week. 

So I'm guessing some of you have heard about the Martial law that is going on in Mindanao (editor: the southern most island in the Philippines where, last Tuesday, "deadly clashes erupted between Filipino government troops and Islamist militants"). As of now, it hasn't effected us here at all. Just a lot of people talking about it. Some people are worried, but it hasn't really effected us at all. 

So another kind of funny experience. Yesterday, we went on splits, and I was working with a couple of the young men. We were walking to a less active's house, when somebody from behind us started yelling “Elders, Elders!!” It was a member of the church who was attending a Christening party. There were like 20 people there and they all started yelling at us, telling us to come and eat. I thought they were just being polite, so I told them we were heading to an appointment. But then they kept telling us to come and eat over and over again. So we accepted and they had TONS of food. I took a picture of some of the food - it was incredible. And most the people there were teachers. So they all started speaking English with me while we were feasting. I took a look over at the 2 young men, and they had big smiles on their faces, chowing down haha. After we left, I asked them, “You boys wanna serve missions?” With big smiles on their faces and full stomachs they answered “Oh yeahh” haha. But yeah, we had lunch at a Catholic’s Baptism party. People are so nice here.

So I have got to say, the work is good, and I love the missionary life.But man I have noticed this week how tiring missionary work really is haha. It's hard to relax sometimes because you are always thinking about the people you are going to teach that day, and all your investigators. What you are going to teach them, how to resolve their concerns, and how to get them to church. It's so stressful honestly. Sometimes I wonder why I am so happy, because I am just so tired all of the time. But even though I am sometimes tired and stressed, I am very, very happy. Can’t deny that.

Honestly every time I either feel like this work is too much to handle, or I get a bit discouraged, I immediately feel the comfort of the Lord. I have a strong testimony that if He calls you to the work, He is always gonna be there helping you along the way. Through the big things and the small things. If the mission has done nothing else for me, it has brought me closer to Him.

Love you all so much, have a good week:)

-Elder Jenkins

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