This week was another busy one with President out of town. We had the duty of sending one of the departing missionaries home. We thought we would be dropping him off at the airport, but all a sudden a HUGE rainstorm came in and just started pouring down on us. It ended up being a signal 2 storm, and it was a big one. So all the flights were canceled and the poor guy had to take a bus all the way back to Manila haha. So that is what our Tuesday consisted of.
One thing about when it is pouring here... what you usually see is pretty much nobody on the street except the triC drivers and naked little kids running around in the rain. The TriC drivers put on their full body water proof gear and drive around searching for people to pick up. Everybody else is inside their homes, cooking up some sinagang - one of my favorites (editor: a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour and savoury taste most often associated with tamarind), and trying to "stay warm" even though it's still 80 degrees out haha. Speaking of foods that I have come to love... Bagnet (editor: a deep fried crispy pork belly dish) has got to be my favorite thing so far. It's not cheap, but it's real good. Also chop suey here is incredible. I'm starting to realize how much I'm gonna miss some of the foods here.
(editor: I think that is the fat chunks he used to think were potatoes.)
filipino chop suey
One thing that I have really enjoyed this past transfer is the presence of the Nelsons in our area (editor: A senior missionary couple from Alpine, Utah). They are nothing but a blessing to us and to the mission. They will just sometimes drop by the mission office with a cake, or some cookies, they are awesome. Not to mention the work they are doing here in the mission to strengthen different wards and branches. To top it off, the other night they texted us and told us to meet them at a nice burger place for dinner. Elder Nelson pressured me into buying a massive burger that I wasn't even able to finish, but it tasted somewhat similar to an American burger, which was a nice taste. So that is what the picture is about.
blurry - but there's the burger
This week was a fun week of work because we went on exchanges with some zone leaders. One of them was with Elder Nichols, one of the elders from my MTC batch. It was a lot of fun working with each other and seeing each other's progression in the language, teaching, etc. That is one thing I do really enjoy about my calling right now, being able to work with other missionaries so often. The nice thing is that all of the Zone Leaders will travel to our area to do exchanges. Last month, the Mission Department had a meeting about different callings and what is supposed to be happening in each calling. They talked about how the APs should be the absolute best proselyting missionaries in the mission, and that their area should be the complete model area for everyone. So they said that the leaders should be traveling to the AP's area every cycle for exchanges. All that being said, it does put a little pressure on us sometimes, but now we aren't having to travel so much every month.
Exchanges with Elder Nichols
We had 9 investigators at church this Sunday. A lot of progression is going on in our area even though we aren't getting to work as much as we would like to. We are being blessed with receptive investigators and people that are willing to listen.
Of course the highlight of the week was Keem's baptism. On Saturday evening, we joined with 2 other wards in our baptismal service. There were 5 people baptized and a large attendance of members. It was a good turnout and a very great, spiritual time. After the baptism, Keem was just so happy. I loved how he kept expressing to us too, how happy and thankful he was that we taught the gospel to him. On Sunday, he was wearing his long sleeve, and I told him "All you're missing is a name tag." And he said that he's gonna serve a mission in the future. He is a true convert to the Gospel. Another witness to me that the gospel truly changes people.
I love this gospel and seeing the change it causes in people. I cannot deny of its truthfulness. Being here in Laoag and spreading the happiness it gives to different people is nothing but a blessing.
Ps. This weekend is gonna be real busy with all the transfers, and next week is even busier. So I don't know when i will be emailing again :)