Landon with local farmers

Landon with local farmers

Monday, October 29, 2012

Truly Missionary Work

Hello everyone! 

Tropical Storm Son-tinh via Nasa satellite
Its been almost three weeks! How nuts is that? Still can't believe I am here most of the time... still amazes me. Anyway, there was a tropical storm in the southern islands this week. We didn't really get any effects of it except for 3 straight days of TEXAS RAIN X 3! It was nuts. No wind, just straight downpour of buckets of rain. Made proselyting loads of fun!  All the walking that we do, and that? I had to wash all my pants with the mud. First time I had to do that. Fun times! My companion says "it is a down right sin to not have an umbrella and flashlight in this area." And its true! We aren't in the city. It gets dark around here-- like pitch black-- at 6 pm. Flashlights out at that time. We spend most of the night teaching of course, but we have to walk about 2 miles to get to each house. Makes for a nasty sweaty me. Haha. Its insane.

One of our appointments is at the Gallego house. The father is the second counselor in the Branch Presidency. His daughter is dating a non-member named Micheal Reyes. He is 19. He is keeping all the commitments and is progressing well. If he goes to church this next week, he qualifies for baptism the last week of this transfer. Elder Parilla said I will baptize him if he goes! The reason its special to me is he was the first one we taught since I got here. And the other night, there was a moment where he asked me in Illongo "why are you all the way out here? Doing this? Isn't it hard being here?" Which yes it is... I took a little while to think of how to respond because this language is still new to me. I knew what I would say in English though for crying out loud... I then felt something inside me say "Speak in English.They will understand you"... So I told my trainer and he said go for it. I then continued to say, "Yes. It is hard for me to be out here sometimes. But you know what makes it easier on me?  I know with everything in me that this gospel is true. Without a doubt in my heart. I wouldn't be out here doing all this if I didn't believe it... I am here because I want to help other people come closer to Christ. You are one of those people, Micheal. I know God loves you. We love you. I know for a fact that God and His son Jesus Christ are so delighted you have started on your path back to them. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I promise you that you are doing the right thing. I testify of everything we have taught you tonight, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen."  I knew right after that they understood. The whole family-- even Micheal and Brother Gallego-- were in tears. Afterwards, my trainer said he had never felt that much of the Spirit in his life. That truly was missionary work. Wow. 

I have also heard normal music! And it kills me.... AC/DC-Back in Black, Chicago- You're the Inspiration, Eagles-Hotel California, Desperado, and New Kid in Town, Boyz to Men (haha laugh all you want but I love their stuff, so does my comp!!!) -On Bended Knee, Phil Collins- I wish it Would Rain Down, True Colors, and Take Me Home, Adele-Someone Like You, Eminem- Lighters, Creed- Rain Down, Boston- More than a Feeling, and every single Journey song ever made. Especially- After All These Years.. of course right? Haha Arnel Pineda is Filipino after all. Everyone here loves Journey. Which is just fine with me! 

I got your letter in the mail yesterday with your questions on it from October 14th. I will answer them now. 

1. Our apartment is kinda run down, but actually nice compared to others. We have running cold water, and not a flushing toilet. Haha. Yay me right? I have to dump buckets of water in the toilet to flush. Once mom finds a place to upload pictures I will send them so you can see. 
A typical Filipino missionary apartment.

2. Yes mom, I am set as far as food, sheets, and water goes. We have a water purifier so I am set. Is it ok if you put $25 a month on my card? I can withdraw it normally every week so dont worry. The money the mission gives us is support. Not to be used to personal stuff you know? So I would use that money for gifts for you all. Whoever wants something.. Let me know.

3. My companion is the same as me pretty much in every way. We love basketball, he loves Journey and Eagles! Boyz to Men, and Phil Collins. He is from Quezon City up north in the Philippines. He was baptized at age 11 and is a very strong member. Great spirit and testimony. I love him!

4. I can barley understand still.. I pick up a ton of words but this language is set up backwords from english. For instance: In english, you would say something like: His prayer was very good. Simple right? Well in Illongo its Nagpangamuyo siya sing maayo gid. Which directly translated means prayer he good. Haha.

5. The church building is normal of course. Mostly. It has fans instead of air conditioning. Only stake centers have air conditioning. Ha. Oh! and the churches have FLUSHING TOILETS! Ya, I take FULL advantage of that baby. You better believe it! 

Typical bucket-toilet flushing system.

6. Lastly, I wash thouroughly every day mom. I shower twice. With soap haha. Dont worry! I have a tub of hand sanitizer thanks to you all at home. So I might bring some home with me cause I have like 5 giant bottles. I also bought a few portable ones too so I can use it when we are out and about. So stop worrying about my cleanliness. :) I am totally against getting diseases here or cavities. I am not about to have a tooth pulled here. NO way. 

Thanks for all your love and support. :) I love and miss you all so much. I couldnt ask for better family, friends, and more. You all are the best! Until next week! WIth how the time has been going lately, I will be emailing soon enough!  Have a great week! 

-Elder Garner

Sister and President Lopez, Elders Garner & Parilla.
Cadiz Stake Conference October  28, 2012

P.S. I need a few things. Let me explain some that might not make sense. Just send what you can to the mission home. I will get it eventually!

1. Pilot G-2 07 pens. Any color will do. Maybe all of them! 
2. More missionary socks- I lost a few pairs. I think I left them in Provo... oops. Just the same kind I had before I left. Padded bottoms. They work wonders! No blisters yet!
3. Chapstick please!!! AS much as possible. 
4. Tide to go pens
5. Athetes foot medication.. Mine got confiscated in the Hong Kong Airport. I didnt think it would be an issue until yesterday.. My feet are killing me in that area. 
6. One more camera sim card-8 gig preferably. 
7. USB thing to back up my pictures on just in case my memory card gets a virus.. Thats what all the Elder suggest I do. Its the most effective thing. 
8. Lint rollers
9. My call letter in a protective thing.. for my binder. Thanks!

Sorry if that is a lot. I shouldn't need too much in the next two years after this. Just send as much when you can. Thanks! NO rush. I love you all!

"Trike" as mentioned in the previous post

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