Landon with local farmers

Landon with local farmers

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Spirit filled hut

Hello all!

First off, I did send a family letter for Christmas that had I think like 20 pictures in it, like the one that Heather got in the mail recently. I sent that one before I sent the one that Mom and Dad just got so.... It might be lost. Dang it. Hopefully it comes soon! But just know that I sent one.

Skype was great! I thought for sure I would be so out of it after and I kind of was for a few hours. Of course though, right?  First time I had seen any of you in 5 months almost. Ya, it was the highlight of my week for sure.

Rain in the Philippines
Considering... and this is funny. So you all got pounded with snow right? Well we had a typhoon hit us hard on Wednesday morning -like it rained for 9 hours straight. Honestly. It was so much! It just made me laugh because I am getting almost the exact opposite that you all are.

We kind of had a tough week to say the least though. Let me explain why. Our area is pigado gid - meaning very poor. But, they all have family in richer areas like Escalante, Bacolod, and Talisay. SO... what do you think they did for Christmas? They went to be with their families in other areas… our area was pretty empty. We did see some members that decided to stay though. They live in a place called Sambag. There are like 4 different families, and they are all related. It’s like our family, Corey’s family, Casey’s family, and Neno’s family all living within 5 feet of each other. They love having us over though! Actually we are going over there for 4 dinner appointments for New Years Eve later tonight... haha I am gonna die. But, they're all super nice to us, especially me. So I won't complain. Even though I don't know what I am eating most of the time. Honestly I never do. But this is what I get for being sort of picky back home right? Ya I never ask "what is this?" I just eat it to be polite. Even though I feel like Kaolipoki did on ‘The Other Side of Heaven’ and he drank whatever that was when he arrived in his mission in Tonga and almost threw up... Sometimes I almost gag but my reflexes are getting better!  All the members understand though cause they ask ‘ara sa inyo’?  Which means in English do you have this where you live? And I ALWAYS say wala…meaning ‘none’. It’s ok though! 

I will tell you though about two days where something actually happened. First Thursday, we had exchanges! I again got to work with the District Leader. His name is Elder B. Can I just say that that day was awesome! He is the first Pinoy missionary I have met that has a sense of humor. Reminded me a little of Neal in a way. Always cracking jokes (appropriately), and just getting along well with the members that he had never met yet. He is a total people person. I'm learning that if you relax and open up its easier to talk to people…duh, right?  Still kind of hard though because I speak missionary Illongo, meaning in regular conversation, I don't understand a lot cause I am still learning new words. Slowly but surely though! 

Anyways, we taught our last lesson at the Branch Presidents house. He has a son actually, his oldest, who served a mission in Tacoloban Philippines, about 7 years ago. And he hasn't been to church in 4 years almost. That's a ton. He says that he doesn't feel worthy I guess? I am not sure. But, we taught him about our purpose on earth. Can I just say wow? Elder B and I clicked instantly and blew the room away. 

Typical of a Filipino hut
in Elder Garner's current area of Cadiz
That little hut couldn't possibly hold the amount of Spirit that we brought in. That was the first time in a long time that I have cried in a lesson. And the first time I had when I was speaking their native language. Not English... so ya. Good day. 

We then ended the day at the Certicio's (members) house for a dinner appointment! Tasty! More rice, eggs, and fish. Good thing I love eggs or this would be harder than it needs to be…

Then lastly, we have an investigator family. The P family: mom, dad, and daughter. They have 3 younger boys too but they are like 6 and under so we don't focus on teaching them since they aren’t of baptism age. That family is so receptive though! They love to learn from us and they seem to get it. We always ask frequently in lessons if they are getting what we are teaching (especially after I teach...) just to be sure we aren't leaving them in the dust of the Gospel you know?  But they never have any problems! Well, with learning that is. They do have 2 issues though. 1- The parents both have work on Sundays. So they are unable to attend Sacrament Meeting. They did commit to finding other jobs though so that is good!  And 2- they aren't married! This whole time we thought they were married. Turns out they are only live ins with 4 children. So we talked about it in Branch Council yesterday and we are trying to set a date for them to get married. Later that night we asked if they would still be willing to get married so they could be baptized together instead of having one of them move out and they said yes! So right now, we are all trying to get that all sorted out. Meaning, we could have a wedding / baptism! How cool would that be? I'll give you more details on that later, when there is more to tell.

Yesterday I decided to read in the Libro Ni Mormon while the sacrament was being passed. I read the sacrament prayers in the language and can I just say wow?  It’s so different but so cool. I wish I could come home and show you all real fast and bless the sacrament in the language…but that won’t ever happen so oh well! Still very cool none the less.

Our transfer day is the Wednesday…so I will find out soon if I am leaving or staying. Guess you all will find out next week! I will know what’s going on tomorrow. I wish I could tell you all now but I don't know yet!

Hey mom and dad, in your next package that you send whenever (no rush) I need a few things: black or brown towels (my white ones are pretty dead... I am not sure what we were thinking). Next: new belts. The ones I have don't have enough holes in them. So my pants are having a hard time staying up and keeping my shirt tucked in cause I dropped 3 new born babies worth of weight... hahah. And last, my retainers: mainly the bottom ones. Don't laugh please. But yes I want them. Thank you!

Thank you all for all you do for me! This Christmas wasn't too bad I guess being away from home, but it wasn't the same. That is for sure. It’s ok though! Thank you for all your prayers and love. Until next week!

-Elder Garner

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