Landon with local farmers

Landon with local farmers

Saturday, March 9, 2013

You only have two years to do this...

Hey all! How is everyone doing?  Swell I hope! 
So this week was.... SO BORING! NOT! Haha. A lot has happened. A few things that I want to make sure to say. So I will get right on to it.
First off, my new companion, Elder I, is an amazing! I feel like I teach so well with him! I think that is because we get along really well and he understands me. He was born in Manila, but he grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Our Zone Leaders even refer to him as a "foreigner" Hahah! He's totally non-native though. He says "oh yeah" to me all the time. Not in Hilagaynon either. The kid is too funny for words. He might even be one of the companions that I will keep in contact with after my mission. Canada road trip (oh and as I write this, all the little Filipino kids that are here in the computer shop are all gathered around me and my computer as I type… like as of right now. Haha they can't understand English so... when they read this as I type, they won't get it.)! 

So a few things about church yesterday - they only have one priest in this Branch. He was in Bacolod with his parents yesterday so there was nobody to bless the sacrament. Guess who the Branch President asked to bless the sacrament? Us. Luckily, he told us to do it in English, which was nice I guess. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to read the prayer in the language, but when I opened my Libro Ni Mormon to the verses in Moroni chapters 4 and 5, I realized there were so many big words that I would totally butcher. So, I went with English. Maybe in a year’s time I can do it in the language if I get asked to again.
Oh! As we finished the opening prayer, and older man walked in. And by older, I mean he is like old. I found out that he is 95 years old. 95! He still works as a fisherman, all by himself. He still walks without a cane or help! It's nuts. 
new area, Hinoba-an
-So this area that I am in now.... holy smokes. It is like 15 times bigger than my last area. And since President Lopez wants us to have as many lessons with investigators with a member with us, we bring 1 or 2 with us. But since they are poor and cannot afford to take a tricycle as far as we go, we pay for them. And because that is part of what our support money from the church is for. But.... it adds up fast because our area is like enormous. President told us that he will most likely adjust our support money so we can meet the needs of this area without any restrictions. Still no word yet, so we will see. I don't worry about getting fed dinner so much anymore. We had a dinner appointment every single day last week. 

old area, Cadiz

Fish market in the Philippines
Guess what else? Because this area is right on the ocean, they get fish for so cheap. So, every meal I have eaten since the minute I got here 11 days ago, I have eaten fish. I hate fish. Anyone who knows me will know that if I had a choice between beef, chicken, or pork, and fish, I would throw the fish to the dog and eat everything else. Here I can't do that. Well, it is like President says "you only have 2 years to do this. So, don't mess it up." Haha- honest quote. So I eat it anyway. I have had maybe 5 different kinds of fish lately... and I can't remember the names of them. But 2 types of fish I do like a little…enough that I don't have to choke it down. I am getting used to it though. 

OK-- onto our investigators!  We have like 4 that are willing to listen and learn. First off, we have Sister B. She was investigating the church like 2 years ago but the missionaries stopped visiting her because she was a live in with her boyfriend. But, there was a mass wedding here in our area and anyone who had 100 pesos, the Mayor married legally. So we began teaching her again! She is still really interested. Her husband however, is not. We found out that he is a really active Pastor in another church here in this area. Kind of a problem you'd think, but he allows us to teach his wife. He just wants no part of it. I thought it would cause tension but he is totally cool with it. Maybe after we baptize her, he will soften up. You know what they say!  Next, we have L and M. They are in same situation as Sister B. Investigated, weren't married and then discontinued. But now they are married and they both listen and learn. Brother L’s brother is actually the 2nd counselor in the Bishopric here and ironically their house is right in front of the church, as in 25 steps from the front of their house, to the church. Those three investigators have all been taught the Restoration only so far. We will invite them to be baptized this week. More on that next Monday!
Our last investigator deserves his own paragraph. It is kind of sad so get ready. His name is Brother M. He is a fisherman, and works nights. He has a girlfriend/wife?  -Hard to explain that. Her name is D. She was married in the past and had one son. Her husband left her and the child in the dust for another girl in Manila. That was 10 years ago. Now she is with Brother M. But since she is poor, she can't legally divorce her old husband. So her situation is called "Co Inhabitants". And here, it’s the closest thing to marriage. The Church however, has come out with something regarding this. Since they can't legally be married, but they are "committed" to each other, they can be baptized. That is the only good news. Bad news is, he can't hold any callings, or receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. On top of all that, they can't have a temple recommend. Meaning.... they can't be sealed together for eternity.  We just found this out yesterday. President Lopez would also like to interview F before his baptism. Good grief man. It is such a hard situation. We haven't told him or D yet. We will have to soon though. President will instruct us on what to do. -More on that next week.
Well family, friends, and loved ones, that is all for this week. All I can say now is, have a great week. Thank you for all your prayers in my behalf. I feel them every day. I love you all so much.

Love From The Philippines!

-Elder Garner

1 comment:

  1. Elder Gartner, I hope you loved Hinoba an. It was one of my favorite areas. I was assigned there in 2006, and involved in the ground breaking of the chapel there. I never saw it completed. I love those people. Good luck on your remaining mission.