Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Work in Aritao

Kumusta!  It’s very interesting to see how the missionary work improves and becomes so much more .... entertaining with a new companion who is fun to work with.  Elder Averion is a great companion.  Since we started about 2 weeks ago, it has felt like I just arrived in Aritao for the first time.  Before that, I was spending as much time in Bambang and Solano as Aritao.  Now we are focused.

Angry Birds is huge in the Philippines, Elder Abitona
and me don't play, but we have awesome pillows!
Anyway, Aritao is an awesome place.  We have gained some new investigators, and are using the ward mission leader, a 21-year-old kid who is preparing his own mission papers right now, to guide us around.   It turns out that Aritao is one of the biggest areas in the mission. It would take a whole day to walk from one side to the other. And then we have to walk back.  I know, because we've done it.  We still haven’t explored all of the area.  We plan on going down to Santa Fe this week which is about a 30 minute jeepney ride south and it is still well within our boundaries.  The other missionaries in our district are frightened by our area’s sheer size. It’s awesome!

I’m coming up on 4 months away from home now but it doesn’t feel like it. Yes, its been long, but it doesn’t feel like 4 months long.  Then again, 4 months isn’t really very long di-ba?

The work is good. The fields are white and ready for harvest. The weather is... hot.  And the people are loving.

I had a rough start but I guess it was good to start at the bottom, from there the only way to go is up!

To answer some of your excellent questions:
How do we get around? Our area is huge. Walking takes forever but it’s cheaper than jeepneys and we don’t have unlimited money. We usually just walk.

How is my health? My health is okay. I had a bit of intestinal drama for a few days, but I’m all good now.

How are the Filipino people? Filipinos smile a lot.  I’ve had many good experiences with them. We just had dinner last night with Brother Caucayan, president of the Elders Quorum.  His business is medical supplies and drugs. He calls himself a 'druglord'.  We ate fish with him last night.  I still don’t like fish but I’m really good at pretending otherwise.

Where is Elder Averion From?  Elder Averion is from Laguna.  He’s been out 8 months.

How do you get mail, if everything goes to the mission home, and it’ almost 3 hours away?   Honestly, it gets to the mission home and there’s no promise that I’ll get it before the next time I go to the mission home. But usually somebody has to go up there for some reason or someone has to come down.  So I would say it will usually get to me within a week after arriving to the mission home. Yep. Mail’s slow.

Hey! I love you people! Do some good in the world today!

Me and a Kuliglig
Elder Allen

To explain the pictures:
Few things are more famous in the Philipines than Angry Birds. Elder Abitona is with me.
My locally made machete, stand back!
That Vehicle is called a Kuliglig. yep.
no one will be happier than Jonah to know I have a Machete. woot woot. stand back.

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