Monday, May 28, 2012

Tale of Two Toenails


The good doctor at work.
Last week after emailing, Elder Lasay and me went to DeVera's hospital in Santiago to have my ingrown toenails removed.  I had been dealing with them for six months and was tired of ‘em.  We get to the hospital but none of their surgeons are in.  So we tell them we'll come back another day. But before we leave they sit me down and send my companion to the pharmacy and he comes back with 1000 pesos worth of stuff.  He doesn’t know what it’s for, I don’t know what it’s for, and the doctor barely seems to know what to do with it. He starts mixing it all together and sucks it up into a big syringe then throws a paper into my lap. The paper requires my signature for this 'shot,’ which I don’t want. On the paper it says 1) this may cause paralysis and other really bad stuff ,and 2) we would have to stay for an hour after the shot so they can watch me. I don’t want it.  I say we'll just come back another day, but the doctor insists that I have to sign this and I have to stay.  But if we stay, we will not be able to return to Jones because in less than an hour, vans will stop going to Jones, then we have no where to stay and its all just a disaster, but they wont let me leave.  So I call Sister Carlos and everyone I can think of, but no one answers.  We keep calling until we get someone who gets President and Sister Carlos. Sister Carlos yells at the doctors over the phone to release me while President translates. After negotiating for a while they finally let me put my shoes on and leave... after signing so 'refusal of treatment' paperwork. so the next day, after district meeting, we are asked to go up to Cauayan to get it looked at up there with Sister Carlos.   We run around trying to find a surgeon. We get to a hospital with a bunch of doctors just standing around in nice doctor clothing, we ask for the surgeon and one runs off saying “I’ll get him!” then out of one of the far off rooms comes a big fat guy wearing jeans and a tucked in polo. He has a key chain on his waist and he definitely looks more like the janitor. He looks at it and has me lay down, pulls out some scissors and numbs my toes. (which might be the most painful thing I’ve ever felt--who knew that could hurt so bad?)  Anyways, I’m missing part of my toenails now. cool huh?
The family together again! Via Skype on Mother's Day.
Weird, I know, but I was happy to get us all in one picture.

On Sunday, we had tay Quejas (pronounced “chaos”) come back to church for the first time in over a year--after punching an RM at a baptism over a year ago.   Missionaries have been trying to get him to come back for a year, and he finally came back and everyone loves him. (The RM he punched totally deserved it.  Long story.)  He gave all the credit at church to 'two white elders.' 

Also we finally got tay Ibarra to come back since he was baptized 7 weeks ago. And tay Libron has returned from the hospital and is a little quieter now, and is probably going to keep his garments on more often.

That has been my week.  I love and miss every single one of you. I can't wait to see you again.

This is  the rat we had been doing battle
with for the last two months.  We win.
Mahal Kita,

Elder Allen

This is the inside of a typical bus.
No one seems to know why they are
all missing those seats.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Change is Good. Really.


Before last Wednesday there were 7 zones in the Cauayan Mission; Tugugurao, Roxas, Ilagan, Cauayan, Alica, Santiago, and Nueva Viscaya. Now there are 11 Zones; North Tugegerao, South Tugegurao, Roxas, Burgos, Cauayan, Ilagan, Alicia, North Santiago, South Santiago, Bambang, and Solano. No more Neuva Viscaya, it has been split into Bambang and Solano.

I lost Elder Elgan and gained Elder Lasay. Elder Elgan became the ZL of North Tuguegurao, the hottest place in the mission, but he seems to be loving it up there.

Me and Elder Lasay are trying to help our Branch, but it is hard. We barely broke 30 at church yesterday.

Here’s a day with Elder Allen: It’s super hot all the time, we walk maybe an average of 5-6 miles each day. Right now our branch presidency is having a hard time. They’ve all gone inactive and our attendance to church is dropping. I shower every night with a ladle. You have to sleep with a fan on you on full blast or you wake up in a pool of your own sweat. We wake up occasionally and chase rats and cockroaches out of our bedroom and bathroom. I wake up at 6:30 (if you’re obedient, which I try to be) prepare till 8 then personal study for an hour. Then have comp study for an hour. I continue to study till lunch. Then we eat and start work at about 1. We get chased by dogs, get yelled at, teach a lesson, wade through a swamp, kick a dog, get chased by dogs again, we run through the typhoon-like rains back to the apartment at about 8pm. We make a nightly plan and I write in my journal and study a bit more. Then dinner, shower and go to bed. Crazy day, right?

I’m on the Lord's errand. He never said it would be easy, He said it would be worth it. The Church is True! Tell your Family! Tell your Friends! Tell your Neighbors! Those that accept it fully into their hearts and live by the word of God will receive the promised blessings from the Lord and gain eternal life and happiness no matter how hard life may be.  I only wish someone would open their heart to the truth. I know it to be true with every fiber of my being and every hope of my soul.

Mahal kita! (I love you).
Ingat ka madapa ka. (take care not to fall on your face) ;)

I’m sorry no pictures today, I forgot my camera, but I love you all so much and hope that you are appreciating your lives ;)

Things I need: an exercise mat. (because we can’t touch the floor and that makes it hard to do sit ups.) another towel. (because one isn’t enough to dry off my awesomeness... or one extra would just be nice to have) tooth picks/floss things in a bag. flossing made easy. flossing is hard. Garments- 3 or 4 pairs. Please and thank you. And contact solution.  And skittles and M&Ms of course, cuz they are awesome and there are none here.  Those are just some things I would like, feel free to throw some other surprises in there or whatever.   I just sent a package to you today. Hopefully it will get to you, or that was 2,400+ pesos down the drain for shipping alone!

I love you. love love love love

Elder Allen