Monday, October 29, 2012

The Week in Ramon


My week has been okay. Elder Sarcauga and I spend a lot of time going to very far out areas and getting punted and sent away all day. I’ve eaten balut 3 times now.  It has turned into a dare kind of thing, though I hear, that the first time Elder James ate balut (my companion in the MTC) he took one bite, ran away and threw up, and ran right back, loosened his tie and announced that he was going to finish it, and to everyone’s surprise, finished it.  We found an all-you-can-eat buffet earlier for 100 pesos, but you can’t leave a thing on your plate or the price doubles to 200 pesos.  It makes me feel bad for wasting food at Golden Corral.

We have been teaching a very frustrating group of people.  None of which show any progression. one says she really wants to go to the temple but isn’t willing to do anything to get there, one is super polite super catholic, another is a 5 year investigator who has yet to make a step of progression, and another is a brand new investigating family that refuses to believe that we can know for ourselves the truth through the holy ghost.   That's who we are teaching plus the many varying less-actives and in-actives.

Mahal ko kayo,

I love you all.

Elder Allen

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Adventure Time


I take back that they don’t celebrate Halloween. They do, but its called "all saints day" and all they really do is get together and eat food and celebrate dead people. Nothing like in America. 

The Ramon Elders at the baptism of Jay Padilla.
Elder Hamblin got tired of Tracting because he found it boring and depressing, so he has re-named it, "Adventure Time," the time that we scour the deepest caves, the densest forests and scale the highest mountains looking for those that need to hear the "good news."

Tracting is just looking for new investigators by talking to random people about Jesus.  Adventure time is much more exciting. He now writes that in his planners…with the addition of a sword.

Interesting news about the new age limit of missionaries;

Abad is a common name in this area,
but it doesn't always work on a business.
When we heard this Friday from President Carlos, There had been 8,000 mission papers submitted since the announcement. You know how many mission papers usually get submitted in that same period of time? 300 to 500.  The fact becomes more amazing when you think of the process of mission papers and how many more will continue to pour in. There is going to be a bit of an influx of missionaries would be my guess, over the next year of course. This is an immediate installment of strength.

I have been receiving serialized letters from my father about his life and conversion, he had better keep writing them.

I love you all so much.

Have a great week, everybody.

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Allen

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blessed are the Merciful


It’s fun living as 4 instead of 2 because you get the chance to learn from 3 others you are living with rather than just your companion. The area was so huge that we couldn’t go to any neighborhood in the area more than once a week, and we still couldn’t make it all around the area.  And with the surplus of missionary's coming in, president saw fit to put four of us in one ward, so we go to church together and everything.  This week was General Conference for us, so we finally got to hear the news for ourselves.  We don’t know what to think of it, really. 19 year-old sisters and 18 year-old elders are going to be different but I probably won’t see any until I have about 6 months left.  That was a great announcement from the prophet to celebrate my one year mark,  though.

Elders Oliva, Amoi, me and Sarcauga
eating like champions.  
This week Hamblin and me went on splits and traveled all around our area and met no success. Better luck this week. I hear that you are having my siblings pray for me to eat more food.  I’ll try.  I’d love to just live off the fruit here, but that would be too expensive.  We have very far places in our area and we walk to those very far places and then walk all the way back. This is the biggest town I’ve been in, but its still a far shot from a city.

My favorite talks in conference were Elder Larry Echo Hawk’s talk on Saturday, and actually, the closing prayer to the priesthood session. It may sound weird that the prayer was one of my favorite parts, and it’s not because it was 'finally' ending, but because it was so short and so simple and seemed to be pointed directly to me.

They do not celebrate Halloween in the Philippines, in fact they don’t celebrate anything between the beginning of September and Christmas, except Christmas.  So actually on September 1st we started to hear Christmas music everywhere we go and they start singing Christmas hymns in church. 

Dorian fruit.  Smells like rotten eggs,
 tastes like egg salad.  Mmmmmm.
I study love and charity daily and have been since I realized I was a little short. Charity is defined in Webster’s as 'good will or love towards humanity' or in a simpler word, 'Mercy.'  The merciful will obtain Mercy and the merciless and the brutal will be lost. I understand my weakness and I will strive to do better.

I love you Mom, and the rest of you. I love you all so much.

Fight like Dragons... merciful Dragons.

Mahal ko kayo,

Elder Allen