Just realized, there is no way for me to upload
pictures here.... I'll try again later today because we might have to
come back. Sorry!
Anyways I'm doing great! It's crazy, in the
first week and a half I've been here, I feel like I've experienced a
little tidbit of everything! Hard times, lots of rain, too little/too
much food, wild experiences with the members, and of course spiritual
experiences with those we teach.
That being said... I feel like I could never summarize even just
this one week. So I'll start off with last P-Day after I emailed. I
was told my mission would be a very humbling experience, and I declare
that yes, there is perhaps nothing more humbling that spending two hours
washing laundry with a board and bucket. I'm convinced. So hah that
was quite the experience for me. On Wednesday we went to a family
history event and they played Taylor Swift on some speakers. Whatever
their plan was, it must have worked because plenty of teenage girls
showed up after that. They love American music over here. Haha I wish
you all could come visit the Philippines. The whole atmosphere is so
great. The roads of course are your own game of Frogger (one stoplight
in my entire mission), and everything is such an adventure. I'll try
and get more pictures of everything next week (:
One of my favorite things is walking down little old streets in
beat-down neighborhoods. On one side of my area all of the kids say
"Americano, Americano!" and a bit mockingly will say things like "What's
your name?" "What's up dude?". With them, I generally go up to them
and start speaking to them in Tagalog which usually takes them by
surprise. Hah also it's fun to ask if they want to speak English....
They never do... We do get some teaching opportunities sometimes
though. On the other side of the area, the kids love the big, white
Americano. As soon as the little 4-10 year olds see us coming they yell
"Elder Brown, ELDER BROWN!!!!!" and come for handshakes, high fives,
and other things - never fails to put a smile on my face.
The lessons here all have their ups and downs. We've gone into
homes hoping to teach a less active family and Tatay is drunk or
smoking, other times no one is there or they see us coming and just
leave. That being said, we do have amazing experiences as well (as long
as we rely on the spirit to know what to say). We also see progression
in people, even those that at first completely reject us, see us and
quite literally walk away ignoring us. Earlier in the week we found a
kid, 18 years old, and started talking to him (because he was doing the
whole "Americano, Americano!" thing), we then got invited to teach him a
few days later. We taught him and his father the first lesson
(Restoration). That went super well and they felt the spirit. We went
back last night to teach him but his dad was there. After the opening
prayer his sister came out and wanted to join. Hah we were excited
because Salvation should be a family affair. The lesson we were going
to give was based on baptism. We taught for ten minutes or so out of 2
Ne 31 v 5,7,10 and challenged the boy to be baptized. He accepted our
baptismal date. Then I felt like we needed to ask sister, I did and she
accepted. After just ten minutes of teaching! It was a true
acceptance as well. All of us really felt the spirit in that lesson.
This family truly is prepared.
Before you jump the gun, yes, I am very aware that my experiences
here are only after two weeks-ish. But I love it so much already. I
know I will continue to do so. Philippino ako sa puso, at Philippino
ako sa tsen ;)
The Church is true!
Elder Shane Scully Brown