Exciting update: We had hot water yesterday! Yep. In the afternoon it got so extremely hot, that it heated up our water! I got so excited that I almost took a shower until I realized that I was already quite warm without the hot water. Needless to say, we're seen some high temperatures these last few days. My poor electric fan gets zero rest from the time I walk in the door, all through the night, until we leave again. And although I turn it off at departure, there isn't much of a "cool-down" period.
Sensing my plight in the heat as we were walking down the road, a nice man called out to us, his "brethren", to have a drink with him and his pals. Upon kindly refusing, he wasn't going to give up insisting, "Friends... Just one shot, my friends." As always, an entertaining experience. Because we were walking at midafternoon, school was just getting out as we rounded a corner to come into view of the elementary school. (Not sure if I've explained this before, but nearly every Filipino called us white missionaries, "Joe." On the street, on the bus, everywhere.) All of a sudden, a kid climbs on top of a fence and sees me, then turning back to his friends, begins to yell at the top of his voice, "JOE! JOE IS COMING!! QUICK!" At that moment, dozens of kids burst through the fence gate and start running at me for a big high five. "AAAAAAPP EEEEEER JOE! AAAP EEER!" That was quite the rush.
Tuesday we went to a missionary fireside for our Mother Branch. Elder Balanon and I were speakers along with the two missionaries assigned in the actual Branch. They put it together for us to speak on whatever we wanted, so long as it would benefit the kid in the Branch who reported to the MTC two days later. As I was sitting on the bench, waiting my turn to speak, my prepared talk in hand, I began to feel what I had prepared was not what I needed to talk about that night. When I stood up at the podium, I knew with a surety that I wouldn't be speaking on what I had originally planned. I felt constrained to speak about families. I'm sure glad that's what the Spirit picked for me because if there's any field in which I feel confident, it's that of families and what they can become through the Gospel. I was able to share a few experiences and the whole thing went surprisingly well. I really am so grateful for God's plan for us as families. Saturday we went to our busiest area where there was a funeral of a member a few hours earlier. After greeting the family and friends there, we were asked to share a few thoughts on where their grandpa's spirit is now, along with our purpose for coming to Earth. Following that, and for the rest of the afternoon, we taught the Plan of Salvation more times than I can count! It was a very unique and wonderful experience, we even had a few extra people at church on Sunday.
I love God's plan for me and my mission. I love His plan for those I meet and teach here. Most of all, I love His plan that He has set for families. The plan that He made for me, those I teach, and everyone else in the world to grow and progress in a family. His work is our salvation, and it'll take place in the basic social unit we were born into. It's the Plan of Salvation, or as I prefer, the Plan of Happiness - and I will rejoice in it forever.
May we all help that Plan to be realized throughout the world! Until next week, love you!
Elder Shane Scully Brown
3. Eating Coconut (may have sent this once before)
4. A few kids from my MTC district, reunited at Christmas Conference.