As I sit here, I'm just amazed that it's Pday again. The last few weeks have felt like quick Pdays in a row. And of course, I'm still at the point where I feel like I gave my farewell talk just two weeks ago, but all other memories of home feel like a dream. To keep it short - time is accelerating again.
Today by the way has been quite the adventure. We woke up extra early, played basketball at the church, then did our first cultural event here! It's Fiesta in Iriga (the big city we go to for Pday) so there is a huge parade going on. After basketball, we went and watched all of the floats go by and took some fun pictures.
Anyways, to add to the speed of weeks, we had more exchanges this week. One with Elder LaUlu (Wed-Thurs) and another with E. Shepardson (Fri-Sat). On each, I worked in my area with the names missionary. E. LaUlu s a humongous Samoan from Australia. We had a great time riding on top of jeeps and singing on the roof of our apartment after work. E. Sheps and I were coming from the city so before we left, we spent a bit of extra personal money on the most gourmet meal I've had in the Philippines. In total, we only spent about 16 American Dollars, but here, that's 650 Pesos! Needless to say, we splurged and were fatly rewarded with luxury (this was at the only high class restaurant in the near 2 hours).
We teach a lot of less-active members here. One thing we do for those who are really progressing is switch off sharing messages from the Liahona (you know, the church magazine. Basically the Ensign) with them. Example, I will teach a message, then they will, then my comp, another family member, so on and so forth. This week, the rotation fell on me. As I was preparing my lesson, I felt impressed to share an article about the question, "Have we really prayed about the Book of Mormon and the experience of Joseph Smith?" Basically about a member who was converted three years ago but never really asked God through prayer if what the missionaries were teaching her was true, she just felt good about our message. I couldn't at all figure out how I could relate the story back to the mother we would be focusing on. I continued to flip through the pages, but I kept getting drawn back to that one article. When it was time for the actual lesson to come around, I stuck with what felt right, only trusting that it was prompted to me and we would be helped to know what to say. As the lesson progressed, it turns out, this long time member had never truly prayed about the BoM and the experience of Joseph Smith (you know, the one about him seeing our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ). It was perfect. A good lesson and a happy ending later helped her to come to church yesterday with her family (:
Before I close, I feel I need to clarify a few things. First of all (all of my list of 2), I mentioned showers a few weeks ago and a comment from my mother made me realize I've never explained this: Showers are not showers here. Instead, we have a big barrel (those large trash cans) placed right under a pipe coming out of the wall. We turn on the water and as it pours out, we use a ladle to scoop the water and wash. Number 2, everything I've ever mentioned about the beauty here is true. Except for I don't think I've ever brought up that what beauty I've been able to express, has been accompanied by big, wonderful rainbows almost everyday. It's wonderful.
Just like mine, I hope your week was wonderful too!
Love, Elder Shane Scully Brown
1. Watching the Parade
2. Looking at the floats
3. Getting some rest after a long morning
4. Hanging out on the roof with Elder LaUlu
5. Some of the gang at zone training