Another classic update from Shane… how does he come up with such good stuff?
Family! First of all, Happy belates 22nd Birthday to the best kuya ever, Trevor Brown! (Sept. 21)
What a week! As in, what a week talaga! So next week we had the plan to go to Catanduanes (the island in our zone with a district - 10 missionaries - on it). Well, on Monday evening we got a text saying that E. Alldredge has an appointment for some Visa stuff next week that he couldn't reschedule and thus the thrilling thought came simultaneously to our minds, "We're going to Cats tomorrow!!!" We texted everyone our new plans and on Tuesday morning we were of for Cats (Catanduanes).
It was great to be back on Catanduanes (see pictures). It was fantastic to get the 2632 viruses removed from my USB (literally), but pretty much the most important thing we did was find apartments for the new missionaries coming in next transfer. We set up a new contract everyday we were there. I secretly loved getting called "Mr. Brown" over and over again (despite my equally repeated corrections to "Elder Brown"). The whole time there really was a pleasure. We not only got to go to caves and waterfalls, but we got to visit all the different missionary apartments and work a little bit with the missionaries in their own areas. But even with that, by Friday, I was ready for our vacation, I mean trip, to end. It's funny how badly I just wanted to go back to the normal schedule of studying in the morning then working for a few hours, lunch + study and work until night. You really come to love it after a while.
Okay, I'm saving the best for last. Also, this is the last thing that happened having to do with the island venture - the way home. The several hours boat ride home. Hah, here it goes: First, it was windy. So, so windy. A result, they said, from the super typhoon traveling just north of the Philippines. If you can imagine poor Elder Brown locked in a boat getting tossed around by the sea, it wasn't fun. Nor was in fun when I sat in fright of the the large, standing A/C unit threatening numerous times to tumble over me. What really made this picture for me though was when I was finally drifting off to sleep until I heard some rustling on the ground then a good shriek from Alldredge - "RAT!" Boy! - if I wasn't freaked out earlier, I was really on edge now with this little (massive!) guy sitting behind the air con for the entire rest of the way home! And when I say "on edge", I mean I was as far from the edge of my seat as possible for the duration of the ride. ...You'd understand it more had you been there...
Life continues here in this beautiful part of the Philippines. Although we had almost no time to work in our area this week, we still had 45 people come to church in our once little group! (: That's a record! We want to try and get 50 before Alldredge leaves in two weeks. We are truely being blessed here. I feel it. And I sure see the fruits of it.
I wish I could share with you all my experiences. The perfect excuse though is just as true as ever - I couldn't put it into words. Thanks for everything, and have a holly, jolly Christmas (Christmas music is in full-force here)!
Love, Elder Shane Scully Brown
1. On the boat. "Jack, Jack! I'm flying Jack!"
2. Deeper into the cave!
3. On a bridge
4-16. More Catanduanes adventures