Ok so for starters, I finally had fresh Coconut. A member picked it off the tree and cut it open right in front of me. While the water inside is probably very healthy, it’s more of an acquired taste, but the fruit is WOW. The really ripe ones are soft, but I’m more partial to the kind of ripe ones because the inside is thicker and it tastes like almonds. Also the Mangoes here are WOW too. You think mangoes in America are good, nah, these ones are pinakamaserap (pinkaka = most, maserap = tastes good).
Our branch is experiencing a little bit of a hardship, the missionaries have rules that limit the time we can spend in members homes but the members will get offended if the missionaries don’t visit close to every week. We are trying to let the members understand that healthy people don’t need to go to the doctors, the sick ones do. So if the members are strong they don’t need us as much as the less actives and the investigators, and we can’t afford to babysit the members every week. They started to have FHEs (Family Home Evening is a time were church members will have a lesson or activity all together in their home, once a week usually) without inviting us, which is great, but it would be better if they invited the less active members too, because right now it’s just the 4 most active families, and they're kinda excluding everyone else. We'll get them to understand and invite others though, to share the spirit of a united branch.
Another thing is that it’s been hard to meet with our Branch President. We want to meet with him to discuss our investigators and to talk about his goals for the branch, but the last 3 appointments that we've had to his home he has said he’s too busy or just not been there. We should have a meeting tonight, hopeful we can discuss things to get the whole branch more active and to help our investigators feel like they’re really joining a family when they come to church.
One of the people we are teaching right now is named Carlito B., I'll take a picture with him and the path before I leave the area but he is the father of 13 kids, and a lot of grandchildren. His house is at the top of the mountain and he loves when we visit. He says he believes everything we tell him because we wouldn’t come all the way up to his house to lie to him. He’s a good guy, but he is embarrassed to come to church alone. This is common with Philippinos, if they don’t have a friend or a companion they will be embarrassed or shy. Hopefully this next week he will be done harvesting his corn and rice so he will have time to come to church. We ask him to pray, but he says he doesn’t need to because he already believes and he feels the spirit. And when he does pray, he doesn’t feel the need to ask God because he already thinks we're true. So the next step is to get him to understand receiving answers and the need to come to church. I have high hopes for him and for the rest of his family following his decision, although nothing will happen until after I’ve left the area. It’s ok though, as long as I do my best to plant the seed and toil the ground, my part is complete.
The pictures are more from the pig roast. I don’t have a tie because I was borrowing one of Elder Beck's because I am getting bored of my own colors, he said if I get oil on it I have to trade him, so I just loosened it off for a while for safekeeping.
A picture of me from behind in one of our areas, that really is how jungle-y our area is in some places.
The other ones are in the home of Family Visitacion, we always take a serious picture and then a wacky one, I’m getting really good at the wacky ones :)