This week something happened to which afterwards I just had to say to myself "I love the Philippines"! Today started the week long festival that is happening in the Province of Bacnotan. We had planned as part of our Pday to wakeup at 5, to get to the church and play basketball at 6, since by 8:30 it’s as hot as noon-day. At 4:20 am, I was woken up to the sound of chimes drums and other percussion instruments. I was so confused, as I had gone to bed a little late the night before, my first thought was I was in China. I ran outside to the balcony to see what the noise was to see a dump truck with probably 25 youth playing awesome, really loud parade music. At 4:20 AM! Elder Walsh also woke up and came to the balcony and instead of being annoyed, I just turned to him and say: "I love the Philippines SO much!' Not in the least bit annoyed, I watched as the dump truck full of the school band turned the corner and continued on its route through the neighborhood (barangy), all as the tiniest bit of sun started to light the sky. Luckily I fell right to sleep afterwards and got the rest of my beauty sleep.
Another part of the Festival we experienced earlier today was the launching, parading, and showcasing of fishing boats. Probably 40-60 boats with decorations went up and down the coastline of Bacnotan, and finally landed right where we were watching from, Paratong, which is a 4 minute walk from our house. Also at the beach was music and volleyball. Elder Centeno took a video but I'll try to get it next week, (sorry). We will be returning to a different beach mamaya (later) for lunch at the birthday party of one of the kids of Donna, one of our investigators.
Elder Dosdos and I were walking home (for 30 minutes, from our closest area) when he shared one of his hobbies from before the mission. This was cool because usually foreigners and Philippinos, while they can get along just fine, their interests and conversation topics vary sooo much. It was interesting and funny to hear him talk about his hobby of breeding "fighting fish". He explained in depth the breeding, growing, fighting, food, and habitats of his fish. One of them I identified from his description as a Beta fish, which made sense cuz I’ve heard that they will fight each other. He said feeding them and watching them was very peaceful for him, which is weird, cuz for me they’re just fish. I don’t know why you would breed fish here if you aren’t going to do one of 2 things: sell them, or ulamin them (ulam = topping of rice, ulamin means to make it into ulam). But it was funny to see into the mind of of my very Philippino companion.
As far as spiritual goes. I encourage you all to search for a video called "Love and Law - Dallin H. Oaks". This is about how to insist that people live their lives according to personal, or gospel standards, but doing so in a loving way. I would say we all can learn more about how to do this, and we all can learn from the words of the Apostle Dallin H. Oaks. It is a wonderful segment for parents, family members, and anyone else who is struggling with a relationship. Our families are eternal, so we might as well learn to love them no matter what their choices are in life. Think of one person, even if they aren’t too far from the right course, and try to apply these principles to corral them back into the fold of the family, of the team or group, or back into the loving embrace of Jesus Christ.
Tha-thatha-thats all folks,
Thanks for reading, hope you have a wonderful week.
PLEASE invite the missionaries over for dinner. PLEase Please Please! Ask them any and all questions you have. Ask them what is FHE (Family Home Evening) and how do you do it. And make brownies for dessert :) haha jokelang, that part depends on you. But you and them will benefit so much from 30 minutes - 1 hour one night this week.