Monday, October 24, 2011

October 23, 2011

Hello family!
This week has been crazy too! Its been a really fun week though. This past Wednesday we did our first CSP (Community Service Project). It was crazy. We went out to a Barangay named 'Tabas'. I had no idea that this Barangay even existed. Elder Smith and I had to take a 20P (Peso) tricee (tricycle taxi) ride up a mountain and to a river, then we had to take a 5P ferry ride to the other side of the river. After that we had to take another 20P ride. Lastly we had an almost 2km walk through the forest. It took forever to get there. In case you didn't know 20P is a lot for a tricee ride! They normally are 8P a ride. 

It took forever for us to get out to this lady. She makes charcoal for a living. Making charcoal is hard work and doesnt pay a lot. Elder Smith and I had to carry all of her wood from where she cut it down to the fire pit. At the fire pit, we cut all of the wood into smaller pieces with itaks. An itak is a Filipino machete. It took us several hours to do. It was hard work. The forest we carried wood through is super thick. And of course it was hot and humid outisde. We look so gross in our pictures. I'm glad we could help her though. I wasn't too excited about having a CSP this week because it was going to take away from teaching time. But I felt bad for even having any negative thoughts. She was so greatful. She doesn't have much of anything and it was good being able to help. 

Afterwards she cut down fresh Buko, which is coconut, and we sliced it open, and drank the water inside. I knew this from my workout magazines, but coconut water is way higher in electrolytes than any other drink available. It was sooo good right out of the coconut. After we drank all of the water, we cut it open and ate all of the coconut. On our way back home, we had to wait forever for our tricee driver to finish his lunch break, to take us back to the ferry. We sat on his tricee while he ate. He parked his tricee right outside of the local school..... 

The kids got out of school for lunch right after we sat down. IT WAS INSANE. Elder Smith and I had no idea what this sound was. I honestly felt like Taylor Swift. Everyone was shouting 'Joe' and 'Beautiful' and 'Guwapo.' It was so loud. Within 30 seconds we had about 63 kids (girls) surrounding our tricee with cameras. It was hilarious at first. They kept screaming and taking pictures. After a while they started talking to us and asking us questions. It was fun talking with them. I just talked to the boys about basketball, etc. Elder Smith tried magic tricks but That was such a fun day. 

Saturday we had a baptism. There was supposed to be 2 people baptized but one of the girls parents wouldn't let her get baptized. So I got to baptize someone. It was really cool because I've never done it before but mom, please don't cry when I send some pictures, because I know you will. I had a lot of fun at the baptism. It was really nice out. The ocean temperature was really nice too.

Yesterday was our stake conference. It started an hour late. Filipino time is worse than Mormon standard time. While we waited I got to talk to the new missionaries in my zone, and to President and Sister Bliesner. They are awesome! We have zone conference on Friday so I get to see them again. During stake conference I did some extra language study. Most of the talks were in Tagalog, though they try and use as much English as they can. The stake president really got into it at the end. He spoke/chastized/and shouted a bit in his 30 minute talk. I really like him, he loves the missionaries. That's most of it for this week. Its been a fun week.
Love Michael

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