Monday, October 3, 2011

Sept 26, 2011

Hey Family! 

It sounds like we are all doing fine at home though. Tell all the families who are expecting to name their babies "Michael." Its a good name. 

We've  been pretty busy. This was one of our slower weeks though. I'm sick with a cold that isn't going away, I hope it does soon!! I lost 9 pounds in less than 2 weeks, and keep losing. I'm weak. I can feel the lack of strength. Today we went to the big town about an hour away called Daet. The mayor and some of the police wanted to play the Joes in basketball. It was supposed to be a big game, it was announced on the radio, and the stake made jerseys for us and everything. This morning a level 2 Baguio (Typhoon) hit and its been pouring non stop, the power has been going in and out. Because of that the game didn't happen but we still played anyways because we were already in Daet when we found out. I did really good! All the practice from the MTC is paying off because back at home I stunk at basketball. I think when my tennis shoes finally die, I will buy some basketball shoes here. Hopefully that game happens though!!! I was looking forward to being a temporary celebrity in a giant basketball game. Hopefully soon... :)

We are about to have 7 people committed to baptism! Its hard though. I cant hardly speak. This is real Tagalog, not MTC Tagalog. Its hard to be myself around people because they don't understand me. I wish I was going on an English speaking mission. I would feel more productive... Whats your advice? 

Elder Smith's first name is Craig. He is from Clinton Wisconsin. He is a dairy farmer that is allergic to milk...lol. I think that's so funny. He has a girlfriend of 2 years that just got baptized. We are the missionaries of the Paracale branch. There are about 25 people including the 2 missionaries who actively attend each week. That includes kids, and babies, etc. I was told when Pacquio(spelling) fights, church is dead, the town is dead. Everyone watches the fight. 

We eat rice with everything. I love Pancit. Pancit is one of my favorite dishes here. Its a noodle dish. Because there are now cows there isn't beef in it... Also Filipino people use every bit of the animal when they cook, we always try and guess what it is. I know they use a lot of liver which is gross if its not thoroughly cooked. Before I got on the computer, I ate intestine... Its filled with poop, and tastes like it. It wasn't that bad actually but its not my favorite. For dinner that past couple nights Ive had Cup of Noodles seafood flavor. It has so much MSG but its cheap and quick. I miss American food sooo much! We also eat a lot of hamburgers here. Again we don't know what the meat is but its good. They use a lot of banana ketchup, which is good. If you're lucky they use mayo too. Also cabbage is on there instead of lettuce. They are seriously so cheap. 10p for one. That's about 25 cents. At the branch activity the other day a member brought "Maha" as a dessert. It is super popular I guess but so gross. I hated it but kept eating it to be nice. It is made of rice, cow fat, corn, and something else. Served at room temperature. You say they serve root beer floats in hell, I say they serve Maha. 

Also Ive tried Halo Halo. That's alright also. Its a little weird having beans and vegetable flavored ice cream on top of shaved ice, sprinkled with cheese. We also drink a lot of Tang. Its sooo good. My favorite is pineapple flavored. Strawberry is good too. They have every possible flavor. 

Thank you for helping me get prepared for my mission. This is so hard though. I know I will love it once I learn the language. I wish it would come faster. Thank you also for putting all of those talks on my iPod, I listen to them all the time.  Another random thought, look up James E Faust's talk Voice of the Spirit. I found it as a Mormon Message. It's so good. I love his talks. I think I've also listened to every Holland talk I have. I'm about to start Bednar.

This week I read a lot of the Book of Mormon and I plan on finishing it soon. I read 1st Nephi in one day, 2nd Nephi the next day, and through the small books and some of Mosiah the 3rd day. Its like my new coloring book. I've been highlighting so much and I'm remembering what I read. 

Every time we go to Daet I always want to go to a place here that has real milkshakes!! I use personal money because they are a little pricey. About 120 pesos which is about 3 bucks. That's a lot for a Filipino. I had 1 today. We have to go to Daet 2 more times in the next 2 weeks. If you wouldn't mind putting money in my account that would be awesome. Its definitely cheaper than shipping milk. I was told there is a real dairy with real cows and real milk in Naga!! Too bad that's 4+ hours away. Once I learn Tagalog I want to be transferred there. They speak Bicol there. I'm so excited for General Conference!! I think ours is a week later than yours. We are staying in Daet for a couple days with the Zone Leaders for that. That means milkshakes and air conditioning at the Stake Center!

Love you,
-Guwapo

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