Monday, September 3, 2012

July 29, 2012

Since when the heck did everyone start thinking that divorce is a good option?! It's not. This is what happens when people forget whats important in life, and their priorities, get prideful, etc. I gave a talk yesterday in church. I was called on on the spot, so I picked a topic really quick from the Book of Mormon. I hadn't read this part of the Book of Mormon since 2 transfers ago with Elder Edillo. It's Helaman chapter 6. It talks about the downfall of the Nephites, the righteousness of the Lamanites, and the "utter destruction" of the Gadiatton robbers. It is one of the best chapters in the Book of Mormon. I opened up my Book of Mormon and saw this section, and just decided that I'd wing it out or "chumba chumba" in Tagalog. I started off by reading the first 2 verses of the chapter which talk about the Nephites and the Lamanites and how the Lamanites were more righteous than that of the Nephites because, "of their firmness and their steadiness in the faith." Then I explained that if we know the Book of Mormon, the Nephites have always been the more righteous group. They are the ones who until then kept the commandments, and were blessed. But after blessings came, people became super prideful, forgetting where blessings came from, and giving thanks to themselves, and not to God or others. They forgot who they were, and why they were there. They forgot maybe even simple things: reading scriptures, praying as a family, giving thanks to God. Next, the Lamanites preach the word of God unto them. They have this power because they are righteous, and have the power of God. Boom there is peace....then Satan's temptations take a toll on them, and they forget and fall again. Not just the Nephites but the Lamanites too. Here is the cool part. The righteous part of the Lamanites went out and worked out the problem, they preached the word of God with such power that they "utterly destroyed" the group among them, and became completely righteous again. The Nephites, continued in their ways, "trampling underfoot the commandments of God", mocking those who did. I love and hate this story because it shows lots of things: the power of Satan's lies and deceptions, the power of repentance, the power of the word of God, forgetting who we are, why pride is the root of all sin, etc. So if all of our friends and family, just continued, to do the things that the Nephites forgot to do, they'd be fine. They'd find the power to work things out, to put ones needs over his or her own, to manage time, etc. I read a line from President Gordon B Hinckley yesterday. It goes kind of like this "don't let mole hills of difference turn into mountainous problems" or something like that. 

This week has been alright. Elder Yang2 is sick right now. He had a temperature of 103.6 last night, he is feeling more better now though. We had a district activity this morning. We played Monopoly Deal at the church and ate a bunch of junk food. Afterwards we had a testimony meeting. It was really good. This week we had a couple of lunch appointments. Last week, Bro Jeff Botor, our group leader asked us if we wanted to try dog before I got transferred. I said heck ya! 2 days later he text us telling us to come over for lunch, he asked if we could bring over some of the ingredients because he wasn't getting paid until the next day haha. We did. And we had dog. It was tasty. He said its his brother in laws dog. Its super clean. He said they wouldn't have killed and cooked it for us if it wasn't super clean. Hopefully Morgan told you that we needed to bring pineapple, tomato sauce, and peanut butter. He provided the other things that I forgot. 

This transfer has been so fast. These last 2 with Elder Yangyang have been so fast. And really fun. We got a lot of good work done. We will find out who is transferred between the two of us on Saturday. Im going to miss him a lot. 

Yesterday we had a lunch appt it was sooo good. Steamed Tilapia with a spicy sweet sauce cooked on top of the fish. There was also laing as a main dish too. I ate sooooo much. I love laing. It is one of my favorites, and out of all the fish Ive eaten here, the one from yesterday was the best. 

Tonight we are having an FHE with the BP and his family. The Bagacina family. They are going to teach me how to make one of my favorite ulams: Bicol express. Sooo good. Its a specialty here in Bicol, and I love it so much. I'm sure you all would love it too. I'll cook it for you when I get home. 

As for the undernourished kids, everyone is just really poor here. The Bicol region I believe is the poorest region here in the Philippines. One of the families who is LA here in Baao has 8 kids. The dad doesn't have a stable job. People only make several hundred pesos a day. Bro Jeff told me that when he was a pudjak driver, he made about 200P a day. A pudjak is a bike with a side car on it. By the way, there are 42 pesos to a dollar. Some people only eat rice, and the fruit that they pick. Other people aren't that are hard off and can afford to go eat fast food, or pizza. It is 2 ways here super poor or super rich. No middle class unfortunately. Kids are always hungry, and will eat anything you give them. I once gave out one of my bananas to a kid, I think this was last week, and he was super grateful. Then a bunch of other kids saw it, and all ran to me for a banana. I think I gave out 15 bananas! Haha. I'm glad I could help even if its just a little bit. I am too loose with my money here. I don't go out to eat much at all. I bought a non stick pan and cook all of the time now. But when I do go out I'll treat my comp to something, or when we go to the grocery store, etc. I have the blessing of living next to a Rays pizza and eating pizza all of the time, or just buying a canned soda and a snickers it's cheap. But I always feel like I should share in just a little way. I never do it if it's expected of me, but it never is. I like sharing that simple stuff. After the mission its back to the norm for some. For me, coming out here is like downsizing, and sacrificing, for others its a treat with lots of money coming from the Church. 

I have no idea what I'm really talking about. I have a bunch of ideas. 

Love you 

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