I hope you all had a fantastic week!
My week was awesome and as I thought about what I wanted to write about I realized a lot of what happened and what I learned involves animals, hence the subject of this email.
First for the ones that I ate. YUCKS. I tried three different foods this week and I only liked one. First I tried pork blood (I can’t remember the filipino word for it) but it was thick and it looked like a mushed up brownie and it was awful. Next I tried swordfish which is the one that I liked. It didn’t taste as “fishy” as salmon but I will continue to try the fish that my roommates cook so that my tastebuds can befriend fish and then I can actually survive this fishy mission. Next and worst, I tried BALUT…dududu. So balut is a premature chick basically, so when I took the shell off the egg, there was a normal but bigger yolk and then a black chicken embryo with the umbilical cord and everything. It took about 30 minutes for me to get the courage to finally put it in my mouth and about .5 seconds to realize that I hated the texture and the idea of the embryo being in my mouth so I spit it out. So yeah…I am excited to make you all this yummy food that I am trying on the mission…haha
Next story is about a rooster. There are roosters in every front yard and then some. There are as many roosters here as there are stray dogs and that is a lot for anyone who has not yet been to an underdeveloped country. The reason, I found out earlier this week is not for cooking but for fighting. People love to have “cock fights” here which is a rooster fight where they put two roosters in front of each other and they fight until one dies. I watched the beginning of one the other day finally and it was pretty intense. Anyway, we were exploring a new part of one of our areas and I walked by a rooster on a leash and it bit my foot….no I am not joking. It hurt like crazy and now I will forever be afraid of the animal that I only used to associate with a sound. Also all the roosters here are on different time zones so they do not just cockledoodledoo in the morning like I was always lead to believe, they do so at all times of the day haha.
Crazy story about personal study. The other day as I was studying the Book of Mormon, as I do everyday I randomly decided to start reading the Old Testament and I got to Genesis 8 and in one of the first four books it talks about an Enos and I thought it was strange I never noticed there was an Enos mentioned in the Bible and I wondered, stupidly and for a second if there was any connection to Enos in the Book of Mormon. Then got smart and realized there wasn’t. That same night, we went to one of our new investigators who we had just given the Book of Mormon to and she is pretty familiar with the Bible and her very first question when we got there was about Enos(in the Book of Mormon) and if there was any connection to the one in the Bible. I was able to find exactly where she had read ENos in the Bible and answer her question and explain the differences of the Book of Mormon and Bible. It was so weird but such a cool experience with the Holy Ghost guiding me through personal study.
The Elders in our ward and Sisters in our neighbor ward had a combined baptismal service this past Saturday and they asked me and Sister Cerdenia to sing (as we are always asked to do – we have sung in sacrament meeting like 5 times now) but we are always happy to do so. I picked the song I sang at my baptism almost exactly 14 years ago ” I Like to Look for Rainbows” and as we sang this song to these two 60+ year olds who had just been baptized, I couldn’t stop the tears from flooding my eyes as I thought about how happy and clean these women were. I could see the light of Christ so strongly in these two women and I thought about the feeling I had singing that song 14 years ago right after my own baptism. It motivated me so much to get every person I see to that point so they can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost and that happiness as strongly as those two ladies did.
One last animal story: I was reading a talk that I heard in church the other week called “Would You Sell?” by Carlos E Asay and I recommend it HIGHLY! Seriously I am attaching it to this email because it is just that good for anyone and everyone. PLEASE READ IT for your own good!
Anyway here is a teaser: One thing he advises is to “obey the eternal rhythm of life” He means there is an orderly sequence of events in this life that must not be altered because as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:”To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. He proceeds this advice with a story about a butterfly coming out of it’s cocoon. He wanted to watch this happen but grew impatient so he started warming the cocoon with his breath, the case opened right away and the butterfly came crawling out.
He says: “The case opened, the butterfly started slowly crawling out and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were folded back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath. In vain. It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. “
There is a lot I must still learn in order to be successful on my mission, namely the language and how to teach and I was growing so impatient because I wanted to know right away, this story helped me to realize that I can’t rush things like that. We all need to be a little more patient as Heavenly Father makes us who he wants us to become. We go through sometimes slow processes and events in our lives so we can hatch properly and come out a beautiful flying butterfly.
I love these people and I love being a missionary.
Gugma gugma gugma,