Last week I said a bunch of stuff how the typhoon was nothing, but this week the rainy season really started. Karma is real (Not really, that is totally false doctrine). I will quote Doctrine and Covenants 127:2, “But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in.” It rains about every day here, and when it rains, it pours.
I have had another really great week in San Nicolas. There are so many people here who are receptive to the message and who are prepared to hear it! I had a great experience on exchanges with Sister Quiles, who taught me a lot. She is a great example of an obedient, organized, and spiritual missionary and I am now trying to use some of her techniques in my own planning and teaching with Sister Abuel.
I want to expand on my previous cultural lesson of the week on food. First, we eat here with a spoon and a fork or with our hands. I am not good at either of these: my spoon always ends up in my left hand and eating rice with your hands…the mental picture should suffice. Also, whole fish…like eyes and everything. This is so good and I have had it a bunch of times, but I always end up eating the bones. Some of the Filipinos here think that if you put a fish spine in your hair after eating a fish bone, it will help the bone get out of your throat. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
This week’s Filipino word is “kwan.” “Kwan” has absolutely no meaning and I learned all about it at the MTC, but I did not realized how ridiculous it was until I got here and heard it used. “Kwan” can be a verb, noun, adjective, adverb…whatever, and it is used when someone forgets a word or needs a second to think of a word. Let my Englishify “kwan:” I was kwaning over there at the kwan but there was no kwan so I had to kwan but it was already kwaned too. Now this is an extreme example, but you get the idea. It is really funny when it is used, but it is totally pointless and just adds to the difficulty of communicating in the extremely broken and confusing Tagalog/Illocano/English language that is spoken in Ilocos Norte.
Sister Abuel and I have many people to teach, but I have learned this week that there is a great need to be efficient in the work of the Lord. We received a referral to teach Omar and his family a few weeks ago but it had taken us a long time to find where he lived. We eventually found his house, but we only had our first opportunity to teach them on Saturday. It was disappointing to hear that they had been baptized into different church on Thursday. We feel as though we were just too late. We will still teach them, but it will be difficult to show them that the fullness of the gospel is within our church. I pray that their hearts will become softened and that we as missionaries will be able to testify through the Spirit the importance of this restored gospel.
Although that was a disappointing experience, I have also noticed that small miracles can be found easily each day in the life of a missionary. Possibly the best part of my week was when we taught RJ about the commandments. He is a very open investigator who is willing to do what he has to do to come unto Christ. While discussing modesty, he took his earring out right in front of us. This small action showed to me how faith in the Lord and his doctrine will lead a person to become obedient and happy.
I am grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful to be serving the Lord. I did not love my mission when I entered the MTC and I did not love my mission when I got here to the Philippines, but I love my mission now. I love the culture, I love the lifestyle, and most importantly, I love these people.