So let us first discuss this weeks surprises and adventures.
1. Sister Purificacion and I are walking in our area and see a tricycle (motorcycle and side car thing) turn the corner. Inside of it was a dead dog and large bucket of blood. We were super disturbed all morning. A few hours later, we were walking back to our apartment, we saw some men butchering an animal on wood pallets next to a home. There was a pile of four legs next to them. My life will never be the same. I cannot really explain what it feels like to see man's best friend cut up like that. I understand the people here live in poverty and have nothing, but it is sad that they cannot find any other way to feed themselves. For those of you who do not know, eating dog is illegal here in the Philippines.
2. We went on a jungle journey earlier today. I am not joking when I say "jungle." We climbed a mountain to a waterfall and drank out of coconuts. I am thankful for the member that was our tour guide and for his machete. We were on our way down the mountain and it began to downpour. We used palm leaves as umbrellas. It was a Pinoy experience for sure. To make it even more authentic, a jungle leech found a home on my leg. It hurts now but it is cool that I can say I was once attacked by a leech.
We had some great experiences in my area this week, too. We have been taking the role of detectives and finding all of God's children who have been baptized but have since fallen away from His church. We met with Mercy who opened up to us and shared her embarrassment of not remaining active in the church. Her life is hard and she has a difficult family situation, but I know she will return to church next week. The husband of our investigator, Salve, may not return to church as quickly, but I know he remembers the covenants he has with the Lord. He has burn marks all over his arms from when he attempted to burn off his tattoos after becoming a member. Even though that was an extreme attempt to undo a past transgression, the burns on his arms are a symbol of his past devotion to the Lord. Someday he will return to the flock.
The work here is solid. I am loving it each day. The people here love the missionaries and the missionaries love the people. Junel will be baptized this week and we have many more souls to save here in Sanchez.