Monday, September 16, 2013

Bamboo, Baptisms and Buffalo

Okay, I will start off with the money thing. The average person here lives in a small bamboo "kubo" (small house) about 200 sq ft. Made completely of bamboo. Their floor is made of bamboo, their walls are made of bamboo, their beds are made of bamboo, and their ceilings are made of dried leaves. The ceiling always leaks and the walls have holes all throughout them. If you drop anything on the floor, it falls down through the slits between the bamboo to be lost forever. The average family here makes about 4000 pisos a month (under 100 dollars). And the only thing they can afford is food. They have no special or fun toys for their kids. Many of the kids play with old broken tools and small rubber bands for fun.  I love the people and they are happy.

I am having so much fun here! Not temporal fun I guess,.... but I am learning the language quick (not quick enough), and I am so happy that I can now actually talk to people. We were able to have a baptism on Saturday!!! We had three people baptized,  one of them was counted as our convert. One was 8 and the other was the sisters baptism. It was a good experience... Sister "R" wasn't able to go :(... but we moved hers to next Saturday and she is almost 100% that she can go. I am loving being a missionary so much. In two weeks, you will know where I am going to be transferred! (or if I stay).... I can't believe I am almost finished with the 12 week training program! It is nice that my Tagalog is progressing now, but it stinks that I can't tell people that I am very new anymore. (cause it was a good excuse for my Tagalog)... oh well, it is so strange thinking in a different language. Whenever I think about home, it is always in Tagalog, which doesn't make sense because you would not understand anything I say.... haha, it is strange to say something in Tagalog when I wasn't even thinking it... which is encouraging, but strange. Like when we meet a Joe sometimes, it is so weird to speak in English to them... cause I am in Tagalog mode.

We weren't able to get much teaching in this week because Elder Avila was sick still... but he is doing much much better now and we have been able to work a lot the past few days. Elder Avila has really started giving me more part in the lessons now which is so great. He really feels that I am progressing well in the language and that the investigators can actually understand me. I love being able to teach all the time, even though I am not very good at it in Tagalog. I just realized last night that Elder Avila always talks to me in Tagalog.... and that I always understand him... about 95% of the time... I totally didn't even realize that he speaks Tagalog to me.... hahaha.

One good story, At the baptism, Elder Burt (a senior missionary) caught a mistake in the prayer during the baptism that nobody else did .... and he was trying to tell someone, but he only speaks English so nobody could understand him... So I stand up in the back. and everyone looks at me.... and I told them what was wrong. phew. and I said it perfectly :) the spirit definitely helped me with that one, cause I had never said a sentence like that before in Tagalog....good experience ad a faith builder for sure.

We had an exciting week with a lot of good stories. An investigator\s daughter gave birth in their house less than a day ago... and we visited them almost right after the action... there was blood everywhere which was pretty intense... and I saw a placenta for the first time.. it was in a bucket of water just outside the house. We also had dinner at a members house... and there wasn't one thing there that I could discern what it was.... except the rice. so that was a good experience... I think one dish was pure pig fat, bananas, and oil... another one was some kind of vegetable that was seriously exactly like dirt. I don't know what the other things were.... 

I also saw a motorcycle that was made into a full on truck... pretty interesting. That's all I have got for this week. Love you.
Elder Schroeder

                                                Me and a Water buffalo (Karabaw)

Okay, so I had an email typed out but my computer crashed:(  I have no time now. Bummer. I am sad about the computers here. So here is a quick one. 

"R" was baptized and confirmed. She is so happy to be a member and it is great to see that! Being a missionary is great! I love it! 

We went to "the crocodile farm" farm this morning. I held a Crocodile and I had a Bear cat clip on my shoulders. I have pictures of both but I don't think I have time to upload them. I am about the same weight as when I left. Maybe a little bigger (not fat).  I love the Philippines. So hot. Oh, and I got sick Friday. I am good now though. Way bad stomach pains and diarrhea. so so bad. I am good and healthy now. I love the food here.  Pretty sure not to good for me.  But, it is what they have to eat. Tagalog is coming along well.  Being a missionary is great! Continue you member missionary work! That's where the real work is at.

Love, Elder Schroeder

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