Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 51 - July 25, 2016

From: Jordan Mark Merrill <merrill.j@myldsmail.net>
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2016 11:55 PM
To: Lauri Merrill

Another week down! So I’m about at my year mark, in a way? So today is the 25th and my go home day in next year on July 26th, so technically tomorrow I’ll only have 1 year left in the mission but then again I left for the MTC August 5th, so in order to be in the field a year I’ll need to wait until August 5th. So I’m not sure which date to call my 12-year mark. I’ve been thinking a lot of what I haven’t been able to do in a year that I did at home and I have a few things I’d like to list but I think I’ll wait until next week’s letter to make a good list of things, for example: I haven’t had milk in a year… stuff like that:) But then again I have a muuuuch bigger list of new things I have experienced since I’ve been here that in no way could I have experienced in America, for example: living through a typhoon that messed up your home town, ha! So y’all need to wait to next week to see what I’ve come up with. :) So to get to our work this week we invited like half the town to attend church and they were basically 99% ok to come, so then we get to church aaaaand BAM! No one! :( So the sad thing for my comp is that if no investigators came to church this week it would mean that there is no possible way for him to get a baptism before he gets home… ya it sucks, oh well. But as we are teaching, they are really good and ask plenty of good questions and they said they’re praying and reading but ya, they just won’t come to church. A big reason is they can’t afford the fair to get there, like sometimes they can’t afford the dinner so why would they spend it on a fair but then again that’s when FAITH has a really big impact on them, but we'll keep trying. With our branch business, our really close friend Fernando leaves to his mission in 11 days so this Saturday we are having a big branch dinner and it’s kind of like his farewell party (or my 1-year mark party ;D).  He’s a really good guy, I’m going to miss him. Um, kind of an off topic subject and just something I realized was super different from our traditions, is the funerals here. So this last week we found out that a 7 year old boy dies from dehydration, he had a twin brother and they don’t live far from our apartment (walking distance) so we usually walk past his house when we work in that area and one night we were walking by and they display the coffin with the body inside for the family to see then they call all the family that’s away and invite them to come, depending on the distance to where they live they will leave the coffin out sometimes a whole week then every night they cook and talk.  But what makes it different is that they rent karaoke machines and sing songs all night then all the dads/adults get together and drink their brains away. So while their son is sitting in the coffin the dads are drunk singing and the moms work their butts off cooking for everybody. I’m not trying to offend anybody but it’s just a little different how they "mourn" for the loss of their dead 7 year old son, maybe it’s a little different if it’s an old lady that died of old age, or a man, but when it’s a little boy with brothers and sisters you’d think the parents or dads would be there for his brother. Sometimes we walk by and while they’re drunk they yell at us. Ha-ha c’mon bro help your wife cook or something like that. So that’s it:) I’m sure it’s for a good reason.  I’ve heard it’s because they want to be happy and not get down and that they can’t really do anything about it so they make the best of it and I respect it all the way! I can’t bag on them because their traditions are different, I love it here of course:) Anyway! Back to a more uplifting subject, I’d like to make a request to all the people I know, and have ever met, to start saving up their money for me to move back here right as I get back home, can y’all do that for me? Cause I’m for sure coming back :) even if I have $0, I’ll swim the ocean to get here again. As I was hanging off the back of a jeepny earlier I realized how much I really love the Philippines and the people. Like honestly I looove the people to death and back. I’m only out 1 year and I already don’t want to leave them. So ya, everyone, stop spending money on yourselves and save up for me, salamat!!!:) One more small thing to add, one day we were just finishing a lunch at the good ol’ Garcia’s and their uncle comes in and said, wow the waves are big, and were like uhh waves? The ocean is like an hour away, what waves? Then we just thought he was crazy and ignored him.  Then I walked outside and heard what sounded like a waterfall so I walked to the river and it was huge!! It’s the biggest I’ve ever seen it my whole time in this area! It didn’t even rain hard at all but I guess up the river in the mountains it pounded so we got the left overs. It was full of all sorts of things, bamboo, coconuts, banana trees and even like huge tree trunks were just floating down. It was crazy, the people passing by kept stopping and were like wow, then kept going. Momma Garcia told me that it was nothing and there have been times during typhoons where their house has been swept away, and their house it pretty far up the hill. Sucks I didn’t take any pictures, but it was a good sight. We watched a little frog on a part of sand where there was water all around and the water was slowly rising so we were all cheering for it to hurry and jump to the safe part but the time came where the little piece of sand was flooded and we never saw him again. :( The water was chocolate milk colored so we lost him the moment he went under. Well I think my letter this week is long enough so I’ll end it now! Always read your scriptures and say your prayers, plus always remember. MAGSISI KAYO:)🐒❤
**Elder Merrill**
We put makeup on the poor kid :D

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