Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week 52 - July 31, 2016 - ONE YEAR!

From: Jordan Mark Merrill <>
Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2016 10:01 PM
To: Lauri Merrill

Happy 1 year mark to myself! :) Well actually its in 4 days but I’ll just say I’m in my 1 year stage this week. Um, to be honest I don’t feel like I’ve been out a year. I’m trying to remember the things I was doing a year ago today and it seems in one part of my head that it was soooo long ago but then again in the other side of my head it’s like daaaaang that was fast! And from what I’ve heard from like 100% of the people I’ve talked to about it, is that the second part of your mission flies by, so I’m not sure what to think about that. But it’s not like a whole lot of things will change, I’ll continue doing the will of the Lord and living it up in the Philippines! :) So I guess I’ll talk a little bit about our work from what’s happened. So we have a member that referred us to her friend. We went to her house and taught her the first lesson and she said she wants to become a member and be baptized and all those really good things to hear as a missionary, so we were like yes, we finally found one that came to us! So then yesterday we were with that member again that referred her to us and then we saw her friend walking and we told her we'd like to share with her again, but she kind of hesitated and called over her friend then whispered to her, then the member came to us and said that her friend is done with us... were like uhhhhh dang ha-ha. I guess her husband is not cool at all with us at their house.  The first time we taught he came to us totally wasted and yelled at us, in a happy way of greeting us. But ya, bummer no? Another subject!... So I finally received my birthday package :):) and it was a looot bigger than I thought! I was expecting the normal sized box but nope. So my comp from the MTC Elder Downing is the Supply Elder and he came to our apartment and dropped it off, it was the best seeing him again. The last time was last Christmas! So we had a good chat and he left so then of course I opened it and yup, #SPOILED. I saw just about every food I love and miss from home. Doritos, spicy jalapeno jelly, sour gummi worms, and so on:) It is also loaded with presents so I need to wait 17 more days to just stare at them and wonder what I could possibly get that I can use in the Philippines. So these past days I’ve been in heaven or even the celestial kingdom, by enjoying my good old American goodies:) The Bicolano’s for some reason don’t like the spicy jam?! Like dude you were raised eating spicy. So also included in my box was another package for the Garcia family. I think I was more excited for them to open then they were. Actually Ego was literally trying to open it in my hands while I was bringing it to their house. So we collected the fam together and I got my camera ready and I said go for it. So they opened it and saw a flood of American candies fall out. That was only the top of the whole box and they immediately started at the candy without finishing un-boxing the box. I was like whoooooh chillax lil homies, so then they found their individual gift and they took turns unwrapping it. Bam shirt and tie, bam pink dress, bam CTR bracelet. Their faces like literally lit up with excitement and joy as they opened them. Again I think I was happier for them than they were ha-ha. So when they got past the gifts they saw there was still something, they opened it and when Ego saw it his eyes went straight to the pages of the LDS story books. They said they have a Book of Mormon version but it was Tagalog and not as good, so when they realized they have the English version of the New Testament, Old Testament, Book of Mormon, and D&C they were happy as ever. It was basically like Christmas for all of us:) So because all the clothes were for Sundays we had to wait to see them in church and all wearing it. Well when Sunday finally came we were just a little late... FYI this is my first time being late to church my whole mission. So I was pretty mad at myself that we didn’t get to see them walk up to the doors all decked out in the outfits but when we got their we couldn’t see them so I was like wait, they’re late too? Yes:) But no of course ha. They got there just a little after we did so I got to see them but it wasn't like I was expecting. They got all sorts of good compliments so I was happy for them! Love them:) Another cool activity we had this week was a branch farewell party for our good bud Fernando Payte. We just basically had a FHE in our chapel but focused it on him and then we played games, took pictures, and ate some good food. Good times here in Tula Tula! I guess there’s a big storm pretty close but it didn't hit us directly so were safe but it rains all day and then our pants get muddy. :( The river by our house is always super full compared to how it has been. A lot of the people that live near it just use it for all their stuff like bathing and washing their stuff but it’s been the color of chocolate milk so I feel bad for them! But life goes on right? Um, mosquitoes are killing me right about now... while I’m pumping water they seem to love my ankles and the bar takes 2 hands to push so when you need water but need to slap a million bugs off your feet at the same time it doesn't really work! Oh yeah! Our baptism didn’t happen... tomorrow is when it really is now:) I texted over 50 people while standing out in the rain for service then it was cancelled so I had to re-text them all again and say nope, sorry ha-ha. All good though! So I’d say that’s about it for me :) not much though. So just don’t forget to magsisi ;) Love you all!  
**Elder Merrill**

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