Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Week 94 - May 22, 2017

From: Jordan Mark Merrill <merrill.j@myldsmail.net>
Sent: Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:47 PM
To: Lauri Merrill

Hello :) So just a little thing I’d like to mention is that this last week we got up to 40 degrees Celsius here and if I’m not wrong that’s like 100 degrees Fahrenheit (?), you add the humidity and the black pants… ya, it’s a life drainer ha-ha! But it’s all good. It’s a funny thing when it starts getting hot cause when we visit people and someone they know is sick, with whatever kind of sickness, the very first thing they'll say is it’s because of the heat. And your like ohhhh yaaaa the heat... Oh, it even gets better when it’s a brown out… the best!  But it doesn't stop us from the work. Our progressing investigator comes home tomorrow from her vacation and we planned on holding her baptism on the 27th but we'll need to move it again.  In my opinion she’s totally ready because she’s basically a missionary herself, where she'll invite other people to listen to us or just like talk to random people and tell them about our message.  So it’s great to see her progression. She’s like our Gma here in the mission. :) But of course no one can replace the true grandparents. ;) 
Also this week, we were basically the first responders for giving priesthood blessings. We visited hospitals, houses in different areas and even in our own area, so it’s a good feeling to know that people rely on you as missionaries to help them with even just a simple blessing of comfort, even if they live far from us. 
So another cool thing we experienced this week was being able to spend a little time with the Born Again Christian Orphan Kids Camp. It was a 4-day event and each day was packed with activities from morning until night.  But since we had more things to do, we only were able to attend just a few things, but the experience was totally worth it. The first day we were able to throw candy to them, then watch them have an Adobo cooking challenge.  This was where the kids were given the ingredients and the supplies, but they were totally up to themselves to find the wood for the fire and make it all themselves.  Then me and my comp were chosen to be the judges of 5 dishes and ya, to be honest, they weren't the best tasting dishes of adobo I’ve tasted but I’ll give them credit. The next time we attended they did a more spiritual part where we kind of just sat in the back and observed and ya, we have different religions and different ways of worshiping God, but I still felt the spirit. Some of the kids told their story of their life and how, because of Jesus, they made it through all they went through and it totally humbled me to hear the stories. It was weird cause in Sunday priesthood class we talked about how having a family makes all the difference and I couldn't stop thinking about the kids, so it was good for me to get my thoughts together. Anyway back to the camp, Jollibee came to visit (a man in a Jollibee suit) and the kids went wild!! It was the main attraction and we got to take some pics with him:) (but not with my camera). After he left they had a big BBQ night where we figured we wouldn't miss. They had a table full of corn on the cob, marshmallows, hot dogs, and s’more supplies. And we’re in the Pines so not a soul in the world knows of s’mores unless you’ve been with an American. And I’m not even sure how they found out about them? But it was the best thing in the world to see them try to cook the marshmallows. Bam, straight in the fire until it’s fried and they’re like what the heck?! Then I saw sticks with all 3 things; hotdog, mallow, and corn which they were trying to cook at the same time, so by the time the corn is cooked the mallow is ash, ha-ha! I tried my best to help around, but they just wanted to eat a mallow, so I was like alright. But I did eat one and it was great. :) First s’more in the mission! We did a few more things but I’ll just leave it there. It was a great chance to have with another faith and see them build up one another.
The second chance we had to have with another faith is the Catholic. Here in Sorsogon, is the biggest Catholic cathedral I’ve been assigned to and we have a Semenarista friend studying to be a Priest so he gave us a personal tour of the whole church and it was cool cause it was only us 3 in this huge church and him explaining everything they do. I even sat in the chair where only the priest can sit, which was cool with him because there was no mass so its ok. He offered us the grape wine too ha-ha. He has actually been attending church for 3 weeks now and is under the area of the sisters here so they’re teaching him and we can see his slow conversion despite his knowledge of his faith so it’s gonna be cool to be part of his life. He’s a nice guy. :) 
So me and my comp are doing good with each other! It’s like the thing where opposites attract, ha-ha. I’m not the center of attention anymore!! Which is totally fine with me. It’s cool to hear all his stories of his culture and where he comes from. Imagine the people that paint their face and put feathers in their hair then dance, ya that’s him, ha-ha. He’s like the best non-professional boxer I’ve met. And I say that because for them they wrap their hands in cloth and beat each other!! He gives me tips so ya'll better watch out! 
But that seems to be about it for me this week. Endure the heat and being shot by the police (air soft gun) while playing basketball. But it’s great. :) Lovin life. Wala na 'kong paki batsa bahala na :) I think 9 weeks left?? Not counting days of course, just making the day’s count... ;) 
Love you all! 
**Elder Merrill**

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