How are all of you this fine week? I love you all soooo much! Life is good here in the Philippines!
So first of all, there was an earthquake on Tuesday. Yes, we felt the earthquake that hit Cebu so badly. It was a magnitude 5 here. We were in district meeting, and then we all started to get dizzy and noticed the room was moving, so then we hurried outside. It wasn't bad enough to make things fall down, but it just felt like being on a boat. Pretty crazy. I know we (and all the missionaries in Cebu) were protected. All the missionaries here were in district meetings in well-built church buildings, which is definitely the safest place. The Lord is looking out for us, I know it. :)
So, haha, I don't know officially yet, but I am 99% sure I am not getting transferred. Psych! Pres. Aquino was just dropping hints for nothing. That's one of the most exciting things in mission life...seeing how the mission president will shake up the work every six weeks. That's what missionaries gossip about...transfers.
Earlier today we went for an adventure! We had a zone activity in Igbaras that was a lot more adventurous than we bargained for. We were just expecting a jaunt through the jungle to see a pretty waterfall, but nope, we hiked up through slick mud and rocks and a river to get to a waterfall. Not to mention one really sketchy bamboo bridge. We're all alive and well, no worries. haha. Jokes. It really was pretty. Pictures can't even do it justice. And the drive out to the hike spot was a beautiful, too. Bright green rice fields, bordered by palm trees, and interspersed with cute bamboo huts and friendly Filipino people. It's more fun in the Philippines! You wish you were here, eh? :) Actually, on the way back I was thinking of all these gospel parallels to our journey today...I'll have to journal that and share it later.
We (finally) started teaching this crazy man named Albert on Friday. We affectionately call him "The Commander." Once upon a time, he got in the jeepney with us and started yelling at me (just me) in broken English. He always wears camouflage and wanders around by the church, he thinks he's some kind of military commander or something. But anyway. He has been coming to church every week for the last two months, he just wanders in for sacrament then leaves during Sunday school, and he even came with the Elders to general conference. He also writes out these notes to each of us Oton missionaries, just like a twisted military-meets-religion rant kind of a thing. But, he lives in our area, so we finally decided to give it a go teaching him. Fun times. I know God loves him all the same. He is just...interesting. Maybe you have to know him. I'll mail some of his notes home so you can at least understand a little. haha. His main issue is that he is a chain smoker (also the reason he is a little nuts is because he used to do heavy drugs). He told us that he also goes to Catholic mass every Sunday early in the morning too. A very committed, religious man.
Don't worry, we also have plenty of sane new investigators too...he just makes the best story. :P
And last but not least....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR EMILYYYYYYYYYY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! Whoa, how is my gorgeous little Sis 14 already? Eat some delicious cake for me, sige? The cake here is just not the same. I hope it is wonderful!
I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week. Stay safe, healthy, and happy. "Never suppress a generous thought." That goes for sharing the gospel as well. Rain or shine keep enduring to the end.
Love, Sister Winward