Monday, January 6, 2014

Of Mice and Men (and Bats in Caves)

Dearest Family, 

How are you all doing? How was the New Year for all of you. Hopefully 2014 is a blast so far! So, do I have some stories for you all! Hopefully you will all laugh as hard as I have been this week. 

Today we got to go CAVING!!! It was soooo cool. And, unfortunately, this computer is not cooperating, so you'll have to wait until next week for pictures. We went up to Dingley and hiked and slipped in mud and had a great time. There were tons of bats and these creepy red spiders. It was way sweet. And gross. But mostly awesome. And the best leg work out ever in my life. haha. "It's more FUN in the Philippines." 

New Year's Eve was another normal day, except that we had to be home early. Our friendly neighborhood gymnasium was BLASTING music until like 4am. And lots of firecrackers were going off all night. I'm pretty sure I sang along to YMCA when I was half asleep at 3am. Fun for us.

Funny #1: Apartment CSP day. Should be called Apartment TLC day. The first Friday of every month we have an apartment deep clean. We've been having some creature problems....mice and cockroaches. I'm not too phased by it, but Sister Rappleye has declared war on them. So on Fridayshe found the mouse's bed and destroyed its hope of survival. It was hilarious because every time a mouse came scurrying out, she screamed her head off. Heh...heh...heh...  We still haven't caught them all. 

Funny#2: Thursday, we went to teach Brother Vicinte (the one going to the UAE, who we are afraid is only coming to church because he likes us). His relative is perpetually drunk. And the drunk man decided to join the lesson. So we're going along, trying to teach Brother Vicinte the Law of Chastity, amidst the drunk man's random comments (Sister Marchant had to spend most of the time trying to get him to stay quiet, like a child), when all of a sudden he tries to kiss my companion! He was like an inch away.  So, Sister Marchant hopped up and sat on the other side of me to get away with him and we finished the lesson and left quick. Awkward.... 

Funny#3: We tracted this house in a rich subdivision last Monday, so we went back to teach John and his sister Queenie, but it was just John home. So, we have this awesome missionary rule that we cannot just teach men inside a house, there always has to be another woman, so we taught him on his front porch. (I am repeatedly grateful for that rule. Hallelujah.) Awkward #1 was right when he opened the gate to let us in, I went to give him a handshake, and he pulled my hand up and kissed it. Yuck. Then, after we taught him about prophets and the priesthood, his only question was something along the lines of whether he is allowed to kiss us/kiss our hands. No, John, just No. And the whole lesson he kept inviting us in, even though we explained to him like 5 times about the rule. Um, yeah, let's just say, maybe he's not ready yet. We're not here to be flirted at! Listen to the gospel, gosh darnit!

Funny#4: Well, our concerns about Brother Vicinte were confirmed yesterday. It went like this: On Saturday, we went back to teach him again, but drunk man was there, so we said we could teach Vicinte on Sunday at the chapel after church instead. So he came to church (Yay!). And he waited so we could get one of the YSA men, Roy, to join the lesson. Vicinte had mentioned that he had a question about his BOM reading, so he reads the passage 1 Nephi 6:5-6 and 1 Nephi 7:1.....

"Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world. Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men. And now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise.

So, he reads this out loud, then addresses his question to Roy. He says how here the Lord says people are supposed to get married, and since he's 38 and single, if he gets baptized will he be able to date the members, and more specifically, will he be able to get married to one of us missionaries. WHAT. ON. EARTH. How is it that our only progressing investigator is just in love with us? Grabe! And so Roy (props to Roy), explains that we have consecrated this 18 months to the Lord to teach people the gospel, and no he can't date us, and when we're done we'll return to America. So then, Vicinte basically says he'll wait that long and can we come back to the Philippines. NO. I explained my purpose here, and why we're teaching him. Pretty sure we've already told him this multiple times. Talk about awkward. Sister Marchant was so red in the face, and had to bite her fist to keep from laughing. I just didn't look at her because I knew I would bust up laughing if I did. Then we taught him about the premortal life and how the Lord definitely has a plan for him...Most Awkward Lesson Ever..... The good news: Brother Vicinte leaves for the UAE this week probably, and we have given him info about the LDS meetinghouses available there. And Roy said he'll come with us for any other lessons with Vicinte. 

So to prevent all of this from happening again we've concluded we either need to tell everyone we're nuns, or go "The Other Side of Heaven" style and carry around pictures of the boys that are waiting for us.  

In better news, Charity's aunt, Christine listened to us again! She is pretty determined to go to church this Sunday. She said she is really sorry she can't sit for lessons all the time, she's so busy, but she always wants to. If only she would let us do her laundry for her one of these days! And, even though we were super punted on Saturday, Heavenly Father blessed us with the most gorgeous sunset over a beautiful rice field to enjoy while we walked. Tender Mercy! Sister Marchant and I have been entertaining ourselves by speaking in a Jersey accent. haha. And, our mission has a reading challenge this year to read all 4 standard works by the end of the year. I'm doing alright keeping up in the Old Testament this week. Yay! 

I hope you all have a great week back at school. Point your faith toward the future. Great things will come in 2014! I love you all! 

Love, Sister Winward

P.S. Don't any of you worry, we are following the rules and staying safe. Don't be alarmed. Just laugh. :P 
P.P.S. And I still know that there are decent, sober men left in the world. Hallelujah. 

Sister Cassie Winward
Philippines Iloilo Mission
May 2013 to November 2014

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