So this week was an interesting one. We got a lot of work done, but we also had a lot of disappointments as well. We spent the majority of the week working on our CMIS (the ward list basically), trying to figure out who is still around, alive, active, etc. It is hard work because people don't have addresses and directions are very vague. So we just have to walk around and ask people if they no where "so-and-so" lives. We were pretty lucky that there were a few branch members that have lived here all their lives and so they know everything. That's part of the culture here. But we still had to do a lot of wandering. Because President wants us to focus on this right now we don't have a lot of investigators and after this week we now have one, at least that is progressing.

Erwin (that's actually how it's spelled, we found out) decided that his friends were more important than this family, once again, went away for the weekend and got drunk... again. It's like clockwork for him. The week before his baptismal interview he does something stupid so that he doesn't have to actually go through with it. This has now happened 3 times. So we have decided that it's time to visit him less frequently. We just can't help him if he won't help himself. The ironic thing is that he is at church every Sunday and is now reading in the Book of Mormon pretty regularly. Yeah, we can't figure it out at all. It's just not his time, I guess.

We also had some disappointments with the Angelico family. We know that the Mom and Dad know it's true, but they are so caught up in their social concerns with being Catholic that they refuse to do anything to test their knowledge, like go to church. It's ridiculous. Luckily their daughter, Mara is still progressing, comes to church and knows it's true. We have hope for her.

The most interesting part of my week was definitely Sunday. On Saturday the husband of the Sunday School teacher died. So, because we are in the Philippines and the world revolves around the dead, all of our meetings were canceled after church and we were asked to go with the whole branch to the wake. Let me tell you something about the Philippines. When a person dies they have the body embalmed and placed in a sealed casket with a plexi-glass viewing window and the body stays in the home of the deceased's family for a week or sometimes two. They have this whole crazy set up with curtains and candelabras and flowers. It's quite something. So we got permission to go and drove 30min to this lady's house. Then we just sit there and chat with people. No one was really mourning, most people were joking and laughing. This guy wasn't a member and apparently was a chain smoker and drank like a fish. So his wife just kept saying, "it's his own fault, he chose his lifestyle". It was all very weird. I'm not going to lie, I felt a little uncomfortable. I hate viewings, I always have and this experience was no different. Thankfully we didn't stay there all afternoon and eventually got back to our plans for work. All in all it was a crazy day.

We have found some new less actives to teach which is great. There is something satisfying in a different way than with investigators, about teaching less actives. I already have a new favorite. His name is Brother Robles. He and his wife have been sealed in the temple, he was in the branch presidency before. But he's become inactive. But he is the NICEST man! He is a trike driver and he always gives us free rides, he insists. But aside from that, there is just this humility about him. We are pretty hopeful that he will get back to church. He's a good man and he knows what he needs to do. We just pray that we can help him realize it.

Well that's about all for this week. It was a long week and pretty exhausting. I'm very thankful for P-day today. I hope all is well back home with all of you. I miss and love you all! Send me an email if you get the chance!


Sister Jackson

p.s. in case you forgot. :)


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