Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life Is Good!!

Life in the Philippines is great. The temperature took a drastic drop this week (about 2-3 degrees). A couple nights ago I was able to turn my fan to the lowest setting and actually had to use my sheet. The second coming must be near. Things like that just never happen in the Philippines. 

I would like to fill you in on some common "Filipino driving techniques" I see everyday and others that I’ve actually picked up while I’ve been here. First, hazard lights somehow make your car exempt from traffic laws. My favorite sight to see is when a car is parked in the far left lane with no one in the car. Usually that would be against the law. Not if you have your hazards on. I don't think the word "hazard" is understood correctly here. They take it to mean, "turn these lights on if you're about to make your car a hazard to all the other cars on the road." Second, using the car horn is a technique. Sometimes I feel like cars are trying to use some sort of morse code with their horns. One honk just makes your presence known to other drivers. You use two honks if someone slightly cuts you off and are kind of irritated. Short, repeated, sporadic honks means "I’m coming through, you better move." A prolonged honk can either be used when someone cuts you off really bad and your furious or when you want to tell the person in the lane next to you, "I’m coming over and I’m not stopping. Get out of the way." It's honestly a language of it's own. I've adjusted my sitting position in our car. I've moved my seat forward, which allows me have my hand at 12 o’clock on the wheel and to rest my forearm on the horn for a quick response to the dangerous driving of others. I love driving in the Philippines! 

Here are some fun facts about Makati city. It's one of the nicest cities in the Philippines. There are McDonalds on every corner. There's a corner we drive by pretty frequently that has a McDonald’s on each side of the road and then another about 50 yards down the street. It houses people from all walks of life. You'll find some of the richest people in the Philippines living on the 40th floor of a high rise and then a "squatter" home leaning against the side of that very building where a family of 6 lives day to day wondering if their going to be able to eat their next meal. You have people from Europe, America, Australia, the Middle East, and numerous other countries. It's kind of a "melting-pot." I pass a countless number of people everyday. As I’m walking, I often find myself thinking,” Every single person I see has a story of their own." It's quite a crazy city to be assigned in. I sure love it. 

Missionary work has been great this week. It was the first week where we spent most of the time in our area. We had some pretty amazing things happen and some pretty tough things that have happened. One of those experiences happened yesterday after church. Before church, my boy Patrick (our investigator whose 26 and has been coming to church forever) came up to us and told us that he needed to talk to us after church. There wasn't a lot of emotion on his face when he said that so I could not read from his expression if it was going to be a good talk or bad talk. He's been having a hard time recently with his parents. He comes from a family that is devoted catholic. He's brought the church up with his family before and his mom completely shut him down and expressed how much she did not want him to be baptized. After church we took him to a room in the mission office and he asked if we could start with a prayer. We obliged. He then said, "about my baptism. I know I’ve been putting it off for a long time. I now feel like it's finally the right time for me to be baptized!" That's what I’m talking about. I wanted to jump, scream and dance. I was so happy!! He then continued, "I'm talking to my mom tomorrow and I’m going to tell her that I’m going to be baptized. I'm going to show her the changes I’ve made in my life and I know it will soften her heart. I hope I can be interviewed by the end of this week." Holy crap. It was pretty much a scene out of a movie. I was so happy. Patrick and I have become really good friends over the weeks and I am just so happy for that guy. He's already expressed how much he wants to get married in the temple. It just doesn't get better than this. 

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