So this week has been pretty interesting..my anak, my 'son' or trainee, found out he has a hernia. So he is back in Maynila getting treated over there. He'll probably be out for a week or so, so it's challenging. I'm back with the zone leaders again, and we have to cover two areas now. So it's going to get a little but hectic.
The area here is awesome, in my area we have a lot of just pure jungle, and then there are little jungle paths to tiny villages in the jungle. We actually go over there quite a bit because there are a few less-actives and investigators there! Last night was a little bit sketchy haha, me and my companion were out in the bukid until maybe 8 o'clock and it was so dark in the jungle and I forgot a flashlight! So we were using a little built-in like 1.5 lumen flashlight on our cell phone trying to hike through a muddy jungle in pitch-black darkness. Hahaha it was fun :)
My trainee's name is Elder Ofiana, and he's Ilocano! So I've been trying to learn a bit from him, get back to my roots ;) Hahaha as for Tagalog, it has been coming along a lot better lately. I pretty much woke up one morning and that day started understanding the grammar principles and things I have been studying the last six months. It just came together all of a sudden! It was nuts, but there are still a lot of things I need to study to be completely comfortable with it.
There have been a lot of cases of dengue lately, I actually am guilty..I haven't been wearing insect repellant. But I will start! We use permethrin in our apartment so we're pretty safe there. As for food and stuff here, they have coconut plantations here, so there are literally fields of thousands of coconut trees, so we eat and drink a LOT of buko here, which I will definitely miss it when I come home. Mangoes are out of season right now :( So hopefully sometime in february, march-ish they will come back! I cannot wait hahahaha ;) The beach is amazing, definitely learning to surf when I get back. Everytime we go and the weather is nice, there are surfers just stretched out in a line as far as you can see. I guess in September they have a competition here in Baler that's supposed to be really cool to watch. Like pro-surfers from all over the Philippines come here.
I forgot to tell you guys this but for the family home evening I had when I first got here, the senior couple took us to the beach and we released floating lanterns over the ocean. It didn't work too well because it was windy, but we're doing it again sometime soon when my trainee gets back from Maynila. It was still a cool experience!
So anyways, any news about the temple in Tucson? When's the groundbreaking? That would be so cool to go to, see if the Prophet comes down to Tucson :D How are you all? It sounds like life is pretty busy for you all.
Anyways, I hope this email gives you guys a little bit of an idea what it's like here. I realized I've been very vague in describing my areas! Hahaha I'm sorry, I tried to describe it a bit better this email. Anyways, I love and miss you all so much! Please be safe this week, I'm always praying for you guys.
Mahal Ko Kayo,
Elder K.H. Rand