Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Easter from the Philippines!

Wow sounds like you guys had a great Easter. They don't really do anything on Easter Sunday here in the Philippines. All the festivities happen on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (good Friday). Everyone is pretty much given those days off so the Philippines pretty much shuts down for 3 days. No traffic, nothing. Everyone goes to the beach. After Friday though, everything is back to normal. There are groups of people here who crucify each other for Easter! Crazy, eh?  They get really drunk and then nail themselves to a cross! They call it penitence or self mortification and it is kind of messed up. Another thing they do is cut their sides open, wipe themselves, and carry around a huge cross while people pour hot wax down their bare backs! No one does anything special on Easter Sunday. It is just another normal work day for them. So weird and almost twisted. So that also means no Easter Bunny (sorry kids).

There was a Joe (what the Filipinos call white people) that came back here to visit his mission and also his wife's family out here. He brought his whole family to the Philippines for Easter break and when we ran into them they invited us to go his mother in law's house for Easter Sunday. The Easter bunny did visit them.

This week has been kinda crappy because Elder Richards has been pretty sick and we haven't been able to leave the apartment that much. Also Elder Pablico (one of the Elders downstairs) finished his mission and went home. Elder Richards and I have his companion until the transfer day. His name is Elder Abekoon. He is from Sri Lanka and he's a little different - haha - oh well.

I have been thinking about that "challenge" a lot too and I am worried that I will get an AP as my next companion (another problem) and that I will be a babysitter and stay here in Batangas. President Peterson has spent the entire 2.5 years trying to get the mission back in shape through really strict rules and it has worked ok, but there still are some disobedient missionaries (pasuway). The problem is how easy it is to be disobedient in this mission because there are so many distractions. So I am super worried that my area will die once I lose Elder Richards as a companion (if I stay here). I can't wait (sarcasm)... I bet Dad would be good at coming up with ideas to deal with all that.

Even with all that we had a good experience this week. We had taught one of our new investigators the importance and power of prayer. Her name is Analiesa and she had a great testimony building experience this week with it. Her son was cutting bamboo and somehow slit his leg right to the bone with a piece of bamboo. Their family is super poor and really can't afford to go to the doctor but he was bleeding really badly. Analiesa prayed that nothing bad would happen and that she would somehow be able to pay the doctor. She made it to the hospital and got her son stitched up and after that the doctor said that because it is near Easter time she didn't need to pay. When she told us this story she was completely in tears. Well that by itself made it another good week. Hopefully the next one will be good as well.

Oh ya, I still haven't received my package yet :( . Well have a great week. I will tell you next week if I am transferred or not.
Elder Nielson

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