Monday, November 24, 2014

Funny things and learning lessons

I have started taking notes of what happens, The week happens so fast that I forget about
most of the funny things, Thanks for writing me by the way. As for how I am doing I am doing good, I am experiencing so many things, and the language depends on the day and who we are talking to or where we are, I laughed because some of the other missionaries think that I am really far in the language, but I think that's just because I look like I understand the people, but I really only understand half of what they say, and then comment on the half that I do understand.

Well, lets see what other things happened this week...So on Tuesday Elder Creswell dared me to eat a mango seed, he said he would pay me $10, well I ate it, turns out he was joking, so I didn't get the $10 that I wanted, The next day my tongue turned blue, we were trying to thing of anything blue I ate that day, we couldn't think of anything, so we concluded must be the mango seed, because there was nothing else that I ate recently that might have been bad for me. My tongue turned back normal again on Friday, so note to self. 1) don't eat mango seeds 2) make sure people are serious when they bet me $10 (here that's 400 Pecos, enough to eat out every day for the next week) Learning lessons on my mission.

I found out that the kids here have pet spiders, and they are huge. A kid, about 11 years old asked me if I wanted to see his pet, I was shocked to find out that his pet is a spider the size of a computer mouse, and he just let it climb on him, and put it back in the box when he was done. I found out that compared to the Filipino people, I am scared of spiders, I am ok with killing them, or seeing them, but I would never let it climb on my arm.

Wierdest food of the week. We went to distract meeting on Tuesday and then out to a restaurant together where someone bought cheese icecream for us all to try, it was actually pretty good.

Fun times with American Movie Quotes, We were at a Members home, and they were confused about a quote they heard on the TV, I told them to ask Elder Creswell, because my Boholonon is still small, Well I choked on my water went they asked about a quote with the f bomb in it, I remember seeing the shock on Elder Creswell's face as we looked at each other in shock, then we started laughing, because Sister P... (the member) had no idea what it meant.

Fun lesson for this week was teaching a boy named Quin the 10 commandments, we have been trying to make our lessons more entertaining for him, because sometimes he doesn't want to listen, so we tried something I learned from the MTC, by making remembering devices with our hands, for example the first commandment is to have no other gods before me, we hold up one finger on one hand to remember to only have 1 God, then for the 2nd commandment we hold up two fingers, one on each hand and bend them back and forth to look like they are people bowing to remind us of the second commandment, that we should not bow down to idols, and it continues until commandment 10, It was pretty fun.

I also bought a Cebuano Bible for Sister P..., because she has been trying to read the English version for as long as I have known her, as soon as I gave her the Cebuano Bible, her face lite up in excitement, 2 days later she had read though Genesis until Leviticus, crazy amount of reading. It made me happy that it really helped her.

Until next week,
Elder Remer

Monday, November 10, 2014

McDonalds, big spider and more

Bohol Quality mall has McDonalds, photo from
You won't believe where I went last Monday, I went to McDonalds! It is in the big city here called Tagbilarin, or Tagbi for short. It was so weird, I didn't think that I would get to eat at McDonalds while I am in Jagna. It was amazing.

huntsman spider consuming a small beetle, from wikipedia
I thought I would tell you about some fun things this week.  Like this morning I found a spider on our wall about as big as the palm of my hand. Trying to kill it I quickly found out it was a huntsman spider because of how fast it moved, I would say that it is a blessing that we don't have those in America. I have decided that fast big spiders are not my favorite thing in the world.

Lets see, I think the highlight of my week is learning about the different folk stories of the Philippines, some of them are crazy, and some are just funny. There are a few of my favorite monsters in the Philippines, 1st the wak-wak, most likely inspired off of the spiders like the one this morning, basta the wak-wak is a witch like creature that jumps out from the trees of the forest at night, and then drinks your blood. 2nd The santilmo is a floating fireball thing that shoots lightning or fire, only comes out at night. 3rd The dwinda is a dwarf with elf ears that hide in the rocks until you come by I think in English we should call it a dwelf (a dwarf-elf) and my favorite that agta/kapray is a 7-9 foot black man that climbs to the top of the trees and ... smokes a cigarette, not sure why that one is scary.

As for the language, its going pretty good. Some days are better than others but overall they are getting better. I am getting better at understanding the people I see often. Like the family of our Branch President and his neighbors, where I can understand them most of the time. Like on Friday night, we were over at their house and I was understanding all of what they were saying, and talking to them too, They told me that I was much farther in the language then other missionaries that had started in Jagna. It made me pretty happy, but then Sunday I was humbled again, and understood very little of what people were saying, but overall I am still happy with the progress I am making, I am told by most people I will be fluent by my 6th month out here, not sure about that, but maybe so.

They don't ask a lot about Colorado, specifically, but they ask questions about America in general, our schooling system, how many hours do we work a week, what the culture is like, what the different trees and plants and mountains look like, as in there language mountain is the same word as jungle, because here the jungle is is hill like areas, so they don't really know what a real mountain looks like.

Good lessons this week, I was able to go on splits with Elder Orton, an american missionary who goes home in January, it was cool to teach with him, and teach different people while we tract, at the end of the day we went to a members home to teach a recent convert. The member gave us Lamow to have, it was coconut milk, with coconut slices, and crackers in it. It was the best thing I have ever had, it was so good.

Monday, November 3, 2014

about the branch and who we're teaching

Questions from Cindy's email to Elder Remer: 
Did you see H..... this week? and how is she doing?
Who did you teach and/or help this week?
Are there children in your branch? Will they do a primary program?

We have a pretty big branch, it fills are small church building, and would be a ward if there was a stake on Bohol.
We have lots of children (for the Philippines) and a primary, sunday school, and young/men womens program, unfortunately there are no activities because everyone is to busy for that here, but we have about 6 young men, 4 young women, and I'm not sure how many children. 

I did see H..... this week, but I'm not sure how she is doing, something seemed wrong but she didn't want to talk about it, and at the end of the lesson she refused to pray, her mom decided to pray instead, and looked as if H..... was going to get punished. If that happens I'm not sure if she will want to be taught, but maybe its not as big of a deal and things will be back to normal next week.

We are very blessed here to teach a lot of people, we get anywhere from 16-25 lessons a week. 
We walk 6 kilometers a day, at least, which takes up most of our time. 
A few families that are my favorite to teach are the P.....s and Brother N.... with his wife Sister T.... , the P........s are a all Mormon family with their dad being a recent convert, we see them often as there dad is a tryk driver and that their house is normally on the route we walk so we get to teach them 1-2 times every week. Brother N..... and Sister T..... are both recent converts with a little girl, and a very cute and entertaining baby.