Guess What? It turns out there is another season in the Philippines. Sure enough, the little bloodsuckers are everywhere, including our apartment. Now we understand the myriad different remedies that were left here by former Senior Missionary Tenants.
Of course, they can be quite dangerous, as they can carry Dengue fever, and Sister Revillo insists on screens in the apartments. But the missionaries don't always use them, and some sleep under mosquito nets.
As it turns out, they don't like me much. I do get a bite now and then, treat it with a little alcohol, and I am fine. Poor Elder S , however, is a MOSQUITO MAGNET. According to him, this was true when we was a child, too. Now, he seems to be allergic as well. They buzz around, find him, and then he has a mountain instead of a little bump.
We are trying several remedies, but still working on it. We have put patches around the bed, to discourage them. But they buzz him at night and wake him up!
Of course, the church buildings that do not have air conditioning use fans and open windows. After a baptism last night, even I got a fair number of bites. OH, well, just part of the adventure.
I can hardly remember what happened this week.
We received an assignment to teach a workshop at the Zone Interviews this transfer, and it turns out they are doing them zone by zone, mostly, so we are attending (part of ) all 8 of them to teach on apartment maintenance, cleanliness, etc. Sister Johnson is back to back with me, teaching them to dress better and wear makeup and "dress for success". Pretty funny. The STLs are doing one on "gossip". So, they make them feel GUILTY, I make them feel DIRTY, and Sister Johnson makes them feel DOWDY. I am using chocolate to help ease the sting!
Seriously, though, there are some problems. On any given day, when we check an apartment, there is going to be cooked rice left out on the counter or table. It is "the Filipino Way". But it is not healthy, attracts pests, and sometimes makes them sick.
They have a daily and weekly cleaning schedule, with time to do it . It includes things like defrosting the refrigerator. Many have never had one before in their lives. They don't even know what it means. I found this little sign at one of the Sister's apartments:
One of my little signs says "What does CLEAN MEAN?"
Sister Johnson actually drew pictures and taught them how to clean up their eyebrows! She told them a "unibrow" is not attractive. Also, that a little tinted moisturizer is good for Sisters AND Elders, and that if you "wear boots to the interview, you won't get the job!" Here we have a few problems too. The Filipino Elders want to spike their hair and wear pegged pants and pointed shoes. YUCK. The Polynesian Elders are proud of their physique. Their shirts are too tight! Well, you get the picture.
Between moving 5
apartments, and transfers, we had a lot of orders for things they needed.So, we have been shopping, of course. Here I am, thinking that I must need this lovely purple plush lounge for my room at home. In case you can't read it, it is p4000, About $100. And, we were shopping at SM, which is pretty equivalent to a Super Target, or maybe a Kohl's with Food. There is just something to tickle us every day.
ONE THING we did this week was to take a PDAY. Friday our van codes, so we have to stay home mostly, anyway, or leave the city very early and come home late. So, I told Elder, we have to catch up some stuff. We are going to take a PDAY. (President tells us to, but ours is usually one hour here and there to shop or clean or call our family.)
Well, I had to fight for it. He kept trying to fill the middle hours with work. "We could run up to, or out to, or..........
I finally said, "If you want to, go do it. But my hair is a mess, my house is a mess, I AM A MESS, and I AM TAKING A PDAY!" Well, we had to shop anyway, so we did do some shopping for the missionaries, and we did spend the morning balancing our housing accounts and preparing our reimbursements forms, but I also got to have my hair done, catch up on the laundry, etc. It was great.
IN CASE you think we were are not missionaries anymore, though, we are still a part of "the hastening of the work". Sweet Kristine Casinsinan was finally able to be baptized. She is from Tanay, and we helped to teach her several times, and Elder gave her a blessing once. Her entire family was baptized when she was seven. Most are not active now. She had a lot of problems, including an apostate father who opposed her choice, and a sweet little boy with no father. But she persevered and made it. No family there, but 10 missionaries and most of her branch. When she started coming to church, we were there, and I was really happy for her. They welcomed her like a long lost daughter.
Here she is , newly baptized and so happy. I think she will be a blessing in the branch and also to her family. She needs work. But the new PEF program is fantastic, and she will be eligible for all of it. That is the next step for her.
The weather is beautiful, and we got a little rain yesterday. The people are good and kind and gentle. The work is interesting and fun. We are loving our mission. Would we do it again?
In a Heartbeat!
PS: It seems that I have mastered the Google Translate problem. Cross your fingers, but you may not find odd punctuation and spelling and wording anymore. Well, at least, not that I can blame on anyone else!