Sunday, June 1, 2008

April 21st email #2

Pamilya Ko! Requests, requests! It's kind of difficult to do and I can never remember what I've already told and how I've told it. I sent pictures, it was expensive and they probably won't get to you for a long time :) I'm glad to hear that the letter and possibly scary picture of me with the President and his wife got to you. The area I am in is large, we live in the "city-ish" part of it which is not so thick with the green and jungle as the outskirts and maybe is a bit dirtier etc. We are near the dagat (ocean) so there is sand everywhere. I talked about food in that other email I sent today in response to one of Dad's letters...really not that exciting :) sorry.

The size of the branch is rather large, the amount of people that come every week is rather small...maybe 90 but I think most of them are children or youth, in fact they fill many of the callings :) I'm kind of afraid for the next year or so when two of the young men will be leaving on missions and in the next month one of the RM sisters who does a lot of work here will be getting married and leaving! I guess that makes my work here even more important, we just need to reactivate. We spent a lot of Saturday trying to get people to attend Sacrament meeting the next day, none of them came...yet. I wrote a journal entry about my day last monday and called it the "day in the life of" so maybe you would like to hear something like that...i don't have it with me but I could try to recreate it a little bit. The parade houses you are building sound beautiful and large and like something I'm having a hard time imagining these days. There are some nicer homes...the floors have fancy tile, always tile and they have beautiful benches. The difference between the rich and the poor here is the real program, the gap is extreme and they'll live right across the street from each other.

I'm kind of sad that you'll all be in a play and I'll have to miss it, especially after all those years of me being the only one in plays and such and you all watching me...when will my turn come! haha... sounds like fun though. Maddie: I'm writing you a letter...oh yes to everyone I did get some letters finally! Hooray, I got one from Grandpa Jim, my friend Taran whose brother will soon be joining me here and thus I expect he'll write to the both of us our whole missions and two from you. I'll respond more directly to those in my letters but they were fabulour to recieve. Zone Con. is next week but I guess the ZL's had a conference before so they brought us mail, it was nice of them. Now to Soccer, it's okay you didn't win as long as you had fun. I'm sorry that ice skating is finished, it sounded like you were doing really great! Keep practicing hard on the piano so you can play me a really great song when I come home. I'm not really very good at the piano but here I get to play for the baptisms and sometimes in sacrament meeting so it's a really great blessing to have that talent and you should keep working hard at it so you can bless other peoples lives with the joy of music. Olivia: I am alive still and getting tanner...and always hot :) I remember my field trip to antelope island, the water is REALLY salty. I never liked salt water before but I really like it now. AFter working on the island in Caliofornia and swimming in the ocean every day I started to like swimming in salt water, it's an acquired taste however. I'm not sure how many poeple I have taught...but we just try to teach as many people as we can every day, and some days are better than others. WE teach a lot of children, I will sing them primary songs and some funny tagalog songs I know, they really like it and clap and say "isa pa" which means"one more." Some little girls we did a family home evening with played a game with us and the way it works is once three people are out they have to have a punishment. We choose the punishment and it was for them to dance. They did a cute dance for us and the others wanted to join in even thought they hadn't lost so they danced also and sang and clapped. It made me miss when you and Maddie and even Mom would dance for me in the house to your funny music. I guess my feet do hurt sometimes, but I don't think about it...I'm used to my feet hurting from lots of walking around campus, bad shoes and dancing :) Savanna : Wala Pa! That means basically no you still, that's all right finish up school well etc. you know all that good stuff.

Oh dear, my time seems to be basically up! sorry about that. Mom: I've kind of already responded to a lot of yours so that's good. I kind of feel bad when you say good things about me, strange as that is. Maybe because I want them to be true and am afraid they really just aren't. I try to live up to that everyday and have courage and work hard and have the spirit with me and recognize it and use it to know I'm doing what I should and that Heavenly Father is pleased with me and taking care of my life at home and all that I left there. Ren Mcormick's Aunt is a funny part if I remember correctly :) Doesn't she sing, though? Are you going to sing!! tee hee I wish I could see it. Well, sorry I really am out of time and didn't realize it happened so quick so this is kind of a blah letter for everyone. Good job Garyn, keep working hard and you probably do have a temper, in fact I do too and it was worse and it was amazing when I realized one day that i had changed a lot, become a little milder and a little less prone to argue etc. but I still thought of myself the other way and realized how much I didn't want to be quite that way but was glad about my changes. Anyway, I don't say that to mean you should change but just that you probably will your whole life and you'll look back on who you were and who you are and who you can become and it's an exciting process and one you should be actively aware of. People need to notice their weaknesses and not be frustrated by them but active about them and just doing their best and being who they are every day. Good luck with the job search and all the plays. Asia? Well my only experience with it would be the plane and the airport stop in Taiwan and it was all really clean and really quiet! I recall similar experiences at the EFY talent show auditions... some would come in and sing or whatever and after they would leave we would finally breathe again, after holding our breath to make sure we wouldn't laugh! I kind of felt bad I guess...but we didn't mean to laugh at them it just happened :) And I didn't think anything bad of them, actually they were better than me in many cases, I usually won't try anything unless I know I'm really good at it, I don't like embarrassings myself although my inhibitions lessened at certain times and i've had my fair share of embarrassing moments. Oh yes, Dad again...JP has agreed to be baptized, he wants to be and continues to come to church and I told him to try and read the entire book of mormon before. He asked to do it on June 6th because that is his birthday and he will be 21...soI guess that solves the question of how old he is :) I think it's great when they request a date! That is kind of far in advance but he still has a lot of learn and a lot of dedicate himself to. The largest problem currently would be Word ofWisdom, it concerns me and I pray for him every day in hopes that he will be dedicated to it and we can do what we need to to strengthen him, but ultimately it comes down to his own decision. I think I'm kind of afraid of the disappointments that will come so frequently in this work, especially when I allow my deep and important spiritual feelings to be a part of it all, but it will come in God's timing and with their agency playing the largest part in many ways. We'll see what happens with him. Leaonard is progressing beautifully for his baptism and we are teaching his family now. He went to youth conference and even though he's really quiet he's not shy...our mission president was there at youth conference and one of the boys in the branch told Sis. Mabalot that Leonard got up and shared his testimony at youth con. even though he's not a member yet and President asked who he was and had them translate what he said...they told him that he was an investigator in Lemery.

OK, so I really have to go now we're going over time. Love you all and am trying to be the best I can for you even though my best isn't worth much at least the gospel can make it worth something.