Sunday, June 1, 2008

May 12th email

Since I taked to you earlier today I'm going to try to type this journal entry from April that I tried to send before...the keys are sticking on this keyboard so sorry for the mistakes. It was great to talk to all of you and next time I do I promise it will be in ALL Tagalog...bwahahaha (SANA!) which is an expression of hope.

"Today should be my day in the life of story. I rather enjoyed all of it. Due to washing my clothes tonight I don't have time to write everything today I'll finish tomorrow. It rained a lot today so I was never overly hot which is always nice. We woke up and did regular study time. I read about the tree of life in the book of momon and we studied word of wisdom and how to teach it in Tagalog. After we did email. With a whole hour I feel like i'm writing my family a novel. After Sis Mabalot got her hair relaxed at a salon. That took a long time so I wrote a letter to Andrea while sitting in the nice air conditioned salon. We ate lunch then went to Ate Ludy's to text our numbers to the zone leaders. That's when the rain really started up, so we just stayed there while I wrote my letter to my family. It was rather long you might say especially after my long emails, kanina. We went grocery shopping after that and then returned to our apartment where I labled all the pictures Im sending home...with high hopes that they will actually make it there. Our planned appointments for the night were Leonard and the Dillion family. They have many children, cousins mostly, and then Christian and Mary Jane and their baby usually join with Lola peeking out sometimes. The neighbors are always very intrigued by what is going on and will wander around near us lingering a bit. We invite them all of course. Well, here in the Philippines it gets dark early all year long. WE walked to Leonard's in the mudd streets. I can't sufficiently decribe his home/neighorhood for you in words to get the right picture. They are down in a swampy kind of area with little streams and all the homes are raised up. The floors are made of these thin slats placed next to each other and space in between. Sis Rochell's home is the same and while there and sitting on the floor the little kids will go under and poke us! So, we sit on their porch and have rope strung all above us with their clothes draped over to dry and Leondard drags out a a table to sit between Sis. Mabalot and myself. In the center he places an old bottle with something corked in the top that they light so we have small flame and now the evening is getting dark so it's all we have to read with. We set the scriptures open to the section we will study next to the bottle on the table and begin. His mother and sister are also with us on the small porch. With our small flame we read about those things that bring light into our lives, into us and it continues to be such a great experience as revelation comes to them, commitments are made and kept and their humble lives become opened to all the riches of eternity waiting for the faithful. Taal is very far away, up the hill and across the river from Lemery so we chose to take a tricycle to make our family home evening appointment. We wave one down, my newest description for it is a bike cart for children but on the side of a motercycle instead of behind a bike. We ride up to Taal then walk up the dirt stairs and along a small path of green to their home. They have a nicer home, tile floors and a large porch attatched. All of the children start gathering as the first sees us and starts yelling "sister, sister!" The neighbors peek out at us and Nanay will join for a moment. I sat and wrote out the words to "A Child's prayer" while Sis Mabalot does her chattering that I still don't understand. We've decided to teach them prayer in families. We begin with a prayer, all kneeling together on their tile porch and then start. She always asks how we communicate with God, texting? maki pag text as they would say. One little boy answered, "Hindi ko alam, siguro!" Which means i don't know, maybe...Mary Jane laughed and her baby was rolling around in a baby walker exploring everything. We have Br. Christian read the verses in third nephi 18 about praying in families and addressing them we tell them their family will be stronger if they pray together and for each other. Then we sang. I sang it for them first and then had them try with me. "A Child's Prayer" which has always been a favorite of any group of church members I've associated with. Their English is a bit broken up but I feel the spirit there. I know it's true and hope that the message can come to them through it even in English. In song we pray, and I feel like all the cildren, with me, were praying to our Heavenly Father. Then it was time for games! We played Handa Kilos with the funny monkey actions. Everyone laughed...then Sis. Mabalot's game of slow elimination and the first three out have a punishment. The punishment is the best part of the game. The first out has to face the wall and in a splattered position as we yell questions out she has to answer. The first was "what is the name of your boyfriend!" All the other children answered for her! And the adults laughed. The next punishment was that they had to do a dance for us. The other children joined, however, not wanting to be left out of the fun. The others sang and clapped to the beat. It was a well known dance and fun to watch. I wanted to join / wanted to go home and see Maddie and Olivia dancing to our fun music... both the same age as these little girls. We left soon after. At home we planned for the next day. I washed my clothes...filling our bowl in the sink with water and suds I soaked the clothes and rubbed them together creating more suds and dipping and ringing out and sweat rolling down my brow as I hummed the children's hymns from earlier that day. After hanging the now rinsed clothes to dry I showered off the sweat... dumpig ladels of water over my head. Time for bed, we pray. I pray. And, soon fall asleep only to be awoken early the next morning to sounds of the motorcycles zooming past below and the sticky heat of the day. Roosters also...of course! I wait for the fan to turn to me again as the air hits my toes and I twist a bit so it will go up my now sweaty back and neck. After some stretching I'm up and the day begins again with prayer. The frustrations of learning a new language and wanting the faith to know I will while enjoying the new and now familiar scenes of Lemery. Like chickens with one leg tied to a house or post etc. The people are the same in ways deep inside. Their babies all naturally dance to a beat and sometimes to the music playing in their little growing brains. They smile when smiled at and their eyes light up at attention. They are curious and sensistive and have inner strength they don't even know of yet but will need to face the challenges that will surely come as they continue to grow and are faced with the outward learning that will come to them from environment, from circumstances from others...they need to remember those things they already know, remember those ways that they already naturally are that make them want to dance and sing and laugh and rejoice and smile and make their eyes shine."

Okay, time is very up now that was kind of my journal entry. I'll write again later.

Love, Brit