Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Years

Man the weeks are going by so fast! Its crazy really! Christmas this year was very plain. Almost like a normal day really. But thats alright, I realized that lights and presents and that stuff don't really matter anyways. Life goes on. The thing I did enjoy a ton though was seeing the Family! Man I missed you guys so much! Ha, even the Clowards and ole Sammy Walton managed to peak in and say Hi! Love it. The other awesome thing that happened this week was we had 2 Baptisms. Syra and Joshua Pimentel. Their family is almost all members now, just waiting on the last boy who is only 6 so I won't be here when he gets Baptized. I got asked to Baptize them so I was really excited. I love Joshua, he reminds me of my kid brother a lot haha little troublemaker. On Sunday our new investigator (Emanuel) made it to Church! We were so happy, this kid is really promising. Hopefully he will continue to want to listen to us and I will be here when he gets Baptized. We set a date for Jan. 25 so hopefully he keeps coming to Church. The other day me and Elder Yu were at a dinner appointment and I looked in the front yard and noticed this ghetto, lower than regulation, wooden ping pong table. The paint was chipping and it had a little bit of lean to one side, but I picked up that paddle and heavy, scruffed up ping pong ball and challenged my comp (who was on the High School team) right there. I beat him 11-9. I was so proud of myself. I used all of the Frei tactics I had learned over the years...its all about getting into their head. I paraded around the yard for a good minute or so then called it good. It felt good to pick up a paddle again. Yesterday I'm pretty sure I saw Si Robertson from Duck Dynasty in our area...only he was Filipino. Maybe they're cousins or something I don't know but he had the face, beard, glasses, and cup so I'm almost positve they're related. Who knows really. I'm miss you all and hope this New Years is awesome! I know I won't be getting any sleep that night, Filipinos are crazy about Fireworks. They already have one named after the Typhoon called "Super Yolanda" so I'm told. Love you guys!
-Elder Akins

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a Merry Christmas wherever you are! This past week has been really crazy! I'll start on Monday.

Monday we had to travel to Sorsogon to practice our skit for the Christmas Conference on Wednesday. After waiting for like 2 hours for everyone to get there we were able to start. After we all went out to eat. For some reason we had a lot more Elders than we should've had on one tricy, and all the big guys were on the back. The driver took a bad angle on the gutter and needless to say we ended up poppin a wheelie. I was inside not knowing what the heck was going on and the driver was screeching Bicol at us. Lucky enough someone caught us before the thing tip over backwards but it was still pretty crazy. Once we got going again we all started laughing our butts off and the driver was laughing with us.

Tuesday we stayed in the ZL's apartment with 10 other Elders. It was packed and it took forever for everyone to shower. Once it was time for bed the ZL's pulled out 3 regular sized mattresses for 8 of got pretty tight. But we still had fun talking and stuff. Took forever to fall asleep cuz one of the Illocano Elders would not shut up. They like to talk haha.

Wednesday we went to the Christmas Conference. It was awesome, we got to see all of our batch mates and the rest of our mission. The Polys did the Haka for one of the skits, it was way sick. They fed us way good, which I needed cuz all we eat is either Adobo or Pancit. On the way home I got way car sick. I hate the vans we have to take. Its packed to the brim with people, hot and the seats are terrible. I hate those things with a passion.

Thursday we had some good work. On the way to one of our areas I saw this lady wearing a shirt a funny shirt. The only reason I noticed it was because it said Cowboys. This is what it said," Cowboys butts drive me nuts." I was dying after haha Elder Yu had no idea what was going on. I led all the lessons during this week too, I was so proud of myself haha. Somehow, even though I have hardly any knowledge of the language I was able to convey my message to them. It was pretty cool.

Friday was pretty interesting. We were at a member's house for lunch this crazy guy was walking by and started to talking to me. He came right up into the house and just starting talking. I managed to understand him. It was really wierd, he started to talking about how he "died for the church", of which church I have no idea, and then things got weird. He pulled up his shirt and showed me the big scar close to his belly-button and said "see". I had no idea what was going on. After that he offered me a cigarette. First time thats ever happened to me haha. That night after dinner I used the scraps and made a nice little trap, just as any good ole country boy would do. Well I in fact did end up catching one of the neighborhood cats, not once, but twice.

Saturday was the Branch Christmas Party. It was great. We all had a good time and the food was awesome. We had a whole cooked pig too! The only problem was the Branch can't afford utensils for everyone. Kamay lang or just hands. The highlight for me was I ate for the first time the Chocolate Stew or Pork Blood Stew. I tasted like some Ronny lit one up and tossed the ashes into the stew. Nasty.

Sunday I gave my 2nd talk in Sacrament. It went pretty well. My topic was "Gifts we can give the Savior this Christmas". I focused on using the Atonement, taking the Gospel to others, and living the Gospel. I wish I was fluent at Tagalog, that would make things a lot easier haha.

Thats about all of the things that happened this week. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I love you all!
Elder Akins

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kamusta Po Galing Ang Philippines

Another week in the Philippines! Well first off last Monday as I was sitting at my desk writing in our Area Book I noticed that my legs were shaking. Then I realized that the whole house was shaking! The earthquake was only minor and it only lasted like 3 or 4 seconds but it was enough for me to freak out! Our work this week wasn't as good as usual because me and Elder Yu have had to take care of all of the paperwork and other matters for the new Sister's apartment. When we took the final papers to the owner she told us to fill everything out and then she would sign it. She made us write all of her information and stuff! I've come to realize that there are two kinds of people in this world: Hard Workers, and Lazy Turds. Couldn't believe it. Anyways some good things that did happen this week though was that one of our investigators that has been an investigator since Elder Yu got here has finally been accepting what we are teaching and is reading and praying every night! She is slowly progressing, but never the less progressing. Also I had my first dream in Tagalog. It was flippin sweet, there was also monster bucks in it so it made it double amazing! And the best part of all! We got another baptism. But this time I got to baptize her. And it didn't turn out like I had planned. The first time I dunked her I forgot to have her plug her nose haha so we had to do it again. Next she let her legs come up. Again. Then this time her hair didn't get all the way under (In my defense they didn't put enough water in the fount). But the last one my District Leader said "Just shove her under" so I did. And we finally got it done. So now the joke in our District is that we have 4 baptized and 1 confirmed this week haha. And yesterday we had a goofy lesson with the Sister I baptized on Saturday. We were teaching about baptism and recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost and had just shared a scripture about the two. I asked her "So Sister, what happend yesterday?" She literally interpreted this as "What did you eat yesterday" because she replied back "Well I didn't eat lunch." All I could say was Uhhh...what?! Haha it was just really weird. She gets confused easy and stuff I guess haha but she has a really strong testimony of this Gospel so I'm glad I got the oppurtunity to baptize her. I hope everyone is doing well back at home and I hope that you all have an awesome Holiday Season. Shout out to all my boys in the field, just to let y'all know the Cowboys are actually doing good this year as far as I'm told! Mahal ko kayo and Merry Christmas!
Elder Akins

Monday, December 2, 2013

Almost 100 Days In!

Well to start off last week I broke our fridge. I was cleaning the ice out of the freezer with a knife...ya that was a bad idea. I hit a pipe and all this gas started coming out, I was freaking out! Anyways we got a new one yesterday so its all good, the old was stunk anyways. I got to go on Exchanges with our District Leader this week, Elder Webb. It was nice to be with a white guy for once, someone I could talk to about home. I also led the area, that was pretty cool. I found that I knew the language better that I thought, although I still don't know it very good haha. The next day after that me and Elder Yu were walking back from our last lesson and I had to "pee like a race horse". The cool thing about the Philippines is that they don't have many bathrooms, so bushes work just as well I've come to find out. But after I got done I got this burning sensation done South...ya not good. Come to find out I need to drink more water and less pop so that I won't get UTI...I was pretty close. Anyways I'm good now. The next day I left my shoes outside cuz they were wet from the rain. I went to look for them the day after and I only found 1 of them. I searched all over the yard, couldn't find it. As I was walking out into the street I saw it stuck in a slit in the fence where all the dogs come into our yard from. I got lucky some mutt didn't run off with it haha. Nothing else happened this week, just work work work. We do have another investigator who is going to be baptized next week, and she said she wants me to do it! I'm super stoked. Sorry I haven't wrote that much, we don't have alot of time this week because yesterday was actually PDAY but we didn't get to email cuz some Ricky down the street was putting a big sign up on a building and it somehow fell and hit the powerlines. So we didn't have power most of the night. Love you guys! Talk to ya next week!
Elder Akins