The following is an excerpt from my missionary journal while I was in the Philippines. It’s from my happiest time as a missionary, a very brief 9 days. The 353 signifies that it’s the 353rd day of my mission. I haven’t included any names because the stories aren’t just mine. I’ve otherwise left everything as I wrote it in my journal, including the crappy punctuation. Zone Moti was a once-monthly motivational meeting where we talked about our successes, DM is the weekly version with smaller groups called Districts. ZLs are zone leaders, DLs are district leaders. CSP is community service project, CS is companionship study, where we discussed scriptures, language difficulties, and anything that was bothering us, and where we would role-play different situations that might occur while we were trying to talk to people about Christ.

I realize this is long and boring. My whole purpose for including it here is that I want to retell a couple of the stories from this entry, and as I was reading my journal, I just decided I should put it in word-for-word how I recorded it, then add the way I remember it later.

Shoot. I never write anymore and lots of good stuff has happened. We talked to Pres about my tooth and they bought me & Sis C. tickets to Manila. We went to Zone Moti on the 4th, Wed. The AP’s went too, to gave us something to take to Manila, and they drove us to the airport from Zone Moti. I puked on the plane. Sis C. said it was the most graceful she’d seen anyone puke. How many people has she actually watched?

Sis M was happy to see me. E. L. from Ilagan mission was there too. And E. K.

After I got my tooth fixed on Thursday, I asked Sis M to get me the soonest (sic) flight back. Saturday was the best they could do, but it was OK with me. E. L. was my travel comp. We saw some members in the airport who thought is was interesting to see one Elder and one Sister together.

When I got back, Sis M. and Sis C. had set some new goals and started developing a new way of presenting the first discussion. They wanted to teach at least one 1st a day. I got excited and we went out and had the funnest time. We decided we should be kept a 3-some even though we have 2 areas. We have found some beautiful families. On Sunday, we went to visit someone we had met a couple weeks ago. We had scheduled an apt with Sis E, so she told her family we were coming. When we got there, only Bro was there and I think he was sleeping. He didn’t look too happy. He started yelling for his wife and soon some kids started appearing. Then Sis E showed up. The Bro told one kid to go get his son. Word came back that the son didn’t want to come. So Bro got up to go get him, and he came Then Bro came back too! The whole family- 2 parents, 4 kids, all together, we were so happy. And the discussion was beautiful.

On Mon at DM we reported all our 1sts and the DL’s were impressed. Sis C has this funny thing she does when she says words with Hs. Instead of however, she says “owhever” or instead of hot oil, it’s “ot hoil.” It cracks me up. Today, she also told an investigator that he needed to ask God in the name of Crisco if the things we shared were true.

Wed the 11 was Sis Cs b-day. We CSP-ed at South Elementary school. It was a big fiasco at first. The Elders couldn’t find their copy of “Pig-Pen Mary” and we didn’t have one either. Sis M prepared a thing on first-aid & Sis C did one on cleanliness. So we just decided to do those two. Only the 3rd grade teachers didn’t want to let us do it. They looked for someone of “our own faith” to show us around. The librarian at the school is a member. Then the teachers wanted proof that we’d talked to the principal & had his permission. So we went to him & waited for him to type a permission paper for us and sign it. Our first presentation was a little boring. Only Sis M & C did anything. The second we all found something to do, only the teacher decided she wanted us to teach about good manners instead. So we did what we’d prepared, then E S & I taught about kabaitan (being nice). I taught them “Nais ko’y [magiging] mabait sa lahat” (“I want to be kind to everyone”) and it was a success.

Afterwards we went to Lam-Mars for lunch with the Elders and all pitched in for ice-cream and we ate a huge gallon of it. Then we were all sick. I puked and discovered ice-cream is the same coming out as it is going in. It was still cold. Sis [] tried to puke but couldn’t and just broke a blood-vessel in her face instead. Then she got mad at me because she was jealous.

We had a great day all together. Out of luck we taught a 1st to a wonderful woman that loved what she heard. We ran out of travel money so we walked to Labinab to the R’s new house where we decided to CS while we were waiting for Sis R to cook for us (b-day food) and we made a whole bunch of kids listen to us roll-play the 1st the new way we’re doing it, with all the scriptures. Then we ate only I gave Sis M the glass with the hot water that the spoons came in. I didn’t realize it was hot and she drank it anyway, then asked for some water that wasn’t hot. I asked if hers was hot & she said yes, then I realized what I’d done. Me & Sis C started laughing & Sis M asked if there was always one with hot water. I told her yes, that it was the one for the spoons and we all started laughing so hard we couldn’t stop for about 20 minutes.

When we finally left we were waiting for a trike and one came, but then we realized we had no travel, so we lied to the driver and told him we had a pupuntahan na malapit na nakalimutan namin (another place to stop that was nearby, that we had forgotten). We walked.