Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Monday, January 5, 2015

Serving the People as Often as Possible: Paglalaba!; Merry Christmas to you all!

Sun 12/21/2014 11:20 PM

Merry Christmas to you all!

This week has been fun with all of us focusing on the "He is the Gift" message the church is putting out this Christmas. People are really receiving the message! I have just a good feeling that many people are going to be listening to the missionaries in the coming months.

My new companion, Elder Amante.
When I came to San Juan, I told everybody that I really wanted to serve the people as often as possible. To my surprise, we had two and a half service projects this week. The "half" one was carrying some stuff in the church from a car, but the other two were "paglalaba" or washing clothes. We went to the house of our now recent converts (as of yesterday) and washed all of their clothes, Filipino style. In my mission, I usually go to a laundry place to get my regular clothes done, so I didn't have too much experience. Elder Amante was kind enough to teach me the proper way, which leaves clothes super fresh and stain free.

This is the second time we washed clothes.  I don't think you can notice it here, but I kinda got scabs on my hands from washing clothes so much!  They weren't too bad, though.  The Filipinos were polite enough not to comment. 
This picture is of the kids whose clothes we were washing.  They thought it was a little weird that we would wash their clothes, but thanked us for it.
This man wants to draw a portrait of me.
At the end of washing clothes
At the end of washing clothes, minus Elder Thurber
Elder Torida
On Friday, we visited an investigator who just got back from vacation, and struck up a conversation with a lady washing her clothes, and offered to help the next morning. She stared at us a little and said sarcastically "Suuuuree--why not? I'll have you wash clothes tomorrow." We continued talking with her and set up the schedule until she said "Serioso kayo?" She welcomed us the next morning, and then got to teach a ton of people after washing clothes.

This fire happened right outside of the apartment where I had gone on an exchange. 
 We had Angel and Althea get baptized on Saturday! As you notice in the pictures, they're super tiny. They also are extremely funny. Elder Amante baptized Althea, and I baptized Angel, the shorter one. I had to bend down quite a bit to be low enough for me to baptize her. Everybody in attendance had a good laugh due to the height difference. Angel's reasoning was that she "just wanted an American to baptize her.”

Our baptismal clothes were too small, not so for the girls.
At the end of the baptism, we went upstairs to join the whole Manila Mission on the mainland for practice for the choir that night. It was a very sweet opportunity but it was so tiring! We had some huge technical difficulties with the Ostler's speakers and piano suddenly stopping working, sending us to a mall to get some supplies and borrowing the ward's electric piano. 

We talked (while wearing Santa hats) all around the plaza from about 7-8:30 while a choir fest was going on. Lucky for me, it was in our area, so my email inbox right now is full of referrals for us to contact this week, due to other missionaries opening their mouths to those in the area who are interested in the message.

Elder Thurber and Elder Amante before the performance with our red ties
The actual performance went great--hopefully. Although I was at the piano, I could barely hear it due to the sound system. The whole group of roughly 200 people (including members) came. We feel it was a miracle that it stopped raining right before we started singing, bringing people to come close to the 120 missionaries singing "Joy to the World" "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and a Filipino song, "Pasko Na Naman" (it's Christmas again).  We got home at around 11,  exhausted but grateful so much good was done.

Have a great Christmas! I'll be sending you more singing reports next Monday!

Elder Thurber

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