Monday, May 22, 2017

"You raise me up!!!"... that one is a staple in a Filipino funeral...

Hello world!

This week was faster than..... something that's really slow! I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head, but it was a really awesome week!

On Tuesday we had a funeral and burial service we attended and it took almost the entire morning. It's so inconvenient when people die! I had a nice reminder of how different funerals are in the Philippines. We met at the church and had a bunch of speakers that talked about the plan of salvation, so that part was pretty much the same, but after that they put the coffin in the hearse and we all had a funeral parade from the the church on the way to the cemetery where everyone walks really slow in the middle of the road behind the car and holds up traffic like crazy. The Hearse always plays really loud music like, "You raise me up!!!!!" that one is a staple in a Filipino funeral, but I had my own music going through my mind. "The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out..." hahahaha When we got to the cemetery they took the coffin out of the hearse and carried it to the man's final resting place. You need to know that here they don't bury their dead. They just build a cement/brick box around the coffin. It's actually good in a way. Instead of being buried next to your loved ones, you can be put on top of them. This man's wife had already died so they build on top of her cement box another box, and put this guys casket on top. Some people go up to 3 or 4 stories. It's pretty creative, but sort of more creepy too! So that was an exciting thing that happened. 

Also we went to Puerto twice last week. The first was on Thursday for our Puerto District Coordination meeting. The very last one ever! Because next month it'll be Puerto Stake Coordination. That leads me into the reason for the second trip to Puerto. It was on Saturday and Sunday for the first ever Stake conference on Palawan! Way awesome! I now am in Roxas ward, not branch. I'm so happy to be able to witness this historical moment! Elder Bowen was the member of the 70 that presided and he gave a talk at the end that was the coolest. He talked about how inside of the stake that was just created there is another stake that could be made out of all the less-active and prospective elders. He really emphasized the importance of member missionary work. The spirit was so strong. Elder Bowen gave a talk in General Conference about 5 years ago that was super cool too. You should find it and watch it, because he is so amazing! After Stake conference, Roxas zone had interviews with Pres. Ostler which went until about 6:00, so we didn't get home until almost bed time. We basically got home, changed into our Pajam-jams, ate some peanut butter-jelly sandwiches and went to sleep. It was a long day, but a great day none-the-less!

Between my trips to Puerto on Friday we had our investigator, Jocelyn, interviewed for her baptism, so that'll be happening this weekend. Our ward has 4 baptisms this Saturday, so we are way happy for that. I can think of no better way to celebrate our new-found ward-hood than a few saving ordinances!!! So yeah. All is well in Roxas! Roxas prospereth! All is well!

Mahal ko po kayong lahat!

Elder Fawson

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