I miss you all. Thank you so much for the emails and support. greatly appreciated. Its been a great week in the Philippines. New experiences galore. I sometimes feel like Jack from Tim Burton's Nightmare before Christmas, when he enters Christmas world and has no idea what anything is, because he lives in Halloween land. He sings a song called "whats this! whats that!" Sorry for the analogy if you've never seen the movie, its just what pops in my head, and I have to hold myself back from breaking out in song. And no, i'm usually not the Thespian type.
You know, God sure got creative when he was decided what fruits he wanted to place here. Some fruits taste like beef jerky, and others taste like perfume. I even tasted this mango that had the consistency of a carrot, peeled like a cucumber, eaten like an apple, yet tastes like a mango. It confuses me every time. Oh there is this fruit, when I opened it up, it looked like there was a giant larva living inside it. Come to find out, you actually suck on the larva thingy. Creeps me out, especially the texture, but its actually pretty delicious.
SO I found this smell that I think could get any prisoner of war to talk. If the U.S. Government doesn't already use it, they need to. I first came in contact with the life threatening smell, when it entered my own home. I was caught off guard and unarmed, causing me to run around the house frantically, sticking my head in the fan, and considering jumping out the window. The worst part about it, was the the smell was actually invited in by my companion cooking. The awful gut wrenching, secret telling, smell is actually a certain dried fish. My house mates tell me that all the delicious foods here are the stinky ones, so I guess my nose needs to get used to the culture as well.
I tell you these things so you can get a little glimpse as some of the unique things I encounter each day. For example, I want to tell you about last Thursday, when we went to do "yard work" for an investigator. Considering they live in the middle of the jungle, and they tell me my job is to sweep outside, you can imagine my confusion. I was handed some branches, a pat on the back, and a push in a direction. So I started pushing the dirt and leaves around, with my couple sticks, really trying to make some sort of difference. I often looked around for someone to start laughing and tell me the prank was over, yet no one did. SO when I felt like I had stirred the jungle up a fair amount, I exclaimed I was finished and they told me I did a wonderful job, and gave me a mango as a reward. I looked back and the jungle looked the exact same to me.
Well, on a more spiritual matter, I witnessed a miracle this week. We have been teaching the Vasquez Pamilya, they are a young family, sister is 18 and brother is 24. They have new born twins. The first time we taught them, they seemed to have a lot on their plate, and little time to listen. Sister had a horrible eye infection, and she had boils all over her eye lids. Before we left their home, in the closing prayer I asked God to heal Sister Almira's eyes, and rid her from the infection and pain. I didn't know if anyone understood me, but I felt like God knew what I meant. When we visited them again for the second lesson, Sister seemed much more interested, she read the pamphlet we gave her, and she even prayed. We were extremely impressed with her efforts, considering her lack of interest before. She informed us that when we left her home, after the first lesson, within a few hours her eyes had completely healed. An infection that would have taken several days, possibly weeks to heal, took a couple hours. She said she believes its because I asked God to help her. I'm am filled with gratitude towards God for answering prayers and giving her an extra boost of faith to help her testimony to start growing. God is wonderful and so a his miracles. It also gave me a boost of faith to realize that God wants to give us blessings, all we have to do is ask for them, and if its His will, He will grant it unto us.
He have also been teaching a man named Gener. He first came upon him when he was sitting upon a crumbled wall, drinking his life away. He mentioned to us he considered suicide. We have been meeting with him as often as we can, and each time my heart breaks. His home is made up of only a couple blankets and pieces of tin. Each time we teach him, I feel Gods love for him overwhelm me. Its really neat to feel it, and I cant stop expressing how much God cares for him. Its hard sometimes to express, because usually with other people, they have tangible evidence proving Gods love. Gener is 53, never been married, no children, cannot find work, his parents and siblings are all dead. He has absolutely nothing. I don't even know how he eats, and he is always in the same outfit. I just want to cradle him in my arms and tell him everything will be okay. I wish I could take him home with me. He is progressing quick though, and I think its because his heart is so soft. I'm so glad I met Gener, shows that the gospel is for everyone, even the town drunk.
Anyway, much love, the church is true. Thats for sure.
Sincerely, Sister Hancock