Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 70: Cruising with Missionaries, Consequences of Split Second Decisions, and Receiving Temple Endowments

Fun stories of crashing and jeepneys and angry old women

First I owe an apology that I did not write a family email last week! I thought I had 2 hours but we randomly got assigned to leave so I just had to leave! Hope you still love me because I still love you :) Thanks for the recording Dad! You're the best! :) For the record I did record this week :) So don't you worry chap :)

Well, first news is about the monthly Mission Leadership Council that transpired this last week. So we had all the Zone Leaders sleep at our house the night before and the following morning I was traveling to the Mission Home with a van full of missionaries... Well, I was following behind a jeepney, the most common public transportation system in the Philippines, and something dreadful happened. First, to understand - a jeepney is like a long truck with an opening in the back and 2 parallel benches that can seat anywhere from 10-20 people in the back. It just stops in the road whenever a passenger would like to ride... So I was just cruising in my white van, bumping some crazy Mormon Tabernacle Choir, when I notice a lady raise her hand to stop the jeepney. The jeepney immediately in front of me was about to pass the hopeful passenger and proceeded to SLAM on his brakes! I had 2 options: 1. Slam on the brakes and get smashed by the semi truck following me closely in the rear and fly into the jeepney in front of me... or 2. Swerve with the house cat reflexes into the left lane with a car speedily approaching but at my 8 o'clock position... I chose number 2.

And because we prayed before we know what happened?? :):) None of us died... but we hit the car in the left lane..bleh... So the lady comes flying out of her car with her husband yelling all manner of blasphemies at my window. I was in shock and about 5 seconds later I noticed they were yelling at me in Tagalog. I rolled down my window and said, "Are you hurt?" they said they were fine then continued gibbering in Tagalog, I then said, "Calm down, stop talking and listen to me." It was actually kind of funny, I meant to be nice but it came out really angry and rude...  I got out of the car and assessed the damage. My companion Elder Mabalot took the other missionaries to the mission home and left me with Elder Antoni, who like saved me. Anyways the husband in the car I hit said the damage would be around 5000 pesos. There quite literally was a dent the size of a quarter and some scuffed paint... I responded by saying I would give him 200 pesos... He didn't like that  hahaha. Anyways, there happened to be an auto body shop just up the street. We went as a group and got the estimate. They said 2000 pesos... I then just wanted it over and done with so I pulled out some stack of paper and handed them 2000 pesos. The angry couple saw the money and changed lol...The lady like grabbed my hand and started kissing it and apologizing and then started asking about the 'Mormons' lol... I just tell myself because of the accident, that family will get baptized so that hole in my pocket of 2000 pesos doesn't hurt so bad...

Elder Mabalot, Elder Watkins, President and Sister Clark, et al
I then had to proceed to our MLC and present the training after this dramatizing experience... and I was contemplating how to tell President Clark about the incident... It was a very stressful morning to say the least... By the way when I told President Clark what happened he just asked if anyone got hurt. I said no, and then he just laughed and said "Good, it's all over!" We told some jokes about the crash and that was the end of it! A much better ending to what I thought would result in severe chastisement and even reprimandment of my driving privileges :)

So I just got back from Manila. We left this morning at 5AM and just got back and it is 430PM now. And we are now just at the mission office waiting for another sister to arrive to take her to the other side of the mission and then come back. So we will probably leave at 5 and then get back at around 7PM. So it was quite the busy day of driving everywhere. Then this Wednesday, I will head back to Manila again! But this time for an exciting reason. Sister Nela Francisco from my first area is receiving her endowments along with her older brother and sister! I am way excited for them and also for the great blessing to be able to be present at their endowment :) That will definitely be the highlight of the week, if not one of the highlights of the mission.  Helping people progress to the covenant of baptism is amazing, but to know that they have continued their growth over one entire year and are now ready to enter the House of the Lord is amazing! And yes mom...I will take pictures haha :)

Well I love each of you so much!!! Have a fantabulous week! :)

Elder Watkins
Suited up and ready to play
Elder Monroe, Elder Watkins, and Elder Gomez

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