Oh my goodness, no rice terraces ): Our president made a change. No more district or zone activities. EVER. And no more than 4 missionaries in a public area at the same time, ever. No more than 4 missionaries of the same gender to do an activity together (which means elders with elders and sisters with sisters only), and no more than 2 hours for an activity. I'm so sad that I won't be able to go to the rice terraces ever on my mission, but I do sustain my mission president and so I sustain his decisions, because I know that he receives inspiration from the Lord. BUT, on the bright side, all the youth in the branch (especially Sister Reina she knows of all these cool close places) say they will take me and my companion to cool places every M. What is really funny is that in Bambang, everyone likes to hike up to this one mountain in town, because there is a big cross at the top, and you can see the whole town hahaha. So I told them we are going there and that we have the same thing in my town too, called Table Rock, haha.
The good news is we had a lot of our investigators come to Church with us yesterday (we had 6 investigators!) and I'm becoming really good friends with our Branch President's kids. Which is nice, because they live right next to us, and their daughter who is 19 is like my favorite person here. They love to teach me Tagalog, and I can understand most Tagalog and a fair amount of Ilokano. But speaking both is something I still need to try really hard to do. I can do it, but it doesn't flow easily yet.
They feed us all the same foods you usually make for us, haha. Lots of soups and stuff with rice, and lots of Adobo. Chicken adobo. Pork adobo. And lots of coconut juice, which is so good, haha. At our house, I just have lots of little snacks. Lots of ramen noodles. Lots of juices that I like to drink. Lots of eggs. Corn beef. And LOTS of peanut butter. I just have peanut butter whenever I need a snack, haha. I was getting headaches, and one of the nanays in the branch told me to eat two bananas a day. So whenever she sees me, she always gives me a banana, haha. But I have bananas and mangos I always eat at our house and I have a banana and some peanut butter whenever I need a snack haha. Mostly if me and my companion want real food we will cook rice and then go to one of the little shops next to our house and buy a serving of whatever food they have cooked and put out (usually adobo).
I'll send you pictures of our whole zone and also of our little house (it'll be the blue one) and its also really funny our "neighborhood" is called the homestead, haha. We have families in the branch who feed us on every F lunch, F dinner, S dinner, S dinner, which is really funny.
But you'll never guess what's the cool thing... Most people in our branch know of this brother who was in this area, right? And he lives in a town a little further now, because he just got married. But our landlord who lives in the little apartment connected to ours asked me if me and this brother are related, because he is from Bacolod. And so, I asked his name and it's Jomel Delector, and his mom is a Dumada-ug, haha. And while we were talking about that our land lords wife (the Palacio family, they feed us every Snight), she asked what my mom's last name was. So I told her Dumada-ug, and she was like, "Hey, my companion on my mission was a Dumada-ug." And I was like, no way, that's so cool! what was her name, I asked, and she said her name was Joy-Ann Dumada-ug, so we laughed a lot and I told her that that's my aunt. And she had pictures of them together and she showed me!
It was so cool, and even though overall it was a hard week, I love this work and I especially love these people. Every person here. I love and miss you guys!!!