This week was pretty good. It’s been pretty busy because we’ve had quite a few meetings and there are always things going on in the office.
Something really strange happened to me the other day that I’ve never seen happen before in the Philippines. And it happened twice! So in my whole mission I have never seen anyone ever get pulled over… but last Saturday I got pulled over twice! The first time, we were trying to get to the baptism of Sister Latham's and Sister Tropia's investigator (I’m their district leader and their investigator asked if I could baptize her) when we got lost on the way. I made a right turn down a street like any other – two lanes, wide, safe – when up ahead I see a standing street officer waving at me. His body language was pretty casual so I thought nothing of it and waved back. When our car passed by him he yelled pretty loud and slammed on the hood of our car. I realized maybe I had made a mistake and decided I should pull over. He came up to the window and told me that it was actually a one way street! Even though there were two lanes and I was the only car on the road! They were doing some kind of construction and they had to temporarily make it a one way street. I told him that there was no sign and he told me there was. He pointed down the road a ways and I saw a tiny sign hidden behind a garbage can... pretty lame. Elder Ramirez told me, “don’t give him your license” hahaha then right after that, the officer told me to give him my license! Haha I showed him my license inside my wallet and he told me to take it out. I took it out and handed it over and he took it away and traded my license with a ticket. He told me that I needed to go to Quezon City Hall to be able to pay off the ticket and to also get my license back. I even offered to pay him off right there and then to see if he was corrupt! Haha he didn’t accept the bribe, however, and I was pretty bummed because I knew how much of a hassle that would be but I'm not going to lie, I was pretty excited to have to go to Quezon City Hall to have to try and retrieve my Philippines' drivers license. They were pretty nice though because they told me that they could give me a ticket for two things. One was disobeying traffic signs – which costs 350 pesos – and the other was going down a one way street – which is 1400 pesos. They decided to only give the disobeying traffic signs ticket and give me a break because I'm “a foreigner who can speak Tagalog” haha.
The second time I got pulled over that day was after the baptism and we were driving down EDSA when another street officer gave me some very confusing hand signs which I interpreted as “move forward”.. apparently meant “turn right” I moved forward and he pointed to the curb and told me to wait for him. It was about 6pm and EDSA was packed as usual so there was no where I could run. He came up and told me to give him my license.. for a second I had forgotten that I had gotten my license confiscated earlier and started fishing around my pocket for my wallet. I was super bummed when all of a sudden I remembered that I had no license! I told him pretty happily and he said why are you driving!! He seemed to be a bit more compassionate when I told him that I had just gotten it confiscated earlier because I was pulled over. He told me to be careful and to just get out of there haha.
I never ever thought I would get pulled over in the Philippines for driving, and in one day, it happened twice. It was pretty fun at Quezon City Hall too. Some pretty funny people and a pretty disorganized government system. All in all though this week was good. I really like the office and it’s a super cool experience. For example, getting pulled over and having to retrieve your license at Quezon City Hall!
September 25, 2015
Things are going so well right now! I'm so happy here in the office, I really feel like im a big help to the mission. Our days are spent mostly in the office and occasionally around the mission when we get assigned to do random tasks. I felt like at the beginning, there was no way i could ever be the office secretary. I thought for sure i would never be able to fulfill this calling. Bur right now I truly feel that I fully know how to do everything I'm asked to do. even though I only had about 4 days of training. I feel pretty confident and capable. T
To summarize my responsibilities, I'm in charge of all travel, all correspondences with other missions and ecclesiastical leaders of missionaries, processing all missionaries info into the computers, making appointments with the temple and a bunch of other things. Its really fun but slightly stressful at times. Every day we get to leave the office at 4 pm and go proselyting. The usual missionary schedule is 10am-12 pm proselyting, and then 2-9 pm proselyting so its a big decrease in proselyting time. Ofte times we need to take extra time in the office to finish the things we need to get done for that day so sometimes we don't get to go out at 4 o'clock. It can be hard sometimes. Our area is struggling right now meaning we are having a hard time finding people to teach. It's easy to blame that on our very limited working hours but we can still get a lot done. i actually love to go out proselyting after a long and stressful day in the office. It feels good to get outside and walk around. It feels good to sweat and talk to people. So its a huge blessing that were still allowed to work.
I do miss Elder Valencia's bicol express! It's a bummer because usually missionaries cook their own food in between proselyting hours for lunch, but because we're so busy in the office, we don't have any time at all to go home and cook food so we just buy ulam and rice at karinderias on the street. I like it too because they have some really good food most of the time but i do miss cooking. I'll get back into it when I get out of the office. The weather has been pretty hot as usual. Raining every so often but nothing too extreme. Driving is fine. I'm pretty safe on the streets as to not get in an accident. Everything is going really well here! I'm really happy and excited to keep working hard! I love you guys and hope everything is going well back home!
p.s. I think I hit my year mark next transfer? that's so fast!
pulled over and having to retrieve your license at Quezon city hall!