Thursday, December 26, 2013

November 17. 2013 - Death of a friend and using American Sign Language.

November 17, 2013

I am still having technical difficulties due to viruses and computer compatibility issues so I am looking for another way to get pictures to you. 

This last week was way crazy and a lot of stuff has happened. First of with the huge storm and the Tacloban Mission being wiped out we received 16 missionaries into our mission this week and 4 into our zone. None got added to my companionship but it was still crazy! The Storm was a lot bigger than I thought. We heard from our mission president that it is flat there and that nothing was left standing... except the Missionaries apartments! They all lost stuff.  Some apartments were flooded but all the missionaries were safe in their houses. The Lord truly is watching over his Missionaries and keeping us safe.

Regarding where I am, this week was very hard for our ward because this last Tuesday one young man, who was 21 years old, died in an accident. He was coming home from a school project driving his moped.  He tried to pass a car but didn't see some road construction that was going on. He hit a road barrier went over his handle bars and flew into the next road barrier and it split his head in half.  Something that made it more sad is we were told that if he had been wearing a helmet, he would maybe only have been knocked out but he would still be alive. So this week we have been going to services for him. He was an awesome guy. I have known him the whole time I have been here. Its way sad. He was just about to finish school and then go on a mission. I guess the Lord needed him a little sooner and needed him somewhere else. It is sad but the ward really became closer through it.

Well now on a happier note. Elder Moreno and I were walking, it was late about 8, and we were on our way home. But, we felt prompted to go visit a less active member before we went home. We went to his house but he hid from us and wouldn't talk to us. My companion and I were both way confused and I was a little upset. As we were walking back we passed some drunk people and one of them stood up and started making weird hand signals... Then I realized that he was signing in American Sign Language to us. I was way surprised. I walked over to him and started signing with him. 2 things happened in our conversation. I realized I had forgotten a lot of my sign language and that he was born in Hawaii and he had been baptized when he was 10 years old. He said he has been deaf his whole life and had family here in the Philippines who he is visiting. I asked him about the drunk people he was with.  Two of them were his brothers that were born in the Philippines. He hated when they drank and wanted to share the Gospel with them, but he couldn't speak and they didn't know sign language.  So, we received 4 referrals from him and are teaching their families.  One family is showing potential. I was very grateful for that opportunity to know sign language and be able to talk with this man and help his family receive this gospel. Never in my life did I expect to use my sign language in the Philippines but I just did this last week. It was a week of many emotions and events. I am very grateful to be here and helping these people. I am also thankful for all of these experiences and different things. This Church is true!!  It is the only way to true happiness!!

Also, we have a giant rat in our roof above where we sleep.  It has walked away with 2 sticky traps stuck to it.  We can hear him dragging them around sometimes.

Gotta love it here:) Love you guys!

 Elder Ball

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