the Itak family: We found this family buying our own machetes for service projects that we encounter very frequently. The father is straight Ilokano (which is the regional dialect here and is very different than the national dialect which I learned in the MTC, which is Tagalog. Kind of like an Elder Calhoun moment, "That's not the language they taught me in the MTC!") Because of the language barriers, we had a very interesting bout of lessons initially... until we found out that his sister is an active member in the ward! We didn't know initially because his sister is married and thus has a different last name, which is the name we know her by. We recruited this sister, and she also needs some prayers. She herself is faithful and is only a convert of about a year, but her children and husband who were baptized at the same time as her are pretty steep into less activity. We're visiting her family as well, but that's a completely different battle. I'll call this sister, Sister Abo. The Itak family is interested but it's a struggle getting an appointment with them. The culture of the Philippines is very different than back home. Very few people here have a western concept of "an appointment" down. The Philippines culture about meetings and schedules is called "chamba chamba" which basically means "you can come over any time you want. If I'm here, I'm here, if I'm not, I'm not." It's very hard to get people to commit to a specific time or day, and sometimes they aren't even there when they do so.
The other group is the Kubo sisters. They need some prayers in the way that they need more desire.
I love you all back home. Keep emailing me!
Elder Mikesell III