Monday, October 13, 2014

My First Area

I just arrived after a long trip from the MTC to my mission home in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.  My mission president's name is President Barrientos. His sister used to served in Philippines-Baguio Mission the same time as my Dad. It's a small world after all!

My mission president is cool and awesome. First thing he asked me to do  is to go and clean my apartment. Ouch!

My first companion and trainer's name is Elder Aribbay. His father served the same mission and time as my Dad! Immediately, we have a connection as his dad and mine has similar personality. Now, I really believe that the world is getting smaller! Hahaha...

It was a long and sleepy ride to my first area - Banna! It is one of the small towns of Ilocos Norte. Its population is only more or less than 20,000. Its main trade are tobacco and garlic. Oh my, what a challenge!

The town is quite and most people stays at home most of the day. I was told that most of them are farmers but the people here are nice and kind.

According to legend, Banna had pre-hispanic origin. It was a prosperous village, inhabited by Tinggguian settlers, located in the eastern part of Ilocos Norte. It was ruled by a chieftain named Banna. Whose wisdom and courage united and emboldened his people. It was said that when the Spanish colonizers tried to Christianize the village, Banna resisted. He fought the Spanish priest. The Tingguians were defeated, but managed to escape with their chief. What was left of their settlements was consequently turned into a Spanish town, with a parish priest and native local officials. In honor of its former pre-hispanic ruler, its inhabitants preferred to call their new Christian village, Banna.

Though small, Banna is a progressive town. Rice, garlic, cotton and beans and other vegetables are its principal cash crops. As for its home industries, the town is famous for its woven Ilocano blankets, bathrobes, bed spreads and pillow cases, which are highly priced in Manila as well as the neighboring provinces.

Our apartment is nice but needs a lot of cleaning. There are a lot of spiders and stuffs that needs to be cleared away. We are four missionaries living in the same apartment.

We went to visit our investigators and they're very receptive to our message. But there's one thing that can't get off my head is the fact that one investigator is still scared of her mom even though she's old enough to decide for herself to have her agency to be baptized.

The only challenge I have for now is using "Tag-lish" or "Tagalog-English" in my teachings. My tongue tends to twist and I get confused with what I'm saying. Hahahaha... but I know I'll get used to it. I'm praying hard for that.