Elder Grow has been ill for over a week and is confined to his apartment. Sister Puzey (the mission president's wife) thought he might have a type of stomach flu. He is in good spirits, laughing and joking but is anxious to get out and work. His new companion has only been serving about three months and is enjoying Elder Grow's poor health because he has a keyboard from the church and can practice his piano playing (he was worried he would not have any time during his mission to practice!)
The city of Anao (pronounced An now' ) where Elder Grow serves is in the Tarlac area. He arrived there on May 5. Here is a link to a google map: http://www.maplandia.com/
You can zoom in and see the houses and the street names! Since Elder Grow has not been able to get around the city, he is not exactly sure where in the city he is located! He thinks he is close to the Cuyapo side of Anao. Anao has a ward but there is no chapel yet, it is being built. If you are interested in learning about this city visit Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Of course we had Elder Grow on speaker phone, so when Dad asked him to speak in Tagalog we all heard him. I must say, he speaks quickly and confidently. We were impressed. Many words in the Philippines are Spanish words and many Filipinos have Spanish ancestry. Elder Grow also has some Spanish ancestry and the people have noticed how his hair, eye color and skin tone is similar to theirs. But they don't understand why he has such a long nose! You would think his height would be the most noticeable difference, but no, it's his nose.
What new adventures in eating has he had? Dog. He said it tasted VERY good. How was it cooked? Adobo, of course! Actually there is a law against cooking dog, but some people do it anyway.
What made Elder Grow laugh the most during our conversation? Our "American accents" as we tried to pronounce the names of cities or streets or anything else Filipino. He thought Ryan's idea of naming the twins "Luke and Leia" (if they are a girl and boy) was very funny. (Uh, I don't think Chelsea was laughing!) What made us laugh? When I asked if he needed us to send him anything, like razor blades for instance, he replied, "No, I have about 10. That should last me to the end of my mission." Wondering how 10 blades could last 5 months, Ryan asked, "How often do you change blades?" The reply: "About once a month." Ryan's retort: "yeah, I guess you can do that when you only shave your upper lip and chin!" Then, surprise..."hey, I've got hair growing on my cheeks now... kind of blotchy.. but yeah, I shave [more than he used to]." The Grow brothers aren't really good at growing full beards or even sideburns!! So we had to laugh at Elder Grow's new found whiskers.
What does he expect when he returns on October 19th? Well, before he leaves the Philippines, he should arrive in Manilla on the 18th and hopes to go to the temple there. He will leave the Philippines on the morning of the 19th and arrive here on the 19th due to crossing the International Time Line. He is looking forward to: Mountain Mike's Pepperoni pizza for dinner, A big birthday party with bar-b-qued food, and beef that doesn't come from a dairy cow! He has often written that he really misses In and Out burgers. Oh, and he hoped the twins would not be born on his birthday... not his actual birthday... the day of his birthday party!!!
Ps to Jordan-- Thanks for receiving the call and conferencing us through!!