Sunday, January 25, 2015

My week


Tuesday- Today we got up and headed over to Burgos for district meeting.  I taught about effective commitments and the simple principles of effective finding.  Elder and Sister Morgan were in the district meeting and they make everything really easy for me because they like to talk.  We also found out they have an investigator who lives here but is from England.  He's been taught for years by the missionaries but has never come to church so we based the lesson off him and role played scenarios of committing him to come to church.  It was a really good lesson.  This week President Rahlf sent a lesson to all the district leaders that we are supposed to teach this Thursday but the thing he wants us to teach is about commitments and it's basically the lesson I taught last week so we'll see how it goes.  
We also had splits with the Zone leaders here in Burgos.  I split with Elder Evitt.  We worked in their area here in Burgos.  It was a good split and we had fun talking to a whole bunch of people.  It's pretty easy to talk to people when you're the only two white dudes they've ever talked to.

Wednesday- We left the Zone leaders apartment pretty early because we had a service project in our area with the Basillo Family.  When we got to our area we took a long Kuliglig (I sent you a picture of a kuliglig before with the guy smoking) ride out in the middle of the bukid.  We got off and then walked on a narrow pathway out in the bukid to a bahay kubo(House made out of bamboo and grass).  I asked the lady what we were going to do and it turned out she wanted us to bless their rice.  I didn't bless their rice or anything because they started feeding us and then the next thing you know we all packed up and rode the kuliglig home.  It was pretty weird and probably the only service project where I've come back really full.  Basillo also gave us a referral of three little girls Jenelyn, Judilyn, Juvielyn.  We've taught them a couple of times but we need to get their parents active if they are going to be baptized.

Thursday- Taught only a couple of lessons today because everyone right now has a job harvesting rice.  We taught one of the recent converts here about the importance of the Sabbath day.  She said she would come but sadly we didn't see her on Sunday.  I'm beginning to think she was baptized just so her baby could get a baby blessing at the church.  We had dinner tonight at the Basillo families house.  They cooked us frog they caught in the bukid and adobo'd it.  It tasted really good but the way they prepared it was a little sketchy.  They grab them from a really dirty bucket with mud, frog and eel slime and then cut them up, rip off the skin and then throw them back in the same bucket.  We still ate it though because I've seen way worse.

Friday-We weekly planned today.  Went out again and got punted from every where.  We walked around the whole area.  One of our investigators, Norra Agub fed us dinner tonight.  It was good and they seemed really happy to have us eat there.  After we finished eating they invited us back the next night to eat again!  

Saturday- Got up and headed over to the sisters area in Gamu for a baptism.  I picked up the mail or pouch from their apartment and got the CTR rings and a letter from Grandma Newman.  Thanks so much for the letter and the rings!  The members here got so excited!  I gave all of them out to members and some investigators and then the next day everyone at church was wearing them!  One Nanay said that now she'll always remember me because of the ring.  We ate again at Norra Agubs house.  Her husband was drunk and invited us back the next night to eat! haha

Sunday- Church was good today. We had lunch at nay Olgas house and then went to work.  We got a couple lessons and we had some people fellowship with us. 

Today- We just found out who is getting transferred from our area it's my companion.  Pretty excited to get a new comp to freshen things up!  We also have been having a hard time lately with food because our fridge broke, toaster and our gas ran out.  If we wouldn't have had the dinners we probably would have died. No joke.   

Kami ay sobrang masipag

This week was the definition of hard work.  We were teaching people left and right and talking to not everyone we saw but a lot of the ones we saw so it's all good.  We finally met the mission goal this week of 30 lessons in one week.  It was pretty epic to get the 30th lesson!  Right as we said amen for the 30th lesson we shook tatay Antonino's hand and said "Congratulations you are the 30th lesson!"  It was pretty funny and it was also a really good opportunity to serve because he told us he has no food.  So we ran over to the nearest tindahan and bought him some sardines and 1 kilo of rice.  When we gave it to him you could just see his face light up.  It was awesome!  He was speaking ilicano so I don't really know what he was saying to us when we gave him the food but I understood one word he said and it was, agyaman, which means thank you.

This week was a great week with Brother Valdez also.  We taught him on Tuesday about the plan of salvation and when I did a little lesson overview of what we were going to teach he said, "this is what I've always been looking for."  I was kind of shocked and he could tell I was shocked so he said again, "No, I'm serious.  This is what I've always been looking for."  The next lesson we shared about our purpose here on earth and then I extended a baptismal invitation.  He is getting baptized if he is ready on February 7.   

Hopefully this next week is just as good as last week.  My comp and I are pumped right now and this is probably also our full last week as comps because it's transfers next week so we've gotta do our best this week.
Well that's all I've got this week.



Chicharia.  This is what we eat when we take breaks during our studies.

Kids riding their bike

Our next door neighbor who is always going through our trash looking for food.

This week was just packed with opportunities to use the priesthood. We went back to one of our farthest areas in Pintor and Rizal this week after a while of not going there because we've been super busy and haven't had much time. When we got there we went to Brother Ben our recent convert and it was a really sad sight.  He's been in and out of the hospital for the last month or so and now is confined to a small little room at his house.  We walked in his room and talked to him for a while and how he's doing.  He then asked for a blessing and
we were more than happy to give him one.  We didn't see him at church this week because he's still not feeling well but please pray for him to get feeling better.  

The priesthood authority we have been given is amazing.  We have to same authority that Jesus Christ had when he created the earth.  It blows my mind sometimes at the power we have. 

We had a sweet lesson this week with Brother Roy Valdez.  After weeks basically of no progression we shared with him the ten commandments in Mosiah chapter 13 and this was the one thing that he finally connected
with.  He just kept saying "Elders I get it now."  It was freaking awesome and we were just hoping he would stay true to his word and come to church.  Yesterday when he actually showed up to church I kept blinking and rubbing my eyes because I honestly couldn't believe he was actually there.  We haven't met with him yet to ask him what he thought.

The area right now is doing really well and we're starting to get fed a lot more by the members.  We actually got fed five times this last week!  There can be miracles when you believe! haha  The other day during one of the dinner appointments while eating I felt super sick and ran out to the road and threw up all over.  When I walked back in i made sure to let them know it wasn't because of their cooking.  I told them my stomach had been hurting all day and then they told me I probably had cold stomach.  They think because I ate bananas in the
morning I got cold stomach.  Lot's of weird beliefs here.

Recently there have been a lot of less actives coming back to church. It's been awesome to look out over the chapel and see all the people you're teaching at church.  It's one of the best feelings and makesyou feel like a good missionary.

Love you guys!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Maligayang manibagong taon! (Happy New Years!)

This week was really really good!  The fact that we got fed this week and multiple times in one day was awesome.  New Years is the best here! 

For this New Years we had a lock down at 6 P.M. but President Rahlf said we could have all the Elders in the Burgos zone celebrate New Years in one apartment.  We had a really good dinner at the Branch Presidents house and then we watched what we thought was the "Son of God,but ended up being "The Bible." We didn't watch the whole thing because we decided to play card games instead and wait for,midnight.  When it hit midnight we went to the top balcony of the apartment and sprayed our sparkling cider every where.  One thing that was really sad was how there were hardly any fireworks!  We're in an area right now in the middle of nowhere.  There is absolutely nothing and no one could light fireworks because they can't afford to spend money on something like that.  While on top of the balcony we could see the sky lightening up but couldn't see anything because it was so far away.We also did the Maori haka dance because there's a Maori in our zone from New Zealand.
With it being the first week of the year we had a lot of people come to church today.  It was really sweet to finally see the people we've been teaching the whole time actually make a little progress and get to church.  We had a whole family officially come back from being in active in the branch.

We've also had a couple new investigators this week and one came to church and everyone fellow shipped with her.  Mom and Dad, I hope when you see some one who doesn't look that familiar at church you are always the first ones to go and shake their hand and have them come sit by you if they don't have any one to sit by.  When members actually know their purpose missionary work basically become the easiest thing in the world.  Our branch mission leader right now is a straight up stud and is working with us and referring a lot of people to us.  He has been a huge help and he is also getting the members to feed us. We had a dinner appointment last night and one tonight!  Life is good!

The other day President Rahlf told us on New Years to make goals and imagine where we want ourselves to be in one year.  When I imagined where I'd be it scared me pretty bad to think I'd be home and not a missionary anymore.  It's a terrible feeling to think that next year I wont be in the Pilipinas and teaching people the gospel.  

Love E.Tribe

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Catch up!

So I'm just going to keep this short and sweet so that I can talk to you on Christmas.  I found a place that is alright but it might be kind of loud so if it doesn't work out I can call you on the 26th.  

This week was really good mainly because we've taught so many people.  There really was no time wasted because of all the people we were teaching.

We had a new missionary get back in our area and he is more than ready to help us.  He's already he's going to take some of our investigators to church and also to the Christmas party.

I can't believe it's Christmas already.  The little kids here are caroling every where and asking for money.  We've been having a lot of fun acting like we're carolers when we show up to our members houses.

I'm super excited to talk to you on Christmas.  I'll really try to get to the shop early but it'd probably be really good if you called me in the morning just to make sure everything is all good.

Sorry I don't think I can really email everyone back today so hopefully talking to you will make up for it.

Love you!  

It was really good talking to you guys this week and to hear how everything is going back home.  I can't believe the next time I call I'll have less than a month left in the mission.  Also, I don't really miss home at all anymore.  I mean I miss you guys a little but I love it here.  The other day I just thought how close it really is getting for me to leave this place and a really sad feeling just came over me.  I don't want to leave.

The Christmas season here is a lot different than back home.  Almost no gifts here and no really big parties but you could see the people start to think of Christ a little more.  At church we had a lot of people attend and a lot of people also came to the Christmas party.  We met a lot and I mean a lot of less actives who decided to come to the party and we're going to go to all their houses this week!  With the Catholic church having the most members here in the Philippines, it was pretty cool to hear the church singing hymns every night and the bells chiming.

This last week on Christmas Eve we went caroling as a zone.  We would sing a couple of songs and then give them a Proclamation to the World wrapped in a bow.  It was kind of awkward too because every time we'd start singing the person would walk away and come back right when we finished singing and then they'd try to give us money.
That night we had a really good dinner in the Zone leaders area.  The food they fed us is called lechon baboy.  I'm pretty sure it's a delicacy here because when ever people talk about it here they always seem to be licking their lips.  Oh and lechon baboy is a pig that's been cooked in the ground.  I know we have it back home but I can't remember what they call it.  

The next day on Christmas day after calling you we came back to our area and gathered up the gifts that Elder Sefita's parents had sent them and then went around giving them out.  We gave the first gift to Patrick who Elder Sefita just baptized the other day.  Patrick was just a child of record baptism so we just had to baptize him and then the branch did everything else.  We took the next one to a little girl but because everyone is so much smaller in the Philippines all the stuff we gave ended up going to their older brother and sisters from what their parents said.  This week at church it was cool to see all the little kids wearing the things we had given them.  I also gave some people the tooth brushes you sent me and they were really happy and I also let them try the gushers and they all loved it.  The spirit of giving! haha

Well that's all that really happened.  I wrote this letter extra long because of what you said Tom Wood said about how my letters were getting shorter. Tell Tom I miss him too! haha
Just out walking the pig!

Thanks for the best package ever!

Videoke, and a lot of fish and pansit

At our Recent converts house in the middle of the bukid

Mahal ko kayo!