Monday, January 7, 2013

Missionary Life living with the District and Zone Leader

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello again from the Philippines. I hope my email finds y'all safe and happy. I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. What did everyone do? So this week has been very crazy, hectic, hot, humid, all of the above. This mission is hard haha. I'm not going to lie. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, but with the Lord all things are possible. So I'm still going hard and strong. This week was transfer week. I didn't get transferred, neither did Elder Doverte so we are still companions. However, we live with the Zone Leaders, Elder Lozada and Elder Pineda. (Both Filipinos). Well, Elder Lozada got transferred, however Elder Pineda didn't. So we were waiting to hear about his new companion. He never got one. He then received a phone call from the AP saying that he is now with Elder Doverte and I. So now I'm in a 3-some. Elder Doverte, Elder Pineda and myself, Elder Ellis. Elder Pineda is from Pampanga. No idea where that is. He's still the Zone Leader too. So I'm companions with the Zone Leader, so I get some privileges, not really, just kidding. We asked what happens to the zone leader area, they said now we're responsible for both areas. So now there is 3 missionaries, for 2 wards, one big city. It's not that big, but there are some very far areas. So we're trying to make plans to maximize our efforts and use time wisely seeing how now we have limited time in both wards. So things are going to be a little bit interesting this transfer, but wait things get better...

P-Day, did the usual things. Emailed y'all went and ate. Then we were at our house just chilling because it was raining and it was super hot to really do anything. It was also New Years, EVERYTHING was closed. Everything. New Years was bigger than Christmas. Then we received a text from the Couple missionaries, The Chin's. They're from North Salt Lake, Utah. Go figure. They're our mission nurses/doctors. Elder Chin is a pharmacist, and I forgot what Sister Chin is. Anyway, they're both doctors. They're also in charge of our mail, apartment checks (which we failed by the way, but they just gave us a warning. It's clean now), and for our area book updates. Anyway, they texted us and said, we have mail for you. I was like, I live with 3 Pinoy's there's no way mail is for them, just because they rarely get mail and it comes a different way than American mail. So I was like YES YES! haha. I love mail, if you can't tell. Hadn't gotten some in 2 weeks. So it was good. I got the package of notes from the Young Men and Young Women, that was so great to read. Send my thanks so much. There's also a return letter that I am sending today. There was also a letter from Courtney. So that was great to read. Grandma and Grandpa, I have not gotten your package yet, but I do receive all your emails. I just can't respond to them because I can only respond to family. I have written you hand letters though. Anyway can email me, I just have to respond via hand letter back. So it was good to get mail. Then we went to the Perez family for dinner and shared a scripture. That was fun. Then to the Villiases for another dinner, then to the Inayan's for another Dinner. so much food on New Years and Christmas. I didn't eat all the next day. Which is good because everything was closed anyway.

Tuesday we worked all day. But nobody was home or they were either busy. We were actually teaching a lesson, there was one member. Sister Ribon. She's been living in Hong Kong for the past 2 years. She met the missionaries there and was baptized. So now she has returned to live her again. None of her family is members so she wanted us to come over and say hello, and teach a lesson if time/spirit was right. So we went. Everyone was there. By everyone I mean her 6 siblings, nanay (mom), and then a bunch of children. Altogether I think about 12 people. I was like, yes, if we can baptize these people, wow, what a great blessing they'd be to the church. A whole family. So we started to teach. Ever so slowly, one by one, people started to leave. By the end of 15 minutes there were 2 people; Sister Ribon, and her sister who was sick and couldn't move. How funny!!! Oh, and she's also from Manila, not even from here and is going back to Manila, so that doesn't really help. However, you can never tell the future. Only the Lord can. So even if we just planted a seed, that's okay too. But she was super sick so we gave her a priesthood blessing. We hope that she better now. Then that night we went to the Pagaput Family for Family Home Evening. Super fun. They have a great family. They're also sealed in the temple. And just had a baby boy who is now Born in the Covenant, they call it here. It's a huge deal to be born in Covenant if your parents are sealed. I never really realized that blessing till I got here. The temple is so far for these people. A whole island away, but they show their faith and save and go to the temple to get sealed. What a blessing.

Terrible day. I wasn't feeling good. Elder Doverte wasn't feeling good. I always have a headache and I never know why. Even right now. I'm drinking plenty of water and I take Ibuprofen, I just never know the problem. It might just be the air or something here. The air here is pretty bad because of the Sugar Cane mill that we have. Victorias Sugar Company... Don't know if anyone's ever heard of that. So we only had one teaching on Wednesday because we both felt sick, however it was Sister Demandar. The one that recently just got sealed in the Cebu Temple. After that lesson Elder Doverte says to me, during that teaching I just wanted to cry. The missionaries who baptized her are so lucky. She's been faithful and now sealed in the temple. What a blessing. There's a huge problem here with baptizing people and then they go inactive. Thus this is a rescue mission. We keep track of how many less active families we teach, also recent converts. It's really different I have a feeling that a lot of missions, more work. WAY More FUN! right? Right! So congrats to the missionaries who baptized her. She's always been faithful and wow, how blessed she is to our ward. Her and Brother Demandar bore their testimonies in Sacrament yesterday. It was so nice. Brother Demandar started crying, the spirit was definitely there. Then we went to a dinner appointment from the Zone Leaders ward (ward 1- while Elder Lozada was still here), on our way home he received the transfer phone call. He wouldn't tell us anything till we got to the house. So when we got to the house, he told us that he (Elder Lozada) was transferring and now he's a trainer and that Elder Pineda would be with us till his new companion arrived. Well, as you know now, he's not getting a new one and now we're a 3-some.

Elder Lozada left in the morning and we said our goodbyes, then we had to decide how to work. We didn't know we were a permanent companionship this transfer yet, so we just decided to split the day into two and just teach our investigators. We taught a few of Ward 1 people, I don't really know anything about them yet, because well, I just found all this our like 3 days ago so I haven't built any relationships with them yet.

On Friday we were still wondering if we were a companionship for this transfer because Elder PIneda didn't get a new companion. So we called the AP and that's when he informed us that we were a 3-some and now were going to cover both areas. So I was like, alright, more hard work. So stoked!!! haha. I really am. So we moved his desk upstairs to our study room and now we talk and figure out our plan on how we want to work the area. We decided that Mon-Wed-Fri we work in Ward 2 area (my previous area), and on the Thurs-Tues-Sat we work in Ward 1 area (my new pick up area) and Sunday would be split between the wards. So this is going to be very exciting now.

This day we just decided to visit everyone who needed to come to church on Sunday and make sure that they were coming to church. So it was a busy day. We left and went to our way far area and just taught and walked, then taught and walked some more. So much fun! Then, we were walking to South Bacayan, which is an area in Cane Town to visit the Pagaput's and the Montano's. As we were walking, I had a piece of Ash fly in my eye. It wouldn't come out. I couldn't see and my eye was swelling fast. I couldn't get it out. Elder Pineda took my rag and I lifted up my eyelid and it was stuck under my eyelid. We got it all out and I have no damages. All is well. I just couldn't see for about 10 minutes after that. The ash is from the Sugar Cane factory, thus the town is called "CaneTown"

Church was great. We had an investigator at Church. Ryan. He's 23 and a school teacher. He lives so far away that he's super hard to teach because if we go there, there's no way to get back. So we teach him at the church. He accepted an invitation to be baptized. So we're looking forward to that one too. Also, we picked up a ward 1 investigators too. 1 should be baptized soon like next week. So I'll let you know how that goes. Then Elder Doverte received a text, "You are now the new District Leader" GREAT! So now I have a companion who is the district leader and the other is the zone leader and I'm training. This is so much fun! We went about an hour away to do a baptismal interview for Elder's in Fabrica, so far!

Well that's my week! Super fun. So much excitement. I love y'all back home. Don't forget about me haha. Can't wait to hear from you again.

Read your scriptures and say your prayers! Those are the 2 most important things. And remember, every member a missionary. Keep being active and preach the gospel no matter where you are or who you are. Love y'all.

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