Monday, February 25, 2013

Enduring and enjoying the Journey

Dear Family,

It's Monday morning, the sun is shining, and it's super hot! Well, what can I say, that's the Philippines. So this is an interesting week. Elder Matamata and I are doing great. Let's just say that the gift of tongues is about as legit as anything on the face of the earth. I'm not fluent by any means, but holy cow, I've never felt the spirit more in my life. It's like words just flow out of my mouth and I don't know what's going on. I've heard it's like a free gift that comes from being a trainer, well a sister told me that, but who knows. It's way cool. I wish I could describe the feeling, but I can't. It's literally impossible. So it's been an awesome experience being a trainer. I know I'm still super new in the mission and totally not great at teaching or things yet, but with the Lord and with the Spirit, I know that all things are possible.
So here's a little story. So there are 3 families that are in our ward that live in Ward 1 boundary. (I'm ward 2). However, they go to church in our ward, so we visit them from time to time. I always thought this was an okay thing because people have been doing it forever. This week, that all changed. We're no longer allowed to visit those families that don't live in our area. The mission rules say you can't leave your area, but I thought we had an exception or something. Anyway, now, we can't visit them. The Verdeflor family, the Quiamco Family (the members), and the Ynayan family-- some of our favorites, but we're lot allowed to visit anymore. When we told them that, I was even sad. I'm not even leaving and I can see them at church and I was sad. It was so weird, because I didn't think I was that close to them, but I was sad. I can only see them once a week at church. It's sad, but we're going to be obedient. So that's that.
We've been trying to find a new house since we're supposed to move into our area. We still haven't found one. The houses are so, just, nasty around here sometimes, so it's super difficult but we're doing our best. Elder Ellis actually this week got a little smart, with the Spirit of course, and on Tuesday used it as a finding opportunity. "Just like, hey we're looking for a house, do you know anyone or anywhere?  When the door was opened, then we shared our message. It was totally cool. Also, we got a new investigator out of it, brother Romeo. 
Wednesday we had some zone training in Cadiz from the Zone Leaders, which gave us a lot of good feedback and offered new things that we should do in our work. It was a way good meeting. They had a meeting in Bacolod on Monday with President Lopez.   Sister Lopez shared 1Samual 15 with the Zone Leaders and then they challenged us to read it, so I did. This is talking about obedience and sacrifice about how it's better to be obedient than to sacrifice. It was pretty awesome to read and it really put a lot of things into my mind. I encourage everyone to read it. Simple orders that weren't followed... is actually quite a big deal to the Lord.
 Cadiz Zone meeting
 Elder Doane fell over

Bus ride to Zone meeting
Thursday was good. It was so sunny I wanted to literally just lay down in some sugar cane and take a nap. It was so hot, but we proceeded forth and worked hard. We got 2 referrals, but still haven't contacted them because they're under 18 and have school, so their schedule and ours conflict. So we're going to see this week what we can do.
Friday was a day from just, oh man, I do not want to relive that day ever. It begins as we were walking in Canetown, then to some cane field next to it, then to the golf course (the golf course is actually wayyyyy cool).  Apparently there are members that live by the golf course, I just don't know where all the houses are, so I asked a bunch of people and they told me a couple of different things.  Patiently we started walking straight on the golf course, cutting through whatever I could, and asking people. Anyway, long story short, we end up BACK IN CANETOWN where the whole journey started. Walked 3 hours, just to go in a GIGANTIC CIRCLE! I was just so angry, but, I wasn't going to show it or anything.  I was super upset, but we finally found the houses by the golf course and the way to get there is actually a complete different way than what we thought. Now I know. All the members that we were looking for, NOT THERE! All have moved and 1 died... So yeah, Friday, such a rough day.
 Golf Walking
Victorias Golf Club
Let's just forget Friday and move to Saturday, shall we? Saturday. AMAZING DAY! 6 new investigators in 1 day! Nice huh? We were so happy and I was just thrilled. Even though they live pretty far away, they seem to have a desire, but we'll see more in the coming weeks. The cool part is I've been dying to teach families. I'm just dying to teach a good, solid, family the gospel and then the Lord blesses us with 2 families in one day. I was so happy! So Saturday was an amazing day for us as missionaries.
Great and Spacious Building
Sunday was great too. Ryan, the recent convert, brought his sister to church yesterday, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and teach her at the church right after sacrament. It was a great lesson and she had some really good questions. It was nice to have Ryan there at the lesson and so, yeah, we were super happy. Ryan and her think were surprised because I had told Ryan we were going to teach him.  I've learned something, though, never turn down the opportunity to teach someone new.  We taught the restoration to her, gave her a Book of Mormon and assigned the "Pauna" (Introduction in Hiligaynon), and then Moroni 10:3-5.  We're hoping that she comes to church next week to we can follow up, see her, and teach her again.
This week has been a great week. It's been so hot and raining all week, but that's the life here in the Philippines. I hope that everyone back home is doing safe. The Lord knows us each individually and he cares for each one of us. No matter the trials that we go through, he knows them. He knows our insides and outsides and knows what's best for us. He will only help us, though, if we do our part and ask him for help and listen and obey his commandments.  I testify of that to y'all who are reading this. Reading and Praying are so important. I know this gospel is true and I love being a missionary and doing this work. It's hard, but I'm loving every minute and moment. With all the sad things, I learn how to overcome them, and learn how to be a better missionary. I've learned so much so far and I'm only going to learn more and more the next months.
I hit 5 months this week! WOW! That's crazy. Being a trainer is fun. No mail this week... so yeah, it's been a long week. Oh well, life is still good. Miss y'all back home, but keep on pushing through. I love you all and pray for y'all always. Keep being strong and steadfast in the Lord. Through the Lord, we can do all things.
Hypnotized lizard--thanks Mr. Marshall for teaching me this trick!  I'm using it ALOT!

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