Monday, February 11, 2013

Some Good....Some Bad


Dear Friends and Family,
Hello everybody! How y'all doing? From the sounds of some of the family emails that I received, everyone seems to be doing great. Sydney had a recital for gymnastics and senior night for Ashlyn was a success. I'm happy that you won your senior night. It's always nice to win that game. I remember my senior night when we destroyed North Summit. It was the perfect ending to a great basketball season. When you're a senior you'll understand Ash, haha, it's a lot different when it's your last game in your home gym for the rest of your life. So it's a really touching moment, especially when you win it. So I'm happy that you won. Ryan went to the MTC this week right? I got a dear elder from him and so that was great to hear from him. He seems to be super excited! He's going to be a great missionary. I hope the wedding of Lauren and Tyler went great! I heard that is was a success. I got the wedding invitation on Saturday. Thanks so much for sending it, the pictures looked great. I also got your Valentines package MOM :) So thanks so much. The ties are totally awesome. Oh, and the Body Wash and Shampoo&Conditioner are amazing, so thanks so much. Also, you can keep sending that stuff, because I shower twice a day so I'm always in need of it.  So whenever you send a package, you can put that in there if you wanna mom. haha. Thanks! I also got a lot of mail this week, like 4 dear elders from Courtney, one from Ryan, a letter from Elder Bice, a letter from my batch mate Elder Summers who's in IloIlo on his mission (just the next island over), and yeah, it was a great mail week actually. I love mail.

So you want to hear about the baptism? Let's just say this was the highlight of the week. I'm not going to say much about my week because it was just so bad, so I'm just going to talk about the good things. The baptism was amazing! It rained all morning and so it was so wet and stormy. Ryan lives so far, where there are only dirt roads and they all turned to mud, but that wasn't going to stop the work from going forward. He arrived safely and we were able to have a great and amazing spiritual baptism. His Uncle baptized him, which was awesome. After he was baptized, we asked him to bare his testimony. I just want to share a part of his testimony with you (So this is a recent convert, we've been teaching him for a month and a half and this is a quote from his testimony), "I know without any doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith was a prophet." Very simple phrase, but it punched me so hard, Elder Doverte too. What an amazing thing that came from him, in English! He's a school teacher so he speaks English, really well actually. The spirit was just so strong when he said that. He continued on to say how he knew this was the true church and it was restored. After this I just keep thinking of this other family that's in our ward who knows the gospel is true, members for over 40 years, and yet still don't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It is very sad to me. We asked them to pray about it last week and see if Joseph Smith was a prophet. When I followed up, I got chastised for asking! It was in a like grumpy old person yelling at me, sort of like the Charleston when the residents would claim they ordered something different or they didn't get something that they thought they should get. Oh, life is just so so funny.

Elder Doverte, Ryan, Elder Ellis
February 11, 2013
So here's a few more humerous moments: this same story happened 3 times this week, just with 3 different people. We have this list of everyone that's in our ward and their addresses. There are over 450 names on the list and only 80 at church. So do the math.... there are SO many less actives. So what do we do? We find them :) We go around the town were they live and their street, we have the street they live on. Then we ask people, 'hey do you know this person?" Then they say, "yeah here, or there" or whatever. We actually have an idea of where these people's houses are so we sometimes just go straight there. Then we ask them, "hey do you know (insert less active)." We know it's them and they say, "Oh, they're not here. Or, oh, they moved to Manila".  Our response is usually something like, "oh okay. We're just looking for them because we really miss them at church. If you see them could you tell them that we say hi and that we miss them." Anyway, 3 times this week the actual person we were trying to find said that they weren't home. It's really sad actually and it hurts my feelings. I mean, we're laboring and sweating in the hot sun trying our best to serve our brothers/sisters and then they just lie straight to our face. It's really frustrating sometimes. It's all just a trial for me I guess. Y'all know I hate denial or getting told no to things. It's really just something I'm going to have to get over. I've always been one to wants things to go the right way always, but I'm slowly realizing sometimes you just have to roll with the things the way they are.
This week we worked with our Bishop in trying to find some less actives too. On Thursday we went to a place that is so far out, it cost us 100 pesos each to ride on a tricycle to get there--all dirt road and all sugar cane fields. Literally nothing out there guys. I have no clue how they ever got baptized, went to church or anything--- it's soooo far. It just shows their dedication I guess, but now they're less active, most of them. Our Recent Convert, Ryan, lives even farther than where we were, so it really shows dedication on his part. There are actually a lot of members that live out in this area too so it was fun to visit, but still so far out and we didn't get a chance to teach a lot of people because it's so far and we did a lot of walking. Our numbers this week are pretty bad because of that. We've been trying to reach out to the inactives in far places this week, so it's been a rough week. However, all is still well.
I hope that America is going great. I hear that there is so much snow. I miss it so much and I love the snow. Of course the year that I leave, the ski season is amazing, go figure. Oh well, I've been out almost 5 months now, sort of crazy and I can't believe it. Time is still playing with my head. Still feels like forever, but then you look and its gone by so fast, so I don't really even know what to say about the time. This week is transfer week so I have not a clue what is going to happen! Everything could change this week or nothing could change at all, so I guess it just depends, but I guess you'll find out on Monday won't you?!
Rocky Mirasol, Ward Mission Leader
I just wanted to say thank you for all the support that y'all give me back home. This is so different than anything I ever imagined. It's just so hard to explain really anything that goes on here. It's such a different culture and everything. The Church is true though. I just want to say that. There are so many blessings that are coming to the lives of the people here that live the gospel and the principles and the things that it teaches. So many people here sacrifice so much for the church and there's also some that don't do anything and you can totally see the difference. Even just the small and simple things such as FHE, family prayer, family scripture study, etc. I can't believe that I used to hate doing those things and I would always have a bad attitude about it, but now I don't find that being the case. I find it of most importance and I encourage all to do it. I'm going to in my family when I get married and so I encourage y'all to do it too. So I'm sorry for all the years when I had a bad attitude about it, just know that I know that it's what we needed to be doing and I'm sorry. The Book of Mormon is so important for us and I love the Book of Mormon. It's so true. Everything in the book is true and will help us. The fullness of the gospel is in that one book! All of it! Every question can be answered too. It's so amazing. I love this church and I love the Lord. I love faith. What a great blessing that we're given and asked to have, faith. A hope for things which are not seen which are true. I love this work. I'm here for a purpose and that purpose I will fulfill. I hope that you are all having a great week!

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