Well, I've guess you've all heard the news that I'm a trainer now. That was a shock to me. I just finished my own training and now I'm training another missionary. His name is Elder Joseph-Auga-Matamata. He's a Samoan, however, he's from New Zealand and has a bit of an accent that's sometimes hard to understand at times. He's totally awesome, fresh from the Provo MTC, and ready to rock it here in Victorias with me. I received the notice that I was going to be a trainer on Wednesday night at 10:40pm. I was to report to the mission office at 8:30am the next day. Elder Doverte transferred and is now in the Escelante zone, somewhere up north. I'm not exactly sure where or what it looks like, because I've only been in one area. With this new calling, I will most likely be here in Victorias for 3 more months. So cool huh?! Things are really going great this week.
Elder Matamata from New Zealand & Elder Ellis
New batch with their trainers February 2013
P-day. Same ole same ole. We went to the grocery store because we had no food in the house, then all of a sudden we're at the grocery store and like, why are we here? It's transfer week. We were thinking the Elder Doverte was going to transfer, but we weren't really sure, so we decided not to buy any food. We were relying on a lot of others to feed us. It was p-day so we went back home and washed our clothes. I'm getting really good at washing my clothes by hand. It really hurts my back, but oh well, that's life right? Monday night we had a family home evening at the Quiamco's house. We watched the John Tanner story, I don't know if y'all have seen it yet, but it's super super good. We watched that and then applied the teaching to sacrificing for things in this world and for our religion. It was a great and really spiritual, so I was super happy. I'm really loving Family Home Evening. It's one of my goals for life to always have that with my family, even if it's just my wife and I, we can read scriptures or something together, then make some food. It's just that important.
We went and taught some less actives, they don't really listen to us or keep our commitments, but oh well. We do our part. We still get the blessings for trying our hardest and doing the things that we need too and are supposed to do, but they just won't receive the blessings. It makes me sad for those that ignore the reading and the prayers, but some are actually good and are starting to come back to church. It's just hard. Welcome to the Philippines though. We've learned that it's important to make sure that the investigators have a testimony and are converted to the gospel before we baptize them. So Tuesday was a lot of fun.
We had a lunch appointment with a sister named Sister Ganistosa. She lives SOOOO FAR from the Church, but you know what? She's super active. She's the only active one in her family, but she's always awesome. Wednesday she invited us to eat lunch at her house. Her husband who is less active was there and so Elder Doverte and I took that advantage and talked to him and tried to find out why he's less active. There's always a reason that some are less active. Offended, etc... No money sometimes. It's always good to know the concern, so you can have the Lord guide you to know how to fix the problem right? WRONG! This man told us that he REPENTED for becoming a member of the church, so I guess he wasn't offended or anything. While we were talking to him, he gets up and leaves and tells us to pretty much go away. Oh it was so fun. Afterwards, Sister Ganistosa gave us a referral. So what do we do? Go to the referral. When we get a referral, the referral becomes priority! They're the first thing we do when we get them. We went and found out where this person lives. SOOOO FARRRR! There's is nothing but sugar cane near their house. It was super fun though. They accepted our message and are willing to listen to us, so we're going to go back there tomorrow! Wednesday night we knew that we'd get a call if either of us was going to transfer, so we were waiting by the phone till 10:30 to get a call for transfer. No call came, so we went to bed. At 10:40 p.m., we get a phone call that said Elder Doverte was getting transferred and Elder Ellis will be training a new missionary. WHAT THE HECK! I was freaking out. I'm still not like super skilled in the language and things... but hey, I was like, okay. Elder Doverte stayed up all night packing and getting things ready to transfer.
Thursday:Well, I got my new companion on this day. I still didn't know who he was or if he was a Filipino or and American, so I'm like freaking out because I don't know who it is. We went to Bacolod early in the morning and then had a meeting. Before the meeting they gave us an hour to go eat, so on Thursday morning, I had McDonalds breakfast!!!! Pancakes, sausage, hash brown, and orange juice. So good. Hit the spot! After breakfast, I was given the name of my trainer. Elder Jospeh-Auga-Matamata, I was like, what the heck? That's not American or Filipino. I meet him. He's 6'2 and a Rugby player. YEAH SON! I've got a huge companion. Nobody is messing with us. haha. So then I was like, um... are you Filipino? He then explained he's Samoan, but he lives in New Zealand now because of his dad's work. So I was like cool... do you speak English? He said, yes :) thank you! So now I have a new companion that's way cool and awesome. Additionally Thursday is Valentines day right? I love Valentines day... so I was like, man this is cool I get a new "wife/companion" on Valentines day, then one of the senior couples comes up to me and hands me this package! WHAT! The package from Courtney got here in like 18 days... right on Valentines day. Thanks for the awesome tie! I love it! And there was some great candy! So yeah, that was like the best Valentines day that I could have 7,000 miles away from home possible. Thanks so much! I took Elder Matamata back to Victorias and then showed him the area. He was so tired... President told us that they were tired and to let them rest when we got home. We didn't get home till around 7pm anyway, so I just let him go to sleep.
Important things like food first, right?
Friday, I decided to take him to some less actives and do a little less walking than we normally do. We only had, I think, like 4 teachings, so I was a little upset, but it's okay. None of them came to church on Sunday. :( Of course... but we still pray and hope that they will come to church. I then took him to the Bishop's house so that he could get to know the Bisho. The Bishop told him he'd be speaking in church on Sunday! AHA! First Sunday and he's speaking. I also spoke, but I'll talk about that on the Sunday part. Friday was good. Lot's of walking and just introducing him to the area.
Saturday, I decided that we were going to go on an adventure, so we boarded a Tricycle and headed for a place called Hda. Florencia. There ares some less actives that live there and we were going to find out where they lived, teach them, and hopefully get them to come back to church. I was asking around some people and asked hey where does this person live. Every answer was oh, on the other side of that field (cane field). I was like okay, cane fields aren't that big, so we walked. I kept asking along the way where they live and every answer was oh on the other side, on the other side. They should've just told me they live on the other side of the WORLD! We walked for about 4 miles! And then...... we get to another cane field. There was one guy and I asked him if he knew the person we were looking for. He said yeah, we needed to go through a cane field and their house is on the other side. WHAT! CUT THROUGH THE CANE! Yes, there's like a 4 inch dirt path in the middle of 2 cane fields. So we go. Guess what? I find a little house! I asked the people in the house and they said she moved to MANILA!!!!! AHHHHHH!HH!H!H!H! But wait... I asked what her name was and it turns out she is her mom! AND A MEMBER! YES! So I said, can I share a message with you. She's like 70 years old and the church is soooo far away there is no way that she can get to church. After the lesson she says, hey there's other members here on the other side too. I was like, are you serious? So yeah there was 2 other families! We found 3 Less Active families in about 1 minute! How cool? Elder Doverte and I were looking for them forEVER, but nobody ever knew where they were. I guess I just asked the right person to get us started on the journey. That was a fun day with lots of walking. I was so blasted tired by the end of that night. It was a great experience for Elder Matamata though on his 2nd day here. haha.
Church. I spoke in Church. Mostly in Ilanggo so that was good. It was super hard, but I think that they all understood me, so it was a great! After we had a meeting with the Bishop about some things that I had questions about, went back to the house to study, and then we went to work. We stopped by some less actives and oh it was so funny. This woman came up with like every excuse why she didn't want us there. It was soooo funny! haha. I just started laughing. The brothers all booked it out the back door running from us. I love the Philippines! It's so awesome here!
I miss y'all back home. I love y'all so much too. The Philippines are treating me well though. It's so hot and the sun is so shiny sometimes. The people are great and I love them. They are so funny and they're always fun to joke around with once you get their humor. I hope y'all are doing okay. The Church is true! The Book of Mormon is true! I love this church and I love the opportunities that it lets us have as long as we are obedient to the Lord. Looking forward to hearing from you next week :)
Here are some random older pictures, but want them included in my scrapbook:
Cadiz Zone January 2013
Zone Training January 2013
Mail day....always a good day!
Elder Garner got transferred to the most southern tip of the mission. He got a cool companion, but will be missed by Elder Ellis in the Cadiz Zone!