Monday, April 22, 2013

The Work is Heating Up!

Dear Family,

Hello everyone. It's been another wonderful week. This week my email is on time so you're all welcome. Sorry, last week we were still moving and things. I love my new apartment and the spirit is so much stronger in there because we keep it clean and are the first missionaries to live in it, so all is well here in Mabini. We actually live in Escalante now, which is in the city, so we're closer to everything that we need (I know that Mom was asking). This week was a pretty good week and was really crazy. My legs hurt, but I'll get to that part later in the email.

On Tuesday we had district meeting which was super fun. I love district meeting, we sang "As Sisters in Zion" for our opening hymn. haha. Just something funny to do, I guess, andd then we worked right after that. We have our district meetings in Mabini with the Elders from "Stop". A lot of people punted us and either weren't home or were busy, so it was a little bit of a sad day. It's still summer time here and the weather is soooo hot. It was a long day, we always walk so much and it's all in the mountains.  Here the mountains just have sugar cane, it's not like trees and stuff like Utah, so the sun just beats down on us the whole time and it's tons of fun. I'm getting really dark.
Walking to the church
Comfort Room at Stop
On Wednesday we worked a lot! We went to see Brother Despojo who will be baptized on May 18, but we're thinking of moving it up to May 11, because he's super ready we think. We're looking forward to that day when he makes that covenant of getting baptized. He will then be completed with his family!  After meeting with him, we walked like forever down the mountain, (Bro. Despojo lives at the top), and we taught another member who's like 10 I think. The mom is a member, but was at work. The Dad was there and he's not a member yet. He really likes to smoke and drink, which is really sad. I now know why we have the Word of Wisdom because that stuff destroys families! It's super sad, so we're trying to help him and his wife is trying to help him too. They both work in the Cane fields a lot, so I don't know the situation that well. I just know Sister is a recent convert and she comes to church every Sunday and is super active.

On Thursday I had exchanges with Elder Sobreviega in Stop Aguinaldo. That area is CRAZY! I thought we had a crazy mountain area until I went and worked in their area. We have motorcycles that will take us to the top and we just walk down and things like that, but they don't. There's no way a motor can get anywhere in this area. We walked miles and miles in the hot sun and up the steepest mountains, like climbing kings peak for 3 hours in my missionary shoes, luckily those things are amazing beasts! I love my shoes. The new house that the stop Elders moved into doesn't have water yet, it does now, but on Thursday it didn't, so we had to go get water from the well in the back just to shower and to use the pooper. I also played with a lot of goats!

On Friday the Chin couple came and looked at our apartment. They visited all the elders and did apartment checks, ours in brand new so they pretty much walked in and said, well good, then left. haha. They just gave us some papers and things that we needed and then took a picture with us and then we worked. We had 10 teachings this day which is quite good actually, so we were happy! We taught Brother Despojo about the Plan of Salvation and that was a great lesson until he asked where hell was, so that was fun. We also taught Avele who should be baptized on May 4. He is totally ready and totally knows all the answers. He's only 8, I know, don't make fun, but he's totally awesome. He has tons of support. His parents are both dead and he lives with some family members. I thought his parents were away at work, but Elder Daplin explain they died, so yeah. I also hit my 7 MONTH mark! Dugay pa gid. However, that was a great day. Don't know why but it just feels like I'm making some progress. hehe.
Before the Storm
After the Storm
YW preparing to make a run for it
Saturday we worked all morning. It was hot, no clouds, the humidity was way high, around 80% I swear, and then we found out why. During a lesson we were outside under this shack/tin roof thing, and then the clouds came and it starts POURING like it usually does here in the Philippines of course. Earlier I had let Sister Caren, the recent convert borrow my umbrella because she was in the sun and I love just standing in the sun and getting darker, so I let her have it and I was just going to get it back on Sunday at church. Anyway, then it rained, and now I have no umbrella! haha.  I have a way cool picture though. Anyway, so Elder Daplin gets the "impression" that we need to go to the church. If I could only explain where the heck we were, it's like 2 miles to the church. I have no umbrella and we're under a roof and safe currently. Why on earth do we need to go to the church. However, I let my self ego go and respected my senior companion. I walked from Crossing Buli, to the church 2 miles away, with a rice sack on my head, with the rain beating down on us. We arrive to the church and we're not needed. I have no clue what might have happened if we stayed or why we needed to go. I'm still trying to figure that one out. It's a cool story to tell though!
Sunday was so humid because it rained all night. Bro. Depojo, Bro. Avele, and Sis. Garcia our investigators all came to church. We also had a lot of Less actives there, so that was a good thing. Our teacher for Sunday school is way good. She's an RM so she knows a lot of stuff and really makes the class fun and enjoyable. I also stepped in a huge mud pile, that wasn't fun. My shoe was covered in mud. haha.

TUKO--the hypnotized lizarad
So that's pretty much my week. I hope that everything is going well in the USA! Be lucky that you live in the USA, it really is the promised land. I love the church and I love the Book of Mormon. I read like 30 pages this morning in my personal study in Alma about his last words to all his sons. It's super good. I learn so much every time that I read it. I love y'all back home. Thanks for all the prayers and support! I couldn't do this without y'all. Love you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Apartment in Mambini

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm sorry that you didn't receive an email this day on time. We've been moving all day. It's currently like 5:30pm. Our P-day is totally gone, because we've been moving. All we did was clean our old house, move to our new, and clean. No groceries or anything yet... So yeah. It's been a super long day. We've been up since 6:30 a.m. cleaning. That house was a wreck. On the bright side, my new house is amazing! I love it. It's brand new and right next to the bus terminal. Our previous house was in a place called "Stop". That's south of Mabini. It's a different area than ours, but since there's no houses in Mabini, the Mabini elders have always lived with Stop Elders. Well, we've finally got our own place now, on the opposite side of Mabini, in Escalante! We're super glad because now we've got more access to things and we don't have to spend half our p day riding a jeepney, just to email and grocery stop. So it's been a great day and a great move. Our new house is great. Small, but great. I'll send some pictures after this email. My week has been really good.
My room. 
My desk is on the right.
Outside laundry room
Comfort Room
I got to watch conference this week and wow I was amazed! I love Conference so much and here in the Philippines where I'm actually on a mission, hearing talks about missionary work, all the blessings, the future things about family, I was honestly in tears. When the choir sang "Come, Come ye Saints" I was done for. I've never really LISTENED to the song. This time around I listened to every single word at a time and I applied to my life and I was just sobbing because of the spirit. Mom, you mentioned the talk on personal peace, that was a really good one! I loved it and I was going to refer it to you in case you missed it. I remember always asking you what you wanted for Christmas or your birthday and all you'd say was "PEACE!" Especially from us children. Well, I hope you have it now! haha. It was a great talk and I loved it. I really seems like this conference was centered on 1. Missionary Work and 2. Families and Eternal Marriage, which are 2 subjects I love! :) The missionary section was great, since I'm actually here on a mission I can actually SEE what the Prophet's and Apostle's are ACTUALLY talking about now. I never could really understand since I haven't been there, but now I'm finally getting it I think. I'll probably never fully understand.  Sometimes I feel down because of the low baptisms, but I don't think that's the point. I think the point is to share the message of the restoration. The next part, Eternal Marriage is a great topic too. I was thinking what a WONDERFUL blessing Eternal families are. I don't know why people don't join the church JUST because of that one aspect in the church and that's what we know to be true, by the Priesthood power. It truly is an amazing gift from God and THE BEST gift that he has given us here on this earth. I'm so thankful for that gift, even though I'm where I am right now, on a mission. I'm trying to help other people see that wonderful gift too. In all I think Conference was fantastic.
Mambini Branch--General Conference
We had two investigators actually come to watch Conference! One of which isn't married yet. She has one kid, but I think and hope that she understood all the talks on marriage and GETS MARRIED NOW! That would be such a blessing. The next investigator who came is Bro. Despoho. This man is one of my favorite people here in the Philippines. He wife is a member, just returned from being less active, the daughter is a recent convert, the son was just baptized as a child of record, and now we're getting the dad into that water! He's been taught before by the missionaries, but it just either wasn't his time or something, because he's not a member yet, but now determined and he has a date from the 18th of May. We taught him a lesson on Wednesday and we watched the restoration video, all about Joseph Smith and the church. I could tell he was really feeling the spirit and it was an amazing moment in the lesson. After the video he was talking and then started to have tears fill his eyes as he says, "I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God." I was thrilled. He's an Illango speaker, so he and I can communicate fine. All the people here can understand me, I just don't understand them that well, but it's okay, my Cebuano will come along. I love Brother Despoho.
We have another investigator that will be baptized on May 4, Avele. He's a part member-- his parents both work away from here and he lives with some family members that are members. He goes to church every Sunday and he has a great testimony.
We've found a girl named Artzi. We were at a Chungi buying some chips or something and just started talking to the girl who was running it. She then let it out that she was the only member of her family who wasn't a member yet. HAHA! PERFECT AND THANK YOU! So now has a date for Baptism on May 18 as well.
Some cool things that happened this week:
1. I haven't gotten mail in like 5 weeks, I don't know why, but nothing has come my way. Finally on Tuesday I got like 8 Dear Elders. There was this random letter from this dude at Utah State, who sent me the finally rankings of all the college football teams, circling Utah State. I was like, who's the guy. I don't know him or heard of him, but I would like to thank him for sending me that.
2. This week we locked 2 birds into the Stop Elder's room and then when they went to go to sleep the birds started flying around them and it was soooo funny!
3. We've had no water all week long at our house, well now that we've moved we have water, but before nothing. We were getting water pumped from across the street through a pipe, and then if we wanted to filter it, we had to pump it by hand through like a bicycle pump thing, into the filter to get clean water. So yeah, it's been an interesting week every time that I wanted to take a shower.
4. On Thursday night we were waiting for a bus to go home and it was taking forever so we just started our planning on the road and finished it on the bus. It was sort of fun, but the next day I couldn't really read what I wrote down.
5. We had a huge storm come through on Friday night and as we were coming home on the bus there was a HUGE TREE in the road and the bus almost hit it, that was pretty cool.
6. Elder Daplin has been like sick or something. He's always got a headache, or something, and so I don't really know what's up with him. But yeah, all is well.

This week has been really good. I'm super glad that I finally got to listen to conference. If anyone caught the new area seventy named George Tobias, it was the old mission president here in the Bacolod Mission. So that's pretty cool he's an area seventy now. My testimony is really growing in the gospel. I loved Elder Holland's talk about belief about belief being the first part and how we need to WANT to believe. I want to believe that baptisms will come and that I can be a better missionary. I want to be THE BEST MISSIONARY in the world, but I know I have now 65,000 in competition. I'm just going to do MY best and I know that's what the Lord and our Heavenly Father really wants from me. I'm growing more and more each day in the gospel, I still have that goofy personality and I still love to joke, so I hope that's okay. I now have my head screwed on a little more if you know what I mean. I really like the "Plan your life with Purpose" talk and how we need to actually have PURPOSE in our life. I used to just want, this, that, oh and a shake with that burger, but now I'm realizing what I need and what I want in life and it's really actually quite amazing to see. I love this gospel. I love all the learning and growing opportunities that come from it. I love the Book of Mormon and all the help that it gives to me and to the people that I'm trying to help. I love my family. I got a letter from Grandma Shirley today, thank you! I love you guys, y'all the best family ever! I hope that you all have a great week. I love y'all! Keep up the prayers and thoughts, I need and love them! Thanks for all the support.
Till next week, with Filipino love!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mambini Branch Week 2

Dear Family and Friends,
Sta. Anna--place in new area!

Hello! I hope that conference was amazing for you all! I have not been able to watch it yet, because here in the Philippines it comes a week later because they wait for translation in English and Tagalog. I just looked on though and saw that there is going to be another temple in Utah though which is awesome.  I'm so excited. I really enjoyed Conference in October and I'm thrilled to watch it again this weekend. Thanks for not telling me anything that happened though. I can't wait to watch it for myself.
Philippines is awesome!
I'd like to give a shout out to my father today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! Hope that you are having a great birthday and I'm excited for you. I hope that you get your new car going well and don't worry, I'll help you out with it when I get home, so don't get too stressed out. Are you doing anything fun for you birthday?
This week was a little different, I was away from my companion a lot because he was in Bacolod for Zone Leader training on Monday and Tuesday and then he had exchanges with the AP's on Friday and Saturday. I worked with Elder Cababat on Monday night and Tuesday in Mabini and then on Friday and Saturday I worked with him in Bonefacio, which is where he is assigned with Elder Doverte his companion.

Mom & baby
Cute Mambini wildlife
So Monday, Elder Daplin and Elder Doverte left for Bacolod around noon. They left me and Elder Cababat in Escalante, a city which I've never been too, to go shopping, send letters, eat, and then find our way back home to Mabini. Luckily I'm good at asking questions to random people on the street now or I would've totally been lost. Elder Cababat is a completely new missionary, Elder Doverte is training again and so he only speaks Tagalog and doesn't understand anyone here. I, of course, only understand Illango, so Cebuano is really fun. haha. We were able to find the grocery store and go shopping, so no worries. I lived! Monday night we went and taught some people! We taught a couple of less active families and also two investigators that we happened to find that night. It was really good. In one of the LA lessons there was a young man, who's 20, and wants to go on a mission. He said that he didn't have money though, but he has a desire. We taught about the principle of tithing and it was such a good lesson and the spirit was super strong. People understand Tagalog so it's okay when Elder Cababat speaks, they understand him, he just doesn't understand them. It's sort of the same thing with me. They understand me, but sometimes I don't understand them. It was a successful night and I loved being with Elder Cababat, he's a great missionary.

Missionary apartment (Ellis has top bunk)
Tuesday we studied, ate then went right to work. I was still with Elder Cababat and I'm left to work in Mabini, an area that I've been in for 5 days and I still don't know that well, but it's okay. I found everything that we needed to find. We taught our recent convert, Caren, the one that was baptized last Saturday and then we taught 2 other less active families. They live really far and it's a super fun hike. It really shows the faith of the members from that area, because there are some super active ones that live there and walk every Sunday to go to church. It's really nice to see and that's why this branch here is super nice and super strong. The people that come to church sacrifice so much time and effort and walk so far. I love the Mabini Branch. Later that night Elder Doverte and Elder Daplin came back from Bacolod and we exchanged back in Escalante. When we returned home there were 2 packages for me that they brought back from Bacolod. One from Grandma and Grandpa and one from Courtney! Thanks so much y'all! I loved the candy! It's great getting things from y'all.

Ants on Elder Ellis' toothbrush (gross!)

We had a zone meeting in Escalante about how things are changing, new rules, etc. President wants us to have a baptism every week, which is super hard, but it'll take a while to get up the numbers to accomplish that. However, Elder Daplin and I have accepted the challenge and we have baptisms lined up for May 4, 11, and 18. We taught 4 less active families and are trying to get them to come back to church. The church is super close to them so I don't know what the problem is, just like a lack of GOING to church!  We taught 3 investigators, and one has a baptismal date for May 4th, so we're really happy. He was at church on Sunday and so everything is still on track and good to go for him. When we got back to the house we started planning for our next days activities/ teachings, and then ..... So here in the Philippines they are obsessed with Karaoke. We're in the middle of planning and all of a sudden I hear this Filipino dude just start blasting his voice to Ricky Martin Viva la vida loca, or whatever it's called! I was just laughing so hard, because I can remember when mom would listen to it in the car and I just couldn't stop laughing!

Off to work! We just studied and blasted out the door and tried to get as many teachings as we could because of the meetings and the exchanges that we had our numbers were a little low, so we wanted to really try and boost them up .We had 7 LA's. 2 Recent Convert Lessons. 2 Investigators with a member present lessons. And 1 other lesson to an investigators without a member present. We also contacted a less active family for the first time, which is funny because we always walk by their house, we just never knew they were members until we decided to talk to them. They said that they can't go to church because every Sunday, the mom (who's like 60) gets a headache. ONLY ON SUNDAY! I was laughing so hard during the lesson just because of the things this woman was saying. After the lesson Elder Daplin and I were just cracking up and it was so funny. I don't even know what to think. We also played with a Filipino Eagle, I'll send a picture. It's a baby one, but it's such a pretty bird. One of less active families caught it, it was hurt or something, they let it go and it came right back to their house. It's a super cool looking bird though. Thursday I also turned a skin tone darker. I'm like black now, almost, I think... Elder Daplin looked at me on Thursday night and was like, "what happened to you?" We had spent all day walking in the sun and so I think that's why.

Filipino Eagle
Friday and Saturday
I'm just going to link these two days into one thing. Elder Daplin went to Bacolod with exchanges with the AP's. They do it once a transfer, or at least they try to put AP's with the ZL's. I was working with Elder Cababat again, but this time we worked in his area. He's still new to his area, just like I was to mine, but he has so many things going on in his head that it was so funny and he had no clue where he was going. Need not fear, we just asked people a ton of questions and eventually found our way around. We walked I think for 2 hours straight to find this investigators of theirs and he wasn't even home! PALAGPAT! So yeah, that was fun. We walked all the way across their area to go to a Recent Converts house to teach them. It was a fun lesson. There are like 3 kids that were recently baptized, so it was a fun lesson. I love teaching little kids. Saturday we studied then exchanged back, but the ZL's took forever to come back home, so by the time we got back to Mabini it was dark and late and we couldn't work. Never fear, Elder Daplin and I planned for Sunday and just prepared for the next day and cleaned up the house a little bit.

New buddy!
Church was great. I love going to church here. It's actually very spiritual and the people really love their testimony meeting. We actually had an investigator bare her testimony! She has to be married before she can be baptized though, but we're working on that. She has a date for the 18th of May, so everything should be worked out by that date. We then taught some more LA's and 2 other Investigators. We had a really good church attendance and a good meeting with the branch president on the missionary work here in Mabini.

I'm loving this area. I love this place. I love the Philippines. It's summer time here, super hot, super sweaty, the humidity is a killer, but I'm loving it more and more each day. The trick really is to just dive into the work and get lost in it. I miss y'all so much though too, especially during conference and dad's birthday and spring break where y'all are having fun. It's okay, I love being here. It's no vacation and it's actually the EXACT opposite of that, but I couldn't ask for more. Thanks so much for all you do for me back home. I love you guys. Keep pushing forward. I've really been reading the D&C lately and I love it so much because there is so much revelation for myself in there. I especially love sections 28-35, all about missionary work and things and I'm just loving it. I know this church. Thanks for all the support and prayers that come my way. They are great appreciated! Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Transferred--Speaking Cebuano

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been an amazing week. Just to let you know first off, yes, I've been transferred. I'm now in a place called Mabini. It's all mountains and sugar cane and the area is so beautiful. It's super hilly and just wonderful. I'll try and show you some pics. It's about 3+ hours from Bacolod on the other side of the island. It's nice to be away from a big city. There is no stores, no shops, internet cafe, nothing in my area--literally nothing, so currently I'm emailing from Escalante, which is our zone. It's a Cebuano speaking area, which is a pretty similar. I'm still speaking Illango to everyone and they seem to understand me, so all is well so far. It's Mabini Branch and it's a wonderful branch with wonderful members. The Branch President is super awesome and so nice and feeds us every Friday night.

Elder Daplin & Ellis

I have no clue where Elder Matamata is. My new companion is Elder Daplin. He's from the lower part of the Philippines, where Americans can't go or bad things happen. He is so cool and is a lot like me in a lot of ways. We like the same things, music, etc, and so it's been a good 4 days so far. Our house is huge, dirty, and I sleep in a top bunk.  I'm not a huge fan of the bunks because it shakes anytime I or Elder Daplin moves because it's not that well made. I'm thinking it'll break in the middle of the night, but as long as I'm on top, that's okay right? So I'll tell y'all about my week so far in more detail.

Contemplation from the patio of the apartment
So last week we received a lot of referrals that Sister Scott (my mtc teacher) wanted us to go and contact, so we started by contacting some and only actually was able to contact one and they pretty much just told us to go away. It was still funny though and gave us the opportunity to share the gospel. So yeah pretty much just walked around canetown looking for people to teach, but the people there are hard headed and so uninterested, it's so hard to even TALK to people, let alone TEACH them. You say hello and they just ignore you or walk into their gate or house. So rough. We still persevere though.

Tuesday we taught the Mirasol family, well the dad. He had recently burned his leg with some super hot water. It was a nasty burn. He can't really come to church a lot because he watches over a sugar cane field, so it's a pretty hard situation for him. However, the family goes to town every Saturday to buy rice and groceries and things, so I don't really understand what's up with that situation. After the Mirasols' we taught the Montano family. That's always hard teaching them because they have a lot of things that need to be fixed and a lot of concerns. We try our best, but there's not much we can do for their situation. Next, we taught the Perez family.  We are super happy because they came to church on Sunday! We asked them how they enjoyed church and then we taught them a lesson.   During the lesson a phone call comes, I just look at it real quick and it's the APs. I was confused because the transfer announcements don't come till Wednesday usually, so I was thinking it was just a question they had or something. We finished the lesson and then I called them back. The APs proceeded to tell me that Elder Matamata and I were to report to the mission office in Bacolod at 8:30am in the morning and we were both being transferred. I was like, What???  They didn't tell me the new area, new companion, new anything! We went to say goodbye to some families because we still had some time and then went home and started packing. I stayed up till about 3am updating the area book and getting everything ready for the new missionaries. Elder Pineda and Elder Doane were up too and so we were just having a work party. 

Reported to the mission office. I still didn't know my area or companion. Everyone else started talking about their new areas and things and they knew their companions. I guess the APs forgot to text it to me that morning because they never did, so then I just asked them and they texted me it. I read it and it said I was going to Mabini. I asked where that was and the missionaries were like Escalante! I said, CEBUANO??? AHHHH! I was flipping out. I don't know Cebuano or anything, so I was starting to get really nervous. Now that I'm here though, it's not that bad. I'm learning pretty well and people are understanding. Elder Daplin arrived at the mission office and then we went and got something to eat and he was telling me about the area and cebuano and all this stuff. I was like, this Elder is way cool. He's way awesome and super nice. We rented a van which it was way faster and 3 pesos more. We rode with 3 other missionaries that are in Escalante zone as well, so it was fun and it doesn't stop to pick people up, so it was a direct drive unlike a bus that stops all the time to drop off and pick up. We got to our house and then i unpacked for an hour and then we started getting right to work and he introduced me to a lot of people here in Mabini. It was super awesome and the people are super awesome, nice, and funny! We also got fed! YES! I love getting fed!

Couldn't fit inside the jeepney, so we rode on top!
So let's just say this day was awesome. Since I'm not a trainer or training, we can now leave the house a lot sooner. We left at 10:30am and got right to work. I met more Less Actives and Members and it was so fun. We had 8 lessons to less active members, 2 lessons to investigators with a member present, and 1 other lesson. I got to see the area and get a feel for Cebuano. We walk a lot and up and down mountains and over rivers and through cane and I enjoy every single minute of it because it's so much fun!
Cat play!

Forgot he was allergic!
We did our weekly planning session which took awhile because Elder Daplin pretty much gave me a run down of everything and everyone. He plans very well and very hard. We went to some pretty far areas and we rode a motorcycle up the mountain. We just pay the dude and ride on the back. It was super fun. Just straight up the mountain! We taught a recent convert who's dad isn't a member, but the rest of the family is. They also had a son, born in covenant who was baptized on Saturday, so it's not our baptism, just like the ward thing with all the 8 year olds. We taught a couple of other investigators with a brother in the ward named Brother Leonis. He is soooo funny! They are a super great family. He's a convert to the church and their family is sealed. He worked with us for little bit and he has a motorcycle so we were able to ride it rather than walk a whole lot.

Elder Ellis, Caryn, and Elder Daplin

We just went straight to work. We went and taught a recent convert, then another investigator, and then to a less active. Later we went to our BAPTISM! OH YES! BAPTISM! They've been working with her for over a month and then I come and get the reward with Elder Daplin. I feel so bad, haha, so oh well. Her name is Caren, she actually speaks Illango so that's good because we can communicate just fine. Elder Daplin did the baptism. He also baptized that 8 year old, but it doesn't really count for us, but it was a great service and there were tons of people that came. The branch is super great at supporting!

Mambini branch

Yesterday Caren was confirmed in church. We had 89 people at church and that was a good turn out I guess. It's a branch and that was about the same number we were getting in Victorias, so I'm not sure. I spoke in Church and the members were very nice to me. In Sunday school we learned about the trials of Emma and Joseph Smith. Holy cow, I already know about them, but every time we learn I just think, wow, that's so crazy. I love Joseph Smith.  We later had a dinner appointment at the Ondoy's. Two of their kids are return missionaries and so it's always fun to talk to them. They just share stories and things. They made Adobo which is like my favorite!

I'm loving this area that I'm in. My companion is great. The people are great. The area is great. So beautiful! I don't want to transfer. I'm going to lose a lot of weight here and I'm drinking about 2 liter's of water every 8 hours. I know the church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is the WORD OF GOD and that we can grow closer to our heavenly father by reading and praying to know if it's true. Even if you've read it and haven't prayed about it, you need to pray and then you WILL grain that knowledge that the book is true. I testify that it is true. I love y'all back home. Keep up the good work