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!

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