Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7th

Dear Family and Friends,

I'll just start off with this. This week was amazing. It's hard to explain the things that go on in missionary work sometimes. I can't explain the joy that I feel sometimes, but it's the same thing with explaining the sad things that happen as well. You know though, once the good things happen, I don't really even remember the sad times. I know that there's a lot, but the one good thing that happen sort of erases the memory of the sad ones. Last week I did get my birthday package and it was all in tact thank you so much. I got all of it. I've never had a package opened here, I know Mom you were asking. Also thanks Grandma and Grandpa for sending me your package. I got it this week and it's been very yummy!!! So I'll tell you about my week:

We didn't play basketball. Instead we decided that we should probably wash our clothes because we had a busy week ahead and also a family home evening that night. One Monday afternoon we texted a brother in the ward to see if he wanted to come with us, Badong, he's a returned less active. He returned like 2 weeks ago. So we're going to start involving him in our missionary work and prepare him to serve a mission. Julie Ondoy also came with us. So we walked all the way to Santa Ana, and then to Fuentes which is where Mary Ann Ayo lives. We told her to invite everyone that lives around her. Which is the other Ayo family, the Diana (Janna) family that investigators, the Jorolan's, and Caren. Anyway, when we got to Mary Ann's house, nobody was there, but her dad who isn't a member yet. We then asked where everyone was. He said they would be coming. So we waited. Lo and behold, 25 people followed. Everyone had come. The Diana Family, the Ayo's (all of them... about 20), however, the Jorolan's didn't come, and neither did Caren. The Diana's said that they had a really good time. We taught about faith and how we need to work it in order to receive blessings and also receive knowledge and to grow our faith. It was great. I'll send some pictures after this. 
Our Monday FHE--so happy!

We had our district meeting, it was good I guess you could say. Still weird with only 4 of us. Then we had to go home and still do our studies. Then we worked. We went to Sister Lumantad, still less active, still hasn't attended church, but she's always got someone outside her house with her just hanging out, so it's nice to teach her and at the same time we get to teach a non member. Then we walked to a place called Amparo trying to find these part member children. There parents are members, but the kids aren't yet baptized. Anyway, when we got there, nobody knew who they were. On Sunday we found out that the family split and now the kids live with the grandma, but we don't know where the grandma lives and neither does anybody else. So now we're not sure what to do about them, hopefully somethings happens I guess. Then we went to Crossing Buli and tried to teach the Gonzales family. We found Sister sorting crabs and Brother was smoking and he seemed a bit drunk as well. So we just decided to leave because it'd be a waste of time. We've dropped them. They're not progressing. They still live a decent distance away and we have better things to be doing now. So we've decided if we're in the area we'll go say hello, but they're no longer a focus. We went to some other less actives home, but nobody was home. Then we had dinner at the Ondoy's house. They're very nice.

We had our once a month zone training meeting. I'm still confused about what they said because the information wasn't clear and when we ask questions they couldn't explain it to us clearly... not sure if they paid attention in the meeting with President Lopez they had the day before. It's hard to explain, just like everything else. After our meeting we went home, did our studies and then went to work. We went to Fuentes to the Janna family. They're super awesome and way nice. Even if their busy they'll stop and let us teach them. So we taught them about the Book of Mormon and followed up on their introduction reading. They read. And prayed. Then we committed them to baptism! No set date, but they all said yes. There are 5 eligible for baptism! :) Happy Elder Ellis. Then we went to Mary Ann's family and taught her mom and dad. Less Active and Non Member. 2 for 1! So we taught them about the Plan of Salvation. Good lesson, went very well. After that it was starting to get late, but we wanted to get one more lesson in. We then went to Sister Jorolan and taught her about the Sabbath Day and committed her to come to church on Sunday. She usually does, but we just wanted to make sure. Also the lesson for so she understands the importance of Sunday, not just yeah, we go to church, cool. We missed the bus... long story short, we were stranded. There's a 8pm9pm, and 10pm bus. The 8 one passed, so we just waited for the 9. The 9 never came, then we were just like, okay we'll just wait for the 10. The 10 never came. All of a sudden this drunk guy comes up to us and says, FRIENDS! Where do you need to go. We said home to Habitat, that's our neighborhood. Then he said, no worries, I'll call a tricycle. Anyway, soat 10:15 a night we ride a tricycle with this drunk guy, his friend, and then the driver who's their mutual friend I guess. When we got home, the driver said don't worry about the plete... or the like fee to ride. Anyway, it was weird, but totally funny story. Because there's never a tricycle that late, so if this guy didn't come talk to us, we would've never gotten home.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!  We taught a man named Brother Foresema, we usually only go there if we have time. They're not progressing at all. The wife doesn't care and the brother is afraid of his wife, so he doesn't want to do anything without her or stand up and say woman, let's go to church. So we only visit if we have nothing else to do, or a space in our schedule that needs to be filled. Then we went to teach Brother Despojo, who was playing volleyball when we got there, then he said, just go to my house, Recelle Kaye is there. It's his daughter who's also a recent convert. So we just stayed outside and taught Recelle Kaye. Brother just continued to play. I'm not sure what happened to them. Sister is always at that way far place, Moncada and we don't go there, but once every two weeks maybe... if that. Sister hasn't been to church in about a month, so we're going to visit her this week. Brother also didn't come to church last week... nor this week. So we're going to fix that. Then we went to Brother Desuyo, who is our investigator, but still hasn't come to church. I think it's just a lazy problem. The church is far and he's like, ah, I don't need to go to church, it's okay. I'll just stay home. His wife always comes, but doesn't bring him. I don't know why they don't come together. It doesn't really make sense to me. Anyway, being the 4th of July, I asked the Ondoy's if they could make us a Filipino dish called Mango Float. It's actually a desert. They agreed and did. It was so good. So I spent the 4th of July with my family here in the Philippines. They're way nice and I really like them. We've gotten close and I'll miss them a lot when I transfer from here. My fourth was good. Obviously not the same, no fireworks, nobody to really celebrate with me, since it's like my favorite holiday, but oh well. That's life I guess huh? It was still a good day I guess. 
My 4th of July hotdog~
We went to a less active family that we've tried to visit before, but they're never there. The Dino family. There is one active member in the family, but the other aren't. When we went there we were greeted very warmly. One of the daughters was there and then some of her friends. So she said that we could teach them and we actually got 2 new investigators out of it. A mom and a daughter, but I'm sure there's more to their family. We just need to go there this week and visit them. So we're going to do that. Then we taught Sister Dumdum about Eternal Families, we thought she hadn't been through the temple yet because she doesn't wear garments. Anyway, turns out that they're all sealed and she doesn't wear them because she knows she less active. She's been at church the past 2 Sunday's now so we're going to reactivate her and then she can again. Then... on to the Diana Family. We followed up on the their Book of Mormon reading again and they read!!!!! And Prayed!!!!! After that we taught them about the Plan of Salvation, "Where did we come from? and Why we're here on Earth?". It went really well. The spirit told us not to give them a date for baptism yet, but keep teaching. We challenged them to come to church on Saturday and they accepted. So we'd hope to see them on Sunday. I just wish you could meet them. They're way awesome and way prepared. Then we taught Mary Ann's family again, Sister Caren was there this time, but didn't really talk much. There's things going on that we haven't quite figured out yet. Anyway, the lesson was well and we talked about the rest of the Plan of Salvation that we didn't finish last time with them. It's nice to know that God actually has a set plan for us isn't it? And that we can be together forever and that this life isn't just it. It's amazing. I love the Plan of Salvation. Even though I don't even fully understand it and I don't think anyway can comprehend the FULL plan, it's amazing and it's awesome to study. We had our dinner appointment at President Dalaguit's house and we receive a text: "Are you home now?"= President Lopez. I'm scared out of my mind. I know I didn't sin so I didn't know what this was about. The only reason he calls is, one, if you sin, and two, if there's an emergency. We said no, and he said to text him immediately when we're home. We did. He called and I answered. "Hello Elder Ellis, who was your evening." I said it was good and we had a lot of teachings and our investigators are doing great. He said, "Excellent, I need to speak with Elder Edem." Anyway, I gave him the phone and they talk for about a minute. Then Elder started crying. I thought he was getting sent home or something. It turns out his father has passed away, so if you could please keep him in your hearts and prayers, I think he would like that and I would like it too. He seems to be doing okay though. He's decided to stay on the mission and to continue in the faith.