Sunday, July 7, 2013

June 30th

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello!!! Okay, looks like y'all are super busy this week! I hope I can top your week haha. Sounds like mom you had a great time in Texas and I'm sure Connor was super jealous. How was it? You went to the Alamo? That's way cool. I never went there. Only to El Paso. I'm glad you had a good time though. Dad, sounds like your super busy with family in town and everything. Also Congrats to ERIK ADAMS for his mission call to South Carolina!!!! Dude, I totally use to live there. You'll love it! Lot's of black people and amazing BBQ!!! Now maybe you'll see why I'm so weird and have some weird southern traditions. I'm so stoked for you man. My week was actually great!!! It started out great, we had zone conference, and it ended on a pretty good note. We reached a lot of our goals this week actually. And we have an investigator with a baptismal date :)
Elder Ellis' diagram of his area

On Monday we had planned to have a family home evening in Santa Ana, which is probably the farthest area in our area. However, there was so many members and less actives in the area. Anyway, it didn't continue. It wasn't planned well enough and we asked Mary Ann if we were going to continue and she never replied. However, tonight, it's going down. We've invited so many people and it's going to be a blast. We're having the Janna family come and participate and Sister Jorolan so we'll have some investigators there too! So it's going to be amazing. We're going to teach a lesson and then play some games! I'm excited. Last week we played basketball, but there were no clouds, so it was super hot! Almost dying heat, but nonetheless, we played anyway. It was fun because, well, it's basketball! How can you not love it. We just played with us missionaries.
The water comes out like this!
Maeser Pride in the Philippines~

On Tuesday we had a really good start to our week. We taught the Lumantad family, which is less actives. They haven't been at church in a while. I don't know why, the have a motorcycle in the family. I think the husband works though so that's why they don't use it on Sunday. Every time we go over there to visit he's gone. So yeah, it's hard. A usual. Then we taught Sister Gonzales. She's still not married, hasn't been to church in a long time, and shows no desire to get married at all. But we just taught about God, who is He, and why He's important in our life. Still didn't come to church on Sunday. We taught Sister Dumdum about agency and how we have the freedom to choose our outcome in life. If we choose good, we're happy, and if we don't, well then we choose captivity, which is sad. So it was a good lesson. She did come to church on Sunday! Then we went to Bro. Despojo. We're in the middle of teaching him all the new member lessons and so we taught him about why we're here on earth right now, at this time, and what's the purpose of it all. It's just basic Plan of Salvation things. Then we taught Bro Desuyo, which was a good lesson. We taught him about where we go after we die and the true definition of Hell. He then committed for baptism for July 27. We're super excited. However, he wasn't able to come to church on Sunday because he fell from his house. I'm not really sure on the details, that's just what his wife said. So we're... sad i guess you could say. It's hard to describe the feelings when investigators aren't at church. We then went back to the main town and just searched for new investigators and people to teach. We saw three people "standby" at the church and so we just went and introduced ourselves and then taught them about who we are and what we do and about the church. We find out where they live so we're going to visit them this week.
Brother Despojo & Elder Ellis at Cock Fight
Wednesday wasn't a good day. We walked and walked and walked. Nobody was home. We were only able to teach Mary Ann, her mom, who's less active, and her father who's not a member yet. He's a former investigator, so we've picked him back up and counted him as a new investigator and we're going to baptize that man. Whatever it takes. That's our goal.

On Thursday we had our Zone Conference all day in Escalante Chapel. It was a good zone conference. President actually let us watch the ENTIRE broadcast that came out last week about the new ways that missionary work is going to happen in the world. It was way cool. However, I don't think that it'll effect my mission until I'm probably gone. They were talking about missionaries being able to use facebook and tablets to find investigators and follow up on referrals and find interested people. However, I don't think it'll happen in my time. But you never know. Sometimes the church is fast, but they did say that it will be in due time when the certain areas are ready for it. President taught us about goals and how our key indicators are very important. It was good. I hope y'all saw some of my pictures. I have no clue if there are any of me, except for the group one. We can't see them. There was some good food though, so that was a nice bonus. It was early night time when it was finally over and there was no time to work. Only time to go home and then study, so that's what we did, just did our personal and companion study and talked about how we can apply the things we learned into our area.

On Friday we had a good weekly planning session. The we went back to the Lumantad family. Sister was the only one there again, but she had some friends over, so we took the time to teach all her friends too. It's way nice here because are always just hanging out or outside and you can invite them in. A lot of times they aren't from Mabini though, mostly Escalante, but that's okay. No effort is waisted they say. Then back to Sister Dumdum. We've decided to start teaching the Restoration to less actives, and even active members. That's what Preach my Gospel says, so we did that. We taught her the restoration of the gospel. It was a good lessons. Her daughter who's now like 29 attended and another sister that lives right next to her as well. We just sat outside there house on a wood stump. It was a good lesson though. Then we went to see Brother Despojo, but when we arrived in Paitain, there was a FIESTA! Brother was cooking meat and selling it right next to the Chicken Fighting Arena! I've never seen anything so cool in my life! The tie knife blades to the chickens feet, get them angry at each other, then they fight. People bet and they were yelling at me to bet, but NOPE! haha. It was so funny! I saw a chicken get stabbed right in the heart and die instantly. Dad, you definitely need to see it. So we weren't able to teach him because he was busy working so we just walked back down the mountain to Brother Desuyo's house. We taught him about The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. It's pretty much just the missionary purpose. It's a simple lesson, but critical. We then committed him to come to church on Sunday, but I already told you what happened to him. Then we had a dinner appointment at President Dalaguit's house and also taught him and his family the Restoration. It was a good lesson. Even though they know it, it's good to reteach and refresh things so critical as the Restoration.

Saturday was the best day of the week. It started out with a rain storm. A rain storm that didn't stop. In the morning it was poring rain and I said, Elder, we're still working. However, I want to buy an umbrella. So we quickly rode to Escalante and I bought an umbrella, yes dad, that was me that took money out of my account. haha. I knew you'd get a little jumpy when you saw that. No stress. Just me. I needed money for a flashlight and an umbrella. So now I have them. Then it was off to work. It was so muddy, so nasty, and so wet all day long. We taught the Bawaan couple that's less active and guess what... they came to church on Sunday!!!! Then we taught the Garcia family and guess what... they came to church on Sunday too!!!!! Then we went to teach these kids that are less active, their parents are gone and now they live with Grandma. The kids are less active because the Grandma isn't a member. So we're decided to teach them, but the Grandma could really care less about our message, but she's totally fine if we come and teach the kids. She doesn't mind at all. Then we taught the other Sister Garcia, not the family, and she was at church on Sunday too!!! She was rescued as well. So we've had two rescues in a row the past two weeks and we're going to have more on the way! Then we taught Sister Jorolan. She knows why she can't be baptized yet, but we still teach her and she's totally willing to come to church and she did come to church on Sunday. She's a great woman. Her son and I email, he's on a mission in the southern part of the Philippines. I just give him updates on his family and things and make sure he's doing okay. His family doesn't have a computer, or even know how to email, but we're working on that, so he hasn't heard from them in a long time. How sad. She was at church on Sunday! Then we taught Mary Ann who's active, and her mom, the less active, about the Plan of Salvation. It was a rough lesson, we were so tired from all the teachings and we honestly walked the whole area in one day. So crazy, but we kept going and kicking out lessons. We then went to the Assessor family who's a less active family. They're always working except for at night, so we went to teach them since it was night time. They were home! And the mom and 2 of the kids came to church on Sunday!!! So it was a great Sunday.

Okay, so Sunday! I've already told you who did and didn't come to church. Everytime we went to the Janna family this week they weren't home, however we texted them and invited them to church, but still they didn't come. Neither did Brother Desuyo because of his fall thingy. Anyway, after Gospel Doctrine, Elder Edem and I use the bathroom and then Mark Trujillo comes in and says Elders it's 5th Sunday can you teach the combined class. We said, yes. So we had about 2 minutes to come up with 40 minutes of things to talk about. We decided, the Restoration. However, we really deepened it. We talked about the different names for Christ, God, and the Holy Ghost. Taught about the different comforters. Then talked about the Great Apostasy for about 30 minutes. It was great. All the members really liked it and President Dalaguit wants us to teach next 5th Sunday too. haha. It was a crazy lesson, and very little preparation, but we were blessed with the spirit. All the member laugh when I speak Cebuano! It's just funny. They say that I"m good, but I"m not sure if I believe them. It's way good though. My language has really improved a ton to be honest! My goal by the end of the transfer is to have 100 people at sacrament, that's a personal goal of mine. On Sunday we had 79... we're close. So it's going to happen.

I've have a great week. I hope y'all have too. I love you all so much! Keep pushing on and hanging in there. Life is crazy, and it's only going to get crazy with all the political things happening in the States now. It's too bad... when there are no more morals in the world, what is there to hold on to? Nothing. Morals hold it all together. The church is true. I know it's true. I know that Jesus Christ knows each and every one of us. Endure the trials of our life and we will always "come off conquer." I miss you all so much! Thank you so much for my birthday package! It came a month before my birthday, but I loved it! I'll figure out the cake somehow, don't worry! haha. I love you guys. Y'all are the best! Here's to another week!

 Random dead bat we found
Elder Ellis
The Filipino American (haha)

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