Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26th--Typhoon but all is well!

Sa Akong Pamilya ug mga Amigo,

A little piece of home...Utah Jazz style!

Hello everyone. How is y'all week so far? It's only Monday so I hope that things are going great. My week was busy. Very busy. I'm not sick at all now, I wasn't sick last Monday, it seems like someone still thought that I was sick... cough cough Mom! President Lopez texts me asking if I was sick because my Mom was worried about me. So, to make it very clear. I'm not sick. :) So the news for this week is that Hayden and Donna are now confirmed members of the true church and Freddy Mahinay passed his baptismal interview yesterday and will be baptized this Saturday at 3pm! His whole family is very excited and so are we. Also, since the Typhoon has been hitting the northern Philippines we've been getting some nice wind and it's been great weather, not too hot. Also with us being right by the ocean it's nice, nice breeze, nice trees, and I love the smell of the ocean. Mom, I think you asked about flooding, yeah it floods here when it rains, but it's all good. Our house is fine. As far as Typhoons, the last Typhoon I was in was last Christmas, there hasn't been really anymore to hit our part of the Philippines since.
Elder Hagen was released from the Hospital and all is now well. It's a long story how I got him out, it took Elder Gibbons and I to get the nurse to let us put only a down payment until we could get the mission and the church to send us the rest of the bill. It was a total nightmare, but it was all fine and good. The bill is paid and he's doing a lot better now. I have no clue if his mom knows or not, but you're fine to put up my email from last week mom, and yeah, everything is fine with him now. After that we went to play basketball and when we got to the court there were tons of people playing, but there was half court that was still opened. However, then they wanted to play full court. Elder Gibbons and I were going to play a 2 on 2 game with them for the half court, but... we thought that might not be a good idea. We didn't want anything to get heated or anything. It's something that I would've done if I wasn't a missionary, but now that I am... somethings just have to change. So we only played for maybe like 30 minutes until we got punted off the court pretty much. So we just went home and I did some laundry. That was pretty much P-Day...

So this was the first time that I taught at district meeting. That's one of the responsibilities as a district leader. To teach the meeting and conduct it. I taught about the Book of Mormon and how we should use it rather than the Bible. The only reason I say that is because the Book of Mormon is the foundation of the church, well the keystone actually, but the foundation of the testimony. If we can get our investigators to really focus on the Book of Mormon and get them to read and understand it, then we can get them to do other things and then that will turn into a true desire that they have to learn and to grow in the gospel. It was a good lesson. Even though I teach 3 other Elders. 2 being Zone Leaders, 1 of them being sick a little bit still since he just got released from the hospital, I'm pretty sure I could have talked about anything and it would've gone just fine. However, I did learn a lot of things and in the Scriptures. Such as why Nephi wrote the plates in the first place, not just by commandment, but because he wanted to let everyone know that God is real and He knew it. It was for the convincing of man that Jesus is the Christ our Savior and Redeemer. Jonnalyn the recent convert of a couple months is doing great in the gospel and is still progressing. We're just following up on reading every other day and her personal study. They have questions because they read it in English so that they can understand and practice English and also because the English Book of Mormon is a little nicer. They use the hard back triples. So, sometimes they just have language questions and what this and that means. So it was pretty good. Then we taught Freddy Mahinay. We followed up on his Coffee and he's stopped for good. He now drinks Hot Chocolate. So we're happy. We read with him in 1 Nephi just so that we can help him read. Sometimes the problem they don't really know how to read. It's just like words and they don't really get the meanings behind things, so that why we're there to help them explain. Raymond is still rough. The LA that he lives with is really the problem actually. Raymond wants to come to church, but we can't get him to because he doesn't want to come if his friend, the LA doesn't come. So, it's a great situation, but we're working on it. We then visited the Hospital because one of our branch members was in it, man, the public hospital is MESSED! The private hospital was so much nicer with Elder Hagen. haha. But we just went and checked up on her and made she was okay. She's still alive and now she's out of the hospital. She had her platelet level drop to 2000, which is bad.
We had a long day planned and everything and there was just not a ton of people home. We'd visit and just nobody was home, nobody really wanted to talk to us so we just went back to Jonnalyn and followed up on her reading and answered questions. Then we taught Raymond again. We've started on the Plan of Salvation which is super hard to teach especially to people here, so we've got to go way slow and really explain everything good and clear and keep good on the follow up questions. His LA friend was there, but she kind of forgot some of the answers. She hasn't been at church in 12 years, so my goal before I transfer is so get her at Church. She will go to church before I leave here. We also taught Freddy again and read with him from the Book of Mormon and followed up on if he remember what tithing and the law of chastity was. He knew what they were and so that was good. We were just making sure because we were going to do the Baptismal Interview Questions our next visit. So we were seeing if there was anything we needed to teach before we reviewed the questions with him.
Well I have bad news. Our investigator Sussana is now moving back to Aklan. It's on Panay, which is the IloIlo mission so we're going to refer here there to that mission and see what they can do. It's sad, because she was going to progress, but now it's time for her to leave. It's maybe a good thing, because if the missionaries find her there, her husband is also there and will be able to listen to the missionaries as well, so you never know. God works in mysterious ways! We taught Raymond again, but the LA wasn't there this time. She was shopping or something. But we just retaught the Plan of Salvation: Where are we from? and made sure that God and Jesus are different, that we lived with them before we came here and yeah, that's pretty much the basics. We met two new investigators. Donna Dahildahil has 2 younger siblings that live with her most of the time and she asked if they can be baptized. Oh course. Dina is 8 and Darwin is 10 so we will be teaching them now. It's nice because their sister can help them and so we're excited. Their mom lives in the Bukid, or the mountain, so they live with Donna in the city so that they can still go to school and get an education. Lanny is another recent convert that we teach about once or twice a week too. He's the husband of Hayden Dahildahil's Sister. So... Brother in law. Lanny has a problem seeing so reading with him is a big thing that we try to do. He works sooo much to provide for his family and so we're really just there to try and support him. He's still active and everything. He's actually a way funny guy!
Well... we were working and then we got a text from San Carlos 2. They weren't working all week just so that Elder Hagen could recover. He was still having problems, just like with energy and stuff obviously. So they asked if we could exchange. Elder Hagan and I stayed at their house and Elder Garcia and Elder Sobreviega worked in San Carlos 2 area. But that was pretty much my day... Elder Hagen and I just talked and swapped mission stories.
Well, we ran out of food and so because the next day is Sunday we just grabbed some groceries real quick and went back and made some lunch. Then we started our day. It was way windy and nice actually. We went and taught Rojean. She's an LA member, the one that lives right on the beach. She didn't come to church, but I really chastised her actually. I asked if Jesus came to her door and knocked, would she open it. Then she said as long as he gave me a second chance. I then told her, that was our purpose. We're here to give you that second chance to prepare you for that day when he comes. She seems to get it, but some people you just need to put that fear of God into their eyes and she's the one who can handle it without getting like offended. We also taught Freddy again and did the Baptismal Interview Questions. He didn't have any problems with any of the questions and so we were good to go and move him right onto the baptismal interview on Sunday. We then had a dinner appointment at the Aventura family. It was Junnah's birthday and more like a mission celebration. That's the first time I've been to a birthday party with an opening and closing prayer. So it was interesting. We only stayed a little bit and ate dinner and cake and then left.

Rojean's home
Church was really good. We had our recent converts attending Sunday School, the gospel essentials class. Sacrament was good and we've got tons of new calling and thing. We have a new branch mission leader, Jeff Marata. He's a recent RM of like 4 weeks. So we're stoked. Donna and Hayden were confirmed in church and that was great! Then, Freddy passed his interview! So we're happy missionaries! We also taught Raymond and pretty much just laid everything out on the table. Like look, this is what you need to do, this is what's going to take, are you willing to do it. So we're still working on him :( they didn't come to church. Ugh... We taught Hayden and Donna about family prayer. That's going to start being our focus on recent converts is getting them to do things as a family right off the bat. FHE, Family Scripture study, and family prayer every morning and night. With Lanny too. So that's pretty much our focus with them right now, is just being a gospel focused centered family because we know that it will bring them blessings.
Sorry my week was a little boring. Not much to really report on, I'm pretty sure there are few people who even read this anyway, haha. But everything is good here so far. Working hard and am doing what is asked of me, I think that's the important part. I'm really learning lots of things and growing in the gospel. It's nice to see the changes. I just look back and think... why did I do that? It's rather funny actually sometimes. Just look at all the dumb things that I use to do or use to think how everyone was crazy and I was all that. But, yeah, it's been a humbling experience for sure. I love you all and I miss you so much. Almost hitting the one year mark, going to be awesome! Not like anything is going to change though... haha. This transfer is flying by! I can't believe it. That's why I like new area and new change and things because things just fly so fast! Hope all is well with y'all back home. Send my love to all.
Amping Kanunay,
Elder Ellis

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