Monday, September 23, 2013

September 22--Zone Conference week

Dear Family and Friends,
ALOHA! How is everyone doing back in the US of A! I hope you know that the US is honestly a blessed and consecrated country. There's a reason that it's the promised land, only if we obey the commandments of God and always remember him. Just read the Book of Mormon and you will see that for yourself. It's interesting to just correlate the Book of Mormon with our day now and it's amazing to see the similarities. I just finished the Book of Mormon this past week again, and wow, I'm blown away every single time I read the book. 
This week was good. We had our zone conference and all that fun stuff. Pretty much I spent 3 days in Bacolod so there's not that much to report on this week. I'm sorry, so this might be a little bit of a shorter email.

Monday we played Basketball with 4 other companionship's. It was really fun and it was good exercise. We also had a great family home evening in Calinling. It's just a place, not really a person. However we had about 5 different families join, but not all the members of those families. Not really sure what was going on. It was great and I taught the lesson. I did that paper cross thing that dad taught me and it's pretty cool because I just lie the whole time while telling the story until it's over. Then at the end they are like, did all the really happen and then I tell the truth and they get really mad, but still say it was cool. Mom, if you don't know the story, dad can explain the paper cross story. I actually used Dad as the character for it so they were more interested. I showed them a picture of my family and they agree that we are all beautiful people. Honestly, anything that's white they think is cute, so... yeah. But they all ask why I'm a little smaller than my dad. I never know what to say. Then we taught Roberto and he should be baptized next Saturday the 5th of October. We're going to have a baptism every Saturday in October so far. So that's cool! We're excited to be fulfilling the vision.

Tuesday we had Brother Ryan Purca work with us. He's done with his mission papers and is waiting for an interview from President Lopez now. Since we're a district and not a stake, President Lopez is over San Carlos. Other than that, he's ready to go. I've given him some ties that I don't use so that he has some for his mission. Working with him we're able to teach anybody and count it as a member present lesson so any investigator taught we did that. Since we had zone conference this week, we just totally ignored less actives and focused on our investigators this week. Which was good because our work this week was a total bummer because Bacolod is far and the typhoon brought much rain!

Elders Sobrivega & Ellis
Wednesday we went to Bacolod. It was fun we traveled with Elder Wilstead and Elder Cudac, his trainee. Elder Shaffer and Elder Garcia from SN Carlos 1. And then Elder Sobreviga and I. We ate at McDonalds upon arrival. Then we went to meet the missionaries that we were staying the night with. Talk about a total joke... my whole zone gets to stay in a hotel with hot showers and air con and I have to stay at another missionary apartment with an electric fan, crappy mattress, and 12 other missionaries! So, all the Zone Leaders got the shaft while their zones get nice hotel rooms. I'm not going to complain though, but I would've stuck the ZLs in the hotel, not all the new missionaries. Who knows what they do there at night with nobody else watching them, in Bacolod City. So we stayed with the Zone Leaders in Bacolod 2nd Ward. Elder Johnson and Elder Malit. Elder Malit is my batch mate. Elder Johnson was in Escalante while I was in Mabini so I knew both of them. And... the rest of the missionaries I was pretty much here longer than all of them. Except 2 I think... and the ZLs. It was weird. Our mission is SO young! For dinner we ate McDonalds again, but I just ate fries and ice cream, I wasn't the hungry. I miss McDonalds fries. And ice cream is never a bad thing. Then we just went to sleep.

I'm Lovin' it!
Thursday we had our zone conference. It was good and there was a ton of people there! 6 zones I think... all the far zones were attending. I feel like I don't know anybody because I've been in Cebuano forever and nobody really cares about the Cebuano's. They're like oh... you're Cebuano cool. DON'T CARE! But Zone Conference was good. It's only preparation for Elder Nielson of the 70 to come next month. We had to do all this stuff, stand, sit, then all shake his hand a proper way and announce where we're from and our name to him and his wife. So it should be good October 16! We learned about the Plan of Salvation more and how to do better personal study and language study. Elder Doane did a good training... apparently during lunch I should be studying flash cards. Rather than 2 hands on my sandwich I should have only 1 and the other hand on flash cards. That's what he trained about, just using time more wisely and effectively for language learning activities. Thursday night we had a MLC meeting which we will also when Elder Nielson comes. That was the best dinner I've had in the Philippines so far though... wow. Ribs and good meat and I was blown away. So good. The MLC we all just discussed problems we're having in our zones with achieving the vision and problems that we're seeing just pop up and how we can fix them. The biggest one is getting all the interviews done with the Zone Leaders because our areas are so far away. So, it's been good, at least that's the problem. Having too many people to baptize! Right? We slept at the Bata Elder's apartment again with Elder Moody and Elder Nunez. Elder Rilliorta and Elder Gibbons are the Elders in Bata. It was a good night. We got slurpee's and talked for a little bit.
Mission Office Sign

Friday we woke up, got ready and went to McDonalds again... you see what I'm getting at with McDonalds... I miss America. We just wanted pancakes and so we ate breakfast there! AMAZING! haha. Then we rode the bus home and that's about the time that the wind started kickin' in from the Typhoon. After about a hour on the bus the rain was so strong and the wind was crazy. So it took us longer to get to San Carlos... but we made it safely. We got home in time to teach Roberto, that was it.
Baboy (pig)
Dinner at President Dellomes' house
Saturday we went to Punao to teach Sherwin, who will be baptized this Saturday! So that was good, we just ran through the interview questions and made sure that he knows them! He passed his interview on Sunday! :) So Saturday it is! We're excited. We then taught our new investigator Romel. He's 15 and lives like right on the beach. This is the family of 10 that I was telling you about, but he's the only one that is usually home. Mom this week was working when we went over both times. He's good and won't except to be baptized yet because he's Catholic. We're just focusing on getting him at church though, but I think they all go to the cathedral for church. It's at the same time... so it's going to be interesting, but we're just praying for help to know what to do. We also got invited to President Dellomes' house for dinner. Little did we know it was his sons birthday. Most of the branch I swear was there, but there was Baboy (pig) I'll send a picture. Literally... the whole pig. On the table. I know mom was asking about that one time. Yes, it's true :) It's good too. They only do it for holiday's and special events. Like last Christmas I had it at every house!

Found out where the less actives live!
Elder Wilstead in Canla-on is just tearing it up and so they're going to be having a weekly baptism now there. So every Sunday we're going to have to go there. It's super far! So it takes pretty much all our Sunday. If we have them and another interview, we're totally just hosed for our Sunday work! I guess it's a good thing for them! As long as we have a baptism every week though, then it doesn't matter what our other numbers are. As long as we're having people progress, return, and be baptized! However, the bus to Canla-on leaves every 1hr... we found that out yesterday. So, we were late to their church, so their investigators went home. So when we got to Canla-on we did the interview at their investigators house. That was interesting, but they gave us some bread and MILO afterwards so it was a nice bonus. The Corson couple. Their 2 really old people and I think they'll go any day soon so it's good their being baptized now! They're very cute and sweet to us. I did one interview and Elder Sobreviga did the other one. Afterwards we waited for a bus and then it just starting pouring rain. I guess some of the storm is still in the area or something. But it was fine, we were under a roof. The bus came and then after an hour we started down the mountain for Sn. Carlos. We got home at 8pm and decided to do personal study since we hadn't studied yet for the day. It was still a good Sunday. We had 5 investigators at Sacrament! :) Roberto. Wishley. Sherwin. Irish (new). and Irish's Sister (We've never met, just yesterday for the first time)
So my week was really good! I'll send some pictures here in a bit. The computer shop is running of a back up generator, power's been out for awhile... so it took us about 30 minutes to get up the Internet and computers again. Everything is going well though! We're excited to start fulfilling the vision of the mission and it's going to be hard to keep up just because it's that hard to do. Not many people are doing it, but there are people that are doing weekly baptism. I just want to be one of them. I can't ask my zone to do something I'm not doing. So I told them last zone training that we gave them, I can't tell you to do this, but President did. But this next zone training, I can say it. Elders, we can do it. I know we can do it. Because we're actually doing it. I love you guys! Thanks for all  the support! Philippines is still awesome and rocking! Just keep praying it stays that way. Have a great week!
Elder Wilstead & Ellis

Elder Ellis
1 Year na ako! :) 1 Yr pa jud! Ayos ra!

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