Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9th--First Mission Leadership Council as a Zone Leader

Dear America,

This week has been pretty good I guess. Not really. We didn't have a baptism. We weren't expecting one, but President told me at our Missionary Leaders Council that if you don't have a baptism, it's not a good week. So yeah, it wasn't a good week. He's really stressing the weekly baptism, which I'll be honest when the vision of that first came out in April, I wasn't a believer. I was just going to continue to do the work that I was called to do. However, I've repented and returned to do the thing that I need to do. I will have a weekly baptism. It's going to be hard to start it, especially when the missionary who I just switched with really didn't find that many people. We have people lined up for baptism starting on the 28th and going for three weeks after that. So we're just going to find more people and start lining them up on different Saturdays. 

I spent my entire Monday in Bacolod. I bought my needed rubber shoes, they're pretty cheap so that's good. I need some new ones about every transfer. They're comfortable and water proof, until they tear, haha. Elder Robertson was my companion for Monday and Tuesday because Elder Sobreviga was "sick". I really think he would've been fine if he went to Bacolod with me, but oh well. We spent some time at the mall in Bacolod, Robinsons. I bought a new watch since my old one broke. I wanted a little bit nicer of a watch, so I bought one to keep the time. Also that night we ate McDonalds and I did see Elder Garner there so we talked for a little bit. We tried to get Slurpee's but all the machines were broke because the power went out for about 5 minutes so something happened to all the machines. I guess they break when that happens. I did buy some American candy, and I'll be honest. That just hit that spot that day. I love when y'all send me some American candy and stuff. It's such a blessing, so thank you! Monday night I talked with Elder Moody, Elder Gibbons, Elder Robertson for a bit. It's seldom that we can talk for a long time with other Americans. Since I've never had an American companion, it's nice when other Americans are around. 
Elders Ellis & Garner
The Avengers
Elders Ellis (ZL) & Doane (AP)
Tuesday was our MLC Meeting, that's what they call it. It was amazing! I was surprised that it was actually so good. I wasn't expecting that. Every zone has a brand new zone leader. We're going to be able to meet with Elder Nielson of the 70 when he comes in October. He's going to have a meeting with us Zone Leaders so I've rather excited. And nervous... hopefully he doesn't chastise us too bad. Elder Nielson is part of the Philippines Area Presidency. I guess you saw some pictures of the meeting. It was good getting training from President and being able to openly discuss ideas and problems with work in different zones with other zone leaders and things. 

Wednesday we had a zone meeting in which we relayed all the details from our MLC meeting to the zone. Since Elder Sobreviga wasn't at the MLC meeting, I really was the only one talking that much and teaching the zone. I think that meeting was great and I think that we got the information back to the zone in a good manner. Most times in the past I haven't like that meeting just because the way the Zone Leaders have taught it, but I really tried to study the material and not just word for word everything that President told us. Rather, I used scriptures and quotes, then taught the thing that relates as taught by President Lopez. We've got some new missionaries to the zone. Elder Wilstead is awesome, probably one of my favorites. He's a baseball player for UNLV, but lost his scholarship by coming on a mission. BYU is going to accept him though with no problem. He's from St. George, went to Pineview high school. He just stepped down from being a zone leader since Feburary. So long. He's only 2 batch's ahead of me, so like 3 months. We ate lunch with him and Elder Alfeche his companion. Then we just worked. We taught some less actives, that are okay with us teaching them. They don't really keep commitments, nor really care that we teach them. So we just do our best to serve them and to help them and know that we love them. We've got an investigator I think I told you about Roberto. He's a part member. He's going to be baptized on October 5. He still smokes sometimes, but not that often anymore. So we're still working on the with him. He's an Illango, so it's rough to teach, but it bring back a lot of my language from Victorias. Speaking of Victorias. At our MLC meeting I got to talk with a Sister assigned in Victorias now. She said that all the members still talk about me and they miss me. Ryan Jumbas is not the President of the Young Men! And there are a lot of returned less actives that I was working with, the Perez family to be the key on that I was happy to hear about. It was nice to hear that they still love me! 

Thursday we went to a place called Panao. It's pretty far, it's the only place that we actually have to ride a jeep too. The people there still go to church sometimes though. We have 2 investigators there. Sherwin is a part member. He's 12, never baptized. He's brothers and sisters are members, parents are not, but he's been coming to church and we've been teaching him. He's got a date for baptism on the 28th of this month. So we're going to teach him. The only problem is he still is at school during the day and gets home at night and the area is dangerous at night so we can only go there on Saturday and Sunday. So, we're going to teach him longer lessons, hopefully he can handle it. Another is Malou. She's a next door neighbor of a member. She's 13, and was taught by Elder Edem in the past. She lives with her grandma, but has some friends at the church so we teach her and we're going to baptize her. She came to church on Sunday. We think that we're going to baptize her on the 12th of October, so that we'll be doing this weekly baptism thing. We teach Roberto every night at his house. They're house is right next to ours... well like a 3 minute walk, so we just teach them on the way home every night. It's nice! He'll do well. His family is way active.

How do you like these bananas?
Friday we went to a place called Stampar. It's in the mountain. It's the place where we went 2 weeks ago with the branch to go visit the less active family, anyway, we finally went there. The area is nice, it's not that far, compared to some of the place that I walked in Mabini. So it was nice. It's out of the city and you can actually see the whole city from their house, I'll send a picture. They didn't come to church on Sunday though... they said they would. That's the problem... always saying, never doing. We taught a bunch of other less actives, but only a few were at church. They all work on Sunday. I like the members here that at least go to church and then work after church! At least their doing something! Some members say they need to work all morning... but they don't care anyway. We have tricycle drivers and bicycle drivers that come to church and then after go back to work. I respect them a lot. 

Saturday we went back to Panao and to Sherwin and Malou. They're doing well and both came to church on Sunday! I like their area. We were given a lot bread and tang by two families there. One was a less active, the grandma of Sherwin, and the other was Sherwin's mom, who's not a member. I think they give us food and drink so that we don't bother to teach them, but I'm going to change that. We also taught a recent convert that's now less active. He moved to Bacolod for 6 months and didn't go to church there and now he's back, we randomly found him at his house, there hasn't been people at the house for months, but we decided to stop by and see and his wife was home and said to come back. So we did go back and taught him. He said that he might come to church but it shy because he hasn't gone in a long time. I don't really understand that... people being shy to go to church?... We did teach a lot of other less actives and some active members. There's a place called Calingling, which has like a bridge, then next to the bridge there are about 6 houses. All of them are members. It's pretty cool. We're going FHE there next Monday. So we shared some scriptures with them there. It was fun.

Sunday I've come to find out if we're going to start baptizing weekly, the zone leaders are going to be super busy doing baptism interviews. If the district leader has a candidate for baptism, we interview that person. Other than that, it's the DLs that do it for other missionaries. But we have 3 DLs... maybe 4 soon if they put another companionship in one of the other areas. So we're going to be super busy on Sunday! Yesterday we did interviews in Calatrava and Macasilaw. I was going to Calatrave and Elder Sobreviga in Macasilaw. However, the interviewee didn't come to church so I didn't have anyone to interview. Elder interviews 4 in Macasilaw, which is a mountain part of Calatrava, they have a little branch up there way in the mountains. On our way home we waited for 1 1/2 hours just for a bus or a jeep, it was only like 6:30pm. Nothing came forever, then finally a jeep. When we got on the jeep it broke down like 8 times on the way home. Took another 1 1/2 just to go 18 Kms. Such a joke! But we got home safe and no harm. We got home at 9 so we weren't able to do any work because of the interview. I worked a little bit in Calatrava with Elder Nery, while waiting for Elder Sobreviga in Macasilaw. 

Sorry if my email is a little bit shorter. I'm trying to cut my email time down. But I will put in all the key details and everything about investigators and things and my days. It was a decent week. I'm excited today to play basketball with the zone, but it's currently raining, next to our apartment though is a covered court, so we might play there. I hope all is well with everyone back home. 
I know that this work is true. Being a ZL has made me realize a lot of things and I've really working hard and trying to go that extra mile and just really pushing myself so please keep me in your prayers! I know that we can achieve the weekly baptism. I need to have faith in it and hope! Just like we read in Ether! Hope and Faith! I love the Book of Mormon. I just read 3 Ne 11 this morning and I love it every time. Jesus Christ is an amazing teacher! That's why Elder Holland always calls him the Master Teacher. I learn something new every single time that I read the scriptures. I don't know why I never tried to learn more as a kid. I love them now! So read your scriptures everyone! You'll learn tons. I love y'all back home! It's Christmas season here now. They've already started the music. Any month that ends in "BER" is Christmas season here. Keep up the good work and good luck with school! 

Elder Ellis 

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