Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16th: Prayers are VERY Helpful!

Well, I'm sure you've seen pictures on facebook already. That was the first part of my week. It's been pretty good. We've been really had some hard time finding new investigators. We've started just talking to people that are on the road and on the side just trying to look busy or something and we talk to them, but all of them live outside our area. They're just there seeing a friend of something, so we've given out so many referrals this week and it's not fair because we've been giving other people investigators, but none for ourselves! Haha. It's not a huge problem, but it's just something that I wish we had investigators, more of them at least. We have investigators. It's always nice to have more though. It's hard with our area since it's less city, so that means less people. Everyone is always busy and caught up with life and they miss so many opportunities to talk to us or just blow us off. It's fine though, we're doing our part so that's all that matters. 

 Facebook pics:


Last Sunday, I forgot to tell you that I was really angry at one of the councilors in the branch presidency and then a lot of Single Adults in the branch, because for the past 5 weeks the church has been a drop off point for tons of food and clothes to take to Tacloban City for all the Victims of the storm.  The reason I was angry was because they picked Sunday at 9 a.m. to take all the things to the big drop off point in Dumegette.  Out of all the days of the week, they picked the Sabbath and right during church. The city is 3 hours away and all they needed to do was take some boxes from the truck they rented, get them off the truck and then come home. 20 people from Branch 1 and 2 decided to "Volunteer" their services and to "help" take all the things to this city. Anyway, after they "unloaded" the truck with the 15 boxes of things, they all went to the mall and just went shopping, took pictures, then went to a restaurant, then took pictures all around the city, and just like hung out down there all day. If that wasn't bad enough, then they put it on facebook and turn around and profess to keep the sabbath day. I was pretty upset, just because if others look at them, WHILE WEARING THE YELLOW little MORMON HELPING HANDS vest, then they are seen breaking the commandments while representing the church... that just really upset me. Like if you are alone with yourself, fine, do your thing, don't care, that sins on you, but when you represent the church and the whole group of people do this while being on the church's errand... grrr...  

Last Monday we didn't really want to go to Bacolod too early. We didn't have a ton of money so we stayed in San Carlos as long as we could. We emailed here, ate, and did some stuff; then just got on the bus and went to Bacolod about 1pm I think. We slept over at BATA apartment as usual on Monday night so that we are close to the mission home for our meeting on Tuesday morning. On Monday night, we all just sat around and talked. One of missionaries that is assigned there is brand new so we were just talking with him and just the funny stuff that he thinks is funny and how we were just like that at first, then now nothing surprises us anymore. He's from a town in northern Idaho. 

Tuesday we have to be at the mission home at 7am so we all wake up at about 5:30. Honestly we don't sleep much on Monday nights because we all just talk and share stories and like what's been going on in our areas and things, so Tuesday mornings are such a drag... However, we're all waiting for the shower and then 6:30 hits and there's one more Elder who needs to shower so we can go to the mission home. The new Elder just like, cuts him and jumps in the shower while his back was turned. We had to establish some rules. I guess he didn't realize it, since he's not a zone leader that he didn't need to be ready till 8am for studies.  We had to be at the mission home at 7am, so someone needed to be told. haha. I'm just kidding about being mean to him, but we told him not to do it again. We went to the mission home and got there late, but not for the meeting, just for breakfast, but we still got to eat and the meeting started on time. It was a good meeting a lot of the same things that we hear all the time and a lot about baptism. The AP's did some cool trainings and a lot of them were chastisement about not getting a weekly baptism. Only 4 zone leaders I think are getting weekly baptism, which is great! I'm happy for them, but, we're doing our work here that needs to be done and BUILDING the kingdom. We had a great "baboy" (PIG) for lunch and that's honestly the highlight of the meeting. I love Lechon Baboy. It's so good. We traveled back that night and we wasted tired and we needed to prepare for the meeting that we teach the zone the next day. 
For my mom!  Cheese!
MLC Council
What did he say?
Cool Trainings
Zone Leaders

Wednesday we had our zone training meeting. I think my training went great, at least that's what they all said. Some Elders said I have no problem speaking in public, which I don't know if that's true or not. Our training was good until President Lopez came in about when we had about 10 minutes left and everyone was like... what's going on and it took the focus off the meeting. He was there to pick up the Macasilaw Elders which is a mountain branch because he had to do some interviews there. We also set some new zone goals for our goals each week. We now set them as a zone and we all have the same goal, which it says not to do in Preach My Gospel, but it seems to help us and that was the instructions we're to follow. We set them a lot higher than what we did last month. Elder Barangay and I thought that we could push our zone a lot more. We've seen them do it before and we know it's possible, because so far our zone is killing it in percentage numbers than every other zone. All zones have decreased in baptisms, except for SAN CARLOS ZONE! :) We've increased every single month! Cool huh? Way to go San Carlos. After our meeting, Elder Pulsipher and I did exchanges in San Carlos. It was awesome. It's cool working with an American to be honest. We are just so much more on the same page than anyone else. Also, we're both good at Cebuano. Elder Pulsipher actually knows a lot more than me.  He knows a lot of the deeper words that not a whole lot of people even use, but when it's used it makes more sense. He's a real Filipino! We're best buddies here in the mission. He was in Escalante Zone with me too, so we've known each other for a long time. Our numbers were so high because we pretty much ran everywhere we went. It was awesome and we did a lot of work. 

Thursday we exchanged back and Elder Barangay and I went straight to our appointment. We were supposed to be up at the Leduna's family at 2pm so we went there.  Since they're all members now, we're working on the non members of the family. However, every time that we go over there they're gone, the dad and the brother, so it's super hard. After that we then walked up and down the street for an hour trying to find more people to teach and get new investigators in Punao... we had no luck. Nobody was on the streets, home, nobody interested... just a rough hour. We went back to San Carlos where we met with a little more success. The Sebuyan family was home and the Dad has now been coming to church for 3 weeks, so we will be returning next week from less activity. We then taught Edward about the living prophets and the prophets of old and we taught him about Thomas S. Monson. It's hard for people to pray about a prophet they don't know or can't see or we don't have video's or anything to really show them, but we asked him to pray about it. He said he would. 

Friday we did our weekly planning session and made sure that we have everything good for next week and that our baptism on Christmas is going to go great!  Elder Barangay made some Filipino dish that is usually way good! There's a fruit in it called Mangoes... not Mango, but it's a different fruit... it's green and looks like a pea and when put with pig meat it's way good. This time, however, he put way to much salt and I almost just dried up like a little prune. He didn't even finish it. It was terrible. Later that day, we had a great lesson with our investigator Patrick, he's the part member. He'll be baptized on Christmas as well. He taught him word of wisdom and the law of chastity. It's so funny teaching LOC to kids, they love it.  We have to actually teach that it's not okay to live in the same house if you're not married because everyone here thinks that that is just totally okay.  It's interesting to tell them things contrary to their belief that "you're not allowed to kiss before getting married, but you can sure have babies." Like I said... it's the Philippines, can't be explained. We also taught Cynthia (YAYA) the Maid of President Dellomes. She says she wants to be baptized, but honestly, the things she tells us and other people I bet are completely different. We were going to baptize her on Christmas too, but decided not too. She's not ready and she hasn't done the things to prepare herself. 

Saturday we had a great day! We went back to Patrick's house because we wanted to and we taught them again about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Or the missionary purpose pretty much. We explained the importance of baptism and the Holy Ghost and what it does and why it's important. I'm getting good at teaching Children, which is honestly the toughest thing to do.  It is better to bring the parents in first, though because we can bring children into the church later.  We need their parents in order to help them stay active. We also taught Elma and her dad about the gospel of Jesus Christ too and then we committed her dad for baptism for Jan 11, but then he didn't come to church. I wish they wouldn't commit if they knew they're not going to come. Just say no, rather than YES! GRR! We're also working with a brother named Raymond. We've taught him in the past and I think you know that, but this week we taught him a great lesson on the plan of salvation and he was stoked. Committed to come to church... and then... no show, so yeah, that sucks; however, we're going to work on him. They have to kids and they're both young so only Sister goes to church (who is a less active member that's returning) so now we've got to get brother to start going and we'll be good. We got punted from Edward because there was a midnight sale at the mall that he works at, Gaisano, so we couldn't teach him because he had work till 2am
Elma's house

Sunday, we had Elma, Edward, and Patrick all at church. They will all be baptized on Christmas Day and their interviews will be next week. We're super stoked for them. We then had an interview to go do in Vallehermoso, which is where Elder Pulsipher is assigned. The funny thing is the investigator of theirs that we were interviewing, we found for them, so it's super cool. We just met him in Gaisano one day and then taught him in the mall actually on Pday, then we referred him to Vallehermoso and now he's being baptized. 
Upcoming events of this week are:
1. Exchanges with the Assistants on Wednesday and we will be back in San Carlos on Thursday
2. Zone Conference on Friday, President Lopez will be coming here to San Carlos and we will have it here in San Carlos. So look for pictures. 
3. Work work work
I think that's the main things that are going on this week. I don't think I'm missing anything. I miss y'all back home though. Looking forward to skype next week! It's going to be great! I hope you are excited and this is my 2nd to last skype and my last Christmas in the Philippines :) Weird... time has gone way fast. Especially that last 4 months. Super fast. Being a zone leader is hard and great all at the same time, time seems to just fly by and you just look and say, where am I? It's interesting. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers back home, they are sure helpful. Only if you knew. I love you! Talk to you next week!
Elder Ellis

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