Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2--Happy Birthday Twins! Sister Leduna's Baptism

Dear Friends and Family,

Kamusta po kayo? That's actually Tagalog, so yeah. I don't speak it, but I still can understand some. Basta, how is everything going back in the United States? Still great?! I'm really missing the cold weather right now, I could really use some. It's super hot here still, nothing has changed in the weather. Always hot and rainy. Got to love it! This week has been great and exciting as always here in the Philippines. It hasn't rained all week, so it's been hot, all week.
No wonder his back hurts!
Sister Letecia Leduna passed her baptismal interview yesterday and will be baptized this coming Saturday at 3pm! So be excited all of you. She's been an investigator for years, but finally she'll be baptized and she's come to realize that this is something that is very important. It's only taken all her kids to be baptized first. This is one of my favorite families on this island. I will miss them so much. We've grown so much closer the past couple weeks about baptizing Jamila and now with mom being baptized this coming week. The told me yesterday that they don't want me to transfer, but if I do, they will never forget me. That's nice to hear! haha. I'll never forget them either. Just an amazing family. I love getting close to families here, the only sad part is when I get transferred and have to leave the people that I've gotten close too. It's a hard emotion to explain, but not fun at all. But the work needs to continue in other places I suppose. There's people in other places that need to found by me and me only I guess. It seems like that's what happens in missionary work. It's weird to explain, but it just seems like that's that. 
Leduna family always gives the missionaries drinks!
Leduna family
Monday we had a great P-Day. We played some basketball actually. But then a lot of people bailed out so it wasn't as fun as it could've been, but 3 on 3 isn't too bad. Then we go home and we lock ourselves out. We locked the gate, went inside, then went back outside and left the key's inside. So we got stuck between the gate and the door! Luckily Elder Pulsipher and I are awesome and we unscrewed the screen to the window, took all the little glass panes out, then threw his companion through the window and then we got it through the front door. It was great! And that took us an hour to finally figure out that it was possible. So yeah, just got to love inspiration I guess. Elder Barangay climbed the roof and everything, but everything was locked upstairs, but we finally found the way in!

Tuesday we had a great district meeting. Elder Barangay taught our lesson. We just got an official district leader now, they added 2 more elder's to our district. They are assigned way up in the mountains in a crazy place. They'll stay at our apartment every Monday night in order to attend district meeting on Tuesday morning. This week also they've told us they are going to add 2 more elders to put on the Sipaway Island. If my calculations are correct, I might transfer, but I might just get put on the island since I know the area and then I'll still be in San Carlos and in Branch 2, but just a different area. But I guess we will see. We've also been teaching Edward every other day as it allows. He's great and still reading the Book of Mormon. He committed to be baptized on Christmas Day, we've got 4 lined up for that day actually. He also said he'd be a church yesterday, but never showed up. So we're going to go see what happened, I think he might have taken his mother in law to the hospital, I know that she wasn't feeling well. If it's not that, then I don't know what it is. I"m a little upset he didn't come to church. 

Wednesday I had exchanges with Elder Marlin from Canla-on. He's a great Elder. He's actually from Tacloban mission and so I was able to hear some stories and to see all his pictures. He was the very last Elder they found, him and his companion. Their area was the first to be hit by the storm surge, so he had some pretty wild stories. He actually has nothing. No scriptures, books, nothing, just a few clothes, and his camera. Anyway, while Elder Barangay and I were going to Canla-on we got on a bus that only got us to the crossing to go to Canlaon. The bus for Canla-on wasn't leaving till later. So then from the bottom of the mountain we rode a motorcycle all the way to the top, it's like a 45 minute ride. So that was super fun. After we exchanged Elder Marlin and I got back to San Carlos at like 4pm and so we didn't have much time to work. We did teach 2 less active families that did come to church this Sunday! We also taught Elma, who's also been an investigator for a super long time. She's the part member, anyway, she was also at church again on Sunday. She's got a date for Christmas as well. We're super excited for Christmas this year. I've got to make it a white Christmas! Right? 

Thursday morning we did our studies and pretty much I just wanted to go over any questions that he might have about the mission or rules just because every mission is different. So he did have a lot of questions. So we just sat down and went over them. He's a great Elder. Then that morning since we didn't get to teach a whole lot the previous night, we went to teach some more people before we had to exchange back. We stopped by and taught Dominador and Cyrell, just a less active couple. They're way cool, but we're not sure what happened. No matter what we do, they just don't want to come back to the church or something. We're not sure. We've talked to the branch about it and we're going to be getting their help on the issue soon. We stopped by some other people, but they weren't home. Then it was time to exchange back. So we traveled back to Canla-on. Then by the time Elder Barangay and I got home it was late afternoon. So we did go visit some people, but nobody wanted to listen to us I guess. Typical. Even members sometimes just kinda shrug us off and are like, yeah, we've got something important to do. But at 7pm, I know they have nothing important to do. haha! So joke's on them!

Friday we had a great day! We went to the Leduna's and we just prepared Letecia (the mom) for her interview on Sunday. She couldn't get what tithing was. It was so funny! She kept saying the wrong things. Like mixing up the word of wisdom with the law of chastity, which everyone does here! Even members. Like I said, the church is still young. We're still trying to get it to grow! After that we went to Elma and taught her about the Book of Mormon and to make sure that she really knows that it's important to read it. And then committed her to be at church on Sunday! Which she was!  We also taught Edward again and he still is having a hard time feeling that his prayer is being answered. It's super frustrating, because we know he feels that it's true. We're still trying out hardest with him though! 

Saturday wasn't a great day, but it was still good. We taught Erlinda, she's a part member and a new investigator! She reads the Book of Mormon but works every Sunday. Our lesson was super rough because she had all her gay friends over and they kept talking and things. Spirit was totally not there, so that wasn't great! We also taught the Sebuyan family and made sure they were all coming to church on Sunday. They're a less active family that if they all come it's like 10 people. They're a big family! Way cool. The Dad is the only problem though, but they all came to church this past Sunday! So success! Then we taught yaya too. Her husband has said no to baptism, but we're going to go talk to him and straighten him out. So I'm excited for that!

Sunday we had 5 investigators at church. Elma, Earl Partick (part member thats 9), A visiting girl, Yaya, and Letecia. It was a great church service, got to love fast and testimony meeting. It's the weirdest Sunday of the month for sure here. It's always scary to have investigators at them because you never know what is going to come out of someone's mouth! Nonetheless it was still successful. Then since our district leader was in the mountain, we had Elder Pulsipher come and give Letecia her interview, but since he couldn't come to later, we just did the interview at her house. So all 4 of us went to the Leduna's house and it was super fun. They're just a great family and fun to be with! Then we found out that we needed to give a blessing to a member who was in a motorcycle accident from Canla-on so we went to the hospital. He's okay, just some bruises and scrapes. 
Well, that's my week in a nutshell! I'm glad my package arrived there! Enjoy! Well it's the Christmas season, I miss you all so much! I hope that everything is going great here for you! I love you! Things are going great and very successful. It's transfer week so anything can happen. Let's pray nothing happens actually! Just more baptisms. No transfers! Thanks for everything you do for me! I'll send some pictures! :) I love you and Merry Christmas! The church is true. Never forget that!

Elder Ellis

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