Monday, March 3, 2014

3.3.14 District Leader and Serving Less Actives

Dear Friends and Family,

San Enrique Elders Ellis & Urgelles
Well, I'm exhausted. I don't know how to explain that. I'm just dead beat tired exhausted. I'm sure there should be some punctuation in there somewhere, but my backspace is broken and it doesn't stick to the computer and it's flustering me right now... so I'm trying my best. We've worked so hard this week. Only to have the trial of one of investigators show up at church... hooray. I hate weeks like this. It's almost as if working so hard and doing all the things that we know are right, nothing, same ole' same ole'. 

Last Monday at least I got to relieve some of the stress by playing so basketball. Since we haven't played in awhile I wasn't that good! I was so upset, so I think I got even more stressed out, but it's okay. It's just basketball for fun, not a big deal. Monday night we taught some less active families. There were also calls for transfers for Tuesday morning, we didn't get anything, but our district did. So... I don't know if you know this, but I'm now the District Leader. There are only 4 Elders in my district, so it's not a big deal. Elder Gibbons is in my district and his companion is just a brother right now, a local member on a "short term" mission. Is what we call is here. We're in shortage I guess of missionaries. After all the Tacloban people came we opened some new areas and now that they're all gone, we've had a shortage in missionaries. So it's just the four of us in the district. It makes for an awkward district meeting sometimes... but all will be well I guess. 

So we have new planner since it's the start of a new transfer today and I left my old planner at home, so I totally don't have my daily list of things that we did, but I'll try my best to remember everything.

Tuesday we had no district meeting because of transfers so there was no district meeting so we decided to just work all week. We've decided also to find new less actives that hopefully have part members in them and ask everyone for referrals, no success, but also for less actives that live in their parts of the town. We've contacted 6 new less active families this week! Super awesome actually. They said they'll come to church if they have time... but who knows when that will be or what that means... frustrating thing less actives are. It's all good though I guess. 

We've found a new less active sister, 23 years old, who's actually really cool. She's been less active for about 3 years, we don't know why, we asked and she didn't say much. She said that she wants to come back to church though, so that's the important part. So we've been working hard to get her to come. She's got friends and stuff too. Personally I think there's a family problem. We talked to her dad and he stopped our conversation so that he could have a smoke. He's a member as well... so I think there's some stuff going on there. 

We also found a new less active family that has some non members living there. I forgot their name, I think it's Inario Family. Anyway, they actually bake bread. Dad! You would get a kick out of this house. It's a bamboo house like most houses here, but inside they have the gigantic brick oven! They fed us some fresh baked bread and it was super good. We shared to the whole family and they are way cool. They've been less active for quite some time now, but I didn't see any type of envy or anything towards the church, just more like, they haven't come to church in a long time and are maybe shy to come back. And they bake on Sunday mornings for orders that they have. So that's going to be the problem that we have for them to not bake on Sunday's so that they can go to church. They make really good bread though... haha. 

Gigantic bread oven.....awesome!
We had this Valentines day activity this week... It was all the couples of the branch. It was super fun and Elder and I were in charge of helping and meeting the less actives that came. It was successful and we did contact one family that we've now visited. Pretty cool. It was funny since everyone was supposed to bring a date and then there's just me and Elder... so it was a ball. Good church activity.

All our investigators didn't even come to church this week. We gave dates to 3 people in the Depedro Family, mom and her 2 kids, and she was great! And then all of a sudden she just doesn't come to church. We let her know that her baptism can't continue unless she goes to church, she said, Yes Elders no worries, We'll come to church... then... not at church. Same thing with Sister Balijong, her husband is an investigator as well, then boom, not a church. Even the Comporaso family. Sister and her kids have been at church for a solid 3 weeks now, her daughter that hasn't been baptized is supposed to be baptized next Saturday, they weren't even at church! We don't know why... WHY DON'T THEY COME TO CHURCH????! That's the thing that frustrates me so much here is that people say yes and they actually mean NO. Just stop lying to me already!!!! Then they tell me they have no money to go to church and they're drinking a coke or something. The same price it would be to go to church... just... gr... so frustrating sometimes. But I'm not going to do what a lot of other missionaries and pay for them to go to church and things like that. I don't think it's a smart idea. It's definitely not a smart idea. And I really dislike those who choose that action to get investigators at church. 

Anyway, our work this week was a lot. We have over 40 lessons taught this week, I don't know if that's a lot, but it's a lot for me I think... I know there's other areas that get more than that, but that's high for this area. We're always getting compared to other missionaries here though. Like missionaries from the past... people say, we use to work with the missionaries all the time, and now they're less active. It totally makes no sense, but that's what they say. And then I always ask... so what happened? And then they say we don't know. I mean, that's like how I use to answer dad, "Son, why'd you do that?" My answer was always, " I don't know"... now I know how Dad always felt. aah. Sorry Dad! 

So, it looks like we'll have zone conference next week... I'm not sure on the details. I think we're staying in Bacolod overnight at mission apartments there, so it should be fun. All day event and I bet you're excited mom for pictures. haha. I'll try and jump into some. I'm sorry I forgot my planner and that this email is terrible. I just feel like all my days are super blurred into one long day. That's just the life here I guess. But I'm creeping up on my 18 month mark. Super crazy! Mom's counting fast Sundays! haha. That's great! ;)
So, I apologize for having a terrible email this week. I wish I wouldn't have forgotten my planner because I'm still working at memorizing names and places and stuff. Just know that we're killing it right now as far as working and just being outside. President has also banned us from having exchanges this month so that we can focus on our work only... so... that sucks. I really look forward to exchanges, but this whole month we're not allowed to have any. I hope that all is well back home and you're doing good. I'll remember my planner next week. Sorry again for the terrible email. 


Found a cool hat at church!

I just want to leave my testimony. I know I don't share it as often as I should to you and things, but I do know the work that we're doing is a true work. I've seen the Hand of the Lord in the work many times and I'm praying that i"ll see it again here soon in my area. With things being really hard, it's hard to explain sometimes, so I'll just leave it at it's hard. But I know the Lord will help us. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God the Father and Jesus the Christ. There's no way that that book isn't true! I've been reading a lot on Joseph Smith lately and that man was as true a prophet as the prophets of Old; Moses, Abraham, and Isaiah. A true and living prophet of God the Father! I know the church is true. I know it! 
Have a great week!

Elder Ellis

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