Tuesday, July 15, 2014

7.13.14 Stay Focused and Good Things Will Happen!

Dear Family and Friends,
How is everyone doing this week? I hope y'all are doing great and that y'all are safe and stuff. I see that your vacations are going well! ;) I'm glad that y'all are just relaxing and stuff. I just keep telling myself I can rest when I'm dead. This week has just been tons of work. I'm super tired. I'm glad there's such thing as a P-day... but still, we can't sleep on p day, but at least we get to sit and "relax" which is just getting all the other stuff done. Cleaning and preparing for the week. Last week we played basketball. It's the first time I've played since La Carlota Zone, which was about 2 months ago. But it wasn't as fun as it was in La Carlota Zone, not many people play basketball in this zone. The areas are also too far away that they don't want to play that often. All is well though. Then we had a dinner appointment at a family that their son is an RM. Their family is pretty cool. He came home from his mission, his girlfriend waited for him, they got married in the temple and now they're continue their life as poor college, working students, but their super happy. That's the blessings of serving a mission I guess and just being active in the church doing everything that you're supposed to do. 

Tuesday we worked in Tampalon. It's an hour drive away and we take a jeepney to get there. It's far, but the area is going alright. I was reading in the Liahona this week about the work in South America and how they went from having only a few baptisms in the beginning, but now look at South America and the place is insanely growing still at super fast rates. So that was just inspiration to me about this area that we've opened up. It'll be hard for a few years, but once it gets going well and working well and they can support themselves, there will be more baptisms to come! We teach about 10 lessons every time that we go to this area. All investigators. It's rough just because there's no church yet. They just meet at the house of one of the members there. Many people see that as the issue, but it doesn't matter where you hold church. The actually building is just the blessing of progress, but you've got to start somewhere. They've all seen the actual church here in Kabankalan though, so they know what the potential is. They think we're just super rich... which, the church sort of is, but they just think all Mormons are rich. They're shy to come to church because they're poor or what not. It's always interesting to explain that most of the members are poor too, but the commandments that we live come from God and he blesses us enough to always be able to live, eat, and have extra sometimes as well. I was reading about that with the Law of Consecration. Not only our needs, but even our wants can be taken care of. It just shows that God doesn't only give you small blessings, but if you really open, he'll give you an abundance of blessings. Room enough that we can't receive it. (3 Ne 24:10). Even though it's about tithing, we can apply it to everything else as well.
Nanay Flor. We're going to baptize her on August 2nd (my b-day)

Wednesday we had our zone training meeting since it's the start of the new month... well sort of. Last Wednesday was transfer day, so our meeting got moved to this week. It was good. It's sort of a lot of the same stuff, just reminding us to continue in the things we do. I mean, there are newer missionaries and others who having heard some of the things that are taught, so it's good. After that we ate some lunch and went to work. Lo and behold, it rained! Hooray. Our day was still successful. We don't teach a lot of investigators here in the proper area. All of investigators are in Tampalon, which is super rough for working here in the proper area. So we're going to try and find some here in the proper area. It's just so big, we don't know where to focus at first... so it's something we're still trying to figure out. Here in the proper we've been trying to focus on less actives and recent converts and in Tampalon getting baptisms. There's just so many less actives right now and we're trying to split the ward, so the less actives are really needed if we're going to have success in splitting and then having good attendance. There's tons of problems with less actives and most of it is just pure laziness. It's like a slap in the face... haha. Love it.

This is how we eat in the Philippines ;) Put all the food in the middle and GOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Budol Fight!
Thursday we worked in a different area called Ilog. It's a huge place! It's actually the former capital city, way back when, before Bacolod. But, there's no church there or anything. It's now just a municipality. It's not too expensive to get to the church here in Kabankalan for them though, so it's reasonable. We have a new family that we're teaching and the dad is a faith healer, which is complete witchcraft. We don't teach the dad, only the daughter and the mom. They seem super interested, but it's just like oh your message is about God so we'll listen sort of deal. I'm just going to start inviting everyone I see to be baptized so that this never happens again. I'm sick of it. We're here to baptize people, not just help them know Jesus more... which is actually true, but there's a bigger purpose. So we're trying!
They mock me....even in the Philippines!

Friday we went back to Tampalon and we were met with more success there! We found some other families. The hours are really messed up there because if we don't leave by 4, we'll never get home because of the jeep and tricycle schedule. So we just do our best with the time that we're given there. The members there always come with us to our teaching appointments. They are all super excited to have the work in their progress. They're still way young in the gospel, but It'll progress eventually. I won't see it, but years to come, I can see this place being awesome!

Saturday morning we had a great activity to help the ward missionaries and the full time missionaries to get together, bond and have a training. We trained on helping them with teaching investigators, not just bearing their testimony, but actually helping in the teaching as well. So we did some practice teaching too, I have it on video. Super funny. You won't be able to understand when I play it for you, but it's just funny the things they say. I can only imagine what I said when I was a new missionary. We just worked the rest of the day! ;) Successful! No baptism this week, but hopefully soon...

Sunday was a mess. They've started a new sacrament in Lupni. It's an area that's also ours. So that's 3 sacraments that we now do. And...2  of us. They did the Lupni and here in Kabankalan at the same time... And the one in Tampalon Elder Mercials and a ward missionary went to do, so I had a ward missionary as my companion. So we couldn't be at 2 places at once. I don't know what they think sometimes. They do it without thinking about the missionaries. We'd like to be at both and invite our investigators... but they just want to bring up the attendance so budget will increase and they can split the ward, not thinking about investigators or things like that in mind. I don't know. We'll go to that one next week I guess. 

So... that's a wrap up of my week! ;) We're super super super busy. I don't have time to think, which is perfect right now actually. I can't get trunky. Which I'm just counting this as a tender mercy from the Lord. Pushing forward everyday. I hope that all y'all are doing great! Keep enjoying your summer. Hope you're not burned out by the time that I get home in September so that we can still have some fun! haha. I know the work is true and the book is blue! May you ever keep going and pushing forward in reading the Book of Mormon and praying. Blessings are awaiting you!
Elder D. Blakeman Ellis

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