Wednesday, July 30, 2014

7.21.14 Kabankalan Ward + Tampalon area= FUN for me!

Dear Friends and Family,

10! (That's how many more weeks) Weird to think about, but it's honestly the thing that's pushing me to do more work and work harder. Next week I'll be hitting single digits. Crazy. I honestly don't know what to put in my emails anymore. I just have the same thing to say every week, just different people and different places. So, I'm sorry if y'all have just gotten super sick and tired of me emailing you. 

We've been working with this man, named Brother Gordavilla. He's over 60 years old, hair longer than Ashlyn's, has been smoking since he was 9 years old, and he now knows that it's not good. He's super skinny, poor, and doesn't know what to do, till we came along. Yesterday we taught him a lesson, I was actually with a member, not my companion, we did splits so that we could cover more area. I worked with Whenie. Our recent convert. He already wants to serve a mission and stuff. We just had a really good lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the doctrine of Christ) and focused on Baptism. He's never been baptized he said, not even into the Catholic church. At least that he can remember is what he said, so we invited him and excepted a date for Aug. 30. He then went on telling us that he doesn't think that he can quit smoking, but Whenie just bore his testimony because Whenie had a smoking problem too and was up to 20 sticks a day. So Brother now has hope and we're going to help him. But I just promised him if he prays and comes to church, God will help him. He can't read, but he can write his name. So he can't read the Book of Mormon or anything we give him. But we've read with him. His wife can't read without glasses, and she doesn't have any. So neither of them can do much if we're not there. I guess that's just going to be a focus for us now. He's way cool. I won't give up on him. 

My companion and I have literally just started tracting pretty much any where we go. They call it OYM (Open Your Mouth) it's like the new word for "tracting". They like to disguise it... but really it's called, "tracting". We don't have to knock on doors, because most people have them open during the day or they're outside doing something, so it's not just knocking on doors, but it's just talking to people. A lot of people just say, "Oh you're talking about God, here I'll listen". Then in the end they say you can come back! GREAT! Then you go back and they're like, ah, Brothers we're really just Catholic, but thanks. Or whatever else. It's alright now, there's always got to be someone willing to except the message everyday. We found some families this week. A new family in Tampalon that seemed interested, but it sucks when you find out they're not married, one had a previous husband so it's impossible to get married, and that means they can't be baptized. So, it's sort of like a catch 22. We teach them, if they want to be baptized, they can't. However, if we drop them, we just gave up on someone who could possible enter the Kingdom of God. Life's rough. In Tampalon there's tons of people that aren't married, I would say most. Since it's in the mountains they just don't care, they're like, we could do all the work to get married, or just live together, it's free, and... it's just the same thing. So, that's pretty much it. A ton more people would be baptized in the Philippines if they made divorce legal. President is all for it. However, the Catholic's I guess don't believe in it..? If you marry someone, you're stuck with that person. But... they didn't think about the "what ifs" and things like that I guess. The Government has been trying to pass it for awhile, but it keeps getting shot down by a ton of people I guess. I don't know... it hurts our work, but nothing that we can't handle i guess. 
We're super busy every Sunday and nobody listen's to us. They hold 3 sacraments at the same time and only 2 of us Elders. We've asked for one to switch to after church, but they told us no, then ask us to come with them, and we have to say no. Oh well. I've adapted the culture and am super just laid back now when things don't go my way. Nothing I can do about it, so... why worry? Don't! haha. 
We got so wet, but Sister Lucerna took care of us!

Sharing the same birthday!

Investigator Family

We should be having some baptisms coming up on my birthday I think. I don't know if they'll go through, but we're just hoping for the best. You never know here... We found a cool river in Tampalon to baptize them in, WATERFALL, so we'll see how that goes. The way to get to it would be hard to old people, but it's way cool. The water is a little sketchy, but it's a river ;) So, it's clean. 

Sorry not a super long email, just going to keep it short, email President, then go to lunch. Nothing really going on today that exciting. This zone is pretty boring... I'm tired of putting on fun activities, but nobody in this zone would even want to come. So, just hang out on p day, do laundry... do the rest of the stuff. Love you guys! Have a great week!
Elder Ellis

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