Archive for January, 2014
Im sure your anticipating a baby a lot more than this email but you can read this and write me back to pass the time. It was a great week to end off my time in San Pablo. We did a lot of tracting this week and we got into 2 houses so yeah not the best but we still have some pretty solid previous investigators. Yesterday we went to both our wards church and another because our time is 1 pm and our investigators couldnt make it in the afternoon we just went to the other ward in the morning and also our own ward. It was crazy because they already have 4 missionaries plus there was another companionship of missionaries that were visiting the ward before they go home and then the couple missionaries decided to stop by so there were ten missionaries in the one ward. But it was fun to because we have a lot of friends also in that ward where they boarder each other and share the same building.
We had a way awesome experience where more than a month ago we placed a Book of Mormon with a lady at a store and set a return appointment. When we went to the appointment she wasnt there and we didnt think she was even inerested so we didnt go back. The other day I was on exchanges with another elder and she saw us and apologized for not being at the appointment and asked if we could come by the next day and she would bring the Book of Mormon. So to this point nothing to super extra ordinary. But from here me and Elder Hansen really felt guided we went to the relative area she said her house is we got pointed directly to a house at it was very obvious which one. For some reason when we got to the house I decided instead of going to knock directly on the house we would ask the neighbors first. Their neighbor was a very nice big home with a car(thats saying something). The guy came out and I just asked him if he knew the lady we were looking for of course he did. He looked like a very educated guy so from the start we spoke english. The Lady who was expecting us got jittery and came outside to see if we were coming and when she saw us talking to her neighbor she invited him as well. Ended up being one of the best Restoration lessons we have ever taught and they are already diving in to the Book Of Mormon. Now heres the sad part. Im transferred on Thursday ugh. I dont know where or with who but that will be the big news next week.
This could just possibly be my last area if the pattern continues and I spend 6 months in my last area. Who knows. But I have thought it out very carefully and of where theres not a whole lot of zone leader areas I have somewhat limited options. One of which is the island of Marinduque where the ZL’s have a van how sweet is that ha. They say its super beautiful over there though. Im excited to see whereever and im getting myself read to hit the ground running.
This week really cruised and it doesnt seem like we got a whole lot done. This area has been tough on finding people to teach to be honest. After those baptisms last week our teaching pool got cut down big time. This week was probably particularly hard because it was Coco Fiesta week here. Wednesday was the main event of the whole thing and we ended up having 6 eating appointments between the hours of 1-6. We learned where a lot more of the members went and we sang “Amazing Grace”on the Karaoke machine they have. One of the days they had street dancing where the schools dressed up in crazy weird colorful suits. The whole situation just made me realize that the whole thing was pretty much a replay of the movie Madagascar where are the little Lemurs party and dance around. Especially where the Mayor of the town stood up on this big stage in the middle of town just as though he was King Julian. It was a vivid experience.
Other than that were still teaching sister Joans husband Albert. He was doing so good he kept saying dont worry elders I havent drank since last year which only really means about 10 days. Then comes the fiesta and he blew it all. We did our usual chastizement and explained to him there are no occasions for word of wisdom it had more effect to because our bishop came with us to the lesson. Were trying to do every out of the box idea to find and teach our investigators effectively.
Finally we had zone interviews this last friday. The AP’s taught the first hour of the meeting and me and Elder Hansen taught the second hour while 1 by one everyone got interviewed. It all went well and President Peterson gave us a super broad topic to teach “The Doctrine of Christ” which we had fun with. All is well, Its kind of ineresting how much different interviews go with President my second half of the mission when I was new he talked the whole time and now its flipped around.
We did find one new solid investigator though this week. Hes 18 and studying in information technology. Hes a really nice kid for being 18. For instance when we first met him we asked if we could share and instead of getting the usual answer I have heard a thousand times. He said yeah Im not doing anything else sure. Then we taught him the first lesson just about the Book of Mormon and he dug it up. The Book of Mormon really is the true reason why the Singapore guy got baptized not because of the Osborn’s. I dont know what I would do with out that evidence. Missionary work wouldnt get anywhere. Definately True!
I feel like we have just been trying to suck referrals out of members this last week. The funny thing whenever theres a good referral its when the missionaries didnt even ask for it. So its really just a lesson of patience and learning we work on the lords time when hes ready and when we have earned it. We have in fact been getting some good referrals recently but they have only been coming from our recent converts. The new investigator they referred is named Jean. She is a single mother of a 5 year old daughter. We taught her every other day last week and she has been intently listening.
We also had a zone meeting last week in which me and Elder Hansen gave out last workshop together. Our focus lately in the mission has been working with the ward. The church does run even quite as smoothly here as it does in America. We actually had the third ward council meeting of my whole mission yesterday and we have a PEC meeting scheduled for the end of the month. Its kind of Ironic because in the zone meeting we taught we practiced taught how an actually effective ward council should go. It was also really cool because our recent convert that was baptized in December is now the 1st counselor in the young womens and so she attended a ward council meeting also.
This last week all the sister from my batch coming into the mission went home. Its just us boys left. Girls only have to serve 18 months because they can accomplish everything they need to in what us elders can only do in 2 years. I actually have noticed though its a long process trying to acquire and develop even just one christlike attribute. One of the couple missionaries taught it to us like this. That over time we become calloused to certain things and becomed hardened and stuck in a way. In order to remove that callouse it takes twice the effort. This next area I go into could be my last which means it should be my best if I have truly removed all of the callouses and prepared how I need to.
We had another average week and to tell the down right truth we only have one truly progressing investigator right now which makes it harder to focus on this area knowing that theres not a whole lot more I can accomplish here before im transferred to a new area. Im just fighting those normal missionary feelings of getting thrown all over the place.
We had a zone p-day today where we went and got on this raft thing that has like a hut on it that you ride around one of the 7 San Pablo Lakes and than you can hike up and see this other lake and they gave us coconut to eat and the best was probably the hyper little monkey who stole pesos and wouldnt give them back. President Peterson actually barely allowed us to do it because it was on water but we talked him into it in the end. It was good because unlike brittany’s vacation in Peru we are only allowed to get together on P-day once a transfer just kidding Brittany but it seems like they do a lot of activities.
It seems like new year was a long time ago but that was this week pala. We had to be in our apartment by 6pm and just hang out while everyone in the philippines played with fireworks and alcohol. Its not a good mix our members said theres always tons of injuries. for like three days straight there were firework tents set up all over the town and it looked like they were preparing for WW3. Our neighbors that live in the apartment above us invited us to come over for dinner though and they had some really good stuff there.
They best thing I can probably say about this week is that we taught Tatay Calingasan for the first time. His wife and three daughters were baptized 2 years ago and to this date are the most faithful members I have met my entire time in the Philippines. They are my favorite and we have really been working hard with their dad and gotten pretty close to hime. So for christmas I gave them a really big picture of the temple in a frame to hang on the wall. This and many other simple actions has softened his heart and we were able to teach him the other day. So tonight we have a Family Home Evening at their house. Were actually super excited to see if he starts progressing. Eternal Families remains to be the most appealing doctrine to anyone we come in contact with. I really hope its something that their family can experience some day.
Love Elder Polatis
Its still about the exact same as it was when I talked to you only a few days ago face face. Our christmas went just splendid we went around and visited some more investigators and members and then had to spend the night in our apartment because they gave us a curfew so we wouldnt be disturbing anyones drinking parties. Its very common to have a group of guys just sitting on the side of the road with a big bottle of liquor in the middle but this christmas season it has been ridiculous. The other day we were walking down the road and coming upon a drunk walking very weary toward us when he stopped suddenly and laid face down in the middle of the road my companion took a picture.
We have been teaching this one less active couple that has a nine year old unbaptized little girl. They went less active because sister had a stroke about 5 years ago and she lost feeling in a lot of her body after that she gained a lot of weight. Lately we have noticed that shes been walking around excessively she kindof just walks in circles outside of the front door for excercise. Well she over exerted herself and had a heart attack and died. It was super sad and doesnt it seem like I have had way to many deaths in my mission so far. After learning of the death we went and taught brother the plan of salvation. He was all sad cause he was saying her body is going to the dust. It seemed that he didnt fully understand the doctrine of Resurrection so as we read a scripture about the body returning back to its perfect for he looked up at us and we were surprised to hear the english words come out of his mouth “Elders I already now my wife is going to be sexy in the resurrection” At least despite the tragedy in his life he still has a sense of humor.
We also have this one neighbor down the street from us that we have grown close to recently. Shes a retired social worker and college professor in psychology. She is filthy rich or something because she just gives away money like crazy to little kids on the street and treats them to Jollibee(a kid loving Filipino fast food place). Shes not to interested in taking lessons right now but she enjoys reading the Liahonas we give her and she makes copies of certain articles to share with her senior citizens. This January she wants us to help her in a little community service project which we were more than glad to accept and hopefully acts of service will really start to show the true meaning of Christianity. The other day she invited us to come over for lunch with her so we just stopped by her house and she wanted us to put her prayers she wrote on a paper please pray for my brother and his lawyer who is a good man and also Lola ma’am for protection against evil neighbor. She thinks the whole world is out to get her and its kind of ironic that she studied psychology because she is losing it a little bit.
After spending another christmas in Philippines I learned more about how something you hear prophets say all the time along the lines of take what comes and love it. Its really cool to celebrate christmas in a new culture and experience things a new way. Sometimes you have to give some things up to get more. That sounds like gambling but its not its more along the lines of what Jesus Christ said in Mathew 16:25-For whosoever shall save his life shall lost it;and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it