Archive for March, 2014
Yeah it was an ok week you could say so. Ummm we had a zone conference but we all showed up for it except for one person! Our mission president…yeah he got super sick and had to go to the doctor in Manila. But I think it was just a fluke and hes better now. I did put a dimmer on our meeting though the Assistants just had to step in and cover for him. One reason why I would not enjoy being an AP. Zone Conferences are always fun though because we get togther as three zones for it and I saw a lot of missionaries that I havent talked to in a long time.
Yeah so the family the one with the marriage problem still arent preparing for a wedding but by the lord sees fit to test my patience and long suffering right now. Here is a portion of the email I sent to my mission president talking about them.
Zone Con isnt the same without you but it was none the less an enjoyable spiritual experience. Yeah were not doing so hot president. I think I will try to be like president Uchtdorf and apply our work to air planes. Last transfer we were climbing in altitude with the engine throttled. Then our engines failed dun dun dun. Now were going nose down and working on starting up the backups. But dont worry were not going to pull the parachutes yet. Just give us one more week.
I think I want to tell you about this investigator family were working with I know I have told you about them previously. They are the family that is going to be the key to opening the church on the island of Polilo out of Infanta. The father has been home a lot lately visiting because his daughters have been finishing school and graduating. He is a great guy sincere and listens intently. Five of his daughters have now attended church the 4 times they are all living the word of wisdom and they want to get baptized. BUT the eldest sister has a living with our less active brother out of wedlock and she is undecided about getting married while brother is all for it. The thing is we want to baptize all of them together including her one kid which will include a completed family. We have done everything in the books to help her make the decision and I think shes getting close especially since the whole family has committed to fast this sunday regarding baptism. So what do you say? Lets get them baptized and then you can send me out to open the island and maybe I will just have to extend my mission.
Yup that pretty much explains our week and how its going. I am not sure what your fifth sunday was about back home. But here in the Philippines everyone in all the 21 missions had a special DVD presentation about family history for sunday school. Its really ineresting to see the progress the church is making here. They are working really hard to get the church up to date. To be honest I have never been inerested in doing Family History because I figured I would just have a hard time and get stuck and frustrated because Alanna has already done a lot of working tracing way back. But I realized its not about if you find anyone or not its about learning about their lives and finding connections with the people you are serving proxy for. That is something that will be nice to look forward to in July. Going to the temple!
This is the true pronunciation of Polatis by your everyday Filipino. To be honest the week was a downer. I have still been up and down strength wise. But we did get a little bit of work done. To put it simply our teaching pool is now stagnant or unchanging which isnt good. The problem is we havent been able to get out and meet people and continue progressing so we kind of hit a wall and fell over. But its all good we still do have some really quality investigators and to look on the brightside. I still have more investigators coming to church than I have had in my whole mission.
Lately I have been telling you about the Zamora family the one that is the family of 11 kids and the other ones live on this island called Polilo. Well sister doesnt want to get married shes scared or something. She just says its not the right time and shes unsure. Flip side she is sure that the church is true. So pretty much were are just relating everything to how the gospel benefits the family and if she has a gospel based family theres no chance for failure. I do have a feeling shes on the verge of making the decision. Because the situation is she is living with brother Wally who is a less active that moved here but now he actually has been to church for 2 months so he is and active member pala. Well when she decides she will have a big effect on her family. Because she is the oldest of the 11 children and 5 others will be baptized when she does also. Kind of like a water Buffalo when you finally get it to do what you want its a slow and steady moving mass of weight and nothing can stand in its way. Secondly they move in herds. I really love the whole family they are all really smart and accepting but we just have to wait and continue to respect their decisions.
Well I want to tell you something but I dont know how else to say it but in missionary talk so…if you could all open your preach my gospel to page 145 and read about goals. I wouldnt have got anywhere these last two years if I wouldnt have created a vision from the start. The truth is I didnt really form this vision of what I wanted to do on my mission. It started from the expectations I felt people had on me. First what god expected of me and then of course all of you as my family and then of course everyone else friends ward members previous teachers or leaders. When we sit down with a brand new investigator lots of times we have a vision for them that they are not reconciled with. But were taught to start every lesson by setting expecatations. This lets them know what they have the potential to become. Two years ago I had just barely received a letter that would send me to a foreign country I knew nothing about. Much the same I hand people a little pamphlet called the restoration on a daily basis. They dont know much about it…they cant see the big picture. It always starts by small and simple means. I cant say I perfected myself but Im glad I have met some of those expectations and im proud of what I have accomplished here in the mission. Only thing left to do is finish.
The zamora family came again! This really puts a big boost on our investigators attending church. Only two more weeks until the baptism. There are 5 girls and a boy that will be baptized. They are the really the most exciting part of my area right now. My whole mission has always been 1 or 2 baptisms at a time. Its just going to take a lot more hard work to get them ready. The best part is there are 6 more siblings and a set of parents who live on this island called Polilo. President Peterson has wanted to put missionaries on this island ever since he got here. So this family could be the connection to get priesthood holders that live on the island so we can start a branch.
We also had another Mission Leadership Coucil. We have it once a month and its probably the best part about being a zone leader because we get a catered lunch haha. My favorite food in the Philippines is Chicken Curry. It goes so good with a bowl of rice. They also have something called Siopao. But I dont know what it is called in english. Anyway my companion cooks for us a lot and I am usually in charge of either pancakes or french toast for breakfast. The two elders that live with us in the house are really cool guys. I think one of them is going to be transferred on Thursday and then we will have someone new to add to the fun. I got bit by something the other day. I think it was a cockroach. Its right on my calf and makes my leg super sore. Every night I put a hot towel on it to open up the pores and then I squeeze the pus out of it. Its cool because the pus looks like peanut butter. As Im writing this I began to think of what mom would say. Of course OILS until now I actually forget I had oils but I will try them later tonight. Dont worry mom.
Grabe talage! apat na buwan na lang. I disguised what I just wrote in tagalog so you would know theres a count down on my mission. It fits on one hand. Maybe I will extend an extra transfer. Just a thought im kidding. The works great. After experiencing what I have with the zamora family I realize its so true the god is extending his gospel to the four corners of the earth and isles of the sea. I really pray that working with this family will lead to the church being established on the island of Polilo. We have another lady who just got baptized in December all of her kids are members to but her husband is a farmer on this island and hasnt yet got the opportunity to be taught. All of the sudden a lot of things are coming together to make it possible and it really shows that god does things in his own time.
Ugh….That family of all the girls thats progressing didnt make it to church. But dont worry it was just a fluke and the baptism is still on. Bishop actually came with us on saturday to teach them. It was kind of ineresting because we asked him to explain a little about how repent and he ended up teaching a completely different lesson in detail about the Law of Chastity but as the spirit guides. Its funny because Im finding a lot of really large families. This one is a family of 11 girls plus we are teaching the husband and kid of one of them so it turns into a lecture than anything. But they are great always asking questions and the little two year old is obsessed with balls he finds it funny to walk around and throw his ball at peoples faces during the lesson.
If I can bring you back to about 8 months ago I was in the small town of Calauag, Quezon. There was a particular brother we worked with for months trying to get his marriage finalized. But in the last moments of that area I got him baptized. Well he is the father of 13 I somehow remembered that he had a kid here in Lucena so pulling a couple of strings I got permission to give him a call and ask for the address of his kid. Turns out its in my area and he lives about a 5 minute walk away from bishop. It was a sweet experience being able to find him. At first he just gave me a funny look and a fish like handshake not to mention we walk him up from his nap. I tried to explain to him that his father had joined a new religion and was now known as a latter day saint or as they like to call them in these parts mormons. That funny look was still on his face. Luckily I had previously discerned that our approach might be a little awkward so I came prepared with the picture of his fathers baptism. Now I got some response out of the guy. We sat him down taught them the Restoration turns out his wife is an avid reader and their conversion is off to a good start. Remind me to keep you updated on how he progresses. So far 2 out of those 13 kids have been baptized and brother will be the third. The gospel really does bring families together!
I have one more story before I retire for next week. So I can never remember which investigators I have told you about or not but we have this one guy who is getting baptized on the 15th. He already tells everyone he is mormon. But he is very awkward he is a 32 year old bachelor and always wants to talk about girls with us. I think I actually explained that he wanted to give a sister missionary a love letter which we did not let happen. He has also asked us to meet him at the mall before and then he proceeded to introduce us to all the sales ladies that from the looks of it he has been stocking them for a while now. Anyway his weird act of the week was he showed up for church and asked if he could bare his testimony also. I almost told him no but I exercised my faith and let him do it. Well everything went normal as he was talking about the blessings he has received since he started taking the lessons such as winning the small town lottery. We have just finished teaching him the Law of Chastity and we really laid down the law when we did it. Well he spent about 5 minutes testifying of marriage and how he really really really wants to get married and have a baby. hahaha!