Monday, 28 December 2015

2nd Christmas in the Philippines!

Week 57
28th December 2015

Not too much to say about this week, besides we didn't work that much. The Zone Conference was awesome, the Skype was the highlight, and the Christmas party was good. We got to eat a lot at the Christmas party, I cleaned up 3 plates I think, and the food was nice. There was a lot of games played, and I participated and had fun!

We have a young couple that are investigating the church, and they are what we would call "GOLDEN". They read the Book of Mormon, they already have a start of a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, and to top it off, they came to church yesterday! When they rolled up to church yesterday, albeit a little late, I was smiling like a little child who just got chocolate. They have a date set for February 6, 2016 and I should still be here. So, if you can't tell, I am pretty excited!

We also have another lady who should be getting baptized on January 30, unless something tragic happens. She is just as golden. Comes to church all the time, came to the Ward Christmas party on Saturday night, and reads every day. Miracles are truly happening in this area, and I feel that I finally am making up for the first 9 months of my mission when I had ZERO baptisms.

The members are really keen to get into working with us from the turn of the new year too. I have found out all the availability of the Priesthood, and hopefully this will bring only more success. I feel like if we work hard, and work well with the members, that the area of Gumaca will become a fruitful area for missionary work. I really want to set it up for the missionary who will come in and replace me. With the way the area is going, I could easily stay here for 7-9 months, but I think I will be out after 6.

Our attendance at church was the highest it's ever been yesterday, we had 57! I was so surprised, and even though it's Christmas, I will work harder to keep the attendance up at that level, and even push it higher towards 100. If only people realized how important it is to take the sacrament every week, and what Christ did for us, then I am 100% sure we would have such a higher attendance, sometimes I feel like people forget that, and I won't deny it, I do it too.

This week should be a lot better week than this last week, with a full week of work, and the turn of the new year coming ever closer. 4 more days until 2016, that's crazy! I'm really keen to smash the next 10 months, and let time fly by. Ever since I hit the 1 year mark, time has just gone and disappeared, and I don't know where it's gone.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Post Typhoon Update!

Week 56
22nd December 2015

The storm was alright, we just had lots of rain, we did have a bit of wind, but nothing damaging so all is good in my area. No need to get down and dirty giving service. Me and my companion were just in the chapel for 2 nights, then we could go home. Power was on, water was on, so it wasn't bad at all in our area. Mindoro got smashed, people died in Mindoro, and one of my batch, Elder Raymundo, told me that the Branch President of my last area, where he is now, lost their house. Lots of things happened in Mindoro. I saw it on the news in a members house. Just wish I was back in Pola and could help out right now.

Zone Conference was only yesterday. We traveled late on Sunday night, because we had a lot of appointments, and we slept in Lucena. The conference started at 9AM, and it was awesome! Loved the conference, and catching up with tonnes of missionaries. I didn't realize how many people I knew. We had games too, and that was funny as. Food was mean too. Had a whole pig on a table, with tonnes of other stuff, so I was heaps full after 2 plates.

Training is going okay. I'm doing everything I can to help my companion learn to speak Tagalog. We studied it up on Saturday, about things we can do to help him improve. It should only get better, and one thing is he thinks he is a lot worse than he really is. I told him he needs to practice speaking Tagalog to the Philippino missionaries, and it will be a lot easier from there.

Other than that, this week should be full on work tomorrow, Thursday, and Sunday. I'm looking forward to the Ward Christmas Party, which should be fun, and lots of food too, so can't complain. 

I'm actually looking forward to New Years, because I want to get some fireworks and light them up on the night, but we'll so how that goes. We usually stay up playing games and eating. Still got all those games but we only play uno though. It's THE GAME in our zone right now.

We had a Ward Council on Sunday too (finally), and it was good. I realized that the ward is more willing to help than I thought, so from now on the work should go really well. We also took out Joshua, one of my recent converts to work, and he loves working with us after one day. He wants to work with us every day! It's awesome, so we will be having him work with us more often now.

Well, that's all the news we have right now. We have a baptism on January 30. It should have been on January 2, but due to some things that need to be done on our part, and things done on the part of our investigator, we moved it back, but our investigator is really excited. The first time we invited her to church in November, and she hasn't missed a Sunday since! We're also hoping to have 3 more baptisms on the 30th too, 3 children of a less-active family.

For Christmas day we were told we could go anywhere in our area to visit families and they will feed us so will probably be all over the place.

Saturday, 19 December 2015


Week 55
14th December 2015

So.. yeah we have got a typhoon rolling through our area tomorrow, we will be re-located today to another area as we are too close to the ocean. Have to call President later to find out where we are going. Our zone will probably be the most affected as we are all on a little peninsula. Looking forward to it, first proper storm in my mission! 

The work was good this week otherwise, we were able to teach a lot of lessons, and take my companion to get to know the area. 

My companion is really struggling with the language, and having trouble memorising. But, I'm keeping on doing what I do, working and trying my best to help him. Yesterday we just went over learning how to pronounce the Tagalog alphabet and the vowels.

Like I said the work has been good. We were able to have some success with numbers, but numbers don't matter too much to me. I'm just at the point where I'm just working to do what I'm supposed to do, and to invite others to come unto Christ. If at the end of the day they don't want to, well yeah I feel bad for them, but there are a lot more people out there to share our message with, can't get down on that stuff and let it bother me.

This coming week was supposed to be good, but we'll be out of work from tonight until at least Thursday. It just depends on how bad we get hit, and what the conditions are like after the storm passes.

We're not in our area so have to head back to our flats shortly to pack - just clothes and food for 3 days... power and water will most likely be out. We will probably be here in somewhere in Lopez though.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

New Companion

Week 54
07th December 2015

Update from being sick last week - Yeah, so I was feeling so good I didn't even go to the hospital, and I don't regret it. My health has been on the up since Monday and I've gained a lot of the weight back that I lost, so all is well with me and my health. I was thinking about the hospital while in the house and decided I didn't need to go. I've barely ever visited a doctor in my life and I've been alright, so why go now?

Wednesday me, Elder Snyder, and Elder Santos took off to San Pablo to sleep there for the night. We hit the mall and ate, then went for a little look around. I ended up buying another cardigan, lol. We stayed in San Pablo 4th ward apartment for the night. And then came the day... 

Thursday morning I said goodbye to Elder Snyder, who is off to Mindoro, then got ready to go pick up my new companion. So, there were 3 foreigner trainers, and 3 new foreigner missionaries. Yep, the 2 Samoans (Me and Elder Nikau) got the 2 Americans, and the 1 American trainer got the 1 Fijian missionary. 

My companion's name is Elder Rasmussen, and he's from Utah... He's about a month older than me in age, and he will be great to train with. 

How about, I gave him the worst start to his mission. I left the apartment keys in San Pablo, and we had to go sleep in Lopez for the night, and wait for the Zone Leaders to get back from San Pablo with our keys before we could get into the house!!

Friday came, the Zone Leaders got back from San Pablo early because they got the wrong week for their MLC. I took my companion to the apartment, and he unpacked. We got around to our weekly planning, and I showed him all the things he needs to know about weekly and daily planning.

The work wasn't the greatest this week, we didn't get as much done. Nearly all of our visits were with our recent converts, except when we had dinner last night with Bishop. That was the bomb! I tried to finish all the food because I was last at the table, and I almost did, except for a couple of pieces of fried chicken. I was full after that one, couldn't walk too, so I just sat there and stretched my stomach until I could walk.

This coming week is basically showing my companion around the area, finding more investigators, getting more work done, and trying to overall, build up the Gumaca Ward. 

It's been pretty hard so far in this area, and I haven't seen much growth in attendance, and our investigator attendance has dropped down to one a week, but we'll keep working hard, and trying to get work done, and share the Gospel.

Christmas zone conference is on December 22 I think, so yeah, pretty close. 

Last but not least, I got Popo and Granddad's package they sent. Much needed, especially the white shirts.

About the Skype, I'll try the morning of the 26th, I can't do it afternoon or night because our Ward Christmas party had to get postponed to the 26th from the 19th for a Stake RS activity at our chapel. I think the morning will be good, unless someone appears and wants to get baptized then, lol. I'll let you know, but 26th so far is set. 

Meet my new companion - Elder Rasmussen

Pizza Hut!


Thursday, 3 December 2015


Week 53
30th November 2015

For all the excitement for last week, nothing much happened this week. I was sick the whole week! It was so boring, all I did was sleep all day, and could barely eat because of something in my stomach. 

I came home Tuesday night from San Pablo and got a fever, a pretty high one. I had that for a couple of days, then my stomach was playing up until Saturday. I'm off to the hospital later to check if I have parasites or something.

This coming week is transfer week. My companion is off to Mindoro, in my old district. I leave to San Pablo on Wednesday to pick up my new companion on Thursday.

That last picture is egg and corned beef - just to prove I do cook!  haha.. even though it was just tip the can out and heat up!

Sorry it's short, but I was sick, and nothing happened lol.

SEE! I can cook!!!

Friday, 27 November 2015

It's been one year!

Week 52
23rd November 2015

Sorry, won't be able to chat for long today, because I'm off to San Pablo later today for a meeting, because I'm training next transfer. I get to train a brand new missionary next transfer but I won't know who it is til then. Transfers is next Thursday and I think I will be training here in Gumaca as my companion has been here for 6 months now.

Honestly, I am a bit hesitant to train, but if the Lord wants me to, I guess I up for it. I'm lucky in that my second dad, Elder Santos is going to be training with me, so I won't be so stressed. Not too excited to be training!

Today was a solid P-day though, we played some touch this morning, as we (Elder Faka'i, Elder Aisa, and I) taught all the other Elders the rules, and we had a good game. There was tonnes of hilarious moments, and much more fun.

The baptism on Saturday was great, and so were the exchanges on Friday with the Antimonan and Malinao elders. We had tri-some exchanges, and I was with Elder Dela Cruz and Elder Costales. We're all actually batch, so people would ask who came into the mission first, we couldn't answer because we're all batch. They stayed until Saturday morning, and we ended up using the cake mix that you sent - we put it in some little tins then slid it into what we use to toast bread - bought some ice cream and soft drinks, and had a little party for my 1 year mark. The baptism topped it off me, and made the whole day super cool.

We did have a rough Sunday though, it was the first time since I've been here in this area that we had ZERO investigators at church, I took that pretty roughly. SO, when I get back on Wednesday, me and my companion will be focusing on the importance of church attendance, and using that focus for everyone, because I don't like having to say that we had no investigators at church, even if we did have a baptism.

Other than that, everything is going good, I'm feeling good, and just ready to attack this next week.


My one year celebrations!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Work is Going Great!

Week 51
16th November 2015

The week was okay, I was sick for 3 days with a bad cold, so we didn't get much work done on those days (Tuesday - Thursday), but I tried my best to make up for it from Friday to Sunday and I think we had a fair amount of success.

We had Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday, and the Assistants were in attendance. It was a good meeting, and it basically about following-up commitments that we give investigators. We ate at this restaurant called Kapit Bahay (which in English means, Next-door neighbours), and man the food was mean! The whole zone was there, enjoying this yum as food, couldn't believe how good it was!

The baptism preparations are going great! We had the baptismal interview on Saturday for our investigator, and the baptism will be going ahead this Saturday at 4PM. There's not many better ways to celebrate my 1 year mark than by having a baptism, pretty dope to me. Our candidate is very excited, she can't wait to be baptised!

The work here is going great too! In other parts of our work, we believe we have found 4 or 5 more upcoming baptisms, and they could all be baptized before the new year. We have 3 children of a family that are unbaptized, and one of the recent converts here in Gumaca, his wife has been coming to church for a little while, and yesterday she said she was willing to take the lessons, so we taught her last night! 

The work is moving so well for us here, and I'm loving it. Every night I come home exhausted, and after doing the area book and daily planning, I fall on my bed and die, then realize I have to say prayers first haha, but sometimes I fall asleep on my knees during my prayers hahaha.

The work this week should be cool. We have exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Wednesday after District Meeting, and I'll be working with Elder Aisa. Then Thursday night until Saturday morning we are with the Antimonan Elders for exchanges with our District Leader. All of them want to work in Gumaca, so we will be hosting them in our apartment. Luckily we tidied up and re-arranged the apartment so there's more space!

We went to Church yesterday and were assigned to speak in Sacrament... had to pull it out of nowhere! 


Saturday, 14 November 2015

This weeks news..

Week 50
9th November 2015

First concern of yours regarding the earthquakes -  no effect whatsoever on our area, just bipolar as weather. Sunny as heck for 5 minutes, then pouring with rain 5 minutes later!

Sounds like the Sydney break was cool, catching up with all the people you wanted to. That's cool about catching up with Elder Latu, time flies huh? His first area was our ward!

The past week was a fairly good one. We had a fair amount of success, and we  had 3 investigators at church, they're all our progressing ones, so I'm pretty happy. All week though, I was just plodding through, patiently waiting for our zone p-day, which we just finished before. 

Wednesday we had a good district meeting, and I really love my district right now, everyone is close. In fact, basically our whole zone is super close. 

On Friday, we found a less-active family that has a 9 year old and 10 year old that they want to get baptized. Of course, I told them first they need to come to church, we'll see how it all goes. They didn't make it to church yesterday though.

We have another baptism coming up on November 21 which we're preparing for right now, should be good. The baptismal interview is on Friday, and my companion will be baptizer again. I don't mind not being the baptizer, I just teach while my companion gets changed back into normal clothes. It's another little 9 year old girl thats getting baptized, and she is excited too.

The zone p-day was cool, we played a bunch of games as a zone, then had a feed, and ended the day relaxing. We're still in Lopez at the moment, and will be heading home to Gumaca later this afternoon to go teach our recent convert, as well as some investigators we have.

Coming week, got Zone Training Meeting in our chapel, thank goodness. The pamasahe will be super cheap. Straight after the meeting, we're supposed to be on exchanges with the Zone Leaders until Friday morning, but I'm not sure if it's confirmed.  

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


Week 49
02nd November 2015

This week was a good one for sure. The baptism is definitely the highlight for the week, and I'm feeling pretty good about everything going on in this area. We have another baptism scheduled for November 21, and we're hoping to schedule another 2 on December 5 or 12, depending on the progress of each investigator.

We had 1 investigator come to church yesterday, in fact the attendance was just low full stop, but can't complain, we had a lot of less-actives come that I'd never seen before at church until yesterday, some of them I hadn't even met - we'll be doing the visits round there this week, we have a lot of people to visit actually, it's great! Busy as, heaps of fun with people, and I learn something new every day.

The baptism was cool, our new recent convert's name is Joshua, and he's only 16 years old. He's great, and he has a strong testimony of the gospel of the Jesus Christ, and is pretty keen to serve a mission. Hopefully he follows through with the talk though, but I have great faith that he will. He's adopted, and his family that he lives with now are all members except the father, maybe it's time to start talking to the father.  After the baptism we went back to the house to eat some dinner with them.  

Our next 3 investigators for baptism should be sweet to follow through. Our baptism on November 21 is a 9 year old girl name Keycee. Next one is the girlfriend of Bishop's RM son, and the last investigator is the wife of another recent convert who was baptized in April.

This coming week, we have got tonnes of work lined up. 

In regards to the packages, I haven't got anything yet, but they might come through this week when the Zone Leaders go to San Pablo for their MLC (Mission Leadership Council) or I might even get my District Leader to grab them, because they have a District Leader Meeting in San Pablo as well. 

Work and more work this week, so lots of interesting things happening. We are going to try and give out a few more Baptismal Goal Dates, but we won't set them in stone. Definitely got to keep finding new investigators, so our teaching pool keeps getting bigger. We're pushing through a lot of work here in our area, my companion and I  are taking it upon ourselves to visit as many less-active members as we can. We have a ward list, a Bishopric Action List, and a Prospective Elders list, and we are going out looking for all these people. All this was presented to us by the Assistant's in a workshop they gave last zone interviews with President Mangum. There are quite a few potential baptisms, so I'm looking forward to the work in the next transfer.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but the clippers work great! Way better than the clippers you can buy here in the markets, they're rubbish as haha. Elder Faka'i cut my hair when we were over there for Stake Conference, but I left them there, so I'll be grabbing those so I can cut my companion's hair. Last haircut I did was for Elder Nikau, and that worked out well, let's hope and pray my companion's haircut will work out the same, lol!

Don't play quite as much basketball ... sometimes while we're tracting in a certain area, we walk past a little court and the kids ask me to play with them. They love tossing me alley-oops, because here in the Philippines I'm sure that's a rare treat.

At the Antimonan bus terminal going home with the ZL's.

Just a random rock in the middle of the barangay.

Me in a tricycle carriage - Width is fine, but height is a different story.

Meet our new Recent Convert!


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Short and Sweet!

Week 48
26th October 2015

We have got a baptism this Friday, we had to move it because of a stake activity on the Saturday. We all excited, and my companion gets to baptize our candidate, which he's excited about of course.

We had stake conference this Sunday, and we had 3 investigators at church, not as many as hoped but it's okay because our stake center is in Lopez, which is 30 minute bus ride away - not many of our investigators would be able to make that trip.

We had a pretty rough time on Friday and Saturday, punted so much, and rejected so much while tracting, I've never been rejected so much while tracting my whole mission, it was insane! But, it's alright, because we still had 3 lessons each day, and were able to teach some solid lessons.

This week we're busy preparing for the baptism, as well as keeping up with the work. We have a lot of people to teach, and I'm not sure if we'll be able to get to them all as much as I want to, because we haven't been  able to go on splits lately with the YSA in our ward.

P-day was pretty cool today, we played some basketball out in Lopez this morning with the whole zone and some members, and it was great to break a sweat and have some fun with the zone. We have 2 missionaries who are training in our zone, and we spent some time getting to know the greenies. Man, I can't believe I'm almost 1 year! I still feel like a greenie myself hahaha.

Elder Akroyd just finished his mission last Thursday. He's not home yet, him and his family are going around to some of his areas. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Safe and well

Week 47
19th October 2015

Email to his dad last week : I have neglected to do this for 11 months now, but I just want to say how much I love you, and thank you for everything that you have done for me as your only son. You and mum have helped me so much in becoming the man I am today, and I'm grateful that I've had my dad around for 19 years now. I realize that not everyone gets to have their dad for 19 years, and sometimes I take it lightly. Thanks for your example over 25 years ago of serving, because it made it a little bit easier to serve the Lord, seeing as my dad is an RM.

We're fine, just a bit of strong wind and lots of rain, but that didn't stop us from our missionary work. We were out every day, working hard, looking for people to teach, and we had a lot of success this week. Probably the key indicator I'm most happy about was us finding 26 new investigators this week! We spent so much time tracting, and had we worked a little bit more diligently, we would have gotten close to 50 lessons this week, which isn't bad considering we never have been able to have splits with members.

Another thing that had me super happy was having 9 investigators at church! Even though other missionaries invite a lot more people to church, I'm super happy with that, because I feel like the area is actually progressing. We get little help, but the work that my companion and I are doing, I feel like we're doing a lot. We still need the members to do their part though.

So, last week I expressed my love to you and dad. Well, the reason I wanted to do this was because Elder Faka'i's dad passed away in his sleep last Saturday night, and our zone found out on Sunday after conference videos. It shocked our whole zone, but Elder Faka'i is a strong missionary, and decided he was going to stay out in the mission. We ended up staying with him for the night on Sunday night, and spent P-day with them. It shocked me to the core, because it easily could have been me in his shoes, so I felt the need to express how much I love my parents.

This week, our big thing is transfer day, except neither of us are transferred, so my companion gets to stay for a couple more baptisms. We have one of our investigators baptismal interview this coming Saturday, he gets baptised on the 31st October, he's very excited for it.

We've got a couple more lessons booked in for this afternoon so we're pretty busy.

Elder Crichton and Elder Faka'i

Elder Crichton and his companion Elder Snyder

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Week 46
12th October 2015

This week was a good week. We had our baptism on Friday and it was a great success! I conducted the baptismal service, and also gave a workshop about the Restoration, and my companion, Elder Snyder, gave a talk on what baptism is. 

It's a great knowledge knowing that through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, we enter into the gate that leads towards eternal life! One important thing though to remember, is that it's only the gate, and we all still have a long way before we get there.

Conference was straight long. We rocked up to the Priesthood session about 8AM on Saturday, and when it started only the missionaries were in attendance. We split off into 2 groups, with some preferring to listen in Tagalog and others in English. Even though I can understand what they say in Tagalog, some of it is really deep, and I'd rather listen to it in English. Unlike last conference I was awake for every thing but 1 talk on Sunday afternoon. Took tonnes of notes, and learned so much from the speakers.

Thanks for the parcel. Got the clippers as well - not sure how I'm gonna cut my own hair though. I did it last time, but stuffed up a little bit, but more I practice I'll get better.

One thing that I neglect to say mum, is how much I appreciate and love you. Thanks for always being there for me, and how much you have cared for me in the last 19 years. Because of your help and encouragement, I stand here in the Philippines sharing the gospel to the people here. I feel like I don't express that enough how much I owe to you for my journey this far.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Busy with the work!

Week 45
05th October 2015

We're doing pretty well, we had a fairly solid week in terms of work. This week I did get sick for a couple of days, but still went out to work because we had a lot of set appointments for those days. We even had 5 different investigators at church this week, which was cool. I think it's the most I've ever had come to church in one Sunday too.

This week, we have a pretty busy week. The first thing is on Wednesday, we have our Zone Training Meeting for October. Friday morning/ afternoon, we have got our zone interviews, and thank goodness they're being held at our chapel, only 9 pesos pamasahe (travel fee, sort of... I don't know how to translate into direct English). Then that night, we have got our baptism! Heaps excited for it, and it happens to be our investigators birthday on Friday too, so perfect timing. Saturday, General Conference videos, and the same for Sunday. 

I got the packages this morning. The Zone Leaders were given 2 packages for me from the Office Elders, one from home and the other from the Otenes. Please tell them I said thanks.

My companion and I get along really well. He loves the new way of working, because we have doubled the total lessons taught per week. We had a "bad" week of sorts, and we still managed to get 25 lessons. He tells me all the time he feels a lot more relaxed, but at the same time we're getting much more work done.

The ward is small, we only have like 50 people come to church, and it's still a ward.  But, it's a bit more established than my last area - just need to invite back a lot more people to church, or invite more to be baptised into the fold, or both.

For the rest of the day we are just going to hang out here in Lopez, then head home this afternoon for more missionary work tonight.

Elder Crichton and Elder Snyder

A lot of people have nicknames in the Phillipines. These are Hazel AKA Jugie, Harry AKA Pie AKA Abs, and Henry (no nickname).

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Turning 19!

Week 44
28th September 2015

Yeah it's my birthday today, but no big deal. We just played some ball and smashed some Macca's, but not too much done. Some of the Elders in other Zones called me up and wished me a happy birthday too. A member is cooking us dinner tonight too.  A tradition here in the Philippines Mission - the birthday missionary buys lunch for the other missionaries.. so I bought lunch for everyone.

This last week was a solid week. We had Zone Training Meeting, and we were given our challenge by our Zone Leaders, Elder Aisa and Elder De Sosa, to get 4 lessons every day. Surprisingly, it's no way near as hard as it sounded. We managed to work 30 lessons, which is the most I've ever hit in the mission.

We actually got a baptism coming up on October 9, and another solid scheduled for October 31, and a last solid baptism scheduled for November 21, which happens to be my 1 year mark. Still trying to invite all these other investigators to church, as those 3 that are scheduled for baptism are the only ones coming at the moment. I'm trying to invite at least 10 investigators to church.

Lately I've tried a different style of teaching. Open up the Book of Mormon, read a couple of verses in different chapters, and ask questions. It's worked a lot better, because instead of me telling the answer to a question, they figure it out themselves, and sometimes they resolve their own concerns.

We didn't do much for my companion's birthday on Friday, just missionary work, but some members had prepared a little food for him, so we hit there for dinner.

Haven't got the box either, still in the office. Should be getting it on October 9, on the day of interviews with President. Apparently I have 2 packages in the office, so I'm not sure if it's from the Otene's or from Popo and Granddad. I'll find out either way. Or maybe by then I'll have 3 packages!

This week we have got a baptismal interview on Friday, and a Zone service on Saturday, but I'm not sure if we're going to go. Other than that, tonnes more work, and hopefully more people to church!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Zone Conference

Week 43
21 September 2015

This week was terrific to be honest, never been so obedient in my entire life lol. However it was a great week. We worked on Monday night, and left to Lucena for Zone Conference on Tuesday. We caught a van with all the Lopez City missionaries, and me, Elder Aisa, and Elder Faka'i were just talking about things that only Australians can talk about. Poor Elder Reed who was in between us, said he sounded weird when surrounded by us three.

The Zone Conference was great! So much learned, and lots of missionaries to catch up with. There was 9 of us from my batch in our Zone Conference, and it was great to catch up with them all. Afterwards, we hit up Macca's and had a feed with the batch. On Tuesday night, Elder Akroyd and I caught up in the SM, and we bought matching cardigans, and rocked them to Zone Conference. There was so many confused missionaries when we said that we weren't companions, haha. 

Didn't get the package though, didn't arrive in time, so I hit up the Office Elders and they said for me to text them, and they will send it to me through the LBC. Got some new office elders, and they both heaps cool.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were days of hard work, but we still were able to spend an hour or 2 relaxing every day. Numbers wise, this was my companions best ever week, as we had 28 lessons, with 2 days off for Zone conference. My companion is excited, and I told him we'd try and get 40+ lessons this week.

We have some baptisms coming up in October, so I'm pretty excited about the work, and hopefully I can continue to have this motivation to work. The ward is small, but I'm happy to be here, and hopefully I can continue to love it. Just hoping that it stays good, but I don't stay here for another 6 months, because I want to see more of the mission.

Next week I'm 19! Never would have thought that the time would go by so fast that I would be 19 next week. Today is the 10 month mark in the mission, and I guess the next 10 months will go by as fast as the last 10......

Coming up this week isn't too much, Zone meeting on Wednesday, and Elder Aisa already asked me to give the talk.  I'm talking on the Book of Mormon - already organised before I went to sleep last night. Other than that, a full week of work, my companion's birthday on Friday, and hopefully 40 lessons.

After here, off to eat, go shop, then get out to work. Shooting for 5 lessons tonight, so we'll be busy. The families are cool, but not looking like getting meals. All good, used to it.

7 of the 9 batch.

My first district re-united almost.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Transfer Week

Week 42
14th September 2015

Transfers was long. We left Mindoro on Wednesday straight after our district meeting. We caught the boat to Batangas City, where we met up with the STL's who took us to the Batangas Chapel. We met the Batangas 1st Elders there, and they took us to their house to drop off our stuff, before me, Elder Calianga, Elder Estarez, and Elder Hapi went off to the Batangas SM to get a feed. We hit the Pizza Hut, and we ordered tonnes of food. 5 pizzas, 2 things of fish and chips, 2 garlic bread, and bottomless drinks. I couldn't even walk after that feed, but we went off to get some stuff. Elder Hapi and I ended up buying new bags for travel, big duffy bags that matched haha.

Thursday morning, we got up and left at around 8.30AM, and caught the bus to Santo Tomas. We stayed at Santo Tomas for ages! We were there relaxing, and catching up with missionaries who we haven't seen in a while, and some I won't see at least for another 4 months. We caught a bus to San Pablo at around 2PM, and the bus went directly to Lucena, so I dropped my travel-mates off, and went directly to Lucena. It was a long ride! So boring, especially because it was just me by myself. Got to Lucena, then another 2 hour ride to Antimonan, before another 30 minute bus to Gumaca. Didn't like the travel, and got in just before 8PM. I wanted to unpack and sleep, as I had no energy, but my companion and I went to visit someone.... 

We have had a good first few days, and my companion was commenting on how many lessons we got in the 3 days that I have been here. I told my companion that we would average at least 20 lessons a week, and try to get 30-40 lessons at least twice while we are together.

Church was cool, because we visited some less-actives during the week, and we had some of them come to church, and it was the first time my companion had seen them at church since he'd been in the area. Just from that, I felt like I might have some success in this area, if I can keep working hard and pushing to teach as many people as possible.

We actually have a few possible investigators that could be baptized as early as the first week of October, if they keep moving along and attending church. We will continue to work hard with them and help them stay converted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Other news, my Zone Conference is this Wednesday. I'm actually going to be sleeping in Lucena on Tuesday night, and I'm staying with one of my old companions, Elder Erickson! An anticipated re-union for sure. Elder Aisa called up last night too, as my new Zone Leader, and told me his family now lives in Brisbane, so he'll be going home to Brisbane, not Cairns. We'll be catching up soon, and hopefully going on some exchanges.

Only two weeks until my birthday, and next week will be 10 months long in the mission. Crazy how fast time goes, and I hope it continues to go by fast, while I work hard, and before you know it, I'll be home.