Wednesday, 27 May 2015


Week 26
25th May 2015

The weather is getting hotter and hotter, because summer is in June/July. Ugh, they only have two seasons in the Philippines. Summer, and  a slightly cooler summer in December/January, and even then it never goes below 20 degrees. Luckily I'm from Brisbane, where it gets just as hot, so I've had an easier time bearing it than some other missionaries.

The Branch I am in is really starting to progress. Taking bigger and bigger steps to becoming a well-oiled machine.  Last week we had a Sunday School President called, and he assigned different people to teach every week. We now have a Priesthood class on the weekly, which didn't happen when I first got here. 

Next week, we have a Branch Auxiliary meeting, which is the 2nd meeting in as many months, so I'm really excited. The members are starting to get into missionary work with less active visits and referral giving, albeit slowly, but I'm just happy to see progress.  Of course, our Branch President is leading the way, giving us referrals and visiting with us whenever he can. We haven't had investigators at church for at least a month, but either way I'm happy to see the branch progress.

Nothing too big is happening this week, I think. Our weekly District Meeting is on Wednesday, church on Sunday, and proselyting the rest of the week. 

As missionaries we trade gear ... so I have been doing some trading lately. I traded two of my hats away for some shoes and a toa samoa polo shirt.

So, yeah last Thursday I passed 6 months! 1 quarter of my mission down, 3 to go!

Sorry - no photos this week the card reader is playing up on this computer.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Week of Meetings... and some basketball!

Week 25
18th May 2015

We had our Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday, and we spoke about improving our numbers here in the Mindoro Zone. President Mangum has a vision for our zone, because before it was a zone where missionaries were a little laid back. So he wants us to turn it into the zone of example. We are still a long ways from making that happen though, but it will happen.

We have had little progress with some our investigators.  We haven't had any come to church in the last month, same with the less-actives we teach. It's hard work, but at the end of the day, everyone has their own choice, so upto them. All I can do is my part. Though the people here are a lot more open to missionaries than at home. Our mission has already had over 200 baptisms this year, and we're like one of the lowest baptising missions in the Philippines!

On Saturday, we went to Victoria chapel for some self-reliance work shop. Something about growing your own vegetables and stuff like that. I don't know, I was asleep, haha.

Yesterday we had the District President attend our branch, and well hopefully the branch gets into action from what he has counselled them to do. I know our Branch President will be making more moves now, and hopefully that will spur the rest of the branch to follow his example. He started doing visits to some less-active members, and hopefully that will continue. We are having a Branch Council in two Sundays, to really kick into gear the member-missionary work in Pola Branch.

Our Branch Mission Leader, Elders Quorum President, and Sunday School President are all YSA who are also RM's. In fact, most of our Priesthood are RM's in the last 4 years, with two preparing to leave in the next 1-2 years.

Today, we are playing basketball out in my area. The YSA in my branch have been asking me for ages, but I just did what my companion wanted to do on P-day. Not today, I organised it, and the Socorro Elders, Pinamalayan Elders, us, and the YSA from our branch will be coming down to play, so should be good. I haven't played for over a month.. So, I'm happy to finally be playing again later this afternoon.

One of the photos I sent it's from on the top of a hill we walk up every day. I decided to finally take a photo. If you zoom up really close and are able to see the mountains in the distance, that is the other island in our mission, Marinduque. That's how close we are to them.

Outside our branch meeting house

Upstairs and outside - class being held

View from one of the hills we walk most days

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Happy Mothers Day!

Week 24
11th May 2015

Happy Mothers Day!

It was good to Skype you all. Will e-mail next week. Love you all x

Some pictures for this week.

Our Mothers Day Skype

Skyping Home - one of two Skype calls per year


Some late night study.

Elder Ejares and Elder Crichton

Local animals - these are called Carabao

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Travels, Interviews and Transfers..

Week 23
04th May 2015

So this week we only had a half week of missionary work...we had Zone Interviews with President Mangum on Friday, and Oriental Mindoro District Conference on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, we travelled to Victoria to have our interviews with President Mangum.  I first spoke to Sister Mangum, and we talked about the power of prayer, and matching the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Then it was my turn to have my interview with President Mangum... the last part of the interview is the part that I will share with you... So in the last few years, in all of the Philippines Missions, as well as San Pablo, the Polynesian missionaries have gained a reputation of being not as obedient as they should be. Or as President Mangum put it bluntly... they take their missions as a vacation and any missionary work they do is just a bonus. 

He told me, as he told all the other Polynesian missionaries, that most of the missionaries that got the "disobedient" tag have returned home or are going home. That this was the time to turn the tables, and change the reputation of Polynesian missionaries in the San Pablo Mission. He also spoke about how the Mindoro zone is known as a zone where missionaries become most disobedient, and that he wants us as Polynesian missionaries to change the culture of Mindoro while changing our reputation. 

Despite the fact that I am only a half-cast, I have been put in the Polynesian missionary category, and will be part of the change, both on the island of Mindoro and the reputation of Polynesians.

Saturday and Sunday was our District Conference. We stayed in Victoria, and President Mangum was asked to be there at the conference as a speaker as well. It was a good conference, and the messages that were shared by President Mangum, the District President, and the presiding Area Seventy were very good, and what the district needed to hear.

In Victoria most little places where you eat, they have small TV's so I was able to watch some NBA, and see what's up with the NBA playoffs! Not too sure if that was a good thing, but I was happy so yeah...

We stayed in Calapan last night, and this morning we went and visited a beach. It wasn't that great beach to be honest.. but we had a good time. Some of us Elders decided to have a little game of held, and we played for a little while with the occasional big shoulder charge... before we stood in the water and relaxed.

In other news, this will be my first transfer that I won't have a new companion. Elder Erickson and I  will be together for another transfer. For my first 3 transfers.. I had 3 different companions, but really happy that now I will be with Elder Erickson for a while. We're in a 3-way transfer with Elder Nikau because his companion is at the mission home preparing to return home.

Our Branch is doing well. The positive attendance from last week flowed onto this week.  On a good week we have about 50 people at church.  Hopefully we'll be able to keep the area going strong.

My Tagalog has improved...have learnt enough to get around now.