Thursday, 24 March 2016

Hectic Week!

Week 69
21 March 2016

This week was pretty hectic week for us too! This week was full of work, and then on the past weekend, we had the Balayan District Conference, and President Mangum wanted us all there for all of the sessions. It was a good conference, with record attendances at all of the meetings, so that was good.

Our work has been going really well, even though we weren't able to work on Saturday and most of Sunday. Our investigators are going really well, and we have 2 baptisms set for April 2! They're both progressing so well, and they're really excited to be baptized! The youth were really excited for one of our investigators, because he gets baptized, then they go on the District Youth Conference on Mindoro.

Things have been going really well for me and my companion, and we have been really enjoying the work. We're really pushing ourselves to get the best results out of ourselves every day, teach as many people as possible, and talk to as many people as possible.

We actually just got back from Lemery, as we attended the other district's P-day out there. The zone leaders and Elder Hapi asked us to come, so we headed out this morning, and it was a mean place.

This week we looking at smashing out as much work as possible, and getting our work on with our 2 investigators, and helping more get to the stage where they'll be close to being baptized. We have a solid pool of investigators, and we have a good number of less-actives that we visit, so we gonna be busy as. The best feeling definitely is going home at night and just being absolutely wasted.

One miracle we saw this week was that one of our super-inactive members came to church on Sunday. His partner is an investigator, and she really wants to be baptized, but she can't until they get married. We've been praying really hard for our investigator and her situation, and she's been really praying hard for her partner to return to church. And guess what, he came to church! It's only one step at a time, but things are just going so well, that I'm sure they will be married, and our investigator will be baptized at the right time. She's really humble, and what we've been repeating over and over again is to be patient and accept God's timing.

The Easter initiative of the church this Easter is #Hallelujah. It started March 13, and there is tonnes of videos to help people find the gospel. It's definitely a help with our work, as 90% of the people here believe in Jesus Christ, so it's a lot easier.

Got much to do, and I want to get it all done as soon as possible.

Teaching the recent converts the Plan of Salvation.

Brother Laguerta & Us

Krisha was excited to eat that.

Dinner with the Manuel family.

Went to Hogwarts.

Elders Hapi & Reed.

With my companion!

Mucking around.


Tower DAB!

Elder Portugal.

More clowning.

Sunday, 20 March 2016


Week 68
14th March 2016

This week finished pretty slow , but it was great at the beginning. 

We had our Zone Conference on Wednesday, and it was a great experience to learn more about becoming a better missionary, and gaining different perspectives on different things. It was also good to catch up with the other missionaries, and hang out for a little bit.  Also say thanks to the Kahu family for the money, keen to get their letters if they've been sent!

We didn't get back into Nasugbu until Thursday, but it took a toll. I've decided I hate travelling far distances, especially on over-crowded vans. Me and my companion weren't feeling well at all, so we had to rest a little, but we didn't end up working, because we weren't feeling up to the challenge.

Friday and Saturday were both late starts, both of us with different sicknesses/pains. We still got out to work and stuff, just not too much success, because of the very late starts we had.

Sunday was a good day, with another good as attendance at church, and we even had 5 investigators at church! 2 of those investigators are planning to be baptized in the next 4 weeks, with a possible 3rd being added at the end of the 4 weeks. Things are going really well here, but there is still so much more to do, and I don't think I will be here for too long. 

News I found out while in a meeting yesterday after church, is that Nasugbu branch is supposedly going to be split into 2 branches by April or May. That means 4 missionaries in our apartment hopefully! From what I've heard, having 4 missionaries in the apartment is fun as, so hopefully I get an opportunity to experience it here in Nasugbu.

We actually just got back from our Zone P-day. It was fun, it's a fun zone here, and a lot of new missionaries that were transferred into the zone. I believe that half our zone was transferred in only this last transfer day, with 2 missionaries in their first transfer of their missions. It feels like so long ago that I was in my training, but then it also feels like yesterday. I wouldn't know exactly how to explain the feeling of that, but it's weird, and cool, because I only have 8 months to go.

My companion is good, he's from here in the Philippines, from Tacloban, Leyte. That's the area where Uncle Marcus served, and where they were absolutely destroyed by typhoon Yolanda. Yep, my companion was in the thick of it all, and listening to his stories gives me chills every time he tells it to members and investigators, no matter how many times I have heard it now.

Actually, one of the members here in our branch served with Uncle Marcus back in the day, and still remembers him. Ask him if he knows an Elder Laguerta, or Richard Laguerta is his name. Said that him and Uncle Marcus were in the same zone, and he really liked him.

This next week, we're planning to do one weeks work, then catch up as much as we can from last week. We were talking to an RM in the branch who got home in only January, and he gave us his experience about how cool it is to baptize and focus on teaching a whole family. This week our goal is to find a family or 2, and we really want to see them baptized. I realize it won't be easy, but definitely will be worth it.

The church is true, the Spirit is strong, the Atonement is real, and I have a lot of things to do.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Getting to know the area

Week 67 
07 March 2016

Week was really good! Spent most of the week going around and working, getting to know the area, and getting to know the people here. The area is pretty different from the last 3, so again, more adjusting to the way the people speak especially. I was pre-warned about the Batangas slang thankfully, so it's been pretty cool.

Tuesday we hit it off with some work. We first visited the recent converts of my companion and his trainer, and they live faaaar as! Their barangay is called "Bunducan", and they basically means in English "Area of mountains". The name just sounds far, haha. We came back, I fell asleep, then went to work closer to home.

Wednesday was our first district meeting of the transfer, and it was good. There are only 2 foreigners in our district, me and Elder Valentine, straight outta Fiji, and his accent is thick Fijian haha. Always good to hang out with the other islander Elders, because it's always chill.

Thursday we hit it far again, this time for some investigators. This time though, we WALKED all the way home! It was hot as, and by the time we got back to the apartment at about 12PM, me and my companion were dripping with sweat, it was gross!

Saturday was an early as start. We had service in an even farther barangay, helping a member and her family build a new home. We basically all day were moving dirt into the house to level out the ground in the house, while outside we were leveling the ground to make it even. We left at mid-day, then slept for ages because we woke up at 5AM. It was good though, a good excuse to get out of the proselyting clothes for sure.

Yeah, so the branch here is really big. I was talking to the Branch President, and their average attendance is sitting around 215-220 people at church every Sunday. The chapel is is always full, and I thought to myself "How can I help this branch grow when it's sitting at an average attendance like that?" Well, my goal is to have them opening to the back every Sunday, so I'm going to be working my butt off for sure.

Another cool thing about the branch is the amount of missionaries they have out in the field, and the amount of RM's, and stuff like that. A sister was just set apart yesterday to get ready to leave to her mission in Canada, and she will be the 10th missionary out serving right now. They also have another 5 in the mode of preparing, and the excitement here for missionary work is awesome.

Definitely a big change to what I've been used to my whole mission.
This Wednesday is Zone Conference, so I'm gearing up for that. Pretty excited, because it's in Lipa, and Lipa is huge! I want to go check out the stores, and then go eat at the new Burger King they built in September/October last year.  A couple of my previous companions are in my tri-zone, so it'll be cool to catch up with them and see how they're doing. I think we may have to sleep over in another area tomorrow, because our area here is waaaay far away from everything else here in the mission. We're like 30 minutes away from the border to Cavite mission, haha.

The rest of the week is work, and yeah we'll see how it goes! We have a baptism coming up on March 26, and another one on April 2, so here's hoping that the investigators continue progressing like they are. We also are planning to schedule a baptism for April 9, so we can have back-to-back-to-back baptisms this transfer.

Saying goodbye to the Anda family.

                       The Catimogan family.

             Recent convert Joshua.

The Oyardo family.

I told ya'll I shaved my head completely.

Just hanging around.

Bishop Oyardo and his family.

Saying goodbye to my son!

Meet the Masicampo twins, biggest divas!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

My New Area

Week 66
29th February 2016

My travel to my new area on Thursday was long as! It didn't help that I wasn't able to leave on time. I had to wait in Atimonan port for some other Elders until 12PM, and then I didn't get into Batangas Terminal until just after 8PM. I was pretty annoyed, and the whole mission was on a search for me because some Zone Leaders weren't where they were supposed to be, and I was stranded for over an hour not knowing what to do. No phone, so I had to borrow one to call the Zone Leaders of that area, and I was told to go to them. Then the Zone Leaders weren't even at the place where I was supposed to meet them! Oh well, I guess these things happen. 

We got into our area on Friday around 12PM. My area is so far from the rest of the zone. From Batangas City, we had to travel another 3 1/2 hours! As if I wasn't sick of travel already, and then this 3 1/2 hour travel. We went out to work as quick as we could so I could get out and meet some people, and it was good.

Saturday night we had a branch activity, and we rocked up at 7PM to eat some dinner. I rock up and look in, and I see some members from Gumaca Ward who had moved out to Nasugbu in January, and they were shocked when they saw me. I had told everyone in Gumaca to not say anything about me being transferred to their new ward, and they were really surprised. 

During Saturday though, we were visiting members, and we pranked them, pretending that I was new in the mission and couldn't speak Tagalog. The members were trying so hard to speak English, and when I finally started speaking Tagalog the reactions they had were hilarious!

Sunday I bore my testimony, and the Branch Presidency wanted me to use up 7 minutes! I just told some stories, told some jokes, and mixed it up between English and Tagalog to make sure that they were listening to me. It was a good Sunday, and there is tonnes of people in the branch that attend every Sunday. There must've been at least 150 people at church. The branch is also really good with the organization and missionary work, so it's a real blessing that I've finally been sent to an area where the branch runs smoothly.

A miracle, or a few miracles that I have seen in the first 4 days here in Nasugbu, is the amount of referrals we receive. We visited a few members, and nearly all of them had referrals for us, and we didn't even ask for them! The members are going to prepare them more, so they can be prepared to hear the gospel. At church, we got tonnes of referrals that were already prepared, so we will have a lot to do here in Nasugbu for the next transfer, luckily this transfer has 8 weeks.

This week will kick off the new transfer, and we are just gonna dive straight into the work, I'm looking forward to it, but the only problem I have is that it's super hot here. I hopefully will get a bit darker, and I also could get a lot heavier, as the members here feed the missionaries a lot. My first day here which was Friday, we had 2 dinner appointments, and they kept feeding me until I couldn't walk.

On a side note, I am now rolling with a shaved head. I was cutting my hair on Saturday, and one of my clipper attachments is broken, but I needed to use it so I continued. Yep, the attachment fell off and left me with a big bald patch on the back of my head, so I just shaved my whole head so it was even. You won't be getting photos for a few weeks until it grows back. 

I miss Gumaca, but I guess I gotta move on. Life as a missionary can be hard, especially the part where I have to leave an area that I have come to love so much. But, gotta move on.

The flat is really nice too, it used to be a 4-way flat, but now there's only 2 missionaries, so it's big. I think our Chapel is the District Centre too, because they have air conditioning.