Sunday, 28 August 2016

Transfer Week - Going to a new area

Week 91
22nd August 2016

I am finally outta here! Wasn't surprised though, because President Mangum dropped a big hint that I would be transferred back when we had interviews with him. I'm going to Calamba 3, in the Cabuyao Zone. Not sure if I'm the District Leader, but I am going to the District Leader area, and replacing the old District Leader, so the chances are high.  This District also has 12 missionaries, which is heaps! First time having sister missionaries in my district too, so I don't know what that will bring.

My companion is also training here in Nasugbu next transfer, so I knew I was out for sure from Wednesday. I didn't tell the whole branch that I'm transferred, just told some people who I was really close with, which has resulted in 5 dinner appointments over the next 2 nights, haha. The members are excited for my companion to train, as am I. 

Wednesday was District Meeting, and it was the last District Meeting for 2 of the Elders in the district. We had a good time together, and they headed to the mission home yesterday, ahead of going home on Wednesday. Other than that, the week was pretty normal.

Just a quick highlight for the week. We've received a few online referrals from the office, coming from members who are from other missions. On Saturday, we decided to go out there and visit them. We were really lucky in that the 2 referrals lived across the road from each other, because we went out really far. It was my first time going out that far, so we got lost a couple of times. It was raining really hard, so we got smashed on by the rain looking for these houses, gotta love it!

The first referral that we contacted was a family of 6. They were great, and I wish I could stay longer and teach them! They are really receptive. 5 of the 6 family members are eligible for baptism.

The second referral was 3 siblings who were taught before by missionaries in another mission. The only reason they weren't baptized was because they came back to Nasugbu. They still have a huge desire to be baptized though, which is mean. I think my companion has  a lot of work to dig up in the next few weeks, pretty exciting!

This is just a few farewells, then off to my new area. I have to go up to San Pablo with my companion on Wednesday because he needs to be at the mission home early on Thursday to pick up his trainee. Then from there, I guess I have no idea what I'm going to do, because a new area brings new challenges, new faces, and a new companion. 

Meet the Ambao family. They tall. 

The day me & my companion almost went to work in shorts!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Baptisms, Meetings and P-Day

Week 90
15th August 2016

This week was an OK week, but it was good because we had our baptisms!

Tuesday started off with our interviews with the Mission President. He introduced to all the missionaries a new way of keeping track of re-activated members, and what some requirements are in order to be considered a "re-activated member".  That went well, and from there the Zone Leaders came to our area to interview our candidates. They were supposed to interview 2 of them in Calaca at the chapel there, but there was a miscommunication, so that didn't happen. They interviewed them on Wednesday though, after our Zone Training Meeting. I conducted the meeting, which was fun.

The baptism service was on Saturday too, and it was great! 3 of our investigators were baptized, and they were baptized by 3 different priesthood holders. It was great for them, and each of them enjoyed the experience of being baptized, and they are excited to start their new journey as members of the true church of Jesus Christ. Excited for them, so hopefully all goes well.

Yesterday at church was awesome! We have some families in our ward that are really diligent & hard working when it comes to visiting less-active members. One couple in particular, they visit 3-5 families every week, and yesterday at church, a lot of less-actives came back to church! I'm talking like 10-15 less-active members that haven't come to church once since I've been here in Nasugbu, it was a great sight to see. Definitely one of the highlights of my week, seeing so many less-actives come.

We had a meeting with the Branch Presidency, and introduced the re-activated members thing to them. What the mission is trying to do is track every returning member by NAME, so that they can be looked after better, and come back to living the gospel & STAY THERE. Straight after the meeting we went straight to visit a referral given to our Branch President, and our Branch President even took us there. Support here for the work is going right through the roof!

Actually conducted another baptismal interview on Saturday, this time it was one of the Zone Leaders investigators. She was definitely taught well by the missionaries, and had such a strong testimony of the gospel. I hope that one day, her husband joins her in the church, and they have the opportunity to be sealed for all time & eternity.

We had district p-day earlier today, and we went bowling. It was great! It was the last p-day ever for 3 of the elders in our district, so we had to make it a fun one.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Trip to San Pablo

Week 89
08 August 2016

This week was great, especially my trip to San Pablo.  They hold these every three months. Left on Wednesday straight after district meeting, and left my companion with Elder Portugal's companion, who is Elder Rasmussen, my trainee. Me & Elder Portugal headed up to San Pablo, and after a couple of hours travel we finally got into San Pablo. I bought shoes straight away, and threw out the broken ones. 

I slept in Alaminos with the Assistants, and the next morning we all woke up early to play basketball. Turns out the Assistants got all the ballers to sleep with them or the Office Elders, and what a hectic game it was! One of the favorite games that I've played with other missionaries. It was Foreigners v. Pinoys, and it was really close right up until it was 18 all, and then I scored the next 3 points to win. Not bragging, it's just that I really did that. It was a fun game though, crazy serious, but no tempers flared because we're all good friends. Everyone had a point to prove, and I proved that I'm still the best baller in the mission, hahaha jokes.

The meeting itself was long. It went from 9AM until around 4.30PM. We had a nice lunch in between, and it was good to catch up with some of the elders I came into the mission with, and some of my other good friends that I hadn't seen for a long time. Learned a lot about being a District Leader, and how to do things better, and I understood better really what a District Leader is.

Other than that our work is doing good. We have 3 baptisms this Friday & Saturday, so we're really excited, and have them receive the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday. Things here are so exciting, and having a baptism every other week just adds to it. Can't complain really, loving this place.

Had a meeting yesterday with the Branch Council, run of course by the Branch Presidency. They called this meeting just to talk about the Branch Mission plan of 2016, and how they really need to focus on the plan. Ever since we've had a new Branch Presidency, things have been going a lot better, and more people are getting involved. Our Branch Presidency themselves all have someone or a family they're trying to help bring back, so it's going really well so far. They really want to make things happen, so I'm really just happy to be here, to soak it all up, and work alongside them.

This week, we have our interviews with our Mission President tomorrow, Wednesday is Zone Training Meeting which I'm conducting - that should be fun. 

Then baptisms on Friday & Saturday. In between all of that, working & finding new people to teach, because our investigators are getting baptized, and a lot! 

That will be 5 baptisms for the transfer again. We don't have any more scheduled for this cycle, but setting them up for next cycle is important too, especially if I leave the area.

We had zone p-day today - just played basketball. It rained so the court was slippery, made for an interesting game!


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Back to Work!

Week 88
01 August 2016

Bit late emailing today - we had a massive power cut and it only just came back on. Power was out in the whole town.

It was pretty hard adjusting from no work, and going into a full day again, and I struggled with it. We didn't get the results we wanted to, but the amazing thing was that we still had 7 investigators attend church yesterday! Our church attendance has been consistently up there, so we're really thankful for the members and their hard work with investigators, and bringing them to church.

We do have some amazing investigators though, which makes it that much enjoyable to work, and to visit with them. We have 3 investigators scheduled for baptism on August 13, so we're really excited for that day to come around. In the meantime, we'll be busy finding, teaching, and doing normal missionary things to help build the kingdom of God here in Nasugbu.

This last week was pretty uneventful, but nonetheless it was good. Wednesday, we had our district meeting again, and I ran some interviews to see how each missionary in my district is going, and to help & encourage them to work hard. We have 4 missionaries going home within the next 3 cycles, including myself, so trying to keep them focused is my biggest challenge (All while keeping myself motivated at the same time!).

On Saturday I had my first baptismal interview! That was definitely something different. The lady I interviewed is great. She has a really strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, and she told me how much it changed her life. She knows that the gospel is true. She will be baptized this Saturday. For me, it was a weird feeling, being 19 years old and interviewing someone for baptism. I felt like a Bishop or Branch President!

This week is another busy week, but we will be out of our area for 2 days. Tuesday we have exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I'll be in Lemery, then District Meeting on Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon me and the other District Leader in our zone will be travelling to San Pablo together, ahead of our District Leader Council meeting on Thursday. I'm not sure what to expect with the meeting, but I've been told the food is really nice, so looking forward to that as well. From that, back into work on Friday, and then onwards & upwards.

Now off to a members house for dinner.  They always drop us home after - not by car - they don't have one - but by tricycle!