Sunday, 25 September 2016

Enjoyed my Week!

Week 95
19th September 2016

This week was another great week in the mission field. It wasn't really anything that exciting, it was just a week of work, and I enjoyed it.

I had exchanges on Tuesday in Calamba 2 area with Elder Bangal. We had a good day of work, and me & him were in the same District in my last area, so it was cool to be with him. He told me that our exchanges were his first exchanges in his whole mission, and he's been in the mission for nearly 9 months now. He told me he really enjoyed them, as did his companion enjoy the exchanges in my area.

Wednesday we had District meeting. We had 2 birthdays last week on the 8th & 9th, so this week we bought a cake for them. I shouldered most of the money, but had some others throw in some money too. The topic for our last meeting was about working with members, and recognizing how effective working with the members can be. It was a good meeting, and even though I've attended almost 100 (literally) District meetings in my mission, I still enjoy hanging out with my District, and learning from one another, but mostly now everyone learns from me because I'm the oldest missionary (mission age) in my District.

Other than that, the week was great. Church was great, as I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. I didn't prepare on Saturday night because I was washing my clothes, but I ended up talking about family history.

Next Sunday is Branch Conference, so there will be heaps of food! I'm excited to eat as much as I possibly can, without feeling bad for others. That's one thing I miss about Nasugbu. The members make heaps, and I wasn't allowed to leave sometimes until the food was completely finished. Sometimes I couldn't walk properly, but I love eating, so all good. Hopefully we can get a lot of people at Branch Conference!

This week is a pretty busy week. Exchanges again tomorrow (Exchanges is energy-sapping!) with Calamba 1. I'm doing all the travelling to other areas because I want to see how each Elder in my district handles leading an area. Being District Leader is really tiring to be honest. We have district meeting again on Wednesday, and then on Thursday is my last Zone Conference ever! I'll be bearing my farewell testimony, so that will be something cool to experience. It won't be a trademark Elder Crichton talk/ testimony if I don't say something "unique", so we'll see what I can think up to say!

We played basketball this morning then went to the mall to chill - Elder Luafalealo shouted us krispy kremes. 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Zone Training and Meetings

Week 94
12th September 2016

This week was great! We had a really good, enjoyable week this week.
On Tuesday I had my first exchanges as a District Leader, and it was with an elder who was in my zone in Mindoro, and also in my zone in Lopez. We spent the day working, and had a good experience.

Zone training meeting was on Wednesday, and we were late! But everyone had to wait for me because I was conducting. Luckily for them I was only like 5 minutes late, so they didn't have to wait too long. The meeting was good. Had a few laughs with everyone, and learnt some new things. The topic was something we've covered many times over my 2 years, but always something new to learn.  Afterwards we all ate together, like always.

Thursday, Friday & Saturday was all work. Nothing much out of the ordinary happened. On Sunday was church, and we had 3 investigators at church, which was cool. The investigators are a mother & her 2 children, and the only reason they aren't baptized yet is because the mother isn't married to her partner, so we're just waiting for that to happen first.

Also conducted a baptism interview yesterday in Calamba 2nd branch. The brother I interviewed, Brother Matt, is great! He has a strong testimony. He had a Word of Wisdom issue before, but now has a strong testimony that life is so much better without the alcohol & cigarettes in his life.

We had our Zone P-day this morning, and it was pretty lame, I won't lie! We were at some botanical gardens, and I have no interest in plants, hahaha. The best part was probably just being with the zone together as one. We have a crew of 3 that I call "2 & 1/2 Samoans". Me, Sister Faumuina & Elder Luafalealo. They're the 2 Samoans, and I'm the half (because I'm half-cast).

This week will be busy, as we have 2 exchanges with 2 different companionships in the week. I have at least one companionship exchange per week, and this week is 2! Going to be worn out, but if I can help others in some way, companionship exchanges is the best place. Tomorrow is with Calamba 2 Elders, then on Friday is the Zone leaders. I'll be doing all the travelling, so we'll see how it goes. Hopefully I won't be jet-lagged on jeepneys!

Sunday, 11 September 2016

News this week!

Week 93
05th September 2016

We had a good week this week. We spent most of the week coming home earlier than normal as me & my companion both took turns with little sicknesses. Mine was a headache, so I just drank a lot of water. 

I get comments all the time that I look like a light skinned Philippino. Only thing different is my brown hair and not-so-flat nose. Glad I don't have a flat samoan nose!

Played some basketball with some of the people from around our subdivision/ complex, and made a few friends from it. They got really interested in talking to me when I tried to dunk on one of the boys, and they were mocking him because he only came up to my armpit when he jumped to block my shot. The dunk missed obviously because I can't jump high enough, but I made a lot of friends from it. Slowly and surely, we're entering parts of the gospel into our conversation, so it's been cool. They seem really interested in the fact that I'm from Australia and came to the Philippines just to share the gospel. The great thing is that they are the ones asking the questions! We may ask them if they want to be taught this week, but there are a lot of them.

Our district meeting was a good one. New district, new faces, and a lot of faces! That was something new. Having a lot of missionaries in my district is something I've never experienced in my mission, ever. I gave the workshop, and it was great that everyone got involved and answered questions, and overall participated. My topic that I gave myself was "Establishing Zion in our areas & as a district." The missionaries had a lot of good ideas. Focused most of the workshop on Moses 7:18, and D&C 88:119. Was a bit outside the box thinking, but it worked well.

I have my first exchanges with the Calamba 1 elders later tonight. I'm with Elder Purawan in his area. Should be cool. Other than that, this week is Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday, and then just back to my area to work!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

My new area!

Week 92
29th August 2016

This week was a week of transition for sure, and I am now in what should be my last area in my mission.

Monday was great, as we had 2 dinner appointments with members of the Branch Presidency. The new Branch Presidency of Nasugbu had been great to me, and we had worked very close with them. I just hope & pray that the good work that we started while I was there will continue on, and I'm 100% sure it will.

Tuesday was an easy day. The whole region from Nasugbu to Lemery (which is about 6-8 towns) were all out of electricity from 8AM to just after 6PM. That is something I definitely won't miss, having the electricity cut at any time. It's just too hot in this country to go a whole day without electric fans. The members asked me to go play basketball with them at night, which I did, before rain stopped the games early. It was a good sweat, and a good last bonding with some of the members. From there we went to visit some of the members from Barangay 12, who are most of my closest friends in the area. They fed us, and then we left for home.

Wednesday I was basically packing all day. At about 4PM we left Nasugbu to go to Batangas City. My companion then went to San Pablo, while I stayed in Batangas for the night. I changed my mind last minute because there was 3 other missionaries travelling with me to the Cabuyao Zone.

Thursday was the transfer day. We left the Batangas Terminal at about 10AM, and got into the Turbina terminal around 11AM. We spent a little bit of time at the Jollibee chilling with the other missionaries, before most of us separated, and went back to our areas. 

My area is Calamba 3rd branch, and even though it's in Calamba City, our area is way up in the mountains! It's easy to get down to the city and stuff like that though, so it's not too bad. Nice & quiet too, which is cool. The new apartment is small, but nice. It has aircon but it's broken, lol. That night my companion took me around to meet the members. My companions name is Elder Ancla, and he's a Pinoy and has been out about 3 months.  I'm his follow up trainer.  I'm still the DL, there's 12 missionaries in my district, and 4 sisters too.

Friday and Saturday was just work, and Sunday was my first Sunday. Here they have Sacrament last, which was something I've never experienced in the mission. I'm also back down to a small attendance with only a meeting house, which is like the polar opposite of my last area.

In the middle of Sunday School I was asked to give a talk in Sacrament, so I took the opportunity to share with the members about Missionary Work. I asked them if they would work with us if they want to see real growth in this area. Finding, visiting, fellowshipping, and most importantly doing home & visiting teaching will go miles for a small branch. Members + missionaries is the team that works.

Anyway, this week will be more settling in with the work.