Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Finally.... An email with details!!!

Hello to anyone and everyone who is reading this!

How are you all?! I hope you're all doing weel. I'm doing good. And, just as expected, I'm not transferring! I get another 6 weeks here in Inabanga Green. Heaven on Earth. I'm excited to watch our recent converts continue to grow and hopefully witness a couple more baptism before I leave here. :D 

So we have this investigator who was found by Sister P and Sister S. And we've been teaching her this whole time and we were running out of patience and ideas because she's been reading the Book of Mormon and has a strong testimony of that and of Joseph Smith. But she just wouldn't come to church! So last week, we took over some fellowshippers for the first time. And oh boy did it work. We had a great lesson and she came to church last Sunday! Not only did she come to church, but she brought her 3 kids. And, during Relief Society, she shared a really spiritual personal experience and bore testimony of the power of prayer. It was amazing! She did it all willingly. Yesterday, when we visited her, she just kept saying about how she was just overwhelmed with the Spirit on Sunday. And she had so many great questions. It was really an miracle. 

Then we went to the T's home to do their first family home evening with them. And we were having an absolute blast and teaching them how to do it so they can start doing it on their own and all that jazz. Man I love that family so much. All of our recent converts. We're family and this is our first family reunion in a long time. I'm so happy to have this opportunity to reunite with them :D 

Anyways, down in Tontunan, where they live, there is no cellphone signal. So, during the closing prayer when we suddenly received a series of rapid texts, we were shocked. All of them from Sister I - her mission call had come! President Tanner was over here on Bohol for zone interviews and he brought it to her! Unfortunately, we were clear down in Tontunan (about 30-40 mins away from her house, or longer depending on how long the wait for transportation is.) Luckily, Sister I loves us. And because last Thursday night, when we were doing a FHE with their family, she got the text that her call was in, she promised us that she'd wait until we could be there with her!!! So we ran up Tontunan hill (poor Sister Orzal looked like she might have a heart attack) and as soon as we stepped onto the highway, a tricycle heading to Clarin came by and picked us up! 

Slowest tricycle ride ever. And the driver had to stop to pee on the side of the road. I was like: "FOR REAL?! Sister I has her mission call!!!!" Anyways, we go there just in time. We ran down Tangaran to where she lives and were greeted by a large crowd of ward members. We all rushed inside her balay and she opened it.

PHILIPPINES CAGAYAN DE ORO MISSION!!!! She reports October 24th, 2014 to Manila :D And I'm so excited for her! She's so great.

Ah. So, from our tiny Inabanga Brach, which averages about 100 people (if the R family comes. If not, it's like 85...) we have Bro. J who leaves in August, another brother leaving in September and Sister I leaving in October. Sister J's papers are in, so none of us will be surprised if she leaves in November! It's super special. I love Inabanga so much!

Ah so last Monday, we had a zone activity. We all went down to the beach on this island off the coast of Calape. Here in Calape Zone we have 26 people and one 12 passenger van. Luckily, the rules about seats and seatbelts aren't applicable here. So 24 of us (Sister W and Sister J didn't come) piled into that 12 passenger van and droved down to Calape! I was standing on the side with Sister T because all the seats and laps and floor were taken. It was crazy fun! We had a great time playing beach volleyball and enjoying the sand. It was a perfect day - there were clouds, so the sand wasn't blazing hot - but it didn't rain! So perfect. It was way fun. 

The attached picture is my beloved Calape Zone, June-July 2014 Transfer! Not pictured: Sister W and Sister J who didn't come to our Zone Activity at the Calape Beach, and Sister T (from Fiji) and Elder T (our other zone leader) who were taking the pictures. Now, sweet Sister V has gone home!

Alright. Gonna leave ya'll with that for now. I'll send over some more pictures.

I love you all!!!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Field is White....

Hello :D

Been awhile since I started in English. Thought I'd try it :D

Alright. Yeah, I've been AWOL for like 3 weeks. Cuz I'm in the Bukid and the only city is Tagbi. So if we need important things, we have to go there...and traveling there is like 4 hours there and back. So it consumes like our whole P-day! So I'm sorry I've lacked email time...

So this past June 24, M got baptised. She's a convert from Iglesia ni Kristo. I've been teaching her since my first week here :D The picture attached is at her baptism, with Elder Meliang, Elder Fox (who baptized her), her husband (who is getting baptized this Saturday - July 12, along with 5 of our other investigators) and Sister Orzal and I.

So yeah. This coming Saturday, July 12, we'll have 6 baptisms and another one is working out some stuff and will probably be baptized the first week of August if he keeps progressing like he is right now :D

Aright. Questions now: 

1.  Tell us about your new companion.

Sister Orzal. Where do I start?!? This Sister is SO amazing. The past few weeks with her have flown by. She is so obedient in every way, and always learning and helping and just being awesome. She teaches me so much and I love her to death. 

2.  What was the hardest thing you have had to do as a trainer? hasn't actually been difficult. I'm more of just a senior companion - Sister Orzal came pre-trained. I thought the language would be hard, but it's not bad. I thought I'd have to do all the teaching, but she's already participating a ton. So it actually hasn't been hard yet. She's just so good!!!

3.  Tell us about an investigator.

Hmm....we have this one investigator named J. She's in her late 50's or early 60's. She lives an interesting life. She had 3 kids - her oldest is C. Her other son lives in Cebu and she doesn't see him a lot. And her youngest, J., who was killed by a stray bullet and died on Christmas day a few years ago due to blood loss. That was right after her husband had died and so they couldn't afford the blood they needed to save J.'s life. Now, after several years, she has a new man in her life and they're working on getting married. Last night, we went to her house and had the opportunity to teach her about the Plan of Salvation. She recognized the truth of our message through the peace that came with knowing where her husband and son are right now and that she can see them again one day. It was really spiritual and she really felt it. She can get baptized once her and her boyfriend are married.

4.  With your new companion, who does the cooking?  

Mostly Sister Orzal. She actually knows how to cook. Sometimes I cook....and I always help. Usually I wash the dishes and put the rice in the rice cooker and she cooks the sud-an. 

On a side note, I when I went to Cebu to pick up Sister Orzal, I met one of her batch - Sister DeTal. and Sister DeTal told me that she's read my blog! Followed by: "You're so much prettier in person!" that a...compliment?

Also, we have this giant hill. Like it takes a good 15 mins to walk up and you're doing lunges up it. It's the short way to this one  family so we walk down and up it a lot. It's either short and steep or 45 mins one way. So when Elder Fox and Elder Meliang came to do the baptismal interviews for the family, they got to go up and down the hill. They also brought our Branch Mission Leader, brother M. On the way up the hill, Elder Meliang sat down on the ground half way through and told us he could go no farther. Followed by a comment from Brother M: "Moniwang si Sister Warner." Which basically means: "Sister Warner's gonna get skinny. Followed by a round of laughter. Lolz! I've been walking up that hill for 2 months now! (Not with Sister Salima cuz she didn't wanna do's really hard.)

The work here is really being hastened. I'm so lucky to be a part of it. The coolest thing about the mission, the thing that makes it all worth it, is watching these people really change their lives. Like huge changes. And watching the spark of the light of the Gospel become a bright burning flame within them. That radiates in their countenances. 

No fireworks on the Fourth of July. Unless you count the fireworks in the eyes and souls of the missionaries and the investigators when they are given the "go-ahead" for baptism. When their salvation is almost palpable - right there, within reach. And they're grasping it with their whole hearts. There is no replacement for those fireworks. 

I'll leave you with a quote I saw on the back of Sister Mahinay's planner.

"We should not expect the Lord to remove our challenges just because we promise Him that we will always be faithful if He does. Rather, we are to endure well, and then we will be blessed." 

- Elder J. Christopher Lansing

Well said.

Nahigugma ko kaninyo :D