Sunday, April 22, 2012


Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Bugasong, Panay Island, Philippines

Elders Sefeti and Waggoner
I've got some big news.  My big news weighs 95 kilos, and is my new companion from Fiji.  I like him.  His name is Elder Sefeti, and I picked him up on Friday.

He can sing super well.  We sang while we did laundry.  He already knows how to do laundry by hand, so all I need to teach him is how to speak the language.  He can actually understand where one word stops and where the next word begins.  He'll do a lot better at learning the language that I did.  You guys have actually been in the same room as him before.  He sang in the MTC choir.  (Our family attended the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference.)  If you watch the rest hymn, he’s on the right in the middle.  He's the big brown guy.  He and I are having a blast.  Within the first couple of minutes after transfer meeting, I had him buy some fruit.  I told him the vocab and a few phrases. We ran through it once or twice, and then he did it.  We've kept on doing stuff like that.  It's really helping him out. 

When I found out that I was getting a brand new missionary as a companion, Elder Montecer and I decided to wait on giving some folks baptismal dates.  So, on Elder Sefiti's first day, we gave out three baptismal dates.  One of them was super funny.  He didn't know how to say the whole sentence, so I said the first part "kon namaan mo gne ja ang mutuod" (if you come to know that this is true. . .) and then he said "gagawin mo magpabunyag sa may 5?"  (Will you be baptized on may 5?)  It took them a bit of effort to understand because what i had said was Kinaray-a, and what he said was in Tagalog. 

My mission has totally changed.  It's like when folks have real kids, you know?  They aren't too concerned about other stuff any longer, they don't care as much about personal development.  Now, everything is about getting Elder Sefeti up to speed, speaking the language and teaching well.  Elder Motecer and I were a super companionship.  We broke records and stuff, but now all that doesn't matter.  Now it's not about working super hard, it's about working at a pace where Elder Sefiti learns.  I'm having a lot of fun with it. 

General Conference was great.  Somebody made DVD's of it, so we got to watch it in Bugasong's hot, uncomfortable meeting house.  Still, I loved it.  Conference is so much better as a missionary.  You'll hear stuff said in the conference and think "that's what Sister So and So needs." 

On Saturday, we four missionaries were the only one's watching it.  On Sunday, though, we had a good turnout.  We had a ton of less-actives come, plus two investigators.  We could have done better with the investigators, but I was super surprised at how many less-actives came! 

The DVD gave up the ghost near the end of the Sunday morning session, so we ended up singing a hymn on our own and having a closing prayer. That's too bad because I really wanted to hear "Come Thou Fount".

On Saturday during President Packer’s talk, I wept like a baby.  I haven’t cried like that in a really, really long time.  It took me a few minutes to get myself back together. 

Elders Sefeti and Dalu
Elder Sefeti slept through most of conference.  Jet lag had him all out of whack, but it was okay because he'd already seen it before he left the MTC. 

It was holy week here, so the work didn't go as great as it usually does.  It hurt us a bit, but we did our best.  It was nice because a lot of people were at home, but there were no rides to go anywhere. 

Elder Montecer went DL  He was practicing teaching district meeting in the mirror.  He was stoked. 

We had our Branch President work with us this week.  It was good to get to know him.  I've only seen him at church on Sunday, and we hadn't talked much.  We took him around to some less-actives.  He's a great guy, but is really struggling to help the branch.  We were so thrilled to show him around.  We had some great lessons, and he talked to us about the branch and stuff.  We talked to him about how he might be able to help. 

Another local leader, though, is on my naughty list.  We went to his house for lunch on Thursday right before we left for Iloilo. We had a female branch missionary with us because she had worked with us in the morning.  She was also invited to eat.  While we were waiting for the other two elders to show up, the leader put in a CD with a ton of pictures on it.  It was a slide show of his trip he had taken, and it contained a lot of inappropriate images.  I just turned my head.  I couldn't call him out about it or he'd be offended for years to come, but come on!  He knows better!  I was especially embarrassed for the sister who was working with us.

My TB test came out negative - for the second time in my mission.  It was funny the doctor was like "You don't have TB."  I was like "Tell me about it".

It's fun introducing Elder Sefeti to all the good Filipino foods.  I’ve shown him halo-halo, dirty ice cream, and batchoy.  He really likes those.  He and I made a thank-you card for the lady who gave us the halo-halo.  He says most other Filipino dishes are the same as Fijian dishes, just with more sauce.

That's all I really have.  Life is great.  Elder Sefeti and I are singing to our investigators.  He's not shy about it.  

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