Monday, June 25, 2012

finishing up in Bugasong

Monday, June 25, 2012
Bugasong, Panay Island, Philippines

(Most names in this blog have been changed to protect privacy.  The editor’s comments are in italicized, purple text.)

Elder Sefeti and Alajandro Rabe
We didn't do work at rabbit speed this week.  It seemed wise to slow it down because I think I'm stressing Elder Sefeti out.  It was interesting, though, that we taught just as many lessons as we usually do.  In fact, we taught more lessons than average.  I think maybe the current carried us, or maybe we just didn't get punted too hard.  I was surprised how well it went going at a slower pace - we didn't rush from one place to the next.

Last week Elder Sefeti was supposed to teach district meeting.  I was there when Elder Quinantoto asked him.  I had forgotten about it until Monday night when Elder Quinantoto made sure that he was ready.  I thought to myself, "Oh yeah, that's right."  I wasn't there for the end of the conversation that took place, but I figured they had worked something out.  The next morning in district meeting, Elder Quinantoto says "You all ready to go?"  Elder Sefeti laughed.  Elder Quinantoto asked again.  Elder Sefeti laughed again.  We explained that Elder Quinantoto isn't joking, and reality set in.  No one was prepared to teach.  Just then, the senior couple walked into our district.  Oh crap.  So, I gave a lesson off the top of my head on "revelation through church attendance."  It wasn't the best but it did the trick. 

The Rabe boys and Elder Waggoner
We taught a less active this week that hasn't been to church in three years.  She had one of those slave-like jobs that doesn't let you keep the Sabbath day.  She had recently quit so she could have her first baby.  She's the daughter of a very active member.  I usually don't like visiting members during the day, but I felt the urge to go see her.  We found this girl.  We talked about how a testimony either goes up or down, but it doesn't really stay the same.  During the closing prayer, she bawled.  It was a pretty cool experience.  She couldn't go to church this week because she was feeling pretty sick.  I guess pregnant people feel that way sometimes.

Some local members and Elder Waggoner
 We found a less-active while tracting a while ago.  She is one of a couple found that way.  The first time we went into her house, she had porn up on her walls.  She hadn't put it up herself, but she had tolerated it.  We asked her to remove it, and she did.  We talked about the temple a few lessons later, and gave her a magazine about temples.  When we went to her house on Wednesday, pictures from the temple magazine was all over her walls.  It made the place such a nice environment.  It was such a cool change.

On the other hand, we happened upon her smoking the other night.  She had her "front door" open, and she was laying there on a bamboo bench, listening to music, just relaxing and smoking.  She took a deep draw just before we said hello.  She was so embarrassed.  We tried to invite her to church real quick (she hasn't come yet) and then run off to our next appointment.  We only had just five minutes.  It wasn't an effective visit at all.  She was so embarrassed about being caught that she was hardly listening to us.  She said "I was just testing it."  We will continue to work with her on that.

Another investigator read sixteen chapters in the Book of Mormon, understood it, and felt the spirit.  She said she hated it when evening came because she couldn't see anymore.  When I asked her what stood out to her, she said Chapter 8 about Lehi's dream.  She said she wanted the fruit they had.  She couldn't go to church this week because she watched her disabled younger sister, and her mom wasn't going to be there this weekend.

Sunday evening rainbow
Church this week was especially hot.  I was fasting, too.  I just about died.  I don't know if I've told you about the muggy meetinghouse we have here.  It's hot, and right down by the highway.  It's hard to hear, and we sweat a lot.  I ended up teaching Sunday School again.  I did it on "the power of kindness" and it was kind of low key; I was pretty exhausted, but we did one thing that was pretty fun.  We talked about using kindness in correcting others.  We had a youth spin around and close her eyes and try and walk to the back of the room.  We had a ton of people shout and correct her.  She just got confused.  We then had one person lead her by the hand. 

The Holts spoke in sacrament meeting.  They spoke English, and used some deep words.  Some people actually fell asleep. 

Elder Galloway is the new A.P.  He is one of my favorite missionaries in the mission.  We have plans together for after our missions.  He's a pretty quiet but smart guy.  Most A.P's have been rather outspoken, this guy isn't.  I think it's a great choice, but then again it is from God.

I did a lot of laundry this morning, and on Saturday.  I will probably be packing soon.  It's better to pack clean clothes.

I suspect my time in Bugasong is about to end, and that I'll be transferred next week.  I have the feeling that I'm going to the city.  If that happens, I will miss the bukid and the rice fields, but it'll be fun.  In the city, we can do things such as street contacting.  It's a different way of work, and in fact, I think it's more my style.  I will miss Bugasong, but not the same way I miss San Joaquin.  I had a great time here, but never felt as at home as I did in San Joaquin.  There are some awesome people here, and we've worked so hard, but some things here were uncomfortable.  We’ve met a lot of people with problems!  I don't mind problems, and in fact, they are nice if people will apply the gospel.

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