Monday, June 18, 2012
Bugasong, Pany Island, Philippines
(Most names in this blog have been changed to protect privacy. Italicized, purple text are comments from the editor.)
This will be short this week. Elder Quinantoto and I went out to teach some lessons real quick, and they ran kind of long. Earlier, we were playing basketball and we got tired, and I turned to him and said "I feel like working." He said he agreed, and then somebody texted him asking us to come over. We left Elder Sefeti and Perez playing with the young men. So sorry This isn't going to be a great email, but it's for a good cause.
I went on splits with Elder Quinantoto this last Friday. I love him. He's one of my favorite elders in the mission. We are very similar actually. We had a great day, and did a lot of work in his area. After the splits, I just had fire in me. On the following Saturday and Sunday, we split with members and taught 18 lessons. I am having so much fun with the work here.
Sunday our branch president and first counselor didn't show up. Our 2nd counselor is maybe the shyest guy I have ever met. So, I was “Branch President” Waggoner again. I wasn't conducting or anything, but I asked people to teach classes, and asked people to speak in Sacrament Meeting when someone didn’t show up. I also, once again, broke into the branch presidents "office" so we could have the sacrament. I used a piece of bamboo through the window and unlocked the door. If I hadn't done that, we would not have had sacrament.
Also, we had no Sunday School teacher. We had a good amount of investigators, and I didn't want to abandon them. I was asked to teach the Sunday School by brother "shy," so I just combined them. I had a blast! I taught maybe 60 people about the atonement. I used pictures in my picture book, used scriptures, and asked question. I did it like dad used to. I was up on my feet and all over the chapel during my lesson. God really helped me out because I wasn't that prepared.
After church, I asked everyone to stick around for a few minutes. I took a picture of all of them, then had them sign a card for some less actives. I wanted them to say stuff like "we miss you" and "you're always welcome here," but they didn't understand. They thought I was transferring, and some of them wrote messages about that. I'll have to cut out what people wrote that understood what it was for. I don't know how that happened - I explained it clearly. I guess some people weren't really listening. On the other hand it's nice to see how people care about me.
We received referrals for people way far away, and they are coming to church. I like people coming to church, but it's hard to focus so far away. I feel like we ought to because those people are so excited about the gospel, and both families have asked about baptism. We aren't going to rush things, but that's way sweet to hear. We will be now working in Valderrama and Tibiao again. That will slow down work because it takes so long to travel out there, but it will be an adventure, and I believe it's worth it.
Elder Sefeti is doing well. He enjoyed our hike today. We went with some other elders to the southern point of Panay Island.
|View from southern tip of Panay Island|
|Hiking in Dao|
A funny story – these kinds of trips aren’t usually allowed. We aren't supposed to intermix districts for outings, but we had gotten the zone leaders’ approval. While we were out, President called me to ask me about some things I had mentioned to him about the branch, and he asked me where I was. I told him I was on my way to Dao to hike. He asked me "Is this a zone activity?" (Those are not allowed anymore.) I told him no, because it was only six of us not the whole zone. Also, I let him know we had permission from the ZL's. So, they may have gotten the heat for it. He seemed cool with an exception, though. He told me that he was impressed with our work in Bugasong, and to have fun. I wonder if he let it slide because the work is going well?
We dropped Sister Lota's family. They had been progressing in the past, but they just wanted the experience of it, yet not any of the commitments. They hadn't been reading and stuff, and hadn't gone to church for a while. I didn't know what to do with them. I love them, but they were killing me. I straight up asked them "If you know this is true, why don't you get baptized?" I had to ask it twice before they gave any sort of real answer. We will just put them in the area book. It's a bummer, but it's what we have to do.
Elder Sefeti is picking up my guitar picks where ever I leave them, and putting them in one spot for me. I always have guitar picks.
I had another experience with pooping kids this week. It rivaled last week’s experience.
I love you guys. I'm doing great.