Monday, October 15, 2012

My grandchild is from Utah.

Monday, October 15, 2012
Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines

To protect privacy, some names in this blog have been changed. 
Elders Waggoner and Lowry
Life here in Molo is okay.  Last Monday was a little rough, though.  Some of my favorite elders went home.  My MTC roommates, Elders Tran and Doig, and some good mission pals, Elders Lowry and Light, and just a lot of people I've known from the beginning.  It was sad to say goodbye, and in the back of my mind, I knew that I could have gone home with them.  I didn't think about it much, though.  I had too much to do.  They all slept at my house Monday night.  We ended up playing Uno and talking until it was late.  Then, after a few people passed out, Elder Lowry and I talked for a long time.  I did not get much sleep that night.  I've only stayed up a few times in my mission, and I haven't regretted them.

The following morning I had to say goodbye, and then write down some plans for zone meeting.  I pretty much knew what I was going to say, and just had to write it on paper so I wouldn't forget anything.

Zone meeting went pretty well.  First Elder Naylow started it off with accounting and other stuff.  Then Elder Domincel, the AP, did a follow up of last month’s zone meeting.  Then he and I led a session about balancing time.  We talked about evaluating our area and then choosing how to best use our time amongst less actives, investigators, and recent converts.  We had did an activity that turned out to be a way fun.  We got out a ton of chairs, and Elder Naylor and I put sticky notes on them.  We had three elders stack chairs, each elder stacking chairs with a different color sticky note.  In the end we compared the stacks.  Then Elder Naylor trained about teaching doctrine to change behavior.  I then finished it up with a training about inviting, committing, and following up with investigators.  Most people were way dead.  I don't know why. They didn't stay up near as late as I did!  I tried to make it a great discussion, but no one was offering insights.  I said some funny things and got some more people involved.  I said stuff like "Remember when Elder Bednar came, and we had a great discussion with him?  I know I'm not Elder Bednar, but we could at least give it a shot."  Even at the end of it, some people where just too dead to interact.

Most people said they enjoyed zone meeting a lot.  That means something to me, because up until I went to Antique I always dreaded zone meetings.

Maria came home, and we had our first lesson with her since she returned.  Elder Galloway wanted to come because he was getting transferred and wanted to say goodbye to them.  It was one of the best lessons I have had in my mission.  The spirit was super strong.  We had the most crazy follow up ever.  She let us know where she had been, what she had done, and how she felt.  We then moved on to what her desires were.  We hardly taught anything.  We just asked questions for about an hour.  The spirit kept on getting stronger and stronger.  By the end of the discussion, Maria had committed to never break the Word of Wisdom again, and to be baptized November 10.  I felt so good.  Elder Galloway let me know afterwards that the lesson had "made his mission."  We left her with an assignment to read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.

The new missionaries slept over Wednesday and Thursday night.  They all said stuff like "you're going home soon."  That makes me laugh.  Compared to two years, what is five weeks?  But five weeks is still a long time.  (I'll tell you if I still feel like way in a week or two.)

Elders Maneateata, Waggoner, Banks, and Sefeti
We were asked to sing in transfer meeting.  We sang "I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go."  I played the guitar.  We invited Elder Sefeti to sing with us too.  So, I sang with my two kids.  Elder Maneateata sang low harmony, Elder Sefeti sang high, and sang did melody.  We made President cry.  It's the first time I've seen President Pagaduan cry.

Also, great news: I have grandkids.  Take that dad!  Elder Sefeti is training.  My grandchild (apo) is from Utah.  How strange, I have two Polynesian kids, but an American grandchild?  How does that work?

I'm in a threesome now, and the third companion has struggled with some things on his mission.  I'm surprised he hasn't been sent home yet.  He is a bit of an anarchist, and listens to no one.  I am learning charity, humility and patience.  I knew I had to learn it sooner or later.  It is the end of my mission, so I guess it's my last shot to learn it.  I'm praying, and received a lot of guidance for it during General Conference.

Conference was a spiritual feast.  I used to think that five sessions was an eternity, but man, it went by way to quick.  I can't wait until it arrives in the Ensign.  I will probably want to watch it at home when it comes out on DVD.  Aren't I such a nerd?  Weird.

Elder Galloway is in Miag-oa.  That's cool.  I’ll get to see him at zone conference and stuff.

Well, I love you guys.  Pray for me and my companions.  We're doing alright.

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