What is new with everyone? Thank you for the updates! Julz you are so amazing to be working so hard on your books! I can't wait to read them when I get home! And that's not sarcastic haha I actually enjoy reading now. My favorites right now are the teachings of the prophets. I am reading the one from Brigham Young right now. He has so many inspiring insights! Ayo thank you for the pictures! Mila is getting sooo old I wanted to cry. I can't believe how much she looks like you! Also, Kel and Constance are the cutest. I really have the cutest neices and nephews! I hope they remember me! Mommy I laughed pretty hard reading about how you get even less news from Jake than you got from me my freshman year hahah. Communication is not one of my fortes but I have been working on it since being here! I hope there has been improvement.
This week went by way too fast as usual. But I am excited to introduce you to some of the "Bagong Tao" or "New People" of Bauang! You may have noticed this email isn't so rushed as usual and thats because...drumroll...email is now one hour and thirty minutes long! Yayyy! But I spent some time earlier writing emails to other people so I still don't have a ton of time :( haha next time I will have more time! I have some pictures I wanted to send but my computer isn't reading my camera :( so next week na lang. This week we visited some of the Sisters in Agoo. We are the STLs over Bauang and Agoo zone. It was really fun to see them! Some of them were sisters I was with in San Fernando zone and Baguio zone. It was nice to see them again and talk about the progress we have made as missionaries. We also had district conference. It is a district here in Bauang instead of stake. Elder Aduro of the area seventy spoke to us. So did President and Sister Balledos. They gave really really great talks! Their focuses were family and tithing. Those are some of the not so solid areas of the church here in the Philippines.
I want to share more! But I should probably get into sharing about the area. This area is probably 1/4 the size of our area in Narvacan and I am not too sad about it haha. A lot less money spent on transportation. We only have 2 barangay but there is still lots of work to do! We are focusing on:
1. Rolly Aquino: Brother Rolly is in his 60s or so. All of his children are members of the church. He is a great investigator! He has searched just about every church on the face of this earth besides the LDS. And since he knows so much, as we teach him about the apostasy and how the fullness has been restored, we see the wheels turning and everything just clicks with him! He accepted to be baptized on December 27 but hasn't yet come to church. He wants to go with his kids but they are kind of less active/have work on sundays. But we are hoping that if we bring some members to our next lessons with him, he will feel more comfortable coming to church by himself.
2. MA Rosario: MA is only 12 years old but is one of the smartest investigators I have taught! She comes to church every sunday and loves hearing our lessons. She even has a few friends at church and helps us to bring our other investigators to church! She is pretty much a member but her father is a less active. He hasn't been to church since 2009. Our requirement for the mission is if the baptismal candidate is less than 21 years old, they need to have solid church members in their home. So we are trying to focus on her father. But he doesn't seem to think he needs the church in his life :( it's so sad because he is a really good person. An especially good dad because his wife left him with 3 young children. If you guys could pray for him, brother Mark Anthony Rosario and MA and all of his family, that would be great!
Shucks theres more I would like to share but next week na lang! I hope everyone has a great week! Daddy I am so happy every time mom writes to me about what a wonderful husband you are to her. President Balledos addressed fathers in particular in his talk at conference and I thought about how lucky I am to have such a good example of a father in my home. I love you and mom and the whole family! Also tell Baachan I say kumusta :) haha and that I will need her to teach me Japanese again when I get home. Okay love you all! Take care! Until next week!
- Sister Sawada