Another Magandang Hapon sa inyong Lahat!
Is it just me or do these weeks feel like they are going by like days? The title of my email is ito na naman which means something along the lines of "this once again". Once again, I am here updating you guys on another week here and it feels like I was just here yesterday. Well it's been such an awesome and busy week this week and I want to get right into it!
Monday we experienced our first pday starting from 10 instead of 12. That is our new schedule now and of course we were way excited about it! But we ended up really not knowing what to do with our extra time. We ended up going to a members house and they are studying beauty. So I cut Joyjoy's hair while Jaja gave sister Aroa a pedicure. We even brought our speakers and played EFY music and had our own little Mormon Salon going haha it was way fun. In exchange for the extra 2 hours of pday, president Balledos has required that each companionship get at least 2 lessons taught on Monday. Most missionaries mistake pday for holiday and don't get much work it. We were able to teach 3 lessons and found 3 new investigators! We have never had a Monday like that. Have I mentioned that our mission president is really so inspired?
Tuesday we had exchanges! We also had Zone Training, but since we would be having exchanges in Agoo, we decided to attend the Agoo zone training instead of ours in Bauang. It was a great training. One of the zone leaders in Agoo is Elder Smiler who was in San Juan 2 ward with me back in my first area! It was fun to see how much we have grown since that area. He is a really great zone leader and he and his companion Elder Kartch taught about how we can recieve revelation through prayer and how we can best teach that principle to our investigators and less actives. I then had exchanges with Sister Fernandez. We worked in her area and her companion and Sister Aroa went back to Bauang and worked in our area. Bauang and Agoo are about an hour away from each other. Sister Fernandez is from General Santos, Mindanao. She is only 19 but she is a great missionary. She is learning a lot. She is about 5 months into her mission and kept telling me how easy the mission is for her and she won't have a problem doing this for a year and a half. So I was glad! haha that wasn't exactly my attitude 5 months in so I was impressed and the day was way great.
We met an especially great young man named Ballo. We stopped by his house to teach his family member. She wasn't home but we could see he was really sad and we asked him why. He wants to serve a mission so bad. He works with the Elders and has a really great testimony. From what I noticed about him he has a slight speech impediment and maybe a learning disability. He wasn't been able to finish high school and because of that, the branch president told him he won't be able to serve a mission. He asked us "Did Heavenly Father ever say that if you didn't finish studies you can't serve him?" I was stumped as to what to say. It didn't seem right that he wouldn't be able to serve. I was wondering if maybe a service mission he could do? But I didn't want to disregard what his leader had told him. I also didn't want to get his hopes up that he could still serve. I wanted to say so many things but nothing was coming out. Since Tagalog still isn't the easiest thing for me and Sister Fernandez just seemed to fuel his fire by sharing about how Joseph Smith only studied to 4th grade and he became the prophet. We gave him the best advice we could. We just recommended that he speak to some other Branch Presidents to be sure what the qualifications are. It helped me realize how lucky I was that I didn't face any challenges applying to come here. I still managed to complain even when given such an easy path here on the mission. It helped me to remember how we are all blessed in different ways and it's important to realize this if we want to be happy and in order to receive more blessings.
Wednesday was exchanges again and since my companion is so sweet she stayed in Bauang again and let me stay in Agoo because I don't quite know the area well enough to lead it in exchanges. Anyway I worked with Sister Morrill. She is from Oregon. She is just 1 transfer younger than me in the mission and she is way sweet. Her area is a really progressing area as well. We had some great visits with people and one especially great man named Sonny! Sonny is from India. He was born and raised in the religion of Hinduism. He moved to the Philippines 30 years ago so is now good at speaking tagalog. To make a long story short, he has come to know that not only there is a Christ, but that this church is the true Church of Jesus Christ. He wants more than anything to be baptized but if the Hindi community ever found out that he was baptized into Christianity, his family would be shunned by them. Sister Morrill shared all of this with me in the morning before we went out to work. They decided to continue to visit him, but since he wouldn't be able to be baptized, they weren't sure how much longer they would continue visiting. When we got to his home, before we even got started with the lesson, he told us that he had spoken with his family and they are willing for him to be baptized! They are going to do their best to keep things on the down low so that the gossip in the Inidian community here won't get to India. But if it does, it is a sacrifice that he and his family are willing to make. He had even gotten white pants made so that he could be baptized that weekend! I was so taken back by his enthusiasm and strong desire.
Later that night we were at the home of a member family and in walks a recently returned missionary who served in Hawaii! His name is Brother Rodel now but before he was Elder Villanueva who served in the Kaneohe 6th Branch! He was one of the Elders I think who taught Maya for a little bit and he was also there when my good friend from the branch Nisi got baptized! I remember talking to him one sunday in hawaii when I got my mission call and he said he lives in the Baguio mission near baguio! And there he was in the living room of the home that we were eating dinner at! haha how crazy is that? Of course he didn't remember me because I have my freakish memory of faces and things so I had to remind him of the conversations we had and eventually he remembered, or said he remembered at least haha.
Aw man I am already low on time and I have sooo many pictures to send. Siguro this will be all for now. I am so happy to have the opportunity to spend some time in some other areas to get to meet such inspiring people! There are some super great people here in Bauang that I want to share about but I guess it will just have to wait until next week. I love you all! Now for pictures!
Nanay! This is probably one of the last pictures I will have with her on the mission! Sister Tanner goes home at the end of this transfer in December. She is also in Sevilla actually in the same house as Sister Tapusoa! haha