How are you guys! It feels like I haven't emailed in so long haha. So much has happened the past couple weeks so I'll just go over the main things. First off, my new area is in Alicia and my companion is Elder Flores. I'm actually his follow-up trainer! So this is only his 3rd cycle in the field. I forget the name of the place he's from but his first language is Illocano! So he's been helping me with that along with Tagalog. Such a blessing. I'm also helping him with his English.
Man I'm like in love with this area already haha. Our apartment is huge compared to my last one! It's also really sick - 3 rooms, weights, big space to lift and stuff, a flushing toilet, and even a working shower! I love not having to bucket shower anymore haha. There are actually 4 of us in this apartment. The other two elders are Elder Baclea-an & Elder Clarite. They're in Alicia 1st ward and we're in Alicia 3rd, so different working areas. Both of our wards have sister missionaries too. Elder Baclea-an goes home in a couple weeks and Elder Clarite is in the same batch as Elder Flores. I was actually kind of worried when Elder Flores told me there were 4 of us in the apartment since I thought it'd be hard to focus and stuff. But it's awesome; they're both really hard working and obedient. The next transfer day is on March 30th but Elder Baclea-an is going home a little sooner, so for the few weeks that he's gone the three of us will be working together until Elder Clarite gets another companion on transfer day. I'm stoked since that means we'll get to work in their area too for that little while and have more work!
Another thing I love about this area is the people. They are so nice! And our members here are so faithful. Yesterday we had 4 men preparing for missions work with us! We were able to go on splits and have an awesome, successful day of work. Our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Arenas, is super masipag too. They said we have missionary coordination meetings every week to discuss our work and they give us more names to find and teach. Apparently Elder Flores's last companion wasn't the beeest worker which is sad. Because of that bro. Arenas didn't care much for the elders. So our first plan when I got here was to gain his trust again and the trust of the members in our ward. We were blessed to have a csp (community service project) on Saturday and through that those who were there, including bro. Arenas, began to see that we're ready to work! That night at the coordination meeting he and bro. Encarnacion (ward clerk) gave us a bunch of names to find! It was awesome. So on Sunday our plan was to visit them while on splits. Since I'm new to the area the 2 fellowshippers who worked with me lead the area. We found a couple of the people we were told to find and even met a couple others on the way who said we can teach them this week. Man, the work is just sooo great here! The blessings are overflowing.
Before I move on to the other emails I just want to share an experience I had. On transfer days everyone being transferred goes to Cauayan then leaves from there to their next area. Our area isn't very far from Cauayan so Elder Flores them were actually waiting for us there at the Cauayan chapel, right next door to the mission home. Some of them needed to get reimbursements but those in charge of reimbursements were busy helping the new missionaries and their trainers next door. So we decided to eat lunch close by at KFC while waiting for them to finish. This is like the only KFC in the mission I heard so I was stoked haha. Anyway, so in KFC this American guy comes up to us while we're eating. It's me, Elder Flores, and Elder Carrington at the table. I guess he spoke to Elder Carrington first but then came to us and scolded him for not bringing up the gospel to him haha. Turns out this guy is a member, and he tells us about his mission and stuff. The thing that stood out to me the most was what he said about love. If we really love these people around us and see them as our literal brothers and sisters, we shouldn't be afraid to share the gospel. Then he's like "Look at this, you guys are sitting next to this beautiful young lady and you haven't brought up the gospel yet!" Keep in mind, he's standing behind us and is speaking loud enough for everyone there to hear. After a few seconds of silence, he turns to the girl sitting next to me but at a higher table and starts talking to her about the gospel. Then he tells her about us, missionaries, and says that we'll give her a number to call if she wants to know more about the gospel. He tells us to give her a number and then goes and sits down with his wife. I was really hesitant, but I did talk to the sister for a bit and testify that the things she heard were true. Since we don't know who the missionaries in her area were we just gave her the number to the mission home. Now I'm not sure how effective that experience was for her, but it had a big impact on me. What the brother said about love was true. I've made it a goal to reach more out of my comfort zone here and what he said helps a lot. When we love these people the way that Heavenly Father loves them, work doesn't just become important, it becomes a desire.
Overall, everything is super great here. Our zone is composed of 28 missionaries! Twice as much as Solano zone. And everyone is super cool. Tomorrow we'll have zone conference so it'll be us and a couple other zones meeting in Santiago. That means I'll see Elder Rebojo again! By the way, Elder Bice is training! How's that! Ang galing niya. I was able to talk to him for just a few seconds while in Cauayan. They were still busy with the new trainers and missionaries meeting. Too bad his zone is far from us so I won't see him again for a while probably. That's pretty much it for the big events this past week though. How are you guys? Eh how's Kaiawe? And Hyrum told me about Vaea's mission call! So sick! Ohu must be even more stoked right now, it seems like everyone is leaving the country! It's also so good to hear about you mom, that you're doing better. My testimony of prayer and the gospel in general only continues to grow out here. Hope you guys are doing well and have a great week!
Love you guys!
Sorry, this computer can't read my camera so I can't send any pictures today. This picture was saved with my draft from last week. Intestines really aren't bad anymore, actually kind of good haha.