Monday, March 24, 2014

Great news!

Well it's come to the end of another transfer already. That one snuck up on us real fast. So as it is transfers I guess I should share the news about who is transferring. Elder Ramsay is going to Aparri in Cagayan. I'm going to Batac (just below Laoag) and my new companion will be Elder Larson. He kind of reminds me of brother Larsen from our home ward from when we met him once in Laoag. So yeah, I'll be getting a new apartment and then Sister missionaries will be coming in to our old apartment here. Everything is going good here in the Philippines. I'm doing good and the Philippines is still as beautiful as ever. Oh and I have some great news! Jimmy and Lilibeth's family from Cabugao just got baptized a couple weeks ago! I was getting a little worried about them, but it was so good to hear that. I'm so excited for them. It took almost 4 transfers for them to be prepared for baptism and almost 2 full transfers after I left it happens. Some people just need more time, but eventually they are ready to enter into the covenant of baptism. Great news!

Well as usual, the last week of the transfer happened to be one of our best weeks. We have 8 people with baptismal dates (albeit a little ways down the road since marriage is a problem for most of them). In July I'm expecting to hear a lot about the baptisms of some of our investigators here. We had 7 investigators from our area come to church yesterday. One was from Caunayan (15 minute bus ride) that hadn't even been taught by us yet. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet and he said he'd read almost all of Moroni 10 and it was really beautiful. He was interested so he rode his mountain bike from Cauanayan to the church. That's some pretty crazy miraculous stuff. Another person that we had been teaching in Caunayan came too. (she took the bus though). And we had almost all of the Ramirez family and Sheilla. That was awesome! Looking back from the first transfer to this one, we made some improvements and we've experienced a lot of growth. We've learned so much and you can see the results after a long period of time. We found a lot of people these last couple weeks and there are some good potentials that I feel will accept baptism after being taught the lessons. We've left the area in pretty good shape for the Elders and Sisters that will be teaching here. Pagudpud will be a really great place for progression.

So here's a story that I can share that was a negative turned into positive experience. We teach a family and one of the daughters is a tour guide and it so happened that a white tourist was staying at the house as part of the tour. He is an older American and as soon as he walks out he refuses to shake our hands and asks us where the gold plates are and how many wives John Smith had (he was talking about Joseph Smith but he didn't know his name). We handled it pretty calmly and told him that the record from the gold plates was now known as the Book of Mormon and he could read it if he'd like to and find out for himself if Joseph Smith was a prophet. He wouldn't have any of it and any attempt to be kind to him just ended up with him ignoring us. So we were about to teach the family now and he asks everyone if they want a beer or a whiskey. People drink here, it's natural to them. So of course they said sure and he says "well you don't want to be a Mormon then because they can't drink." So he walks off to get the beer and the Philipinos ask us why we can't drink. So we took the wonderful opportunity that our friend gave us and talked about the Word of Wisdom. Crazily enough, the tour guide thought that was great and is really interested now and wants to learn more about the gospel. The nanay that we teach talked about how her husband and two brothers died early because they had drinking problems and they understand now that it's not good for us. So when the guy comes back with the whiskey the nanay says just go put it in the fridge, we aren't drinking it now. The daughter said she's going to try not drinking and not having coffee. The experience turned out great even though it started out with a guy attacking our religion and telling us all sorts of pleasant things. Just keep positive! Or as mother Teresa would say, be positive anyway. 

Those Sunday Stations sound really good. Mia told me last week ;) It's great to hear from you all and here's a big "hello" and "Mahal kayo" to the Richins family. You should send some pictures *cough* *hint, hint*. Anyway, love you all and miss you so much. I'm sure you'll all just move along with life in the Americas. I still have no idea what's going on over there. The Gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is true. Jesus is the savior and through His Atonement we can come closer to God and find true happiness in life. Share the gospel with all those who don't have it yet because it truly helps.

Drying octopus skin
 Mahal ko kayong lahat!
-Elder Egan

Here's the Tagumdin family.  Boy will I miss them.  So poor, but the kids are so happy.  The gospel will bless them so much.

Fun with the machete

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