Well here in Batac they actually have a ward. Bishop and everything. The first day we went out and met some members. We work with less-active young men and it's been pretty effective with helping them get back to church and helping the members get better relationships with the missionaries. So I'll just name some of the people off here that we teach. There's the Sungga family who are actually preparing a new apartment for us to live in that's way nice. The one now is pretty nice (better than the old one I was at) and it has an oven! That's right. We made cookies!! The new apartment has a grill too! :D We taught their son Dave (well his dad calls him Adam) about Duty to God and we are hoping that he invites a less-active to the next YM activity. Then we met Aiko and Romel. So Aiko and Romel have been taught for around 9 months now, first by Sisters and then the Elders. Well Romel stopped coming to church awhile ago (he's 12) because he had nobody to go with. Well Aiko is his neighbor (she's 18) and as soon as the Elder's started teaching her they resolved her concern and Aiko and Romel have come to church for 4 weeks straight (well Aiko missed yesterday because she was taking care of her sick grandma). Well Aiko had never accepted baptism but she texted the Elders the day before I got here that she found her answer and she wants to be baptized!! :D They have an interview for baptism on Wednesday and the baptism will be this Saturday. There are some less-actives that we visited the next day and we have a lot of fun with their families to try and show them how great it is to be with your family and how we can be them forever through the gospel. We teach another group of college students in their dorm room (it's like the house at Pagudpud for quality). One of them knows the Church is true and is just working to give up cigarettes so he can be baptized. The way we found these guys though is through a recent convert from Dingras (Elder Ramsay's old area) named Jomary Dominggo. This guy is a golden RC and fellowshipper. We asked him last minute to help fellowship another family and he was all over that business. The Acoba family is the one we went to with him. Acoba is a man that had a live-in (not married but lived in the same house) and two kids. His "wife" went to Hong Kong and he hasn't heard from her in two years. He basically found the missionaries and after the first two lessons with them he went to Church, asked for a copy of gospel principles, and said he wanted to be baptized. Wow! April 12th is his scheduled date and that's not all. Jomary was helping us teach when a couple of Lola's came in. They're somehow related to Bro. Acoba and Jomary started talking to them and got them really interested. One of them really wants to change because her life has had so many problems. So we gave them a restoration pamphlet and a copy of the Book of Mormon and we're going to start teaching them.
There's a member family here, the De Leon family, that's really strong. One of the daughters in the family is married to a Korean, but she lives here with her two sons. Her youngest son is JJ who only speaks English and Korean so we teach them in English. JJ's favorite sport is soccer!!! We're playing soccer for an activity sometime soon for sure. Then there's sister Jella (we teach her in English too). She's pretty stinking rich. I mean most of the people we teach are pretty well off. Most people are middle class here (just the Philippines version) but Jella's family has it really good. So when Elder Larson and Elder Topham started teaching her, she said she wouldn't change religion. But then she understood the apostasy and wanted to know where the true Church was. So they gave here a Book of Mormon. Well we taught her last night and talked only about how to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. We had a really powerful lesson and Jella said that the idea of a new book is amazing to her and she feels like she'll receive a lot of personal revelation. She said she would make time to read it and she would pray about it to know if it's the word of God.
Well that's basically everything for now. Elder Larson and I are super excited to be working here and the area is progressing!! I feel like this place was perfect for me. I fit in here so well. I've already become good friends with all of the people I talked about and Elder Larson and I get along pretty well already. We're going to get things going even more here with some more finding.
Well it was Stake Conference (yep it's a Stake) yesterday and the Stake center is American style quality. It was carpeted with nice seats, air con and everything. It's nice here. It has it's problems like everywhere else, but we're really going to have success here. Thanks everyone for the prayers and support. This is the Lord's work that I'm doing and it's the true Gospel that I have the privilege to share.
Mahal ko kayong lahat!
P.S. we had a zone activity and the schedule got messed up so long story short, I don't have the card reader for my camera right now. So next week na lang (it basically translates to "you'll just have to wait for next week now") for pictures!
|So here's the last memories of Pagudpud. That's the Ramos family. Lola, tatay, nanay, and Sherwin. (Lawrence was too shy to get in the picture.)|