Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21 - Santa Teresita

Good day everyone!!  Well it's already been a week here in Sta. Teresita.  It's Cagayan alright.  Yeah it's just next to Gonzaga.  That's where we will have District Conferences and Zone trainings and such.  There's a lot less people here in Cagayan than in Ilocos.  It's very provincial out here.  Well the area recently got split into three different areas.  They moved two Sisters in here and they get the three main centro areas.  The four Elders just split the rest in half.  So we get the Barrangays that are super far away and we walk a lot! There's no triceys really that go to our main areas so we have to walk through our closest area (which is still far) to get to the area with the most members (active and less-active).  I'm somewhat amazed that people go to church from all the way out there.  Then again it might just be that the people from my other areas were just a little bit more prideful and complaining that they would have to pay 20 pesos to get to and from church.  They're are a lot more humble people here.  It's a much more simple life.

We get a lot of lessons out here.  My first week (keeping in mind that we only had an hour to proselyte on Tuesday) we got 25 lessons.  That's the highest I've ever had on my mission.  We only have one investigator progressing right now though.  His name's D.  He's 16 and his parents are actually both members but for whatever reason are less active now.  He's come to church 4x but only 2 consecutively so we'll have a baptism for him in a couple weeks!  The main challenge is to keep him following the Word of Wisdom.  He was at 5 cigarettes a day before and on Saturday he only did one and he told us on Sunday that he was done for good.  I feel like he can really do it, but breaking addictions is hard so he really needs our prayers.  He also had a little Law of Chastity problem but it seems like he's already resolved everything and has repented/is repenting.  He has such big desire to come closer to Christ and be baptized!  We did a lot of work this week and set up 5 new people with baptismal dates.  Now the challenge is to help them get to church.  That's always the challenge it seems.  Especially here where people are poor and they're mindset is that "I need to work on Sunday or the rice will die."  God will provide!!  I take a look at everyone who keeps the Sabbath day holy to the best of their ability and they seem to survive if not do better than those who work everyday including Sunday and struggle to get by.

Another cool thing here is that we get a lot of fellowshipping.  There's three people that work with us all the time, like everyday.  One of them can't work all the time though because he has epilepsy and isn't allowed to exhaust himself and risk having a seizure.  He wants to go on a mission so bad too!  He can, it will just be less proselyting I would assume.  We taught 13 investigator lessons and 11 were with members.  That's pretty darn incredible.  The ward had a branch home evening on Saturday (apparently it's monthly (that's exciting!)).  There seem to be quite a few baptisms here because there's lots of recent converts but for some reason or other the sacrament attendance is dropping daw.  We'll see what we can do to help the less-actives.  To sum it up, it's like Pagudpud in terms of terrain and area (and bathroom), Cabugao is most similar apartment wise and member wise, and it's absolutely nothing like Batac at all.  In a word I would say it's: Sta. Te!  (Ok so I guess that's two words.)

Now to miscellaneous/question answering- I loved training!!  Mostly because my companion was so great. He's probably my favorite so far.  Well I saw those cooling towels with Elder Larson and I didn't have any desire at all to try those.  So about the umbrella...I had that thing since Pagudpud.  That cheap lousy thing lasted 6 months!  And then Sister Malobago (she transferred from Batac to here as well) said that it was a really sturdy umbrella.  Then I opened it...broken.  It rusted on a part keeping all the wires in place so it's trash now.  So if you want to send a new one sure.  I'll buy another cheap one and hope it lasts 6 months again or longer.  That's another thing about here; it rains a ton!!  It is rainy season and all, but we're close to the ocean and it's always gray skies daw.  I HATE rain.  I have no desire to live in Oregon ever if it's always rainy.  Give me some nice desert instead!  Oh and I let a member use my one long sleeve shirt that I bought here that was a piece of crap and they must have taken it to wash it and I never got it back so I'm back down to one again.  If you can send another (I think there's still one of my old ones right?) that'd be fantastic!!  As for Kolsen and High School it's really based on his circumstances and whatever.  I loved Layton because the social aspect is so much better.  If he wants to go to Davis so be it.  Pray about it.  One thing I'll say though: if he's as good at math as I am or he's finding it pretty easy when he gets into Pre-calc and calc, take the BC calc. at Davis.  I wish I would have done that, but what's done is done.  Well I heard all about the World Cup and it looks like Germany will be the next Spain.  They're pretty young still I believe.  Ozil must be doing pretty good.  Brazil is going to be a pretty interesting place for a while I bet. Poor Messi.  He deserves a Cup now.  Maybe they can do it in 2018.  Yeah Suarez has always been a nut. Don't ever become that competitive alright Kolsen ;) Well I guess the last little bit of random stuff is if any of my recent converts want to FB friend you (Emma and Kolsen) you should accept!!

Well I love and miss you all!
Mahal and Ingat!
-Elder Egan

Here's the Sta. Te apartment!!

Well unfortunately there's no running water inside so we have to pump it from outside which means we have to use the outside bathroom as well.  It's sort of like Pagudpud.  But we have a washing machine here!!! Yes!!!

It's super beautiful in Sta. Te. We see a lot of this here. Bukid!!!(rice field)

Here's Elder Avila and I at the beach.  The other Elders had a baptism Saturday in the dagat!!(ocean).  It was raining. That's an unforgettable baptism!!

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