4 strange occurrances

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Today was preparation day and I had several strange things happen. First thing this morning we went to Pasay with Elder Gorldhorp so that he and Harris could get fitted for their suits that they are having made. We got there early and waited in the Wendy’s across the street for a while for them to open. While we were sitting there we had some strange random guy come up to us and pull out envelope addressed to NASA out of his bag. I have no idea what he expected us to do but after showing us the envelope and muttering something unintelligible he produced a diploma or some certificate of something.  We just told him we couldn’t help him and he left. Very strange.

Later on, after the fitting and after emailing we went back to Wendy’s to get a frosty. When we came out we were accosted by this guy that was jumping up and down, flailing his arms, and talking something about religion really fast. He kept running and jumping until we told him we had a place to go and just left him there on the sidewalk. That made two strange experience in one day, two more.

We went grocery shopping at SM and they were playing Christmas music. Not was it only Christmas music in public in September but when they sang “Silent Night” they sang the German lyrics. Strange experience #3.

Number 4 was at the barber shop later on. We went to this place that did “European style” and at first they wanted to charge us p99 just for a haircut. When we started to leave the price suddenly dropped to p55. It was nice: shampoo, massage, cut, shampoo again and style. The strange part was how insanely long the man took to cut the sides with the razor. He must have gone over it nine or ten times and I was just sure that by the time he was finished I’d be completely bald. In the ehd though it was ok.

Work today was alright. We taught some kids and a brother in Masville. The kids were really magulo and it was fairly hard to teach. We only got 5 OYMs today and the standard is 10/day or 70/week. I really want to get that this week so that I can set an example to the zone.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Today had a lot of potential but ended up being kind of a dud. We did do an okay job on getting OYMs but we didn’t really teach many lessons. This morning we taught an old man named Rafael a second lesson about the plan of salvation. His house gave me creeps and there were a lot of skanky women lounging about. It was nearly impossible to get the spirit. We also taught in English which was strange. I can’t teach the lessons in English. I keep on having Tagalog words come out. I don’t know what language to speak here. We also did about 3 OYMs in English today. The people area all so rich and sometimes it feels like I’m doing work in the states. Work here is completely different from any other area I’ve had and I don’t know how to work it. I really love this work. I can’t imagine what life would be like not just talking to people about the gospel and seeing their lives change. Sometimes it is hard to remember that when you’re out in the daily grind.

I’m grateful for my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and of The Book of Mormon. I’m trying to follow President Hinckley’s challenge to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year but the only trouble is that I always get caught up in and slowed down in my reading because I want to understand it better.

Zone planning

Monday, September 19, 2005 – 16 month mark

Today was another different day. This morning the whole zone was at Kabihasnan chapel to do a zone planning session. We started at 9:00 with a simple opening exercises and then just let each companionship plan for a couple of hours. We then had Elder Harris pull all of them out one at a time to do pre-mission president interview interviews. While he was doing that I did a little bit of area book training. That is one thing that I’m really going to focus on this transfer (6 weeks). The area book is such a powerful tool if it is used correctly. I’m going to do weekly follow-ups with each companionship so that that will improve.

The rest of the day was strange. We taught a short lesson to Jenny about baptism and confirmation. We also had a good first less off of an OYM. The only thing bad about today was that we wasted two hours at family home evening that we didn’t have any investigators at. The members here are great but we’re going to have to tell them that we can’t spend so much time with them. I like dinner appointments of course but we need to focus on our investigators during those peak hours that we often spend with members.

Transfers and the Caindoy’s Baptism

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Well, once attain I’ve grown lazy in my writing. Hopefully this transfer will be better. Well, as usual when I decide to write again, I’ve been transferred yet again. I’m currently assigned as the Assistant Zone Leader in the Parañaque Zone. My companion is Elder Harris also from Utah and my area is Parañaque 1st and 3rd wards. The good news is that even though I didn’t get to witness it, the Caindoy family was baptized yesterday. Elder Nemes texted me and told me that it went really well and that even Raea, their youngest girl (6 years), was dressed in baptismal clothes. Obviously I wish I hadn’t gotten transferred but I guess that is the will of the Lord.

This is a picture that I got before leaving Dasmariñas with the Caindoy family.

This is a picture that I got before leaving Dasmariñas with the Caindoy family.

Here in my new area I’m having trouble getting the excitement up for good, hard missionary work. The wards here are all full of rich people and they all live in gated communities where we can’t go tracting. Also another difficulty and something that annoys me was that in church today they spoke mainly 100% English. That is all nice and good but half of the members, and more especially the investigators, can’t understand what is happening. One more complaint and then I’ll stop. This is a really dirty apartment because so many elders have finished their missions here and have posted wedding picture etc everywhere.

Hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish what the Lord has in mind for me here. Most of all also this is another trial of my humility because I really expected that I’d become a Senior Zone Leader this transfer and when it didn’t happen I was taught a crash course in humility. I wrote to mom and dad about it as well and they gave me some good advice about how to be content with the callings that the Lord has given to us. I hope that I’ll be able to become more humble and moldable by the Lord. I’m trying not to seek for position in the mission but I really struggle. Well, I guess I’m excited to get to work here and see what the Lord would have me do.

Never be without the spirit

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Well today was an interesting day. This morning I was still working with Elder Adaza. No offence but it was really hard for me to feel the spirit while I was with him. That really is the result of disobedience and trunkyness. When Elder Nemes got back the spirit came right back and it got a lot better. I never want to be like that where there is no spirit. It doesn’t’ matter how good you are at skills and things, if you have not spirit you can’t be happy and you will never be able to have a person truly converted through you. I’ve been trying to focus on my mission more especially. I used to have a picture of Amy on my desk but I took it down because it was too much of a distraction. I love her of course but there is a time and a season for all things. It is even more of a distraction this week because I got three letters this week and that didn’t exactly help the whole problem.

The Library of God should be even thicker!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today was a really slow P-day. Elder Nemes is in Makati for the Zone Leader’s Conference and so I’m here in my area with Elder Adaza from San Gabriel Zone. We didn’t have anything to do except show and email. As a result, I got to write some quality letters to my missionary friends. We got to teach a lesson tonight to Allan. He is a neighbor of the Bahia family and so we taught him in their home. He is kind of rough on the outside but is actually really smart.

Planning at Night

Planning at Night

We had an interesting experience last week. We finally decided we’d go door to door in the subdivision. It is hard tracting but the potential for a good find is better because the people are educated and know how to think. Well as we were about to stop that night, because it was getting dark, we talked to one last house. We found Bro Peter Lombendencio. He is super smart, very open minded, and almost it seems he’s too good to be true. He asks all the right questions and is exceptionally fast on pick up. We gave him a Book of Mormon and when we went back the other day to follow up and teach a second lesson he had read a ton. He opened straight up to 2 Nephi 2 and asked all the questions that we were going to answer anyways. We also showed him D&C and PoGP and he immediately accepted it. He told us that if a set of encyclopedias, which only contain worldly knowledge, was that think than the library of God should be even thicker. It just seems like he already knows and is just messing with us.

Kicking off the zone goal

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Today was a really long day. We got up at 4:30 this morning because we had to go to Silang and to the Dasma Ward and deliver the banners and the fliers for their talks. We went to Silang first, about a half-an-hour trip one way, and that went fine. Then we went back to the Dasma wards but when we got there we realized that we had left all the handouts in Silang! We had to go back to the house, luckily we had some copies still there, and then to back to Dasma and deliver them. It took all morning until 10:00 and then we had an appointment. We were also happy with the way the speaking in sacrament went today. We introduced the zone goal and the poster and also gave out the “Bring Your Friend” handouts. They were received well—I think.

We had another correlation meeting with Pres. Miem today. He is really excited about the goal and is going to make a huge edition of the banner and he also wants to hold a giant stake fireside as a giant kickoff for the goal. He and our bishop, Bishop Banayat, are so supportive! If all leaders were like them, missionary work would really change and become a lot stronger.

The other piece of good news is that the wedding of the Caindoy family will be much easier than we expected. All we have to do is have them get the affidavit of cohabitation signed and then the marriage can happen. No birth certificate or anything. That means that if brother can stay strong in not smoking they can probably be baptized in September.

Service and Food

Friday, August 12, 2005

This morning we did service in Dasma 1 area. We carried sand and helped to move things around for the wall that they were building in their back yard. It was a good service bug, as always, we got fed. The Filipinos are just that way. They always feel like they have to feed you and then they apologize for their food. At least we did something though. After that, we were on exchanges. I am still here, obviously, and I’m working with Elder Goldthorp. He was a Zone Leader in San Gabriel Zone before so he is a really good missionary. We got to teach some lessons but still it was kind of a strange day.

We got some zone jersy's made. Elder Nemes and Arnesen

We got some zone jersy’s made. Elder Nemes and Arnesen

Bring Your Friend

Thursday, August 11, 2005

We got a lot accomplished today but not all was regular missionary work. We spent most of the morning working on the needed forms for our stake correlation that was held at 10:00. After our meeting with Pres Miem, the stake president, we went to the graphic design studio of Bishop Friar, the bishop in Bayan 2, the sister’s area, to work on a banner as part of our zone goal. It looks good. The idea is that everybody in the ward will bring a friend with them to church each week. The banner is just a reminded. I guess that there is a reason that I leaner do use Photoshop before the mission.

Dalhin ang inyong kaibigan

This is the poster that we made. It says “Bring your friends”

Another highlight for today was that we got to teach Felix Declula. He is a Muslim that I OYMed while on exchanges with Elder DeLeon last transfer. President LeSueur interviewed him on Wednesday and we were cleared to teach him. He is very intelligent and willing to learn. His wife, who doesn’t listen to other religions that visit them, also listened. They have good potential. Brother Caindoy is doing well still. He still hasn’t smoked since last Sunday.

The Caindoy’s stop smoking

Monday, August 8, 2005

Well, hopefully this is the start of good things; I’ve written two days in a row. Today we got to teach three lessons but they were all to old people that are “catholic even though we know that it is lacking.” It was sort of frustrating because after you do a good, complete explanation, the sprit is there and everything, they thank you and tell you that your message is true and then straightway affirm that they are Catholic and will never change. Quite frustrating. We also had one of the people bring us a whole bunch of delagas and that also made it hard to teach.

The highlight of the day was that the Caindoy family who we taught about the Word of Wisdom yesterday haven’t smoked or had coffee since then. This is really good because Brother used to smoke 10 sticks a day.