Splitting DBB 1 and 2

Sunday, August 7, 2005

This has been a long and interesting week. It was transfers and our area was split into two. Elder Baylon and his trainee are in DBB 1st and Elder Nemes and I are in DBB 2nd still. This is good because we’ll be able to focus but hard because the work isn’t all that strong in this ward. Hopefully we’ll be able to turn that around.

Dasmariñas Zone Before Transfers.  Back: DeLeon, Tamparia, Arnesen, , Tharp, Nemes, Malingin, Lewis, F. Albaytar, Olson, Sablay, Abao

Dasmariñas Zone Before Transfers.
Back: DeLeon, Tamparia, Arnesen,[I forgot] , Tharp, Nemes, Malingin, Lewis.
Front. Albaytar, Olson, Sablay, Abao

This has also been a strange week because somebody has been texting love messages to us. One night this week at about 1:30 in the middle of the night they started texting several times and then the next day they texted more and also missed called us a lot. We named the person “Siunka/Tukso 2.” We figured it is either one of two people. First, a girl in the sister’s area that I interviewed for baptism and who hugged me and has been really strange since; or it is Elder DeLeon, the Elder that just went home from here, who is just texting with a different number just to be annoying. Either way, it was annoying and disconcerting. It is hard enough as it is to keep emotions under control without having them invade the house via cell phone.

This week also, because the apartment changed from a two man to a four man, we had to purchase a lot of new things for the house i.e. desks, chairs, fans, etc. We’ve been really busy but it’s been good. Also the last few days it has rained a lot and been fairly cold. The only strange thing about it is that I seem to be the only one to feel it and I’m the only one from the states in the house and I’m used to the cold.

A strange concern

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Today was an interesting day. In the morning we went to visit Pio Austria, a long time investigator, with Bishop Banayat and Bishop Mercurio. We found out that he has the strangest concern. It is sort of like he is inventing his own religion but the problem is that he himself doesn’t even know what it is he’s trying to say. He was trying to say something about how the UN convention, held here before, was some sort of great religious gathering which made all religions in the whole world gather here in the Philippines. He also said that the time of “truth” is past and now is the time of “perfection.” We were all really confused and told him to try to figure out what he is trying to say so that we can help him. That is definitely the strangest concern that I’ve ever heard.

Elder Nemes Sleeping

Elder Nemes Sleeping

Adjusting in Dasmariñas

Monday, July 18, 2005

Well, I don’t know if I’m just lazy or what. I’m doing fine and starting to get used to the new area and the responsibilities of Assistant Zone Leader. We got to go on exchanges last Saturday with the Aps and Elder Tipton and I went up to Alfonso to help Elder Lewis and Elder Tharp. It was a good experience and we got some good work done there.

Me and Elder Nemes

Me and Elder Nemes

I’m having a little trouble figuring out how to do the area responsibility because Elder Nemes is senior and I’m the one always in the area. It’s a bit difficult. This area is really good for member work and for having the leaders support the Elders.

Elder Nemes “helping” a boy with the piano

Elder Nemes “helping” a boy with the piano

The Dasmariñas Zone on the Jeepney; DeLeon, Albaytar, Olson, Nemes

The Dasmariñas Zone on the Jeepney; DeLeon, Albaytar, Olson, Nemes

I shotgun in Dasmariñas

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Well   that just shows how busy I am. I couldn’t even finish my entry. I got transferred again on the 22nd of June. It was hard to leave Alfonso especially Jhun. I had to leave Tuesday morning and so I didn’t really get to say goodbye to him. I talked to him just for a second but then I left. He took it really hard and I could tell that he was about to cry. I’ll really miss him. I really expected to have at least one more transfer in Alfonso but I guess the Lord had other things in mind.

My new area is called DBB1&2 which means I’m assigned to the DBB 1st and 2nd wards. My companion is Elder Nemes, a Filipino from Negros, Bacolod. He is the senior Zone Leader here in Dasmariñas Zone and I am the junior. I didn’t ever expect that I’d be a zone leader this transfer so that was another surprise. Also we are “shotgunning” the area which means that neither of us really know the area at all. It is fun but really hard and busy. I didn’t even have time to read my scriptures.

Juhn’s Baptism

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I don’t have an entry from today but here are the photos from Jhun Mardo’s baptism.

On the way to Jun's Baptism

On the way to Jun’s Baptism

Me, Jun Mardo, Elder Tharp before the baptism.

Me, Jun Mardo, Elder Tharp before the baptism.

Alfonso Branch at Jun's Baptism

Alfonso Branch at Jun’s Baptism

Dasmariñas Zone (B. Cayubyub, DeLeon, Hanson, Arnesen, Tharp, Newman, Lewis, Malinigin, F. Abao, Gisa, Olson, Anderson)

Dasmariñas Zone (B. Cayubyub, DeLeon, Hanson, Arnesen, Tharp, Newman, Lewis, Malinigin, F. Abao, Gisa, Olson, Anderson)

We get found by the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The best thing that has happened since I last wrote is that Juhn Mardo got interviewed for baptism on Thursday. When he came out of the interview he looked so happy. I’m excited for him and for his baptism on the 18th of this month. Also good news is that we were able to spend some time this week and organize the branch president’s office at the church. Tomorrow we’ll teach him how it is organized and how to keep it that way. Also, tomorrow we have a branch fireside about leadership. We, along with the elder’s quorum president, have sort of planned and orchestrated the whole thing. Hopefully it will motivate as well as provide useful information for the leadership.

We had an interesting experience this morning. As we were getting ready to start out companionship study, at about 9:30 am, some people knocked on the door. It turns out they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. When they realized it was us that lived there they called in their 3 main leaders to talk to us. They talked to us for almost an hour about all subjects that were totally irrelevant to any point that I could see. I wanted to just rip into them but was mostly able to refrain myself. They told us that the way to see if a book is of God is to use “cannon laws.” He asked us to show him one prophecy that is in the Book of Mormon that has been fulfilled. Well, I read him 2 Nephi 29:3-4 that talks about people rejecting the Book of Mormon by saying all they needed was the bible. It hit him in the fast first but still he wouldn’t accept it. Anyway, I’m sure the reason that they came was to try to “enlighten” us. Well, what they did only served to increase my gratitude for my knowledge of the truth. I want to help even more if that is how confused people are about religion. I did find it funny, however, that three grown, trained, men could be so afraid of two young white boys that they would literally shake. It really is interesting how the Lord lets us strengthen our testimonies. I’m so grateful for the priesthood that has been entrusted to me and for my knowledge of God’s plan for me.

Crazy Traffic

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Today has probably been the craziest P-day of my whole mission. WE were able to go to the temple today and that was very refreshing. Afterward we had to go to the bank to get Elder Tharp’s bank care. Then the ATM was broken and so we had to find a different one in order change his pin. Then on the bus ride home we were stuck in awful by Bacoor. I’ve never seen it before when the busses were actually turning off their engines because it was so bad. Needless to say, we didn’t get back to Alfonso until almost 5:00. Just to top off the craziness our regular internet/email place had no connection and so we had to go hunting for another one.

Moping the Floor on P-day

Moping the Floor on P-day

Elder Tharp cleaning

Elder Tharp cleaning

The good thing that happened today was that we got to teach Jhun’s wife a second lesson. Their kid, Ram-Ram, was really crazy but even so she still felt the sprit enough to accept to be baptized with her husband on the 18th. Now we are really pushed for time to get everything taught again before then. I really wasn’t expecting that but I am grateful that it happened.

Relationship with the Branch

Saturday, May 21, 2005

We walked all over the place today and talked to tons of people but we still only got to teach one lesson. We did get a few fairly strong OYM’s, however, that we’ll probably get to teach next week. One good thing that happened today was that when we happened to meat Bro Espin, the Elder’s Quorum President, he asked us to come by his house. When we went by, he told us he wanted us to eat there sometime besides the obvious reason this is good because it shows me that the members are beginning to have trust in us. That is where this branch is really weak, in members trusting and working with the missionaries. It is beginning to improve so that is good.

The view from People's Park of Taal Volcano

The view from People’s Park of Taal Volcano

One Year

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Well if I didn’t write on this day you might think it strange. Just know that even though I didn’t burn anything it is still my year mark. I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone. This has been the fastest year of my life. They say it only gets faster and faster so we’ll see how that goes. I can hardly believe how much I have changed in this one year. I am a completely different person from the person that went into the MTC one year ago. I feel so much closer to Jesus Christ and my testimony is now a living burning power. I am so glad that I have been able to be an instrument in God’s hands to help some few of these my Filipino brothers and sisters to come unto Christ. I love these people so much and I look forward to the day when I can live for eternity with them. I love being a missionary. All the hard times are worth it from what comes of the trials. “Sapagkat, kinakailangang may pagsalungat sa lahat ng bagay.[1]

Me with Leno

Me with Leno

The big news of the week is that I am going to get to sing in a quartet at a multi-mission fireside. We are going ot sing “If You Could Hie to Kolob” – President Beck’s favorite song. I am really excited for this opportunity.

[1] Therefore, there must be an opposition in all things.