Kamusta po sa inyong lahat!
Well, I did have about an hour worth of message typed until some little teenager switched off the power box to my computer in an effort for him to play his computer game faster. Kids are addicted to computer games here in a way I didn't think was possible. But, I guess worse things have happened.
This week has been pretty intense trying to find an apartment for a new set of missionaries. On Saturday, it came down to me and Elder Reyes wandering around and looking for the nice houses and buildings, then asking if we could rent. With help from above, we finally found one available because the person living there moved out the night before. Talk about perfect timing! It was interesting on Sunday because President and Sister Carlos came to our sacrament meeting. Of all the possible other branches and wards to go to within the mission, they chose ours which is a 2 hour drive for them. Of course they were asked to speak and they gave great talks. Afterwards they looked at the apartment we found and signed the papers to have it rented out. Today we had to help the owner move and arrange her stuff to make room for the mission stuff. She is an old lady so it was fun because everything was a much bigger deal than it had to be and worrying about everything. Haha. Can't wait to be old... Tomorrow the Shaners are coming to deliver all the stuff and on Thursday, our area will officially be split. Not any time to waste! I honestly don't really know what to expect for transfer day because of the new areas being opened and such, so I may or may not stay. Guess I'll find out later this week!
That is crazy that there are 146 stakes just in Utah County and it is to a point of just watching a broadcast for stake conference. I can't even imagine what 146 stakes would be like in that small of an area. I think there are 5 stakes in the whole mission, except the typical wards here have an average attendance of 120-150. Anything much more than that, and it gets split. And there are only about 6-7 units in each stake. It will be weird to see Church back home.
It was interesting to return back to Cabagan this week to work for a day. Not only was it great to return to my first area to work for a day, it was great to be with Elder Landeen for a day. It was especially exciting teaching to one less active family. I first met them back in January or February after being punted from an appointment and decided to just do an OYM (open your mouth=talking to someone random) instead. It turns out the whole family are members of the church! They just havn't been to church in many years. At first, the only one that would talk to us was one of their kids about 22 years old. Nanay and Tatay would always run away from us because Tatay had a serious addiction to cigarettes and alcohol. After finally being able to talk to Nanay and teach her a few times, she said she has wanted to come back to the church for a while but just felt too embarrassed because of her husband. Back when I was there, they kept few commitments and never came to church. When Elder Landeen said we were going to not only teach to them as a whole family, but they were going to feed us lunch as well, I was shocked and had to make sure we were talking about the same family. I asked Elder Landeen what he did to get Tatay to stop running away from missionaries and actually sit down for a lesson and he said they happened to catch him outside working in his garden one day and when he said he was "busy" and couldn't listen, they said they would be "busy" with him and started pulling weeds out of his garden for him, to which he finally caved in to let them talk. Haha. We had planned a lesson to get Tatay committed to asking his boss for sunday off of work so he could go to church with his wife and kids (which finally started coming a few weeks ago), and during the lesson we could feel the spirit very strong as we saw Tatay thinking of what we were saying. Towards the end, he was the one committing himself to our committment. He said, "I remember the days of when we went to church as a family. We were always happy and it was fun. It has been a long time since that has happened. I need to talk to my boss tomorrow to ask Sunday off of work. After all, he isn't my boss because God is our ultimate boss and he is saying go to church." Wow! Couldn't have said it better myself. What a cool change to see in someone that wanted absolutely nothing to do with us about 9 months ago. Being persistent pays off. It was also fun to look back on the days that we couldn't speak any Tagalog and think about where we are a year later.
Well, thanks for everything you do! Ingat po kayo,