Magandang Hapon po!
Well this week was transfer week, which is just weird to think that another 6 weeks went by. Elder Reyes got the boot out of Tuguegarao for his last 6 weeks so he can train. The trip to Cauayan was pretty exciting because the van we rented was not only air con (a rare commodity with cheap public transportation), we had 2 roadkill points. We flattened a dog that wandered in the middle of the road at the wrong second, and then we hit a chicken too. Pretty rare to get 2 points in one trip!
When my new companion was announced, most people just started laughing because Elder Lasay just switched from one side of Tuguegarao ward 2 to the other. It takes about a 3 minute walk to get from his new apartment to his old one. I was his companion a lot in his first week here so I can show him where to go when he came to steal all of our investigators and people we were going to. Now, I am going to be his companion for at least 6 weeks! Pretty funny because he already told all the ward members bye, and then they were all surprised and confused when he came back. He lives in the part of the Philippines that has a bunch of Muslims and non-Filipino missionaries are not allowed. :)
I had a fun couple of days this week when I lost my voice again after getting a little runny nose thing. I had to teach lessons and talk to people in a raspy whispering voice for 2 days and I didn't even try sing the hymns in church. Luckily, it decided to come back by now. One of the older members told me I must have lost it after drinking too much cold water when it was hot and I needed to go to the doctor and get some antibiotic. But seems how I've been drinking cold water for 20 years of my life, I'm going to guess that it just came from a little cold. I'm going to miss hearing really funny and weird wise tales.
I really love teaching whole families and helping them learn the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a family. It makes me appreciate growing up in such an awesome family that has the benefit of the knowledge of the truth. It makes me appreciate the simple things a lot more like having access to a Book of Mormon my whole life after going to an inactive family for many many years and they beg us for a copy because theirs was lost in a flood. How blessed we are to live where we do and the knowledge that we have.
Maraming Salamat po sa lahat.
Mahal ko kayo,
This is a letter from Michael for the Missionary Christmas letter exchange for his friends currently serving a mission.
Giving letters to old friends sounds pretty good, so I'll try to write a few thoughts together… Thanks for your help and participation!
I have been in the same Tuguegarao South Zone here in the Philippines Cauayan mission for almost 12 months now. It is pretty fun to get to know people on a more personal basis rather than being transferred every 6 weeks. I have only had 3 areas for my whole mission, so I really haven't seen too much of the mission other than the hottest city in the Philippines. After being out for almost a year and a half, it is fun to surprise people by speaking Tagalog after they try to talk to me in English first.
I'm not really sure what the weirdest food I have eaten is...probably a tie between dog, snails, and some weird beetle thing. I must say that frog is actually pretty good though. The Philippines is pretty much awesome. Not too many places can you just pee off the side of the road and be okay. Eating with hands is also proving to be effective. There are only 2 traffic laws: don't kill anyone, and don't get hit.
Some of the greatest success from my mission so far, have been from reactivating members that have been inactive for many years, usually after being offended by someone. Whether teaching inactive people or investigators, it is all the same work. They all do not understand the basics of the Restoration and they need to gain a testimony. The joy from seeing an inactive person come back to church or an investigator come to church is the same. If there is one thing I have learned most from the mission, it is what the meaning of the baptism covenant is and the importance of keeping it. Too many people do not understand what enduring to the end really means. It is really cool to see people change before your eyes just from understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ better. I've seen coffee addicts turn away from coffee just to be baptized, fathers give up smoking and drinking just to set an example for their family and be the first one to be baptized, and people with nothing to eat somehow find a way to pay for public transportation to get to church. I've learned to never be upset when people reject the message because they just simply don't know what they are missing. Success doesn't come from having baptisms or a certain number of lessons in one day, it just matters that you did your best. The thing my mission president is always teaching us to do is only one thing: just love them.
Just like they say-the more obedient and diligent you are on the mission, the better looking your wife gets. :) At least I hope that's how it works.... Haha.
Go get 'em boys.