It has been quite the busy week for us here in Gamu! This week we had the annual "specialized training" activity called Amazing Grace. Sister Carlos really is amazing at creating and pulling off fun and interesting activities and trainings. It was a spin off of the tv show Amazing Grace, but held just in the chapel. Then a couple days later we were back in Ilagan to have the privilege of receiving a special training by Elder
of the Quorum of the Seventy and counselor in Philippines Area Presidency. I
believe this is my 3rd time being able to meet with him. He had us all read an
article by Elder Bednar about the Atonement before we came, and that was his
main topic. I realized that the Atonement isn't only for people who have sinned
and need to repent to become clean again, but it is also just as important for
the "good" people. The main purpose of the Atonement is to make bad
people good, and good people better. Throughout our whole life, we need to be
using the Atonement to receive the enabling power to exercise our agency wisely
and apply all the Christ like attributes. Rather than asking God to change our
circumstances, we need to ask Him to help us with the strength we need to get
us through problems. He also gave some interesting training as he emphasized
that we need to spend more time finding "people with cars"-because
pretty much every where on the roads traffic is crazy packed with cars, but on
Sundays, very rarely are people with cars at church. He reminded us to not be
intimidated or afraid as we approach the really nice houses that sometimes
require talking to security guards and big gates to get into. It was also
interesting that he actually encouraged us to use English more often, because
it will lead us to the richer/more educated people.
We also spent a good chunk of our time trying to find an apartment in order for our area to be split in half, possibly by sisters. With how many times I have looked for and made arrangements for new apartments, I feel like I could take over the Shaners job of apartments! Haha. We finally found a place that is much nicer than the one we are in now, but still not sure if President has decided to split the area yet or not. I guess we'll find out next week on transfer day! Crazy to think that another cycle has gone by. I also received what is known as the "trunky letter", or the paper asking to confirm where we are going home to. That was weird. I'm guessing they'll email my travel plans to you within a month or so.
The branch here is really supportive of us and missionary work, and every Sunday we are able to go on splits with members so that we can go to more people. It is such a great help when people are willing to work with us and at the same time it is a great opportunity for the people working with us to learn more seems how most of the time, I feel like I am teaching our fellow shippers just as much as our investigator or less active. Haha.
I will greatly appreciate when the Philippine Election day is over in a few weeks, because the trucks driving by all the time blasting songs and campaign information are starting to give me a headache. It is funny to see how different elections are here compared to back home. For most people voting, they will will just vote for whoever gives them the biggest chunk of money. Elder Sulla told me he got 1,000 pesos once for voting for someone. Haha. Awesome.
You should also be getting a package within a few weeks of some wood carving stuff I ordered. I spent about an arm and a leg on it and packaging (which was over 100$), but it should be worth it. Unfortunately the Captain Moroni carving didn't work out, but I bargained a little and got some other things.
Thank you for everyone that wrote and glad to hear everyone is doing well.
Mahal Ko kayo,
During the activity, zones collected a puzzle piece upon the completion of each requirement challenge and debriefing period. The first three teams to gather their puzzle pieces and find the Winner's Mat won prizes.