Philippines Cauayan Mission

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

27 May 2013

Magandang araw sa inyo!

It has been yet another week of us taking showers in the rain outside as we walk. Even though we have umbrellas, everything from the waist down gets soaking wet. I think it rained literally every afternoon last week. It always starts out hot and no clouds around lunch, then we hear the thunder rolling in. I just keep all of my stuff in a plastic bag now to keep from getting wet. And of course with every rainstorm comes a brownout! I don't think I've experienced this many brownouts since Mallig. It will be weird going home and not ever experiencing a brown out. 
It is also the time of year where there are many fruits everywhere, so we have been pounding down the fresh pineapple like nobody's business. The pineapple here is so sweet and juicy, I can eat a whole thing in one sitting. 
We have been busy teaching our new investigators and preparing them to commit to baptism. One of them is 18 yrs old and progressing really well, and even planning on attending the district YSA activity this week. It is nice to have an investigator that is progressing and missionary age. I was super excited last transfer day when I saw someone I baptized in Cabagan because he was waiting for his mission call and wanted to serve as a part time missionary while he waited. He has a pretty crazy story to tell because he was kicked out by his parents when he told them he was going to serve a mission. 
It is interesting teaching all of these new investigators and asking them a simple question after finding out they have done our commitment-How did you feel as you prayed? All of them say it was something different, saying it made them feel happy or peaceful. That is when I teach them the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5 and help them realize that what they feel that is "different" is the spirit working on them, and it would be impossible for them to feel that if it wasn't true. Feeling the spirit is something we are all entitled to, as long as we allow it.
Well, thanks for all you do and ingat kayo palagi!
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Nay

Monday, May 20, 2013

20 May 2013

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na kayo?!
Maganda pa rin dito sa Lamut! I am happy I am assigned to the more mountainous area of the mission because it really does feel fresher and not as scorching hot. The scenery everywhere is a good switch from the flat rice and cornfields everywhere. The rain and lightning storms have been pretty relentless the last week and of course that means plenty of brown outs. The ones in the middle of the night are fun because I wake up hot and kicking all the sheets off.
We also have a rat problem in our apartment, which has been fun trying to catch them. I had my first encounter the night I got here and the first time I looked in the bathroom I saw a big fat rat staring back at me. I was almost able to stomp on it as it was running away, but he was too good. Sometimes when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I can hear them running away before I can turn the lights on. We ordered a rat trap from the mission home and it was hard to even set it because the springs on it are so strong, but they have still managed to set it off in the middle of the night without facing the rath of the rat trap. The battle continues.
We had a wonderful week as much faith was tested and we spent most of our time looking avidly for new investigators. At first,  we had one of "those days" as a missionary in that seemingly everyone we talked to and every house we tao po'ed was not interested. Everybody was always "too busy" to meet us and told us "next time na lang", and some people just looked at us with disgust and waved us away without even saying a word. Because I have had days similar to this before and am not a person to take things personally, rather than ask the inevitable questions of "Why me? What did I do to deserve a day like this? Why won't people just open their hard hearts and let us help them?".  I just felt bad for all the people that rejected us and know that in order to enjoy the good days, you need to have bad days too. We have been focusing on only tracting people with cars and nicer houses, and it turns out that what Elder Nielsen (area presidency) taught about is true-you get what you go for! At the beginning of the week, we had really no investigators. After pushing through a few hard days and realizing that we needed some extra help some above, we decided to try fasting and more earnest prayer that people would soften their hearts to talk to us and we would be guided to finding the people that are being prepared. During our first day at work after fasting, we texted someone that Elder Sogari had met in a jeepney several weeks back to see if we could schedule a time to visit. He later called and asked if we could come over that day. He told us where we needed to go to find a tricy, and we went off to find his house in a really far away barangay that we had never been to. After riding about 7 kilometers on a rough dirt road and crossing several bridges and asking people to point us in the right direction, we arrived at this Tatay's house, where he was more than anxious to talk to us about who we really were and what we had to share. We were able to share a lesson with him and some of his relatives close by and answer many of their questions. He is fairly familiar with the Bible and has strong faith in Jesus Christ, but one of the concerns he brought up after inviting him to church was that he didn't have to go to church to show his faith as long as he just said a prayer at home, because he argued that "church" means people, not going to a building. I told him he was right in that it is up to us to live our lives like Jesus did, but reminded him of the Sacrament that Christ had instructed us to do "in remembrance of him". He then said he would most likely be able to try going to church on Sunday because he had to make the trip down to Solano anyways.
We also started teaching 2 house maids of one of the members here, and even though they are still shy and don't know much about the Gospel, they committed to attending the baptism and confirmation of the son of their employer/member who just turned 8 and attending church on Sunday. We were also able to teach the boyfriend of a member from Bayombong, and he is really receptive too and committed to going to church on Sunday as well, as long as we picked him up. When Sunday came, we were very happy to see that our 4 new investigators that we had only taught once were all at church! It kept us rather busy trying to make sure everybody had someone to sit by and talk to and getting them to Sunday school classes. It was a terrific way to end the week.
It has been fun with Elder Sogari and I am still getting used to being with a companion that doesn't know Tagalog because all of my companions have been Filipino, except for my trainer. He is really funny and reminds me of that one black guy in Rush Hour haha. 
Salamat po sa inyong lahat at patuloy lang kayo maging matatag at masaya!
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Nay

Monday, May 13, 2013

13 May 2013

No email from Michael this week.  We Skyped with him yesterday for Mother's Day!  He looks great and is happy.  He was transferred last Wednesday to Lamut.  His new companion has been in the Philippines for 4 months and is from Fiji.  I "borrowed" this picture from the mission blog.  He was released as a Zone Leader last Wednesday.
Elder Amoreda and Elder Nay enjoying a Mexican feast
at April Zone Leader Council.

Monday, May 6, 2013

6 May 2013

Magandang Hapon!

Kumusta po sa inyong lahat!
I just found out earlier that I am getting transferred out of Gamu on Wednesday. :( I feel like over the last 4 months, I have become close with most of the members here and have made some kind of impact in their lives. I have also witnessed the growth of many of the people-investigators, members, and recent converts included. I have seen the amount of the Priesthood attending each Sunday increase largely, several families be sealed in the temple and several more preparing to go in near future, and a “mighty change of heart” in some of the members known to speak harsh words against others and become more active in missionary work. That means that my next area will most likely be my last area because I have 1 more transfer. I have no idea where my next area is, but I'm sure it will be a great last area. It will be hard to leave Gamu, but change is always a good thing... Or so they say. Haha.
Crazy to think Mothers Day is already here. It seems like I just barely called home for Christmas! I'm not sure where I'll be or how good the internet shop will be, but lets just plan on about 8-8:30 my time Monday morning (your Sunday evening). Hopefully that time will also work with whoever my companion is. Haha. Hopefully I can get to see everyone, but if not, I guess I'll be home in 3 months anyways. Haha.
Just found out the Shaners are going home earlier than expected-this Friday. That will be weird to see them go. They have been a great help to the mission and I'm sure have helped out my 2nd area Mallig a ton. 
We also had a 1 day mission in Gamu on Friday, and had a great turnout from the members and came away with many great experiences. I tried to emphasize to them afterwards that every one of them had a special experience by visiting fellow lost sheep, but they don’t need to wait until a 1 day mission or us to invite them to work to have such experiences. That is why we have home and visiting teaching. In my group, we visited an inactive member that Elder Sulla and I have visited and invited to church several times but have never been able to share. With me were the branch president and a couple Nanays in Relief Society. They spent several minutes talking and expressing how much they missed seeing each other at church, and proceeded to share a great lesson about enduring trials, followed by everybody’s testimony. After the lesson, the Sister we visited was the one to say, “I miss being able to get together and talk with fellow members. I will see you at church on Sunday.” Never could I or any other missionary bring that feeling of love and sincerity from other members, if it isn’t for the members themselves actually out in the homes. All I did was sit with and keep her little kids quiet while the members did all the work. I wish every less active could be visited like that! 
Last week was filled with many rain and windstorms, which also means many brownouts. One of the days we even used all of our water storage and I had to go pump water from our neighbors well. Good times. The lightning storms here are pretty amazing-Milo wouldn't like them at all! Haha. One night while it was brownout and crazy rain and lightning, Elder Sulla and I just sat on our 2nd floor balcony and watched and even tried to sleep outside-until the storm went away and it got really hot. Haha.
Yesterday we were invited to eat lunch at the Mayor's house because it was his birthday. It was good to touch base with him again and find out he has been reading the Book of Mormon and has lots of questions. 
Well, I am out of time, but I will see you soon on Skype!
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Nay