Palawan – The Most Beautiful Island in the World
Maligayang buhay! It has been a busy and also amazing week.
On tuesday we had our last lesson with Sister Erlinda. Elder Lumanta actually transferred as well from Sampaloc C to Sampaloc B (we said he was just transferring downstairs haha). He’ll be with Elder Clark there and our area was taken by the new sisters. The lesson was amazing. She really is doing her best to quit and is slowly overcoming the temptations that come to her. At the end of the lesson I said that I would be transferring and Sister Erlinda bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon, of Joseph Smith being a prophet and of The Church being restored. It was so powerful that I almost lost it and started crying. She said that even if we are gone, she will still strive to quit smoking so that she can accept Jesus Christ and his gospel fully into her life. It really brought peace to my heart. I know that the Sisters who are assigned there now will take good care of Sister Erlinda.
We also got to eat at Sister Lanie’s house for one last time on Tuesday. It was delicious and you’ll probably see those pictures.
Wednesday should have been our flight but that didn’t quite happen. The vans were late coming to pick us up and we just barely missed the deadline time. So the Assistants and Zone Leaders had to scramble to get us somewhere to sleep. It worked out okay though for Elder Villoso and I because we were able to attend the new leaders meeting the next morning. I’m actually the new district leader here in Quezon which was a surprising message from President Ostler on Tuesday night.
We finally flew out on Thursday and that’s when I left my proselyting bag in the mission office. I thought that it had been loaded into the back of the van, but it was actually with some other missionaries bags in the office. It has my camera, english scriptures. and wallet in it. But one miracle that did happen there was that I had a feeling to put my driver’s license in my White Handbook so it would be easier to grab. I ended leaving the bag that it would have been in. I still wish I hadn’t left the bag but at least the Spirit saved me on that one and I had some ID for the airport.
The next highlight was meeting Elder Zook at the Puerto Princessa airport. I’m not in his zone, but I got to stay in their bahay for the night before we took the shuttle to Quezon in the morning. It was an awesome time catching up with him on the trike over there.
My new companion is Elder Jim from Micronesia. He has only been in the mission for 2 transfers which makes me his “follow-up trainer.” He is having a little bit of a tough time with tagalog but I know that that is an opportunity for both of us to learn and grow. His English is okay so at least we can understand each other. During our weekly planning session, we had our companionship inventory and he told me a little about his family situation as we talked. He said that it was really hard leaving them because he’s the only member, but then he shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon. I felt the Spirit so strongly as he said that the reason he came here on his mission is because he knows this is the truth and he can’t deny that witness. I know that he has a hard time with Tagalog, but his testimony is so powerful I know that our investigators will feel that same Spirit that I felt. I’m glad to have him as my companion and I know that if we work together, The Lord can work through us to accomplish great things here in Quezon. Our “house” is actually a really big house. It even has a kind of attic second level but we don’t use it. The funny thing is that the rent is about one quarter of what it was for the little tiny apartment in Manila. It’s so beautiful here and we are right next to the ocean.
The branch here is my last weekly highlight. We had a big dinner on Saturday with the Branch President, President Custodio. He is really great and I can see that he is very dedicated to his calling here. The food that his wife made was amazing and they even bought Lechon which is a whole fried pig. All of the members that I have met so far have been so loving and supportive of us. I am really excited to get to work a whole week here next week and to meet all of our investigators!
I’m out of time, so I just want to say that I love you all and I know that your Heavenly Father loves you too. He will never leave you alone and His love is always available in times of trial. Have a great week!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat po kayo palagi!