I'm honestly kinda stressed with the transfer coming up because a lot of people I’ve gotten to know and trust here in the zone are leaving. With Elder Peralta leaving, now I have to lead the area with a new trainer who hasn't been to this area before or knows the people. And since it's his last day here, we're struggling to contact everyone who cares about him, the Arduos and some other less actives, and meet with them tonight for a dinner/goodbye party. It was very emotional earlier when I realized that these people that I’ve grown to trust and love are going to be leaving to another area, and I'm going to have to do the same thing sometime in the future. Which means the hard time it took for me to start here will happen again and again and again throughout the mission. So that kind of hit me. My time here is short and I'm trying to do my best here but eventually I’ll have to say goodbye to them too. But I told myself, “you know, change is part of life... and you're on a mission right now. So no matter what comes in the next few days, weeks, months, it's all for your own good because Heavenly Father loves you.” And so during closing prayer in district meeting I was a bit emotional about it.
But it's okay.... Today was my amazing exchange with Elder Davis; he’s my District Leader and he's very inspiring. He's turned from a shy, no talk for 4 months missionary, to an amazing District Leader with great spiritual insights and fluent in Tagalog. He and his family have been through a lot. Let's just say he's made a 180 since his mission and is evidence that people that experience a mighty change of heart can grow and become great men in less than 2 years! I mean, him being here now was a great test of his faith because so many things have happened to his father , health wise, and such so it's been stressing him. But his faith and service has kept his family strong and I respect him dearly for that. Elder Davis loves talking and is happy, been out on the field for 20 months, has such great insights about the gospel and everything and talks about how great the mission is and all of the great elders and their great accomplishments with their priesthood and faith, how the mission is working, how it used to work, what can help me learn Tagalog, how he learned, tells great inspiring stories. He's an Elder I can really respect out here :) It's been great! ^_^ But he's being transferred too!!! >.< Man! I just started to get to know how awesome Elder Davis was too! Anyway, I hope I have a companion like Elder Davis as my next trainer. I want an inspiring elder to train me so I can become better!
So a summary of my week since my last email: Thursday was Zone Conference, we were also with Antipolo Zone as well as the Mission home and we had many lessons from President and from the APs (Assistant to the Mission President) and the ZLs (Zone Leaders). It was about how to begin teaching and teaching people, not lessons.
The principle of “teach people not lessons” is that missionaries now are instructed to find the needs and concerns of the investigator or less active and address it with scripture or with a lesson or part of a lesson of Preach My Gospel. Too many times missionaries go in and teach lesson 1-3 and try to get the person baptized. Now, we focus on solving their needs with the Spirit and with the Word of God. Far more effective, if you ask me. :)
Then, how to engage an investigator or less active in your lesson so they are more interested. I was edified throughout all of the Zone Conference. For one, talking slow and clear is a great way for you to talk with His Spirit, and then to listen with your heart. Listening is more powerful than talking (I know that.).
Friday was a normal working day; I’ll define that on Monday.
Saturday, we went with bishop to a difficult and shy less active to be able to convince her to come to church so she can be sealed with her dead husband but she still has yet to come. Even after bishop gave a great lesson and testimony.
Sunday, we had church and went with our Ward Mission Leader to Rosemary Lane (the ghettoest part of our area) and he home taught some of our less actives...still not gone to church too. >.< I’m beginning to run out of ways to help people come to church. We've tried many ways. But in the end it is their choice so I do what I can then perhaps they might decide to come back to church.
Monday was the day we went to a member's house in the next ward over, Elder Hilbert and Elder Galingana's ward, our housemates. We cooked for the kids because one of them fell off a 3rd story building and the parents are at the hospital with him. I've learned one lesson this day...Don’t have kids until you can provide for them. Because this house has 6 kids and it was not a big house; there was chaos everywhere. I don’t want to have kids until I have a nice stable job and can give them a good home... and clothes. I want all of my kids to have clothes and air conditioning.
About me…I'm actually doing a lot better mentally. I’ve learned to relax a bit, not take things super seriously and try to laugh whenever possible :) My garments were giving me hives because of the soap I was using...that's the last time I buy the cheap stuff. I've been eating and pooping better so that's also good :) I’m drinking way more water; I have 5 bottles in the fridge right now.
It's late so I need to go. I’m sorry this is short. Don't worry… Monday I’ll have more time. I've been busy replying to mom and dad back and forth. I love you all!
Doing you Proud,
PS… Don't try sleeping in or you'll wake up with a cockroach crawling up your leg!!! Like me, 2 weeks ago!! AHHH!!!! I did kill it with all my might just so you know. ^_^ Love you all!!! Mahal ko kayo!