There hasn't been much flooding here, Mom, so don't worry. Just the usual areas that get a little flooded when it rains. I know!!! I'm so lucky I got transferred out of Pasig. The apartment is okay now, but Elder Barrow texted me and told me that he was getting evacuated from the area. They loved it, they said! Haha! Anyway, kawawa naman sa Manila talaga. Grabe, ang daming baha jan. Pero wag kang mag-alaala, mabuti pa rin po kami dito sa Mindoro. (Anyway, poor Manila. There was so much flooding there. But don't you worry, we are still okay here in Mindoro.)
Things in Mindoro have been great lately. First off, I had the opportunity to go on exchanges in Magsaysay this week with Elder Alvarez. He is just full of such love for the people. One thing I learned from him is “This Church should be a fun church (or an enjoyable church), not something people dread whenever Sunday or the missionaries come around. So, let's show them a little bit of happiness." The reason being, the people of Magsaysay have been taught by many missionaries for most of their lives. So, when the missionaries come around, they are like, "oh great, the missionaries are here." So, we did things a little differently and made fun, enjoyable lessons. ^_^ It was well received. Elder Alvarez's love for the people also allowed us to discern the needs of everyone we taught. I felt the spirit strong in all but the last lesson. In all of the other 6 lessons, we didn't go with what was planned and taught the people, not the lessons. Even the very cold less actives were open to us, he said. He's a great missionary! They have several beautiful looking places in Magsaysay called “Sa Langit,” which means “In Heaven.” (pictures in the email) I loved it there! It was talagang (real) Philippines. It was a lot of province area and very quiet. I enjoyed the whole day I got to work with Elder Alvarez. He's from Cedar City, Utah.
|This is Magsaysay area. Beautiful place!|
|Elder Alvarez from Utah|
|Rice field and a carabao grazing|
|I am going to ride a carabao before my mission is up!|
This week, Elder Olvido and I have been assigned to meeting with the Branch president weekly and helping the branch grow while the ZL's focused their work with the district leaders. Before, they would do both and all of those meetings was just too much for them. So, President requested we help them out with the branch. I think it's been good for me, personally, to work more with the branch. I get to know the leaders more and see what the concerns are among them. It's been interesting to see how they work and what they have questions about. I've actually been studying the red handbook, the Church Handbook 2, in order to help them out and it's really cool to see how things work in our church. Reading D&C works well, too. But, the good thing is I've had the opportunity to do more for the branch and for that I am grateful. Oh, we had a record 18 less actives come to church! And 4 people returned to being active. YES!!! It's finally great to see how our efforts are paying off and helping people come back to the church. The problem is, a lot of people get baptized but not a lot of people are active in the gospel or converted to it. Because if they were, they would be coming to church. So, I've made it my personal goal to not baptize people for numbers, but rather for conversion. If you baptize people too quickly, you'll get them baptized, yes, but then they stop going to church when you leave. That makes things difficult for the branch and for the work.
Speaking of Conversion, more news on Sister Noemi! It's always great teaching her because she is so converted to the gospel. During our weekly planning, we prayed specifically for Sister Noemi that a way may be prepared for her to get married and for her boyfriend, RJ, that his heart might be softened and he would get the desire to be married and baptized, too. So, when we went to visit Sister Noemi on Friday with President and Sister Whiting, the lesson ended up being like a gospel marriage counsel. Haha! I loved what they shared in Ephesians 5 about the duties of a husband and wife. When we were about to close, we were asking Rj how he felt about what we've told him (he participated much in the lesson and has really opened up to us). He said he wants to get baptized, too! O.o OH MY GOSH!!! AHHH!!!! BEST DAY EVER!!! It was a great spiritual experience! So, see how specific and meaningful prayers are answered by God and miracles can happen? I guess I should thank you all, too, for your prayers. Just so you know, you were a part of this miracle, too. All of your support and prayers. Now, we just need to wait until they get the money to get married or the branch president gets a marriage license. (The mission rules say that it's bawal for us to help them get married financially...sayang...but President and Sister Whiting will do something to help out. Thanks for offering though!)
We got stuck in the mud going to Sister Grace's house...for the 3rd time! President Whiting made a wrong move and we got stuck. The fun part is that everyone basically got muddy because the car slid and got us all muddy. Haha! Pictures!!! Elder Olvido got the most of it. Kawawa naman! (Poor guy!) Sabi niya (He said) it was his favorite shirt. It's okay..it can wash out. But, we related it to faith when teaching Grace. I said that faith without works is dead. This means, we had the belief that we would get the car out of the mud but it wasn't until we called for help and did all that we could to get out that we were able to escape. ^_^ It was a great experience.
|Getting a little help from our friends|
Today was our zone activity…we had our version of the Olympics. Sand castle building, straight face contest, volleyball, tug of war, and sack races. It was a lot of fun. My team won 1st Place! We even had the medals and everything! It rained on us, but it was fine because we were at the beach.
|1st Place!!! Mindoro Olympics!|
|Elder Quinton, Sis. Sanchez, Sis. Motuliki, Sis. Whiting, and Me|
Wish I could write more but I’m out of time. I hope my letter was able to brighten your day. There is a bagyo coming soon (a storm), so we need to head back home. Hopefully, it won't be too bad. Keep doing what you can to build the kingdom, and counsel with the Lord in all your doings. Love you and miss you all so much!
Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^