Friday, January 11, 2013

January 3, 2013 - Happy New Year!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and everyone who survived the Mayan predicted end-of-the-world day,

Well, it is 2013 and things are going well here in the Philippines. And there have been a lot of major changes lately. Well for one, it is 2013!!! We happened to spend New Year’s with the DelaMare’s playing games and watching fireworks. Wow, the fireworks here are so intense, it’s like world war 3 and you are just surrounded by fireworks going off all of the time! Haha!  The next day the streets were just full of firework debris and broken glass.  Haha!  It was intense! And of course, this was the Monday and Tuesday of transfer week. Exit night and transfer day were slowly approaching our office staff.

*cultural note* the best thing about New Years and Christmas here is that there is no traffic the day of or the day after because everyone is basically hung over
*cultural note* fireworks are bought by basically everyone in Metro Manila and they light them all off so close to each other on New Year’s Eve

Well, then Exit Day came around, and let me tell you, 16 sister missionaries going home in the same room is pretty intense. When we were picking up some of the sisters the night before, it was really tough to see all of their housemates crying, saying goodbye to each other and such. Man, sisters just give off such a strong atmosphere of emotion! I remember driving a few of them home from the Memorial Cemetery and I just remember listening to the song we had in the car and I suddenly felt that something was really wrong and I looked in the mirror and all the sister were basically on the verge of tears  because they are going home. Shoot!  It felt really awkward, so Elder Peralta and I performed our song for them that we came up with on our first day together and it perked them up a bit. After wards, we were all able to go to the temple for their last time in the Philippines. And yes, there was more crying but that’s to be expected. Then we all came to the mission home for the testimony meeting. I enjoyed how this batch of missionaries going home was entirely spiritual testimonies and not storymonies or I’lljusttellfunnystoriesfrommymission-monies. The Spirit was really strong even though it was sad to see such strong sisters leave the mission, but alas, their journey continues and so do ours.
               It’s just that the occurrence of change in the mission is just so frequent, it’s like you finally feel like you’re getting to know someone and then you transfer, or someone else transfers. You finally set up a good pattern, and then boom! Transfers. It is pretty sad sometimes, and I’m usually anxious when it comes to transfer day, but in the end, change is usually the best thing for us, no? In life, things change all of the time, adapting is part of learning, part of growing, and each change brings on a new opportunity to use the principles of the gospel to become better people. And in my case, change brought me a new companion that is just hilarious and great at being a missionary. Anyway, change is just a regular thing in missionary life.

Well, Best Day Ever!  Elder Duenas is now the official new AP.  Elder Waite became Elder Herr’s companion in Mindoro, and Elder Rhodes took Elder Waite’s spot in Morong, Rizal. So, people are moving around quite often.  Elder Alvarez is now a district leader in Pasig! Good on him! He’s a great missionary.
                Other than that, we’ve just been kulang (lacking) on sleep because of New Years, getting missionaries to the airport and other such mission occurrences that require my driving skills. Elder Peralta is my new companion now. Not my trainer, a different Peralta. This one knows how to cook and sing and is super clean and magaling (great) at being a missionary and happy! I’ve been so excited to teach with him cause I’ve been feeling the Spirit so strong when we teach. It’s good ! ^_^  I hope we are getting to our investigators and less actives. All 5 of them… haha! That’s life in the office.  All in all, life is good, the apartment is the cleanest it’s ever been, and things are looking up for the area.
                 As for 2013, I think I’ve found out what my purpose is on my mission, and that is to serve the other missionaries. Like literally and figuratively, I just always feel the happiest when I help out other people, or help missionaries get the things they need to bring people to the gospel. I’ve had several people say they love being around me because I make them feel happy and help them relieve the stress they feel in their areas. I guess just making people feel good in general, but this year I am going to focus on serving others, and helping them prepare or grow or whatever the Lord needs me to do. With my Year mark coming up, I am going to have to give it more of my all. More to the Lord, more to my investigators and less actives, and more to the mission. Giving of myself for others, I think is my purpose here. Like a candle, how it consumes itself while giving off light. I believe that is me. It’s been my favorite symbol of late. ^_^

Well, I hope you have had  great news and a great time reflecting on who you are, who you want to become, and how you are going to get there.  Remember that the great gift the Lord has given us is the opportunity to change and become better, repentance.  It is never too late. An elder who went home after a few months on his mission has now returned and is going to Mindoro!  He has such a different atmosphere about him now and you can tell he’s ready to make miracles happen.  This time, he’s here for the right reasons and he’s changed for the better. I promise you all that you can change and become a better you through the power of Christ and His Gospel. Trust in him and trust in your leaders.  I pray we will all have the courage to change ourselves to become more like Him, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Doing you Proud,

Elder Froude ^_^
Happy New Year!!!!

Goofing off with Elder Stoddard and Sis. DelaMare
Unique ukelele!  I gotta get me one!
Restaurant tables set up as chess boards.  Cool!
Yummy breakfast!  Tocilog!
My new companion, Elder Peralta

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