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Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 58: New area, new comp, new calling

AJ: Kamusta. Are ya there?
DAD: Barely awake ... how ya doing?
AJ: Pretty good. We played football again this time in Alicia. I didn't get transferred to Echague. I got transferred to a part of Alicia itself called Paddad. It's a sick branch – they are studs. And I am district leader over the Alicia district.
DAD: Whoa, they changed their mind and sent you elsewhere, huh? Where is that from Cauayan? Glad you're DL. How's that working out?
AJ: I don't know if they switched it at the last second or if President Carlos meant Alicia Zone. He just said Elder Wooden would know a lot about where I am going. Then I said Echague and he said yep. So I don't know, maybe it got switched. It's the top part of Alicia zone. It's like 25 mins from Cauayan and an hour from Santiago. We are allowed to go to both on P-day. I saw Elder Wooden as well earlier at football. As far as DL goes, I had I short little meeting on Saturday with the ZLs and I am have been preparing for district meeting. It's gonna be about the divine companionship. In my district is 4 sisters. Oh yeah, so they have this new 12 week special study program for new missionaries. Then, if it works out right, the trainee trains a new missionary at the end of twelve weeks. So there is one American elder in my district, 12 weeks long in the mission and he is training. And then they said that one of the senior couples always comes to district meeting. So now I have to teach in English, dang it.
DAD: Well, we can't have you forgetting English, can we? You'll be speaking a lot in church in English when you come home next year. That sounds crazy that they would have a greenie train another newbie so soon. I'm not sure I dig that at all. How far away do the older couples live from you. It would be nice if one of them took care of you like grandma and g-pa took care of elders in New Jersey.
AJ: I don't know, I think they are in Cauayan. There is supposed to be 2 couples assigned to mostly work with the wards in Roxas and supposedly the sisters and ZLs apartment are on the same street. I really wanted to teach Taglish in district meeting. It's gonna be hard.
DAD: It will be good for you. You can't have forgotten that much, right? You have a lifetime of knowledge to draw from. Just have to remember ...
AJ: The English is all right, I just don't really know how to teach in English. Before my mission I didn't know how to teach and the whole time I've been here, I have been teaching in Tagalog, so it'll just be harder. Plus it's not just other missionaries there, there is a senior couple. That's way more scary.
DAD: I bet those senior missionaries will be really helpful. Just think of them being like g-ma and g-pa. I got to talk about you a little in church today. They wanted me to do an update. Plus we talked about family home evening and I told them that one of the blessings of having a missionary is that we get to read your letters to the kids for family night each week.
AJ: Yeah, they are super nice, but it's still more harder. Is that right? Ha-ha. This ward is unreal though. We have dinner appointments like every night and lunch sometimes, too. They had PEC Meeting and everyone knelt for the prayers at PEC. And they are super helpful and it's great. And like most of the people were on time for Sacrament Meeting. Church went til like 12:30. I think they like extra church. I don't know. Sister Carlos said this is one of the highest percentage tithe paying branches in the mission – 90 + of active members, she said. And there are tons of 18 & 19 year old kids that work with us and are preparing for missions. They were all calling the mission home paddad (zion).
DAD: Wow, sounds really great. I wish our ward was that good. Now that I am clerk I get to see everyone's tithing and go to bishopric meeting and find out all the dirt on everyone. Not so much fun. I was at church from 7 a.m. to about 3 today. Too much church!
AJ: Man, I am tired now. We have this new way to write president every week and I just wrote a whole thing to him and it failed and it's all gone. I don't want to write anymore. You're not getting letter this week, sorry – haha
DAD: That would ruin our family night!!! I always control-A and then control-C before I send an important letter so that I can paste it if it fails. Always do that with my D-News stories
AJ: Yeah, well I forgot. I am so over writing right now – haha.
DAD: Don't you have a sent folder or something it might have gone into?
AJ: Na, it is just in this little type box on another site. It's not real email ...
DAD: Ugh, so I guess you have tons to do. Hey, you didn't tell us about your new comp. Filipino or American?
AJ: Filipino. Elder Valdez is my new comp. He is 6 months in the mission. He is from the same ward that Elder Fantony was in – Laguna, which is like an hour away from Manila. He is cool. He wants to go to America really bad.
DAD: Maybe he is small enough to fit in your suitcase when you come home, haha
AJ: I told him that – all he said is he wants you to send him beef jerky. Yeah pretty random, eh?
DAD: Beef jerky, huh? Well, like peppered, or teriyaki or hot or bbq? Come on Valdez, which kind you want?
AJ: Manghang daw, I mean, he said he wants hot!
DAD: Nice.
AJ: I am just kidding about the letter. I am really writing one – haha
I figured u were joking ... your mama would be sad :-(
Oh, I got the Region wrap-up magazine and the Reeses with Bottlecaps! Good stuff! I gave those old magazines that I finished already to Elder Katao. He was stoked! DAD: Glad you got the envelope one. Hope the other one gets there by Christmas. We will send another envelope one, too. I think mom forgot to send the shave oil. It should last a long time, just use like five drops per shave.
AJ: Yeah I just barely finished 1 bottle and started the other. I figure with one or two I'll have shaving kwan til St. George.
DAD: Kwan? Like covered, taken care of?
AJ: Haha, kwan is just a word they use all the time for anything you can't think of. Like where is what's-his-face or can you hand me that whatchamacallit. Like that – haha
DAD: Good letter. You will find that most of your life prayers are answered through other people. But you have to look for them ...
AJ: Ooo for sure. All right we are bouncing, love ya. Merry Christmas.
DAD: LOVE YOU, talk next week, be good!
Hello family,

So I got transferred, and here I am in Paddad, which is a part of Alicia, just a 30-peso ride away from Cauayan. So I got a new companion as well, Elder Valdez, and I am a brand new district leader here in Alicia District.

We have a really nice apartment, however it has a few problems. It is super nice and has fake carpet in one room and an air conditioner in one room. However, it has a terrible rat problem and it was totally trashed from the elders that just went home. Apparently they decided on their last day to come and throw an insane party. It was bad. So, needless to say, we cleaned up first thing. The rats own the kitchen, but they pretty much stay away from where we sleep, so anything good we put in the fridge. Anyway it's not been too much of a problem and in future we are supposed to be getting some cool rat traps. The apartment is really nice though, just been neglected. It also has a microwave and blender.

This ward is unreal. We have dinner appointment like every night and lunch sometimes. They are super helpful and it's great. And like most of the people were on time for church. Church went til like 12:30. Cool Eh?

So my new companion is Elder Valdez From Laguna and he is pure Tagalog (no dialects). He is from Santa Rosa and he is from the same ward as Elder Fantony. He is hard-working and seems pretty cool. I taught him how to play football, then we played with the AP's and others. He played for a while, but then after, he said he didn't understand how to score.

Oh, and so here in Alicia at the Angandan chapel there is sweet grass field. It's the greatest field I have seen in the Philippines. It was huge and well kept and not too muddy. It was awesome. Also, I saw a tennis court and a volleyball court in Alicia. Maybe Alicia is the place to be if you like sports.

So on Saturday we had a cool experience. We had an appointment with this family I hadn't met yet, but that Elder Valdez was super excited about. They are really cool. Anyway, we had planned and practiced a couple times to teach them about the plan of salvation. But when we got there, the dad had questions about baptism and stuff and we both knew we had to throw out the plan and then it just entered into my mind and I knew without a doubt that we had to read 2 Nephi 31 with them. It was a super powerful lesson and we were able to resolve their concerns.

I know the church is true and that God answers prayers. I used to think God would just say immediately answers, but more often he answers my prayers through other people or through the scriptures. I know that this work is true and am so happy to be a part of it. Last week, it kind of hit me that a whole year of my mission is history. I know I did my best and gave it my all, but it's still sad that time is flying so incredibly fast. It's like Wow.

So with the time left, I want to give it my all and I don't want to waste a minute. The church is true!

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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