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Monday, January 2, 2012

Week 62: New Year's in the Mission Home

 AJ: How is it going?
DAD: Hey AJ! We are at grandma's still.
AJ: By the way, is that stupid “Teach Me How to Doggie,” song being played all over America or just here?
DAD: That's old – at least a year. There is a “Teach Me How to Jimmer,” one, too.
AJ: I am going insane with the stupid doggie song. For like a month now everyone and their dog listens to it – no pun intended, ha ha. Is “Teach Me How to Jimmer,” cool?
DAD: Yeah, just a white guy version set to Jimmer highlights. Have you had a good week? Transfers coming?
AJ: Man, you don't even update me anymore about sports. President Carlos is the only one who hooks me up with what's going on. I heard the Cougars came away with a close win in the bowl game?
DAD: Well, I figured we would talk about it tonight. Every week I give you updates – don't dog me. We will be home in 10 and I will give you some good updates.

AJ: Yeah, it's been a good week. We had New Years at the mission home! Transfers is on the 12th. We have no idea what's gonna happen. I forgot – what were you gonna send to President so that he would give it to me? Jimmer highlights?
DAD: Yeah, a highlight of last season. We haven't sent it yet. By the way, it's "Teach Me How to Dougie," and it's a silly dance they do. Oh, and we're home now.
AJ: Cool – we are leaving in about 10 minutes or less :(
DAD: Oh, already? OK, well BYU did win the bowl game 24-21. Riley Nelson played kinda crappy most of the game, but got it together late in the game. BYU scored with 11 seconds left on a fake-spike TD pass to Cody Hoffman. It was a sweet ending. Tulsa was a lot better than I thought they would be. They were tough. BYU hoops started play in the West Coast Conference. That's their new conferenc
e which has Gonzaga and St. Mary's and Pepperdine. Anyway, St. Mary's was really good and beat BYU in the opener in San Francisco (where they're from). But BYU turned around and whipped San Diego Saturday. Davies is finally starting to play like we expected him to.
Cowboys lost to the Giants tonight and missed the playoffs at 8-8. Frustrating year for them.
AJ: Ah man, they missed the playoffs. Whatta bummer. Well, we can't leave yet. Apparently the person that runs the computer shop is in the shower – hahaha.
DAD: That's funny. Well, lucky for us. You got a big day planned today? Seems like you're on early and leaving fast.
AJ: Yeah, we've got to deep clean the apartment :(. It's the second annual New Years cleaning day. But if we win the drawing, we get an all expense paid trip to Cauayan with whatever amazing food we can think of. So we are motivated. Other prizes are chips and dip and homemade cookies, so we have to win. I don't know what to teach for district meeting yet either.
DAD: Ooh, I like contests. By the way, Neal beat me in the fantasy football championship game. But I went 6-7 in the reg. season, so I was just happy to be there. Teach about positive attitude and making your outlook better. Studies show people with positive attitudes are twice as successful as those with negative outlooks.
AJ: OK, now we are leaving. Did the belt work for you? Did you find anything in there you liked?
DAD: The belt was a little small, but it gives me something to shoot for. The whole box was full of great stuff.
AJ: Gotta run, bye-bye, love you!
DAD: K, love you!!!

Dear Family!

Happy 2012! Wow, time flies. It felt like 2011 just started. So we had really good week here in Paddad. And on New Years Eve we had lock down at 6 o'clock. The best part – we got locked down in the mission home! So everyone that was close was invited to come celebrate the new year at the mission home – yea!! From 6 pm to 12 we played basketball forever under the lights (!) Ping-pong, talked sports with President, watched a movie and then watched all the crazy fireworks people set off. The food was unreal – A bunch of homemade pizza, Dr. Pepper, chips and dip, cookies, chocolate covered raisins, graham cake, ice cream. It was awesome. Then the capper – we slept in an air conditioned room and had a h
ot shower with pancakes and cereal and fried rice for breakfast. Oh man, it was good. The Carloses know how to put on a party!

This week we have been incredibly blessed with investigators and we really don't have enough time to visit all the people we need to. Last zone conference, the area presidency announced the theme for this year: The Rescue. They really want the missionaries to focus on completing part-member families and helping recent converts and less actives get active and get callings, friends, gospel nourishment, etc.

I guess in the last few years the newly baptized members is something like 15,000 a year, but the avg. Sacrament attendance is only up like 2,000 a year, so lots of people are being baptized, but not really ever getting established. So it not a good thing.

My whole mission until now, leaders always have been saying less active lessons and stuff are great and a good thing to do but it's your calling to baptize. It's not really changed, but I definitely noticed that they kinda have a different attitude now. So we have been kind of focusing more on the less active and part member families and have a had a lot of cool results.

Next to our church is a little bakery that has pizza and cookies and all kinds of cool stuff. That picture a few weeks ago of the pizza, that's the place. So the first time we went there back in the day we started talking to the Nanay and we found out she was a member that was baptized in Hong Kong almost 30 years ago. We asked her why she didnt go to church (especially since she lives right next to it) and she didn't really have a reason, just that she was shy. So we invited her and she came! She has been to church 3 times now and has made lots of new friends. That was exactly what Sister Carlos was telling us, too. A lot of people, just for one reason or another, missed or got in the habit of not going to church. But if they are visited, they will come back. That's why home teaching is such an important and inspired work. It helps give the three things Pres. Hinckley said every member needs: A friend, gospel nourishment and a calling.

Another family we have been visiting hadn't been to church at least since I've been here and when we taught them the first time, we didn't really think they would come to church because they wouldn't really commit and had lots of excuses. But then they did come as a whole family, including one of their older sons that has not wanted to be taught in the past. We have continued teaching them and now have a really great new investigator there. And yesterday they came to church again as an entire family!

We have a ton of cool investigators. This one young couple we found and have been teaching for a couple weeks is pretty cool. They haven't been to church yet, but they are praying for an answer and reading the Book of Mormon and already accepted the Word of Wisdom. The Mom didn't have any problems and the Dad uses cigarettes and said he has been trying to quit for a long time. It was cool to teach him about the Atonement and how Christ can help him to overcome his addiction. They are really cool and hopefully this week they will come to church.

Oh yeah, so ya know how you all were making fun of my accent. Well the Filipina sisters in our district were making fun of my American accent in Tagalog, so I guess I don't fit in anywhere anymore.

Glad you all liked the package. When I bought the necklaces, I had the girls in mind, but whatever -- hahaha.

It was super awesome to talk to you all and it was fantastic to see you all. I didn't really feel homesick at all. It just felt like kinda weird. Like, I felt like I was just hanging out at home, but like I wasn't. I don't know, I can't really explain it. It was super cool though.

Well I know this work is true and I love the time I've had here on my mission. It's been awesome! As the Filipino saints love to say, "The Church is true, The book is blue!"

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

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