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Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 75: Beautiful Baptisms

Elders Griffin and Rausa with the Gabaldon family.
Email conversation between AJ and his dad through Sunday night (Utah)/Monday morning (Philippines).

AJ: Hey Pops we are a bit early today
DAD: Oh, we just got home. How are ya AJ?
AJ: Doing great, how you doing? I am listening to Elder Holland right now.
Our General Conference is still a week away.
DAD: Is transfers and Elder Rausa going home this week?
AJ: Ya, Elder Rausa goes home Wednesday. Cool pictures. The girls must be thrilled to have their cousins back in town.
DAD: Yep, so you're listening to a little conference online?
AJ: Yeah, Holland's talk was awesome as always. I am listening to Edler Uchtdorf's
priesthood talk right now. Teach the WHY then roll up their sleeves and go to work.
DAD: Any idea what will happen on transfers. You gonna stay ZL?
AJ: Ya I am not going anywhere. I'll grab a new comp on Thursday.
DAD: So you'll be training a new ZL? Is it fun at all being ZL, or just a pain in the butt?
AJ: It might be a new ZL or someone who has already been a ZL. I don't know.
The good part about being ZL: The food is awesome at ZLC. It's cool to interview other missionary's converts and I feel like I know all the missionaries whereas in the past I didn't know that many people. I've seen all the different areas and worked in a lot of them and worked with some really cool missionaries. It's kind of a pain because we have little errands to run all the time that interrupt proselyting. Plus I don't like knowing all the stuff that goes on in the zone. Yeah, that's about the bottom line.
DAD: You get all the dirt on everyone eh? That's kinda like being in the Bishopric ... and I don't like it either. How can you run all these errands without a car or something? Seems like it would take forever.
AJ: Yeah, it's pretty much like that to a point. People always tell on other people to me and stuff. I don't like it. And yeah, it does take forever sometimes to run the errands.
DAD: So you're like the daddy, everyone tattling ... that's funny! BTW, I guess Katie Watkins is going home this month, Martinez soon, too.
AJ: Yeah Sis. Martinez will be on the bus to Manila with Rausa and the others going home on Wednesday. I think that means I have 6 months left.
DAD: I guess Martinez's parents pick her up April 6 in LA. She's coming via Hong Kong. She must be leaving a little early, cause you have SEVEN months left. AJ: Yeah, I don't know – basta, she is going home in two days. By the way, mission president must be one of the hardest callings ever.
DAD: Hey man, I just drafted a fantasy baseball team with Neal and friends and they will still be playing when you come home. How about that eh?AJ: Fantasy baseball, hehe, you must be bored.
DAD: Neal asked me. It will also help me follow baseball for the radio stuff. Astros are going to be terrible.AJ: Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. Ever since that one dude (Brad Lidge) cursed the Astros and went to the Phillies and kicked butt it was over.
DAD: They do have a new owner and have brought up a bunch of really young guys. With any luck, they will be good in a couple of years.
Tyler Haws
AJ: Hey Dad, check this out: I am pretty sure we were at the game were he dunked it. BYU had the pink breast cancer awareness trim and were playing the Utes.
DAD: Yeah, that's the first thing I said when the video started: "Hey, we were there for that game!"
AJ: Yeah, that's a great shot. He dunked it so easy in traffic too.
DAD: His dad, Marty Haws, is my age.
AJ: Haha yeah. Haws should be back pretty soon from his mission. Pres. Carlos said he was AP down there a while back.
DAD: Yeah, seems like he was a few months ahead of you. His bro, the one crying at the MTC, has been tearing it up at Lone Peak, averaged 20 a game as a sophomore.
AJ: They'll probably be teammates when Tyler is a senior. Little brother will be a freshman at the Y?
DAD: Yeah, I think so. Right now, Jackson Emery's bro Nick is even better. He will be a senior next year at Lone Peak. They won't lose a game next year. By the way, you look good in those baptism whites! So, you think you'll be AP?
AJ: No way, don't even think about that!
DAD: I dunno, hard worker, good relationship with Pres., tall white guy ... You have all the makings ... hahahahaha
AJ: Apparently there is a dude from Switzerland sitting next to me here at the computer shop. He is reading German stuff, has a Filipina wife.
DAD: Whoa, Switzerland! Usually Swiss people know English, German, French and Spanish. Wonder if he speaks Tagalog, too?
AJ: Yeah, I gave his wife a pamphlet and told her to go to church. She said she has friends in Switzerland that are Mormon and they said they have seen the temple. Cool eh?
DAD: That is cool. Hey, good luck with transfers!! Shoulder to the wheel and all will be well. I promise you that.
AJ: Hey, I haven't watched a single game the whole season and I tied for second with my bracket, right?
DAD: Yeah, nice job. I'll buy you a hamburger in October!
AJ: Haha, alright, love you!
DAD: Love you too!!!

Sloppy Joes with Elder Needs
Dear Family,

This Saturday the Gabaldon family was baptized! I got to baptize Tatay (the dad) and then the branch baptized their two kids and it was awesome. Sister Carlos and The Shaners and Lakers (new couple) and Sister Breese also came too. Sister Feyma came and watched the baptism and her sister and her sister's friend came to church as well. So all the people we are teaching in their house are coming to church, which is awesome. Sister Feyma will be baptized on April 21 and we will probably give dates to her mother and sister this week.

So a little more about the baptism: The Gabaldon family was baptized along with Mallig's baptism this and it was great. The baptisms were awesome and quick. All the converts bore really great testimonies and Tatay Gabaldon's testimony was really awesome. Tatay talked about how last year their family was traveling from Manila to Roxas and he was driving their van. They got in a really bad wreck and the vehicle was totaled. The people on the scene were sure their were fatalities, but not one of them got injured. Tatay said he understands now that the Lord had something for them to still do and he knows now that becoming a member is part of that. WOW! That's all I can say. The mission is amazing. The district here also has youth conference in Nueva Viscya this week. so Alyssa and Alison (the Gabaldon kids) will be able to go to youth conference right away. The temple trip is supposed to be soon, too.

On Thursday we went on splits. I worked in Gamu with Elder Needs from Michigan. Elder Needs has been in the Philippines about 7 months. He is a stud. He is really amazing at Tagalog. He is a lot better than I was back in the day and a very powerful teacher of the gospel. I learned a lot from working with him and we also made sloppy joes so that was great. Whenever you go on splits with another American, it's just like super fun. Work hard, eat good food, tell cool stories, talk about all the weird stuff in the Philippines. Anyway, I was just really impressed with him. I guess he is a BYU lacrosse player. Anyway Elder Needs = Stud.

So this week Elder Rausa goes home. To be honest at times we really had a hard time seeing eye-to-eye, but I think the miracle of it is that despite our different views and different cultures, we made it work. And we saw miracles these past two cycles. We had a good talk the other day in companionship study about what had happened and about our 2 cycles together and we both talked about how at times it was really hard, but overall we both learned a ton and that great things had happened. Anyway yeah. This Thursday we will have transfers and I will get a new companion.

We have a ton of cool investigators right now and things are going awesome. I know the church is true and I love my mission so much. I know the atonement of Jesus Christ is real and that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet. I'll let ya know my feedback on conference as we have yet to watch it.


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