This week was one crazy week, but one of the best weeks ever. So, last week I got the call that I would be transferring, but a little typhoon put a hold on that. It wasn't really that big where I was, just some strong wind and rain like none other for an hour, then it just felt like normal, raining all the time. We were confined in an apartment with some other elders, and our electricity went out pretty quickly, so that lead to pure boredom. Sleeping was also rough without any electric fans, but it was all okay in the end. Transfer day was canceled, and moved to the following day, where I met my new companion, Elder Cox, my first American Companion, from Morgan, UT. He is 6'4, which means I am just barely shorter than him, and I think skinnier than me.
We get along great, and I am learning so much from him, he has been out almost 2 years now, I might be his last companion, but we will see, we don't want to get our hopes up just to be let down. His Tagalog is great, so I am learning so much from that, and I love being with good teachers so I can learn from his teaching skills. I have learned so much, I am just so excited, I know this is going to be one of the best transfers so far!
My area is so legit, I don't know why I didn't start with that. My last area, Baesa, just gave me an awful impression of the city, but it is so sweet! My area is like real city, and so cool. We have so much here, it is ridiculous. I am sure Elder Cox is getting annoyed by all my comments of, Whoa another mcdonald's, or whoa, another starbucks! My last area had none of that. We also have a shakey's pizza, a Chili's, and Johnny Rocket's. The houses here are so Huge, WAY bigger than back home. It's almost as if there is no middle class in the Philippines, when you have money, you have LOTS of it. The middle class is very small. The streets here are pretty clean, much cleaner than the last area, and there are a lot more cars here.
Speaking of cars, We were walking down this street it wasn't even the nicest street here, the houses weren't that great or anything, but we walk by one and I see this yellow car through the bottom of the partly opened garage, and I saw the bottom of a yellow car in this garage (first garage I have seen too) and we kept walking then decided to walk back and ask to look at it. I was pretty nervous to just go up and ask to look at this guy's car, but, we are trying to find a lot of new investigators. We ask, and he's eating, but is so nice and lets us come in and check out his LAMBORGHINI! And parked to the left of it is his Red Ferarri.... He let us sit in the Lambo, and then he says he has 23 cars, and down the street are more, and he takes us down there. He has an Audi R8, couple Porches, a nice old BMW, and a few others, but probably one of the coolest days of my life. The coolest thing was this guy was one of the nicest people I ever met, oh my gosh he was nice. So humble, and hopefully everything works out that we can teach him. So Cool.
We are working way hard here, and the only thing that is tough here is that our ward is less than excited to get involved in missionary work, but I feel like I learned so much from the last area that we will be able to turn the ward around. I am so excited to get things moving here. I have been kind of sick the past few days, and today, so that is quite annoying, but have been working through it, and will get to rest today, hopefully I can heal up fast today.
This week I have been thinking about the ward members, and something came to my mind, something that our mission president wrote us a few weeks ago. He talked about how are mission is improving, but even though we have see improvements, we can still do so much better and listed some things that we can do. One was working with the members, and he said if we are not working with the members, he invites us to repent, and to work with them.
I was like, WHOA! REPENT, but repent really does mean change, and we are to always repent, or change. I think that members should take the same advice, and repent, or CHANGE, and do more to work with the missionaries. I saw on sunday, that this ward has very strong roots, the people have been here a while, and that is the problem, they are too used to missionaries, to used to the church, and they forget to constantly change. The Aposltes have been telling us for some time to work with the missionaries and have really pushed it, and I read in D&C that this is the 11th hour, and the field is white, already to harvest. I really know that is true, I have seen it so much on my mission. I think there are some things that members lack that I think we should think about.
1. The lack of non member friends.
-This has been a common problem for me here where some of the members have just gotten so close to their friends at church, they don't really feel they have anyone that they can refer. I know that they, and all of us have acquaintances, that are not members of the church, and it takes a new perspective to notice those people. Just because we are not constantly inviting people over to our house that are not members of the church, we still have people we know that are not members. Neighbors are a great way to share the gospel, And it just takes a little time to get to know our neighbors. The problem that comes up is Fear.
-Fear is the opposite of FAITH. When we have fear, it is saying that we do not have faith. We need to increase our faith, and trust in the Lord. As I have been reading D&C, the Lord constantly corrects people for caring too much about what other people think, caring too much for things of the world. We need to trust in His promise, and not be afraid to open our mouths, especially because we know this is true, and we know that everyone can know it is true. The fear that we ultimately have is rejection. We all fear failure and rejection, no one likes to feel it. But when we share the gospel and they don't accept our message, it should not mean that our relationship with our neighbor is over, we should continue to be friends with them, and mention church in our everyday life. We cannot fail when we are doing the Lord's work, and when we act in faith, we will not feel disappointed that we were told no, but happy that we tried, and got over our fear to share the gospel.
-We need to get the sense of urgency into our heads. We need to give ourselves a deadline, one that we pray about and agree upon with the Lord, and feel 100% committed to that deadline. If we do, we will always look for opportunities to share, and the Lord will help us, guaranteed. If we are constantly saying, oh next time, oh tomorrow, we will never end up sharing. Set a deadline with the Lord and hold yourself accountable if you do not do what you said.
4. Get to know the missionaries, they will help!
-Many members just see missionaries, and pass them by. I know, because this happens to me. I love it when people get to know me, ask about my family. What is even better is when they ask about how to share. I have had this happen 2 times on my mission and was so excited, more excited than getting a sweet dinner appointment. You could really please the missionaries by having a sweet meal appointment, and then asking how to share the gospel to your friends, discuss your plans with them, read Preach My Gospel and share things that you are learning, and ask them questions on things that you don't understand, or want to work on. I know they will look at you in disbelief, and become your best friends haha. I know they will help you in everything.
I know this work is true and it is time for members to get involved. Do not wait anymore. The missionaries are there to help you, so let them help you!
I love you all and thank you for all of your help and support! Thank you for everything!