Well here in the Philippines, Christmas starts in the "BER" months, so there you go, I'm not going crazy.
This week was a lot harder than before, because Elder Cox got transferred, and I am with a new Elder, fresh from the MTC, Elder Montecillo, he is Filipino, from Cebu. So last week we had the orientation, and we got paired off with our new companions. I was so anxious the whole day, waiting to see who would be my companion. Elder Nebeker was also there, and it was so cool to catch up with him, we have hardly seen eachother in the mission, it stinks! I got paired up with Elder Montecillo, and he is a funny guy haha. He is really excited to work, and his favorite thing to say is "LET'S ROCK!!!" ... it never gets old.... ha
We had a really cool experience, Elder Montecillo is not afraid to give out baptismal dates, we're taught to give it out after the first lesson, so he just goes for it, sometimes it doesn't really flow, but you gotta love the guy's faith, it's awesome. So our first night, we just get back from a day long meeting, and go to an appointment, and we taught a guy named Nikko, and he is 17, and his girlfriend is a member from another stake. He had gone to church a few times as well, and is really interested. We had just a great lesson with him, he is really smart, so he just grasps things a lot faster, and he accepted a baptismal date from Elder Montecillo, and after the lesson, he was walking super slow, and was in shock that he just gave out his first ever baptismal date, and that Nikko accepted. He was talking to himself or something ha, but he was pumped ("LET'S ROCK!) and kept saying "wow, Elder, that just happened" really softly and in a marveled kind of way, haha, it was awesome.
We were able to get a lot of work done this week, quite a lot of lessons, and we found some really good people. The investigators that Elder Cox and I found are progressing, and they are so close to being able to be baptized, they just have to go to church. We visited basically everyone, and they all said they had been reading, and were going to go to church, but then, came around, and only one came, Nikko. It was such a buzz kill, I was pretty disappointed. But, next week, I think they are all going to come.
We were asked to give talks , and Elder Montecillo was really nervous, he stayed up all night and woke up a little early to finalize it, I am really used to giving talks, (it is always about missionary work) so I wasn't too worried. We get to church, and the bishop asked us to fill up most of the time and he would just say some concluding remarks, so Elder Montecillo goes up, and gives his talk and after 5 minutes starts bearing his testimony, wrapping it up. The 1st counselor looked at me and was laughing cause I would have to fill so much time up. OH! and the funnies part was Elder Montecillo pumped his fist saying he was excited to be here haha.
So Then he closed and Bishop just said, 'Well, I'll speak a little longer I guess, but try to fill it" and So I spoke, but it went really really well. I just used my notes and followed the spirit. I had always wanted to do that, just have some notes and go by the spirit, and so I figured the mission is the best place to practice, and it went great.
The funny thing was Bishop asked us to teach the combined class, again about missionary work, so that was fun, but everything went really well.
This ward is super close to having some baptisms, We have some great investigators, it's all about helping them get to church, and really seeing how important this gospel is in their lives, and living the gospel. When they live it, they will better be able to see how much it can bless them.
We have this investigator, Yvettte, I was really frustrated with her when I first went, I just wanted to drop her right away, but Elder Cox was really calm about it, and that kind of made me more frustrated. We went to her a few more times, her husband is a cool guy, reading and stuff, but I don't know, she is kind of holding him back. She refuses to pray with us, we have taught about prayer like 3 times, one lesson I was on splits with an AP here and it was crazy insane with the spirit, and then she still wouldn't pray. What's worse is she won't even tell us why. She has an illness or she's sick or something, and then yesterday I figured out why.
They said they were going to church, but then they texted last minute saying she was sick, and we stopped by, It was pretty crazy. I don't know if I have ever seen someone in that much pain. We shared about the priesthood and gave her a blessing and she was just whimpering the whole time. Seeing her in that much pain made me realize even more how much I don't understand the atonement. It was really powerful to see that, even though I just felt so bad for her. But I know that she will be able to see the power of the priesthood and more fully understand the atonement, I really believe that.
Thank you everyone for all of your birthday wishes, it means so much to me. I was kind of homesick today, but it really lifted my spirit getting all those wonderful notes from you, thank you so much!