Monday, June 24, 2013

June 23, 2013

 A couple pictures from Bro. Michael Bumanlag's baptism. The older sister is his mother-in-law, Sister Acosta (she was baptized a few months ago along with her husband) and the girl in the pink shirt is his wife, sister Mary-Lourdes Acosta. It was an exciting day because now they can start preparing for the temple!


We've been having relatively good weather here...it hasn't been raining too much but there's been some good cloud cover. I'm sure once July hits I'll just be soaked all of the time. I've only experienced a couple really big rainstorms so far, and my comps tell me that they are nothing compared to what might come, haha. That said, even though it is a little bit cooler right now I am still sweating like a pig. The only times of day that I don't sweat are at night (with the electric fan on my face) and in the shower. As soon as the fan is off or I'm out of the shower I'll be drenched in about 20 minutes, haha. 

It's amazing how much the work is progressing. We have a mission goal of 1350 baptisms this year, and it is so cool to see the hordes of new missionaries pouring into the mission (we get about 20+ every transfer). We are currently at about 466 of those baptisms. I goaled 12 personally...half way there as of Saturday. It's been great to see how much the Lord prepares people and places to receive the gospel. 

Hmmm...big news this week. Brother Michael was baptized...I was the baptizer and everything went pretty smooth. I tend to get nervous when I'm baptizing, especially with all of the crazy long names here (Michael Joe Trista " " " Bumanlag or something like that). It was so great to hear him bear his testimony and express a desire to come closer to God and continue to learn more about the gospel. We are hoping that him and his wife (a member) will be able to be sealed in the temple in the coming year. 

Other big news, as you've seen in the pictures - I ate rat! (Note to readers, the pictures never came through, hopefully next week) It was delicious, all though I don't think I could eat a lot of it. Tastes almost exactly like chicken, haha. I
t was really good actually...they just fried it up in soy sauce and vinegar with some peppers and ginger and stuff. It tasted a lot like chicken, with a lot of little bones. 

Our group has also finally been approved to have a meetinghouse, and we just need to have a few more active, full-tithe paying priesthood holders to become an official branch. We're really excited about that...it feels great to see an area progress, and we hope that Quezon (the little town where the new meetinghouse is) will become more open to the gospel after the meetinghouse is figured out there. We will probably also be finding an apartment there in the near future, which will reduce our traveling costs a lot. (I can start eating meat again, haha). We are a little bit worried about moving there because we haven't had much success in that area yet, but I'm sure the Lord will give us a way to open up the church there.

News on the Feje family, they are all reading the BOM and praying as a family, and have expressed desires to be baptized. The only problems are that they aren't ready for a firm date and that the father hasn't been around for a while (he went to
Manila to work). I honestly love that family, and I'm sure that they will become members one day - even if it's after I leave this area. 

Also, Elder Dela Paz just got transferred into this zone! He was my second companion and one of my favorites. It was great to hear news from him that the investigator we baptized (sister Anita Rioflorido) is super active and involved now in the branch, and that her family is starting to take the lessons. One of her nephews was recently baptized. Also, the attendance there has gone up a lot. Good stuff. I'm really pumped to be in the same zone as him again. 

I'm doing pretty good right now...the last week's been a little bit stressful but that's normal. I'm just super happy about all of the great investigators we have and the progress that they're making. I'm sitting at about 146 lbs which is alright. I probably dropped down to the 130's last month, haha. I've been learning a lot about budgeting and using money wisely...A skill that I definitely didn't have before my mission. I think the lord taught me a good lesson about that, haha. I've been eating well this month and staying pretty healthy. 
I still haven't got the package, but I'm sure it's almost here. 
The work is going pretty well...all the people we have baptized here are part members, but now we're out of part members so we'll have to focus on the investigators more, haha. We hopefully have a couple more in July. 

That is crazy news about Calgary...I didn't even think it could flood there! It's supposed to be flood season here right now but I haven't seen anything too major yet. My comp was telling me about a storm that he experienced when he was like 12...the wind was so strong that it lifted off all the roofs of the houses. Him and his family just sat in their car until it was over, and when they came out he said that there were dead people hanging out of the trees and just lying around the street. Pretty crazy stuff...hopefully I won't have to wade through one of those. 

Love You guys,

Love Jared

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