Monday, September 23, 2013

September 9, 2013

Dear Family,

It's been a pretty crazy week but really cool at the same time. The Lord opened some good doors for the work here this week. I am feeling kind of better, but still really tired and winded a lot of the time.  I've been talking with Sister Martino about it though, so we're getting it figured out. In the mean time I will keep taking my vitamins and working hard. I do really need to eat more veggies, but it's hard here because we always get fed, and it's always steak, chicken, fish, fast food, and COKE (which are delicious, and the members trying to make special dinners for us, which is so nice of them, but I kind of miss just eating bitter melon and malunggay leaves with rice in the bukid). A day has not gone by this month that I haven't been given coke to drink, haha (although I have been refusing it lately). I'll try my best to eat better though. 

My health aside, we met some really cool people this week. The first is a family that was referred to us by the stake president. The dad is Australian, and lives here in the Phils with his wife and a few of his kids. He and most of his children in Australia are members, and he actually used to be a ward mission leader there. He told us about a really cool basketball program that they started there to help fellowship people into the church, and how about 20 people and 2 families ended up being baptized because of this program. One of the players that they trained actually went on to play in the NBA. The dad is married to a really nice Filipina woman, who isn't a member yet, and we've set appointments to visit them every Sunday and teach her, as well as his youngest son who is 12 and hasn't been baptized yet either. It was a really simple, but great lesson. They are such a cool family, and have such great faith in the Savior. We shared Helaman 5:12 with them and then the Stake President bore his testimony at the end and invited them to come to church. We also had a YSA rep. (Brother Tom, one of the coolest guys I know here) come with us to invite one of the older kids (who is 22) out to the YSA stuff here. It was terrifying teaching in English (that was the first time in my whole mission that I've taught in English), but it was a really good experience. I'm so excited to get to know their family more and continue to teach them. 

We also had some good experiences with finding this week. We were in one of the neighborhoods here called Sunset, going house to house and getting rejected house to house, when all of a sudden we knocked on a door and a guy answered, "Who are you guys?" "We're missionaries." "Oh. How long will you guys be?" "Just 10 minutes or so." "Okay, come in." That was basically the conversation. His name is Mark, and it turns out that one of his friends is an RM in the ward. We were able to meet his mom and share a quick message with them. They were really nice and receptive. I'm excited to visit with them again. 

My companion also went home today (It was the end of his mission). He was a pretty cool guy, I kind of wish that we'd been together for more than just one transfer. I'm excited to see who my new companion is though. Elder Blackham (my ZL and housemate who is really cool) just called called to be the new AP, so we've been short a ZL for this week too. My companion until Thursday is Elder Qima...he's a professional rugby player from Fiji (he's got a contract with one of the big Australian teams after his mission for $80k as a starting minimum. He's GOOD). I'll be sure to take some pictures with him. 

I love you guys. I just want to tell you all how great it is to be on a mission. If I could go back and do one thing over all again, it would be to focus everything in my life before on serving a mission. No matter how hard it gets, it is just such an amazing privilege and blessing to be able to be here. Also, you guys need to get some referrals for the Elders! Get on that and tell me how it goes, haha. I understand completely now why the elders always ask for referrals, and how terrible it feels when there aren't any. You can also bring the Elders out with you to visit less actives. We do that all of the time here. A lot of our baptisms here come from finding and reactivating less actives and then baptizing the members of their families that haven't been baptized yet. It's been cool how successful the Rescue program has been. 

Have a great week you guys. I sure love you all. I can't believe it's been a year. 

Love, 

Jared.   

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