Monday, December 30, 2013

December 23, 2013

Thank you to all who participated in the fast we had for Elder Hubbard last week. We could feel your prayers on all of our behalf. Here is a little excerpt of what he wrote to me:
"I am doing a little bit better this week. I don't really know what to say other than that I am so grateful for all of the prayer and fasting that everyone has been doing for me. It makes me tear up to know how many people are praying for me. Thank you so much, and please thank them for me if you can. "

 Me and Elder Magno, (my trainee) at Christmas Conference (I gave him that shirt). He is training this transfer, which means I have an apo (grandson).
Elder Gernale and I (new comp) We got caught in the rain the other day.
 We made the most of it.
 More puddle-jumping action. 

Christmas Cheese! Elder Tavau from my district gave me the bear.  

 Dear Family, 

Thank you so much for all of the emails and for the prayers and fasting. I am so humbled and grateful for all that is being done for me by the family and by the ward and by friends and even people who probably don't know me. I feel stronger and confident just because of the knowledge that the power of fasting and prayer is on my side. 

I don't have a lot of time to email today because I opened my email and it was flooded with emails. I don't think I'll ever be able to reply to them all. I'm going to print off all of your emails and put them on my desk. 

This week has been pretty good. I have felt small breathing is starting to get a little bit better...pain has gone done is some places, and gone up in others, but I feel like it is part of the healing process. I have been able to keep working and teaching. I will continue to have faith and be healed. 

We had a pretty good week finding, and 7 investigators came to church! Sister Eva Ibarra and her three kids who we are teaching (Eva is a member) were supposed to come, but they were shy at the last minute and didn't show. We brought a bunch of the YSA and youth with us to their house and invited them to the Christmas party and they said they'd come, so we're excited for that. The three kids have baptismal goal dates and we are teaching the eldest daughter's boyfriend MJ too. We will try and give him a goal date too on our next visit. We were also able to find some more youth this week who have been taught in the past and were almost baptized but stopped because they were shy of the members. I don't know why everyone is shy here, because the members are great and the youth are especially strong here. Anyways, we are teaching them again and they are coming to church this week. 

It's hard here sometimes because a lot of our investigators are in the 14-18 yr old range. That isn't a bad thing, but at the same time I'd like to find some families and especially priesthood to help build up the branch. That has been one of our goals for a while...and yesterday we were able to have a small miracle. We were out finding and just going house to house (there are only about 200 houses in Pindangan (spread out over an 8 km area)) and we met this really nice guy and his wife. Brother Bong. I forgot his wife's name. I guess their 7-year old kid was really good friends with one of the members kids back in the day and the missionaries used to visit them. We were going to leave and come back another day because they were really busy, but he invited to sit down and went and picked a couple of mangoes from his tree. I was excited about that because fresh green mangoes are the best, but then he pulled out the Bagoong and I remembered that Illocanos never eat mangoes without fish paste, haha. It smells like death, but tastes pretty good. Anyways, we were able to teach him the 1st lesson and it turns out he has been searching for the truth for quite a while. He committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and come to church. 

It really is Christmas. My dream is that we'll be able to help the branch grow by adding another potential Priesthood holder to the ranks. 

We also had our Christmas conference this week and it was great. We watched all of the nativity videos from the Life of Jesus Christ and in between each zone sang a Christmas hymn. We sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing. President also read us a Christmas story and we had some yummy food.

This morning we went to Elder and Sister Moser's house for breakfast. They are the couples missionary in the Camiling zone. from Idaho. We had our zone Christmas activity with them. They made us breakfast burritos and even had muffins there for us. It was so nice of them and SO DELICIOUS, haha. They also surprised us with a gift...a block of cheddar cheese for each companionship that their kids brought down with them a few days ago. I haven't tasted real cheese in 15 months, and am way excited to taste it again. I'm totally shelling out for bread and making a grilled cheese sandwich. 

Our plan for Christmas this year is to probably eat dinner with some of the members and work! I'm also going to read about the nativity in my personal study.

I can't wait. 

Also I'm excited to skype with you all. 

Thank you all so much again for all the fasting and prayers. I feel ready to face this and beat it, whatever it is. I have faith that everything will be okay. 

Love you guys. I'll talk to you tomorrow!


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