It has been a good week this week. We have some new investigators who have some baptismal dates and so forth. The highlight for me this week was the Zone Conference that we had onThursday. Meetings like that always are a spiritual recharge of batteries. It was a great meeting.
The meeting was focused on Alma 5, which is one of Alma's greatest chapters that he rights in terms of testimony and doctrine. I encourage everyone to read it. Also, President Ostler told us to write down some different questions that we want to be answered at the conference, so I did that and I received answers to every single question that I had. Sister Ostler also talked about Gratitude. She focused on how the secret to joy is through gratitude. I haven't always been the most thankful person ever, but she challenged us to write down 5 new things everyday that we are thankful for. So I am doing that. It really opens up your mind and heart and really makes you think about how many things in the world that we have to be thankful for. There are unlimited possibilities. After the, "Gratitude" talk, as a group we really broke down Alma 5. Some of the missionaries had to speak about different verses in Alma 5, including my companion who spoke about Alma 5:27. That was really hard for him because he really struggles with English, but he did a good job. I really like what President Ostler said about Alma 5, "It is bold and straight forward, but it pushes us and moves us in the right direction, step by step." So I encourage you all to read that sick talk. Following that talk, one of the AP's Elder Beagley gave a talk about finding joy in the work. He mostly talked about becoming a consecrated missionary, about how we need to lay everything on the, "Altar Of Sacrifice," to become the most effective missionary possible. Now that is easier said than done. I love the quote he used though, "In victory or defeat, peace of mind can only be found in perfect effort." You may have heard that, but I was unable to write down who wrote that quote. That is a great quote that anybody can apply into their lives. So that was a great talk. If any of you remember Elder Zeyer, he was in the MTC with me a long time ago, he is now the new AP in the mission, he spoke about the "Gold Mine." That is just the golden places to find people to baptize. After that, Elder Bolnick, (who was also in the MTC with me,) talked about really teaching repentance to these people really means and what we need to do to have power in this work. He did a great job, he has changed a lot since we met at the airport those long months ago. It was good to see him too. The final talk that hit me was when the Elders and Sisters split up, so the Elders go with President Ostler and then the Sisters go with Sister Ostler. It seems that we always talk about being a father. The mission is really preparing us to be a righteous Father and Husband. We watched a talk from Elder L. Tom Perry from the 1970's. It was all about being the father that we need to be in times of turmoil. He basically chastised the fathers back in that day, but I was thinking about how much things have changed since those times. Fathers are more important now then they have ever been, and I am grateful to have the father that I have in my life. President talked about being a father is closer than we think it is, which is kind of a scary thought haha. Anyways, that was zone conference on Thursday. We also got to see some people that we haven't seen in awhile. I saw my first son Elder Garol and Elder Webster and also Elder Baquiran. Of course Elder Eteaki as well. I miss that big fat guy aha. We always just laugh when we are together. And of course he still eats a lot.
About the work here in our area:
We have tried to apply the things from zone conference that we learned into our area. For example, we went through the ward directory and made a list of names that we don't know in our area who are "Less active," and we have been trying to find them. We found a few people, but we weren't able to teach them because of not having a third lalaki with us. Because we can't teach a girl unless we have a guy with us 18 years old and above. So yeah, we are going to go through LA members to bring them back, and invite their friends to come with them. The Manuel family is still doing great. They are still looking good for the 24th of September. Hopefully they can be interviewed for baptism on maybe the 17th or so. I look forward to that day on the 24th! I also feel like I will be transferring on October 5 to a new area. I have kind of stopped hoping to stay in an area for more than 4 months, because in every area I have stayed there for only 3 transfers. So why change tradition now? We will see what happens.
We have some new baptismal candidates as well. This one kid named Rovick actually OYMed us. He knows Elder Baquiran, if any of you remember my first companion from Rizal. We taught him and some of his neighbor friends and some of his siblings and then his grandma, they all accepted a baptismal date for November 19. We are trying to find through the members, so I think in the coming weeks we will start to see some good things come out of using the members in our area.
I think that was all for this week. I think it was the greatest week of my life because I made salsa. Yeah, I MADE SALSA. In the house, we have a blender, so I made it a goal to make salsa this week. I was able to get all of the ingredients here except for cilantro. The cilantro is only at the market at night and we weren't able to go through there at night. Tomatoes here are so cheap, they just don't quite taste the same as they do in the states. It wasn't too bad actually! I am a little bit getting sick of rice.. So me and Elder Reber are trying to experiment with some classic American food, sometimes it is a little expensive though. I think that was a nice break though, the chips weren't very good though... Sayang. But we did our best! So that is what one of our pics is, and then the other one is the adventure that we had going to and from Zone Conference. We took the PNR (Philippines National Railroad) which is like a real train, with real savages that ride it. They literally don't care at all how many people they fit into that thing. We had to squeeze into it, like ants trying to get into an ant hill. And then one of the trains was too full so we had to wait for the next one, so we sat down and took some selfies. Not a bad trip.
I think that is all for this week. We will be starting like week 4 in this transfer starting today, time is moving. I am coming up on almost 6 months left in my mission. Its going fast, some of the boys are home. I am not sure how I feel about it. I have lots of work to do. Anyways, I love you all!