August 31, 2014
Well, it is OFFICIAL!!! I am in my second area and I couldn't be more happy!! As hard as it was to say goodbye to all my investigators, recent converts, and the members in Cogeo, I know that Morong is the area that I am supposed to be in. On transfer day, Elder and Sister Johnson took both Sister Sanders and I to our new area here in Morong. As we were driving and hit the Morong boundaries, I was overwhelmed. As I looked around and saw the rice fields and just the beautiful scenery, I just felt a sense of belonging- it was like I was finally home!
My new companion is Sister Taufa from Utah. She is a rock star!! This is her last transfer in the mission, but she is not letting that bring her down one bit. We are working so hard- like so so hard! We rarely come home at all and are working from sun-up to sun-down. We get along so well- like better than I have ever gotten along with someone in my whole life! She is so full of faith and she really is so amazing at following the Spirit. We don't have too many progressing investigators right now, but we both feel that we are here to build up this branch. Morong is the highest baptizing area in the whole mission, but it also has the lowest retention rate. There are supposed to be about 600 people or so in this branch, and only about 125 attend. We have our work cut out for us!!
I LOVE THE BRANCH! On saturday night, we had a branch family home evening. I was able to meet all the leaders and quite of few of a members and I feel like I have known them forever! It is such blessing how comfortable I feel in this area because it will really help me to just dive right into the work. I am really trying to go above and beyond what my responsibilities as a missionary are here to really be able to help this branch grow. I am so imperfect and have so much to improve on, but I already can see that miracles are happening here.
On Saturday was the baptism of both Brother Laurence and Sister Imelda. It was wonderful! We didn't have to worry about filling up the font, making the programs, making sure people came, nor baptismal clothes!!! I was STUNNED!!! Oh man... I wish everyone in the world could have witnessed the baptism of brother Laurence... The man who baptized him was probably about 6'4 and weighed 275, and Laurence is this little 5'5 man, weighing like 120. They looked so funny in the font together, and the man who baptized him had never baptized him before. He said the prayer perfectly and then dunked Laurence in the water. I guess he didn't realize that after you put the person in the water, you have to pull him out... So instead, he just kept pushing him further and further down in the water! Laurence just stayed in perfect position as he was being plunged deeper and deeper, not flinchin even once. Roars began to errupt from all the members as Laurence had been under the water for what felt like a solid 15 seconds.The baptizer began to look around, not knowing what to do next and then people shouted, "get him out!" oh it was priceless!!!!! But, he was baptized so that's all that matters!
I have already been fed by the members twice since being here- that's like more than my 6 months is Cogeo! Haha. Last night we had dinner at the Susa Family, who's father is the first counselor in the branch. We had a really inspiring lesson with them about saving the one and we committed them to make a family mission plan to help reactivate the members in the branch. Sister Taufa and I are really excited to access the support of all the members to really build this branch!!
Fun things about Morong:
1.Our toilet doesn't have a flusher, so we get to flush it with a bucket.... it's a lot harder than it sounds to get everything down!
2.We get to shower using that same bucket that we use to flush the toilet! No shower head here!
3. The spiders in our house are on steroids and we've already found 2 spiders in the past 3 days that are the size of a man's hand. But I am brave and I chase them out of the house with a broom:)
4.Our house is INFESTED with ants. And I mean invested. I probably kill about 500 a day- no joke. They are everywhere- on the walls, in my clothes, in my bag, in my food... yup! Protein, right?
Well Morong is so amazing and I am so excited to continue to work hard. I can really say that I am losing myself in the work, and there is no greater feeling! I love you all! Ingat po kayo doon sa America!!