Now this is the story all about how my life got flip-turned upside-down and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you about how I became a missionary in a place called BALER!
What an unbelievably crazy week it has been! Tuesday was a great second to last day in Tarlac, as me and my companion racked up 9 lessons and got to say goodbye to a lot of people. Wednesday was our transfer announcement where I found out I would be going to Maria, BALER! BALER ZONE! EVERY MISSIONARY’S DREAM! MISSION PARADISE!!! SO yeah that was crazy!
Wednesday was honestly a rough day for the work, but we contacted a lot of people on the street and whatnot! I was up late packing and getting all ready to go. It didn’t hit me how hard it was until me and Elder Antoni prayed one last time as I was leaving the house. Man, that was hard.
Well, after a really hot trip to Cabanatuan, I met Elder Paredes, my new companion! He’s nuts, I love him!
[New companion]He is the happiest, smiley-est companion ever! He’s so much fun! Anyways, because Baler is SO far, we literally didn’t get there until nine at night, travel took all day. My area is Maria, a little town in the gorgeous green mountains close to the coast.
[New area]The ocean is actually in Baler itself, which is about a 25 minute trip. Our house is a two story flat above a bakery, which is awesome because there’s a bakery so close, but their ovens heat up our house a ton! I have two kabahays, Elder Williams, who I was zone mates with back in San Jose, and Elder Choresca, a super happy smiley Filipino!
[New kabahays (housemates)]
Friday I got to work, and this area is pretty cool! Lots of potential here, and it is GORGEOUS. There’s a family we visited, The Senteno family, and they are awesome! They are a family of five that wants to be baptized, but just has a couple reservations. They haven’t come to church yet, but we’ll fix that! Saturday we had zone goal setting, which was ok! I got to meet the rest of my zone (there’s only 12 of us!). In the afternoon me and my companion had a meeting in Baler with the various leaders of Baler District and President Martino. President asked us to increase our goal of 7 baptisms in June to 17…holy cow! But he has faith we can do it, and now, so do I! We just got a little bit of work in that evening, but I was able to meet some more of our investigators here in Maria.
Sunday was interesting, as we meet in the second floor of a little building for church, and there was a brownout (or blackout if you’re in America), so it was crazy hot! But it was ok, the members here are super nice! We went out to work, and the highlight was when I ended up dancing for a recent convert who didn’t come to church because she was feeling sad. Look, we do what it takes! One of our branch missionaries invited us over for dinner last night, and it turned out to be awesome, because his is actually a part member family. We met one of his sisters who just got back from Tarlac (kind of like me!) who was taught by the missionaries back when she was maybe 12. In our message, I felt prompted to share 2 Nephi 25:26 I believe it is, where it talks about believing and rejoicing in Christ. Long story short, we had a very spiritual lesson, a delicious dinner, and a return appointment with our branch missionary’s sister next week! Just a little thing, but I think it's significant. We went to the beach for a zone activity this morning and that was awesome! And that brings us to now!
I love you all! Thanks for everything!!!!
Note from me: Brandon also became a zone leader with this transfer. In response to my email, he said it's been stressful and that he doesn't get to work as much as he'd like to (in his area), but that it is going good.