Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Firm and undaunted"

Elder C with his anak, Elder Antoni at MLC ( A dream come true!)
Wow, time just keeps on going!  Monday was a bit crazy, but we did manage to pull off a small zone activity and we got some stuff done that we needed to.  In the evening we met and taught Kevin, a really nice 21 year old who was very into the message of the Restoration and even asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon!  We met and taught the Victorio family- a cute, nice little less active family.  Then we finished off the night teaching Jess, our recent convert.  Tuesday was MLC (Mission Leadership Council)!  Oh man, it was so good!  It was interesting, though, because when I look back at my first MLC back in July, there wasn’t one person left from that one.  It had all been changed and there were all new faces!  Kind of interesting.  But yeah, President Clark talked about teaching repentance and using the enabling power and the assistants talked about keeping commitments.  It was also good to see so many of my old friends!  Elder Dejino and Elder Antoni are zone leaders now, so it was way fun to catch up with them.  
All of the father/son and mother/daughter relations at MLC

With Elder Westover

With Elder Gomez and Elder Rebelde (batchmates)

Good buddies Elder Gomez and Elder Dejino

Wednesday we had our accountability meeting with President. Basically we talked about the performance of the zone and our goals and plans.  Basically we have a big responsibility here to “move Tarlac” because currently we’re flying far below our potential.  After lunch, we went out and scouted another house for the sisters then we came back and reported to President and he wasn’t too impressed, so we’ll keep looking!  Wednesday night we taught Carlos about repentance, which is a big concern for him.  Thursday morning we had our zone training where we relayed all of the messages from MLC to the zone and that went well!  In the afternoon we went finding!  We found an old, sick Tatay named Lito who really understood the Restoration, especially that part about the Apostasy and he accepted a goal date for the 21st of March.  We had a lot of good contacts as well that we can go back to! We taught the Rivera family who are members and they might have referrals for us in the future.  Then we taught the Yang family and did get a referral from them!  We then taught Nanay Lolita, our recent convert, and then we taught Jess and his family to finish off the night!  And it was a good day, as I really felt that I was helped and strengthened by the Lord.

Friday...Man, Friday was tough!  We had an alright weekly planning session, but then my companion wasn’t feeling super well, so we were a little late getting out.  We just went tracting in the afternoon because we were punted from our appointments, and we had no success.  We found the house of a member and set a dinner appointment for Sunday, but before we ate dinner that night, that was about all we’d accomplished.  I’ll tell you what; it wasn’t exactly easy to go back out with no set appointments whatsoever.  But we were blessed!  We met and taught a semi-active grandma and her grandson, so that was good!  WE also decided to go door to door on our street and we were finally accepted by a nice couple who run a little bakery!  We taught lesson 1 to Loliita and Gerry Coampued.  They didn’t exactly accept the baptismal invitation, but they accepted a Book of Mormon and committed to read and pray about it!  And we squeezed in one more recent convert lesson to Nanay Lolita along with our investigator Carlos, so we finished strong!

Saturday in companionship study we studied the importance of trying to teach lessons in their entirety, so we made a new lesson plan for the Plan of Salvation and it is super compressed!  It was hard to make, as it’s supposed to teach the whole thing to a new investigator in a half hour!  Anyways, we went house- hunting for the sisters and found a good option!  And we ate at McDonalds.  In the afternoon it was AWESOME!  At first we were punted, but we literally turned around and saw a girl come out of a house and we talked to her and found out that she was almost baptized when she lived in Olongapo!  And that’s how we met and taught Maria, as well as her cousins Kris and Kris’s husband Jeff and also Ace.  They accepted a goal date and a return appointment for Monday!  Then we went about two doors down and met Benedic.  He let us right in and it was AWESOME!  He used to me a Methodist assistant pastor, but left that to pursue his career.  And now, while somewhat successful, he feels like his faiths is cold and he wants to be “hot” again.  He asked great questions like if there were living prophets.  He related well to the concept of apostasy and he was grateful when we gave him the Book of Mormon.  He accepted the baptismal invitation, as he’s really open to re-kindling his faith.  We then had dinner and afterwards met Danilo and Nellie, and elderly couple who have seen missionaries walking by for years, but no one has ever stopped to talk to them.  The longer I’m in this area I think more and more that the old missionaries just assumed this area was worked over so they just focused in the farther out parts.  They were nice.  Tatay was a tad cynical, be he did just get out of the hospital from his second stroke.  They understood the Restoration well and accepted a goal date and committed to read the Book of Mormon!  We finished up the day teaching Jess and his family.  It was a really good day! 

Sunday was good, but only Jamaica came to church from our investigators and we couldn’t teach her afterwards as we had scheduled.  But it was still really good!  I like this ward a lot!  In the afternoon we were punted and had some miscommunications, but we eventually taught Carlos and that went really well!  He’s a really penitent man and it’s just too bad that his marriage situation is a mess.  We’re going to try to fix it before he goes back to Manila to work in April.  We had a dinner appointment with the Garcia family where we challenged them to bring one less active/nonmember to church on Sunday!  We taught Nora, whom Elder Hubbard and I actually contacted last year, and she and her husband were almost baptized, but they just got busy.  We re-taught Lesson 1 and she has the strongest testimony of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.  She’ll get baptized.  Afterwards we were punted by the C. family, so we went less active searching!  We found one less active’s house, but she wasn’t there.  But her little brother turned out to be childhood friends with the member that was working with us!  So we set an appointment with him for Tuesday!  Another good day. 

I learned this week that you just always have to be “firm and undaunted” like the sons of Helaman were.  I love being a missionary!

-Elder Christensen

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