Monday, April 20, 2015

Blessed in finding efforts and Andrew Layug (Sonny's brother) is baptized!

Hello, hello, hello!  This is Elder Christensen coming at you 1-7 days delayed from Tarlac, Philippines!  It’s been a good week!  Monday we were behind schedule (what else is new) so as soon as we got back from grocery shopping we went out to work exactly at 6 pm!  We had a Family Home Evening with the Mondejar family who gave us a family referral, but they live like 25 minutes away by jeepney…but if they’re prepared and willing, we’ll be there!  Tuesday we had exchanges with the Capas elders and I was with Elder Velez from Texas and he’s just finishing his training!  I felt what he has gone through/is going through.  I felt bad because he was really having a lot harder time than we thought toward the beginning there, but he’s doing a lot better now.  Next time I’m going to pay more attention to the new missionaries in my zone and make sure they know they have love and support.

As far as the week goes, we taught Matthew, who’s still incredible, and we also got to teach a couple of less active families that the ward sent us to teach!  We also taught our less active Al and his best friend, which was cool!  Even though Elder Velez spoke mostly an English/Tagalog mix, he understood the important doctrines like the continuation of the priesthood and the baptismal invitation, which he accepted!  I thank the Holy Spirit for helping us teach on that one.  Wednesday was oddly American, as me, Elder Velez, Elder Olohan and Elder Checketts joined Elder and Sister Nagle (mission presidency) in helping the Webers (the new office couple) move into their very American apartment!  And they treated us to McDonalds and let us take pictures on their super soft bed and CARPETED house! 
On the Webers' memory foam mattress that they helped them move!

Laughing like crazy on the Webers' CARPET!!!
Me and Elder Velez took our language assessment test, then we went back to the church where there was a district leader’s council going on and Elder Anasario (who goes home next week), who is now assigned to Angeles, brought me Krispy Kreme doughnuts…That was glorious. 
When we went out to work, we went tracting down this one street named “Pennsylvania Street” (don’t call it destiny) and met this super prepared young family!  Crisylyn is a former member of Iglesia ni Cristo and Roger is a Catholic.  They were both way into the message of the restoration and they accepted baptismal goal dates for the 23rd of May!  Afterwards, we taught the Puno family and that’s about it.  On Thursday we had district meeting and it was the last of our two district mates, Sister Holmes and Sister Pardinas.  Afterwards I went on exchanges with Elder Surio in Zaragosa!  It was good fun and he’s a fantastic elder.

Friday we had weekly planning na naman… In the afternoon we finally taught Anthony again!  He’s still awesome and has real intent.  He still didn’t accept a goal date for baptism, but he understood the plan of salvation.  We taught Roger and Crisylyn, and she has a concern about baptism.  Roger is all in, but Crisylyn’s father before he died said that he had no other inheritance to give her except their religion, so she feels some loyalty toward her former religion.  But they’re keeping commitments and loving the lessons!  We taught Liza and Rod Puno lesson 1, which went well, but they’re not married so we’ll have to work on that.  Saturday we received an impression to visit a certain semi-active member in the morning who was not on our plan, Sister Sol, and it turned out that she had referrals for us!  Daisy and Ralph Mallari (siblings) who accepted baptismal goal dates on the first lesson!  Listening to the spirit pays off!  In the afternoon we taught our recent convert, Teresa, then we went to Andrew Layug’s baptism.  Andrew is my recent convert (from last year) Sonny’s older brother (and convert Wilma’s son) and he is my former investigator as well! 
Elder C with Sonny and Andrew Layug (who he found and taught last year) at his baptism!!! Andrew's brother Sonny and Wilma Layug were taught and baptized last year when Elder C was serving in Tarlac :) 
Matthew also attended so that was a good experience for him!  We also visited the Echanes family who are working out some referrals for us! 

Sunday was good!  Matthew came to church again and Sister Ami, our less active, came again for the first time in a while! 
With his comp and Matthew at church!
After church we had our meeting with President Clark and President Espinosa where we got a new vision and plan for the zone/stake, especially in planning with members.  Afterwards we taught some new investigators, Baby Jane and Edwin, who admired our efforts, but mostly just compared our message to the Catholic Church.  We have a return appointment on Wednesday, so we’ll see!  We also taught Ligaya, a referral, who happily received the invitation to baptism next month!  So that’s exciting!  We then taught Jess and then Daniel, our less active, so it went OK on Sunday!  Oh, and I’ve passed 22 months in the mission now!  Totally doesn’t even feel real!  Well, the Lord blessed us in our finding efforts this week, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store next week! 

I love being a missionary!

-Elder Christensen
District picture at KFC

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