So this was Transfer week and now I'm in a new area. I'm in Camiling Zone in the Pindangan Branch. Guimba is right in the very center of the Mission, and now I'm on the very end. I'm hoping my next area will be on the other end :P
Anyway, the area is pretty cool, but not in terms of temperature. It sort of reminds me of Pine Valley, just SUPER hot, and a lot more floods (I actually don't know if there are a lot more floods. Does Pine Valley flood when it rains or after snow melt?) We live across the street from the chapel, and right in between the the Branch President on one side and the Branch Mission Leader on the other. It's pretty cool :P Our Branch President is actually our Land Lord, and I'm pretty sure he's been housing the missionaries for a couple years. The size of our apartment is bigger than my first and a lot cooler, but the quality is pretty low. Our basement at home is nicer than our apartment here, but at the same time, I almost want to say I like this one better than the others. I don't know if much cleaning has been done since 2014, but I'm changing that little by little :)
Yesterday after church, Branch President Mabalot invited us to his house for Lunch. Apparently that's a weekly thing. They invite about a quarter of the Branch over (only about 80 active members) every week for lunch, and just have a great time. Everyone here is really friendly and sort of just happy go lucky (the Tagalog word for happy go lucky also means mentally unstable.... :) ), and I think they find it a little unsettling that I'm so quiet. They're all laughing and joking and I just sit in the corner enjoying the show :) I think they think I'm depressed. But who cares what they think; they eat rice for breakfast.... crazies.... (Just kidding, I love Filipinos. I'd prolly eat rice for breakfast too if I knew how to cook ulam.... or viands? I guess that's the English word... prolly)
The work is a lot different here than in my other areas. We literally have 0 progressing investigators, and the area averages around 20 lessons a week, rather than the expected 40 or 45. So yeah, the work is tough, but it'll be exciting to see what my companion and I can do to get things moving. Speaking of whom...
My new companion is Elder Ronquillo. Another Filipino :) He's from Manila, which is absurdly close. He could hop on a bus and be home in about 2 hours. He's also pretty new, and gets homesick sometimes. It feels really weird to be on the opposite end of things. He tells me about his problems and what he's going through, which I'm thankful for. For me, it means he trusts me. The problem is though, I don't really know how to help. It's not like he's depressed or anything. I think it's harder for him when it's just us two, because he's sort of like the members: really fun, friendly and "happy-go-lucky"... ;) So when we're with the members, he has a great time joking and having fun, but when it's just us, even though I try to do what I can to lighten the mood, he seems sort of down. He's a really good Elder, though, and I'm excited to work with him.
And now for scripture :) I actually only found this one just a little earlier during personal study. It's from Jacob 2
20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken unto you concerning pride; and those of you which have afflicted your neighbor, and persecuted him because ye were proud in your hearts, of the things which God hath given you, what say ye of it?
21 Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh? And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments and glorify him forever.
This makes me think of the story told in General Conference (or maybe from one of Dad's letters... same thing) about the the missionaries. The one was riding his bike and turned to see his companion a ways back not riding but walking his bike out of laziness. The first cries out to God in frustration, but the reply comes back as something like "Compared to me, you two aren't so different."
I think that sometimes we (especially I) get so caught up in our pride and the weaknesses of others that we fail to see understand we're not all that different. Jacob says "the one being is as precious in his sight as the other", though I think the opposite holds true as well. We're all as weak and unable as the next- maybe just in different ways. Truly, "all flesh is dust". I don't think any of us can rightly claim to be better than another, because we're not. That's something I hope to become a lot better in through out my mission.
Anyhoo, love you Mom!!
The Salvador family. The walls and the floor is new, so we took pictures :) It use to just be cinder blocks on the walls and dirt and rocks on the ground.
New area views.
This is the mission next to us in Urdaneta
And a Water Buffalo. Go National Animal! Yeah!...
Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KATIE, SHAUN, KENDYL, and KATELYN!!! :D :D Love you all so much!! Eat lots of delicious foods for me!!
And about Mothers Day Skyping (I think that's what is going to happen. President Clark still hasn't mentioned anything.) It'll be about 10:30 AM my time, which means maybe 8:30 PM over there? I'll see if I can do it any earlier, and I'll let you know. Love you!!