Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 53 (July 20, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

Hi Mom :)

Ya, time is short, but it's not that bad. When we were stil at two hours, we were the only mission in the Philippines with that long. Most of the others have about an hour, and some even limit their missionaries to 15 minutes. I still feel extremely blessed to even be given this much time :

We had a interesting week, but transfer weeks always are. I was transferred! I've left Camiling, Tarlac, and am now in Talavera, Nueva Ecija, which is part of Cabanautan Zone. I know a few of the missionaries here, but because our area is so far from theirs, I will only see them maybe once or twice a transfer. Transfer day was pretty hecitc. We have a lot of missionaries from the Indian Mission, because foreigners are only allowed a one year visa, after which they get dumped into the Philippines. Elder Ortega was assigned with one of them in order to be a sort of translator, and so was required to attend a training meeting, even though his companion has been out longer than him :P Because of that, we had to be in Tarlac City by 8:30 which is about an hour and a half away from Camiling, which means we would leave at about 6:45. I still had to finish packing because of a lack of time Wednesday night, plus getting ready, so I ended up waking up at 4:00. We left on time, and still just barely made it to the transfer point by 8:30. Another interesting fact is that the mission is split into two: Cabanatuan side and Tarlac side. My companion was waiting for me on Cab Side, and I still had a meeting on Tarlac side at 1 PM, so I didn't end up leaving to go to Cab until about 4:00. After that, we took the two hour drive in a crammed jeep to Cab and got their at 6 PM. And then we had to do another two hours of traveling to get to my new area. The one plus side is that it wasn't with three suitcases; just 2 :) I found a way to store the little one inside of the big one, and still make everything fit. So that was fun. Oh! And my new companion is Elder Fresnoza, bu the way. I guess that's probably something else you wanted to know :) He's from Bicol, and I'm his follow up trainer. Still haven't really gotten a good feel of him, but he's cool from what I've seen :)
Also! Our entire district is in a single apartment because it's only two companionships. The other comapamionship is Elder Tejada and Elder Silva, which is awesome, because Elder Tejada was my second District Leader in my first area, and Elder Silva was in my last District in Camiling! We moved from a district to one house! He's from Sri Langka, but lived in Virgina for schooling so he's pretty American as well, but he classifies himself as a Sri Langkan. Cool stuff.

So about what will happen with Kate, Ivy, and Joseph isn't really clear, but they don't seem to have dedicated themselves as much as they need to for baptism :/ It's hard, but we have to accept and respect other's angency. However, we did have a baptism on Saturday! Considering that I'm new here, I still don't really know her, but she definitely seemed ready. Her name is Felomina Otero Andres Manuel. I was asked to speak at her baptism, so that's what I talked about: baptism. She was smiles the whole time. It was cool :)

Anyway, love you all!

Elder Syphus

Talavera City at night

Elder Fresnoza and Siser Manuel. I didn't teach her, so I stayed away :)

Farewell dinner party thing from Pindangan. Lots of fun :) Kid on the left is the AJ Pichay, 1st counselor's son in the Branch Presidency. On my right in the black and then the white in front of her are Hazel and Leslie Ann Domingo. They're sisters but about 7 years apart. I thought they were twins at first. In the blue is Angelica Pichay, Aj's older sister. Then Gladys Banabatac- 2nd Counselors sister. Then Melvin Labisa. 14 years old, and the son of the lady in the middle, Sister Labisa. I've never met the little kid next to Sister Labisa :P

Kennette Banabatac. He was photographer till I took the camera away and snapped a few of him :P

Baby snake that we found in a puddle and took home. We found it dead, don't worry :P I just shaped him so he looked alive.

These are everywhere. I think they might be the giant versions of the wolfspiders in our basement.

Love you again!!

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