Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 81 (Feb. 1, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Dear Mom,

You're completely true in what you say. TIME MOVES TOO FAST. I'm just super stoked for when eternity starts. I think. Do you think Heavenly Father gets nostalgic? I hope not. Because that would mean that becoming like Him wouldn't necessarily get rid of nostalgia. I think I've become more pensive again since I got to Gabaldon, just because of how much the scenery and area remind of Pine Valley and home in general. Not a sad, homesick sort of pensivity (that word's not real), just a state of being where my companion worries about me because I stare off in the distance and don't say anything for a really long time :P

Anyhoo, we had baptisms this week!! When the day of the baptism actually showed up, I started thinking about how much you already knew about these lucky three who were about to make eternal and saving covenants with their Father in Heaven, and then I realized you don't know ANYTHING about them yet!! Oh no!! The reason I didn't write about them in previous weeks is because they were just so awesome right off the the bat, there was no super noticeable growth to share about! Sersly, though. They're the coolest. But now that I think harder, you may know a little about them. I'll tell you more though.
The first is Tatay Ceriaco! Ceriaco Del Moro Anulacion is 76 years old and was baptized on January 30, 2015. His Grandson-in-law was supposed to baptize him, but didn't show up because of work, so they asked me to do it. I was honored, of course! I love teaching old people, especially because of how much they surprise you! You teach them and they're old so you think they don't understand, especially because they're really pensive as well, but then you ask them about their testimony and you get blown off your feet! That's what Tatay Ceriaco is like. Plus he's got a great smile :)
The next is Alyssa Delos Santos Alfonso, whom I also had the pleasure of baptizing. She's 12, and still struggles a little with remembering everything we teach, but that's just part of being a kid I guess. She's really happy and fun, and she has great family support, because her Mom was also just baptized! Jonalyn Delos Santos Alfonso (Alyssa's mom) actually wasn't where the missionaries goaled. Alyssa was a referral from her aunt, Jonalyn's sister (who is also the wife of the Branch President in Baler), but Jonalyn also got really interested in the discussions. They both have beautiful testimonies, and already have great member relationships, which will keep them strong in the church. Elder Dala got to baptized Sister Jonalyn :)

The best part about the whole experience? They were River Baptisms. Boo yah! Haha! Joke, that of course wasn't the best part, but is pretty bomb to perform baptisms in a river. The current was actually stronger than any of us expected, and Tatay Ceriaco is kind of stiff from his age, and so after I dunked him and was bringing him back up, my foot slipped on the rock beneath me, the current dragged my other foot out from under me, and after shoving Tatay on to his feet, I went under... It was awesome, and technically not swimming because it was an accident. Plus Tatay made it through the whole ordeal without a scratch, so everyone wins! :D

So, that was the main focus of the week. Quick update on the rest: Tuesday was Zone Interviews with President Clark. Awesome as always. Wednesday was a WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY BROADCAST. The first in a decade, and that wasincredible try to find it on if you can. After the baptisms on Saturday, we went up to Dingalan to interview one of their baptismal candidates, who also has a rock hard testimony and will be baptized on Feb 6. And then earlier we spent 4 hours deep cleaning our apartment! So ya. In short, I love being a missionary, the gospel is true, and EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!! :D :D :D

Love you!!
Elder Syphus

PS Maybe one or two more Persa Gels, but honestly, don't worry about it. I don't want you to keep spending money on me when you and Dad already sacrifice so much. I'd honestly much rather you to buy me a gallon of milk when I get home :)

Ceriaco, Alyssa, and Jonalyn :)

We also were able to go up to Dingalan and witness the baptisms in their area, just this last Saturday. I didn't get any pictures of the actual baptism, but the area was beautiful

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