Hello everybody. Wow I can’t believe its already February. Wait, today is superbowl Sunday, so that means that it was Jessica's Birthday haha!! Happy Bday, Trop. And happy birthday to Grandma Jenkins :)
So, I’m staying here in Bangui for another transfer:) Pres Andrada announced the other day that they are closing 8 areas because there aren’t very many missionaries here right now. Only 6 new ones coming in and like 15 going home. So we are low on missionaries right now. But I am very happy to be staying here in Bangui for one more transfer.
At a youth activity. Yeah, we have a lot of fun with the members haha.
Everybody gathering for a baptism (Erick's daughter).
This week was probably the busiest week so far on my mission. We were traveling sooooo much. We had to travel to Burgos (about 20-30 minutes away) five times this week, mostly for Branch business. We also traveled into Laoag for a Missionary Broadcast which was great. I seem to learn something new about this place every day. While we were traveling to Burgos, we traveled in a Jeepney. And I didn’t know this at the time, but all the Jeepney's are racing each other to get to Laoag so they can be the first to pick up all the people and take them back. So, we arrived at our destination, and apparently you are supposed to get out as quickly as you can so they can drive away. Well, I didn’t know this and I was kinda just taking my time to get out, and I turn around and my comp had already hopped out of the jeep, and the driver was driving away and refused to stop haha. So I ended up having to leap out while it was going like 10mph. It was wild. I will never make that mistake again.
basketball tourney in Burgos
I always love when we get to travel to Laoag because when we go there, that means we are going to McDonalds!! haha We had Mcdo for dinner and then for breakfast the next morning. It doesn’t taste exactly the same as in America, but it is pretty close.
And funny story, on the way back home, that girl that gave me a mango a few weeks ago was on the bus with us, and yes, she offered me another mango haha. I got a pic with her I’ll send.
So on Friday I got to go on exchanges with Elder Lewis again. We traveled up to Burgos without Elder Cervantes for the first time since I’ve been here and I was forced to have to do the talking and start the lessons and stuff. It was absolutely a confidence booster. I was able to communicate with people pretty well and teach them and all that. I’ve seen big progression in the language this week. I’m beginning to be able to communicate and listen better and better every day. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. All the frustration from these first 3 months in the Philippines is starting to pay off. I still have a lot to learn though.
This week we were able to have two Sacrament Meetings. One in Bangui of course, and then we had one in Burgos at a member’s house. There are a good amount of members in Burgos, but they don’t want to travel to Bangui every Sunday, so they don’t come to church. We had about 30 people attend. We had a short fast and testimony meeting and it was awesome. The spirit was sooooo strong in that little house with 30 people packed into it.
Well it’s crazy that I’m heading into my fourth month here in the Philippines. Doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but wow, I’ve learned so much. I was in an interview with Pres Andrada the other day and he asked me about my time so far on my mission. I told him that I can honestly say that I have changed. Not only have I learned so much about the gospel, but I have been changed by the gospel. And I know that I will continue to see changes throughout my mission and from all the trials and challenges that I will have. I am so blessed to be here.
Love you all and miss you.
(Editor: I learned that those big, scary spiders from last week's post are not super common in his area, and, according to him, are not dangerous. ICK!)