So I have gone there and almost back again this week. However that is the last story I want to share for this week. First I would like to talk about how Batac will soon have three new members: Kim U, Natally B and Ethan R. Sadly they are all rather young but their testimonies are very matured Kim and Natally will be baptized on the 11th and Ethan on the 18th… the catch is I will not be there! I have officially left my home in Batac and am now currently in Santa Domingo. It was literally only yesterday where I was sitting in the Domingo’s home and now I’m in a town with their name! Crazy stuff. It was rather heartbreaking leaving Batac. Kim kept asking me if I would be able to return for her baptism and some members cried and I cried and then I had to travel Monday morning so I couldn’t meet with any of them to say goodbye! So I might as well tell you about the ‘there and back again’ hobbit reference.
I took a bus headed to Vigan- on my own gosh that was scary- and got dropped off on the side of the highway. At first I was a little panicked about where to go and what to do until I turned around and realized the bus had literally dropped me off AT the church. Then My new companion came and picked me up and… guesses what?!? They had been told I was coming tomorrow!!! I could have stayed in Batac an extra day and… the past is past. I only cried a little about that, but we are good. Then we got back on the bus and started heading back the way I just came!! I was so confused. Sister Bustarde (my new companion) and Sister Duddly (her old companion) Hopped back on a bus and I knew Dudly was going home and I know that the mission home is in San Nick… which is past my old area Batac so for a moment I thought we were going all the way back to Batac and then to San Nick and I was both excited and my wallet was hurting a little at the thought. But we stopped after 30 min and picked up another missionary who will be staying with us until tomorrow so we will be a trysome for now I guess!!!
Ed is progressing incredibly and he accepted the baptismal goal date of April 8 and is excited as ever to attend church and even beats us there every week. The Ward is just stoked to have him and he is progressing with incredible speed as he reads the Book of Mormon on his own and has questions to ensure that he caught the gist or even good questions on specific points!
Nanay Salbation Espiritu passed away Saturday 5:30 pm just after some members came and visited her. She always told us she was 96, but we found out that she is actually 80+ she liked pulling our legs on that one! Hahaha The Espiritu’s are receiving incredible support from the ward and Edgar Sr is sloooowly progressing towards activity, and we are just thrilled that he is trying.
A young man, Giovanni, who was on and off less active has officially become fully active in church and even bore his testimony this last Sunday! It was 100% Ilocano so I have no idea what he said but he did have a giant smile on his face and I felt the spirit.
I saw an Articuno this week. It was only a baby one though so it was only about the size of my face and a gorgeous sky blue. Yes pokemons exist and they are living wild and free in the Philippines. I tried to catch it on camera even if I forgot all my poke balls but it's so fast I only caught the memory of getting to see a legendary classic pokemon. In all actuality it was a wild bird that looks a hecka lot like an articuno but its fun to pretend.
About Santo Domingo:
We will have 1 baptism on the 11th, 3 on the 18th and I think one more the week after here. I'm going to do my best to get to know these people and the area and how to get around. This is a ‘group’ which is… ok so there are ‘groups’ (anywhere from 3-80 people) then ‘branch’ (80-100) and then there are wards (100+) This is still considered a group but has gotten up to the ward numbers, they just lack priesthood to enable them to make that step. So I guess my goal here is to help gather the priesthood! Activate less actives and find people who are ready to convert! Obviously I’m going to talk to everyone still.
I have said on and off about my emotions and how at times I even consider that I might have depression. I have been speaking to myself positively for several weeks and praying with only gratitude for my blessings and asking to bless my investigators. I’ve been trying to turn outward and not focus so much on myself. I also talked to my mission president about it and we had a great talk and honestly as soon as I stepped out of his office I feel like I have lost a thousand pounds. I feel like I can take on ANYTHING. And I know that is cliché but that is exactly how I feel; which is a good thing as I have just become the STL of Santo Domingo! Sister Bustarde and I are the new STL’s and i'm glad i'm not going to be the only one doing this! But you know even if it was just me with the assignment of STL I’ll always have the Lord.