Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 51: Meeting an Apostle of the Lord

I live with an American. Yeah, she was born and raised in the Philippines but she is more American than me. Today in our groceries we bought root beer and vanilla ice-cream. We are sort of spoiled… but she buys a small root beer every day (or every week) and doesn’t eat rice in the morning like me. People always joke that we were swapped at birth and that she is actually an American and I’m actually a Filipino. If that is true then I’m one white Filipino… so much for my dreams of getting tan…
            So the reason I emailed on Tuesday is not because I’m pasaway (disobedient) but because when you are an STL and you have an all day meeting on Monday and you have to travel Sunday night and Monday night (3 hours both ways) … except we missed our stop so we accidentally ended up in Vigan at 9pm… with no transportation… but we caught a trycee that was willing to go back to Sto. Domingo. At first I was thinking “well we wanted to come to vigan for p-day anyways so I guess we will just stay at one of the sister’s apartments tonight…” It was a rather funny experience, and I’m just glad when I was riding on my own my first week here that I didn’t miss my stop! So that means we got to have our p-day on valentine's! Idk how your valentine's day went but for us sister Bustarde got a cold and passed out as soon as we had done our shopping and emailing. So vigan will just be next week I guess! Haha But we got to meet with our progressing investigators. (So my first week here- the 6th- I said we had like 5 baptisms coming up this week… no they just had not updated their four month calendar of who they had extended Baptismal Goal Date’s to… so yeah) The Gona family is amazing. The two older brothers remind me of characters out of the novel I was writing before my mission (and that I will resume when I get home) so that means they are a bit of jokesters. The ages go like this: Berny-lynn (18) Elunard (17) Eiyahn (15) and Enard (10) We know that the oldest and the youngest will be ready by the 25th of this month but the middle boys will need more time. That’s not a bad thing its just too bad they weren’t all ready at the same time. (Their parents are members but the father is Less Active).  
            I’m still trying to adjust to the new area;  I’m meeting people who I know their nicknames (sprite) but not their names (Espirita.) Luckily I can still pass off as new and I’m slowly making a branch pedigree chart by writing down everyone’s names and who is related to whom. But i'm slooooowly getting my bearings. Because i'm an STL that means I will be doing exchanges 3x a cycle. (a cycle is 6 weeks) an ‘exchange’ is when we basically just exchange companions for a day and we work in each other’s areas for a day. I will be traveling to Vigan and Sinait then in my 5th week of being here I will lead the area with sister corpus… yes I am the STL for my old STL!! She thinks that is just hysterical. However being in a leadership position means hearing about all the problems. I hope I can simply encourage and show how to be a successful missionary. So long as my Zone knows sister Bustarde and I care for them then they will take our advice to heart- hopefully!
            Another job of an STL is giving trainings in our Zone Training Meeting once a month. This month I talked about Christlike attributes and… personally I had a great time preparing and giving the training/ speech but I feel like the audience –my zone- was slightly comatose… I’ll see what I can do to be more interactive next time. They say “you tell me  and i'll forget, you teach me and I’ll remember, you show me and I’ll never forget.” So let's hope this works out.
            Now for David A Bednar: we traveled by about 7am and arrived about 11am in Laoag. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then ran to the chapel. We were told to be there by 12:30 but we are glad we showed up so early so we could get good seats. It wasn’t some long talk he had prepared like a mini General conference, it was “I gave you reading assignments, what did you learn?” “What did you learn that was not said?” it was incredible, because it was all just the spirit and all that we learned was from God! I want to incorporate that type of teaching in my missionary work, especially the agency on asking questions. He always would say ‘may I ask you a question?” and “If you don’t want to answer this that is ok.” He was very much about ‘you have agency and I will not force you to interact.’ Which is funny as before the conference a sister sat down in front of me and begged me that if she got called on that I would save her and speak up.  You know I have no problem talking. The  best part afterwards was when David Bednar shook my hand and thanked me for the comments and questions I posed during the conference, and then Elder Smoots (of the 70) and his wife wanted to know how to pronounce my name! My thing is though when Elder Bednar thanked me I totally froze and was speechless. I didn’t say ‘thank you’ back to him or accept the thanks he gave me! Dang it!!
            In closing we had 11 investigators show up to church today and 6 LA’s. One of our investigators Im not sure why he came but it may be because he thinks sister Bustarde and i are pretty but he participated well in the classes so I hope that i'm wrong. I did not get to mention that Kim Umawid, Natally Batulayan and Ethan Repolosa got baptized in Batac the last two weeks! I'm so proud of them and I wish I had pictured but I’ve got nothing… (speaking of nothing my old usb got a virus and i have lost all of my old pictures!! Everything. It sucks but now i'm sending all of my pictures home and that way i'll have a back up I guess.) Next week I’ll have pictures of Berny-lyyne’s and Enard’s baptism and coming soon is Eythan and Elunard!
From the sister who is 2 weeks behind in her journaling because she reads too many liahonas,
Sister Eldredge

Mom:  Did you find your name tag in time to meet Elder Bednar?

Mikella:  No i didn't, i got a rental for the face to  face  it's got someone else's name on it but with a sticker for my name. i'll have to give it back when my new one is made

That's Me Asking Elder Bednar a Question

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