I got the package from Aunt Mira today, and the calender and medical card yesterday. Slight delay, but I got it eventually. :D Thaaaaaaank yooooouuuu! :D Haha a lot of people noticed the Polish stickers with pictures of Christ on them. They didn't really notice the Polish, though; they mostly noticed the fact that those particular pictures of Christ come from the Catholic Church (and are quite common around here...). They were like, "Um, isn't that..?" Mostly I just shrugged. ^^'' Anyway, thanks for the coookiesssss! :D They made it here in good shape, thanks to the packing peanuts. Also, thanks for the calender. :D I always appreciate pictures from home. :)
Last Tuesday, I had my first real concern come up as a district leader, as one of the sister missionaries in our district was feeling discouraged regarding her skills in Tagalog and sorta broke down during stewardships (where the DL checks up on each companionship in the district) and dumped everything she was feeling on top of me. o.o'' Oof. Mostly I just listened, then did my best to encourage her and gave her some advice.
Then yesterday, one of our investigators, Mexi, was also feeling discouraged, because, though she wants to go to church and wants to get baptized, she's been having trouble making it happen because things keep coming up, and she's starting to get frustrated with herself.
It's interesting how, though the situations were a bit different, my advice was similar to both of them: Don't give up. I've really learned that concept more than anything else here on my mission. Even when things get hard, even when we get frustrated, the worst thing we can do is give up, because then we lose, and Satan wins. We need to always keep in focus our goals in life, the things which are important to us, and continue pressing forward in spite of setbacks, having the faith and determination to achieve those goals. Granted, if troubles arise, sometimes we need to adjust our approach and change our tactics to meet the situation. But the only thing we can't do, or shouldn't do, is lose focus and give up.
Hem, hem, anyway, that was just something that really struck me this past week. ^^''
Brother Jun was baptized this past Friday. It turned out to be a really spiritual experience. I honestly would not have been able to get him baptized in such a short time if he wasn't such a golden investigator from the start. He has a strong testimony. Now he's in Saudi. Hopefully, he'll be able to find a church there so he can continue to build his faith there. ...And then I noticed on Sunday evening that we FORGOT TO HAVE HIM SIGN THE BAPTISMAL RECORD LIKE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO. Now he's in Saudi... :/ Oops. We texted the office, though, and they said it would be fine for now. They'll just have him sign it when he comes back.
The problem with staying in an area for so long, is that leaving it really sucks. :( I'll really miss this ward and the people I've had the opportunity to work with here. Now I have to leave it up to Elder Magbanua and his new companion to continue the work there and help our investigators get baptized. Our meeting yesterday with Mexi got particularly emotional for her (because of the above-mentioned reasons) even before I mentioned the transfer, as she expressed her gratitude to us for continuing to be patient with her even after 6 months of teaching her. I almost didn't have the heart to tell her I was transferring... o.o
Anyway, I've decided that saying goodbye pretty much sucks in general, especially to those who you've come to know and love so much. I've had several "I may never see you again in person" moments in the past few days. I've decided I don't like those moments much. :/ But, it's a part of life, I guess.
So, anyway, now I've been assigned in Paranaque City (spelled with one of those fancy Spanish n's with the squiggly ~ over it that you can't find on a standard keyboard) (Pronounced Par ahn YAK eh) (I guess you can't spend too long vacationing in the province before you get chucked back into the polluted city... :P ), in Paranaque 2nd ward. I'll be follow-up training again (and I'll stay a district leader), this time with Elder Gillette, from Las Angeles, California. He seems really cool so far. He's really excited about his mission, and he's really humble, and an all-around nice guy. And he's REALLY good at drawing. o.o He says he wants to study to be an animator. I mentioned that Richelle is also into art and showed him her painting. He was impressed. You never know, they might end up in the same field of work someday... >.>
Another interesting note, Elder Leavitt, my old follow-up trainer, is one of the zone leaders here in Paranaque. It's pretty dandy. This will also be my first time in an apartment with only two missionaries instead of four, like before. It'll be an interesting experience.
Anyway, that's about it for now (mostly because I'm out of time). I had President take care of the ecclesiastical recommendation for the BYU application, and I've filled out some of the information. I haven't been able to complete the essays yet. I sent the transcript request a few weeks ago, so hopefully you'll get it soon.
Until next week, ingat! :D
Elder David Jones