Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fw: Greetings

Herro!  :D

The things you mentioned about the music program at BYU were actually comforting news.  From what they said when we dropped by BYU before I entered the MTC, I thought that in order to get into the music program at all, you had to take that audition they talked about in January and pass it.  That's why President and I were thinking it would be better if we could perform the audition over here, so that way things wouldn't be quite so uncertain for when I got home.  I was worried I wouldn't be able to pass the audition in January, due to lack of practice (and from what it sounded like, the only audition was in January), and have to wait until next January to try again.  But if I can just take general music classes (and other generals and stuff) and audition for the other groups at the beginning of the semester, and not even declare a more specific major until after two semesters, that will be a lot less stressful.  It'll also give me more time to really decide for sure what major I want.  If that's the case, then yeah, there's not really any need to worry about performing the audition here (which is good, because President Thomas, the one I mentioned last week, is going home at the end of July...).  I'll talk to President about it next Wednesday at Zone Conference.   I'll also talk to him about coming home a few weeks early for school (and Christmas.  :D  But mostly school.  ^^'' ).  Also, I'll try to get those scholarship thingies taken care of ASAP.

I hope I get accepted into BYU.  One reason is that I'd still be able to see Elder Gillette occasionally.  He's going to BYU, too, and would be in the same building as me, since he's an animation major, in the art department.

(By the way, a closer translation of "wonderful" would actually be "kahanga-hanga", but most Filipinos would just use "masaya," which means "happy".  Like, "Masaya talaga iyan kung makakauwi ka bago mag-Pasko" ("That would be happy/fun/etc. if you could come home before Christmas")  In case you were wondering...)

In other news, President Howard is going home soon.  :(  He'll be leaving at the beginning of July, and we'll get a new mission president, President Stucki.  I'll miss President Howard a lot.  He's just a fun person, and a very spiritual person.  He's good at encouraging us in times of trial and helping us move forward in the right direction.  Next week at Zone Conference, he's going to give each of us a blessing individually.  I imagine there's going to be a lot of changes once President Stucki shows up.  It's something to look forward to.

Pasig Zone will also be leaving.  They're splitting the Quezon City mission into two missions, and they'll be stealing Pasig Zone from the Manila Mission in order to form the Quezon City South Mission.  So anyone in Pasig Zone this transfer will leave the Manila Mission and be smerged into the Quezon City South Mission, and I'll never see them again.  :(  Elder Tolson, who I met back in my first transfer, is the zone leader there.  I'll miss him.  :/  Na na naaa na... na na naaa na... Hey heeeey hey... goodbye!

The transfer announcements took me by surprise.  On Saturday, at a baptism in the zone leaders' area, Elder Perez, one of the teaching assistants (he also happens to be the one who pulled the "emergency transfer prank" on Elder Dela Cruz and I last September...) told me that it was 90% sure that I would stay in Paranaque 2nd, and that Elder Gillette would transfer, and that I would train a new Elder.  So I didn't really say goodbye to anyone at church on Sunday, cuz I didn't think I was leaving.  Then, apparently, Sunday night, probably due in part to some disobedience issues in other areas, the transfer board got thrown up in the air, and everything changed around.  So at the transfer announcements on Monday, they told me I would be transferring, and Elder Gillette would stay.  :/  Bummer.  I liked Paranaque 2nd.  I spent the next two days going around and saying goodbye to as many people as possible and then packed my bags.  Missionary life's like that sometimes.  I didn't get transferred far, though.  I'm still in Paranaque Zone, just farther east, in Paranaque 4th Ward.  My new companion is Elder Casio, a newer Filipino Elder from Mindanao.  My title in the mission may just become "The Follow-up Trainer," since this'll be my third time follow-up training so far.  Elder Casio's trainer, Elder Sayson, wasn't the most obedient, hard-working missionary in the world--he just finished his mission this last transfer (kinda reminds me of my trainer...)--so I have a bit of clean-up work to do.  Elder Bills, one of my batch in the MTC, used to be the district leader here in Paranaque district, but now I've taken his place as district leader.  He is now Elder Gillette's companion and is taking my place as district leader in the Pamplona district.  Interesting swap.   Transfers are hard for me.  It's hard to leave a good area, and it's even harder to leave a really good companion like Elder Gillette.  People like him who are so easy to get along with and work with are very few and far between.  This has honestly been the best, happiest, most fun three months on my mission so far.  Elder Gillette will still be in the same zone, but I'll really miss having him as a companion.  He's become one of my best friends.  Elder Casio seems pretty cool so far, though.  He's humble, and really enjoys studying the scriptures.  He has a lot of potential to be one of the best missionaries in the mission.

Next transfer, it's like 100% sure that I'll train, since there's apparently around 20 new missionaries coming in from the MTC.  Should be fun.

I've been trying to get news on the Guda family, but haven't gotten a lot so far.  After Jhen came back from vacation, they apparently called the Molino 1st Elders and told them they were moving to Bacoor, also within Cavite zone.  So I assumed that they would just refer them to the Bacoor Elders.  Today at transfer meeting, I asked the Bacoor Elders about them, and they told me that they didn't know who the Guda family was.  I told them, "FIND THEM.  GET THEIR NUMBER FROM THE MOLINO ELDERS AND CONTACT THEM."  That was easily the most golden family I've ever taught on my entire mission, and it would be such a waste if they were lost.  :/

Mexi's still inactive.  :/  What Mom said about her was reassuring, though.  All I can really do now is pray for her and write her occasionally.  I wrote her a letter back when I thought she was still active.  I'll have to write another in a few weeks just to encourage her.

Elaiza's doing great, though.  :D  I got a letter from her today.  She finished the Book of Mormon before I did (we were racing.  She won.  ;P ), and now has moved on to the Doctrine and Covenants.  Right now the missionaries are trying to reactivate her grandma, who we'd met back when we were teaching Elaiza.  Granny's really nice, and always feeds the missionaries every time they come over, but she doesn't really come to church.  Jeremiah also doesn't go to church anymore.  :/  Obnoxious little twerp.  >.>  Hopefully, when he grows older, he'll actually come to his senses...  But Elaiza's still as active as ever.  :D

Ugh... Lots to talk about...

Last Saturday was Jobelle's baptism.  :D  It was a really spiritual experience.  She has a really strong testimony, and a strong desire to keep learning more about the gospel.  When we visited her on Monday, she seemed a bit concerned, mostly because her grandma's a witch from the Inglesia ni Cristo church, and is strongly opposed to missionaries from other religions.  Needless to say, granny wasn't pleased about us teaching Jobelle, and definitely won't be pleased when she finds out about the baptism...  They haven't told her yet...  The rest of the family's okay with it.  Si Lola lang ang witch.  ;P  Anyway, we reassured her about the situation, and helped answer some of her questions (she had a few about baptisms for the dead).  She then assured us, "Even when you Elders leave, I'll still keep coming to church and everything."

That's been our main victory in Paranaque 2nd.  We may not have had a ton of baptisms in the three months that Elder Gillette and I were there together (I mean, we had four, which is pretty decent), but all four of those baptisms are still very active.  Only Sister Anita has missed a week of church, and that was because she was out of town.  Those are the kinds of converts we shoot for.  The kind that stay converted.  Elder Gillette's made it a goal not to baptize a single inactive on his mission.  It's kind of becoming mine as well.

Congratulations to Richelle for her graduation!! YAAAAAAAAY!!!!  :D  Daaaaa da da daaa daaaaaaa daaaaaa... *ahem*... Too bad I don't get to see it.  Have a nice summer, and good luck in college (though we'll see each other before then).

Anyway, that's about everything.  I ate all the candy you sent me.  :D  Except the strawberry cupcakes (which are AMAZING, by the way).  I haven't finished those yet.  But everything else has been consumed.  OM NOM NOM.  :D  It was tasty.

I'm out of time now, so until next week, ingatz!  :D

Elder David Jones

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