So this week WAS actually pretty eventful and only a little bit stressful as my first week in a new area and with my new companion. Elder A. Though it's so fun because he's a great guy and is led by the spirit really well! I really like this new area. So Tayug is more like a foresty area which is closer to the mountains, which is actually super beautiful! If you remember, my first area was actually in what we call bukid, or basically fields. Something I think I like even more about this area is that it's a little cooler than the last one because of the more trees!
The apartment however, leaves a little to be desired. Only because it's like half the size of my first apartment. I think that all in all there are 3 rooms? The bathroom, the "living room" (has kitchen, study, and bedroom... but is really small) and a changing room. So that's been taking me some time to get used to. ESPECIALLY since this bathroom doesn't have any toilet paper, rather it has something that I am going to start calling "the hose" which is like a little shower faucet that shoots water really fast. I'll just let you guys guess what that's used for xD ANYWAY, it's a second level floor and since we don't have a tagalaba (someone who cleans clothes), Elder A and I are always washing our own clothes, and that's been an adventure so far!
So my very first weekend here, I guess I probably told you last week, but we had a baptism. Though I feel like it doesn't really count since I literally transferred some 3 days before. But it was still a really great experience to see someone make that covenant with our Heavenly Father and really happy as well to see Elder A perform his first baptism in the field!
Every day this week I've really been working hard... because after all President has raised our standards! I have to say, it's been really hard work. But the most rewarding, every day when I drop into my bed to fall asleep from just being tired after a long day... I feel so happy to be alive and be a missionary. To be honest, I have been having a lot of those moments this week where my heart just feels full of happiness!
Oh something that I want to say to is so awesome, our branch building is literally right in front of this big park with statues of all these different Disney characters and superheroes. So one of these weeks I'll go ahead and take the time to stop and take a bunch of pictures there so y'all can see!
Anyway, I look forward to this week and the approaching rainy season! I was told that by the end of June it's going to be rainy season which means that sometime soon I'll be going through my very first Baguio (not the city, but the word for typhoon here in Tagalog)
And P.s. update on my Tagalog skills, they are very much better than when I got here. And I teach lessons in Tagalog without too much problem!
Nagpapasalamat po ako sa pagkakataon na ito na dito po ako at makapagbahagi sa mga tao. Alam ko po na ang kaloob ng mga wika ay TOTOO. Hindi ko po alam kung bakit ipinadala ako ng Dios dito sa Phillippines, pero alam ko po na ang lugar na ito ay EXACTLY where the Lord wants me to be serving.
I love you guys so much, thank you so much for the support! I really feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be in life and am so grateful foryour help in getting me to where I am today!
PS- Here's some pictures! The baptism, my new companion underneath some MASSIVE fruit, I think it's jackfruit. And I saw a slight double rainbow this week... so that was cool :) Also I GOT A PICTURE WITH CAPTAIN AMERICA. #muricaeverywhere. And finally that picture is a member who is selling at the market. The market here is really really huge and has one of those "open meat" markets where all these meats and fish are laying on the counters... I am not going to lie, it has got to be one of the nastiest smells that i have ever experienced!
Ang simpleng mensahe sa pamily ko,
A simple message to my family :) It's so crazy that I saw you guys so recently, and I'm overwhelmed with joy to know that you are all still doing well and alive! Isn't is so weird to think that I have already been away from home for 6 months?! TIme is just FLYING by! By the next time I call you, it'll be a year! Anyway, it's so exciting that Whitney is getting married soon... and in the temple, that's so wonderful! I can't help but think about the message that I am sharing to everyone here in the Philippines, that families CAN be together forever!
You want to talk about a lot of rain? Just wait one more month and literally every day here is going to be rainy ;) Just saying! I'm just glad that you guys are safe!
But anyway, it's actually really a good thing that you are pulling the kids out of public school, from what it sounds like. There are a lot of things going downhill fast, talk about Sodom and Gamorrah! And we ALL know what happened there... just saying! That actually reminds me that there are so many bakla here and it's kind of awkward because a few times they have tried to flirt with me. Not going to lie, kind of uncomfortable. But ANYWAY, everything will be fixed one day :)
Super exciting that you guys are going to be seeing those 'moundbuilders' and stuff, that's really interests me. Because I was reading something, how on earth could Joseph Smith have made up a book about an ancient people that they didn't know existed at the time. And then the discoveries like that (those Nephite fortifications) just happen to match the types of descriptions in the Book of Mormon? Coincidence?? I THINK NOT.
So anyway, I probably ought to tell you guys about how my week has been ;)
I am going to start with letting y'all know that awesome big news! I have officially moved onto my second area! It's kind of a funny story, Thursday morning right before we do out weekly planning, the APs call and tell me to pack all of my things. The reason? Because I was being transferred at 3:30 the same day!
So my new area! Tayug Branch A( the reason for the A is that there are two sets of Elders here in my area, we're A... they're B)
My new companion! Elder A (So it turns out that I am his followup trainer, meaning that I get to be the senior companion and leading the things. apparently the Lord knows that I can handle this calling, even if I don't feel like I can be a good example and followup for his after just 4 months in the mission) It's also funny, because he told me how everyone in the area kind of makes fun with his name because in Ilocano it means "mabaho" or in English, stinky!
Okay, but before that I want to share with you last Monday after I went and Skyped! Elder Mand I went to Mount Balungao and found THE MINI ZOO :D :D It was only like an hour walk in the heat and near the top of the mount. But there were the two giant snakes and some other animals! It was so awesome, some sort of resort was up there too... with a pool that they made by damming off a spring that comes from near the top of Mount Balungao. So that was a really great way for me to be able to end my time in San Leon.
This new area (tayug) is pretty close to my last area, but is so much more beautiful! We're closer to the mountains and is practically forest! But the area itself is actually really developed. We have a mall and a lot of homes around in the area, almost everyone here is middle class. So it's really being maybe a change in perspective from what I have been used to over the last while here!
It was kind of a lukewarm welcome though because I guess sometime back they had a really strict American Elder, and that gave all of the members a bad idea that that's how all americans are. Of course I'm not like strict or lacking in a sense of humor, but I do follow all of the rules. So what I did was the very first Sunday here in the area literally stand out near the entry and shook hands with EVERY single member who came! (okay so it's only like 60 and the building is smaller than it was in San Leon) But I think that I've really made friends with them here already! What a fun time!
There has been a new change in our mission vision of excellence. And it's really going to be pushing us in the work here! We are expected to have 22 lessons to investigators every week, 17 new investigators with 17 IBDs and then 30OYMs a day. I don't really know how we are going to manage to do all of that, but I think that we can. The President wouldn't give us a goal if he didn't think or receive a revelation that we all can actually fulfill it!
Sorry about all my kind of random saying, but there is so so much that I want to talk about and Share! It has been such a great week and I feel so grateful to be a missionary!
I testify that this is truly the one true church of Jesus Christ on this earth and that HE LIVES :)
Love you guys so much, keep being the best family in the whole world!
PS- a LOT of pictures, we took so many... so I really only took the highlights and sending them. You'll have to wait for two more years to see the rest ;)
PSS- in response to your PS, my adress is ALWAYS going to be:
Elder Isaac Morris
Philippines Urdaneta Mission
PO Box 7
Brgy. San Vicente East