Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 16, 2014 - Escalante City, Negros Occidental

Maayong odto (Good noon)

Last Saturday, I went on splits with my Zone Leader, Elder Buckley. He went to Orem High and knew Nathan (Adam's cousin) as the Master of the House, so we talked about that for a little while. It was a little bit weird talking about my cousin with someone who knows him while we were walking under the shade of banana plants on the side of a mountain, looking out at the island of Cebu. Just kind of surreal. 
We worked in Barangay Libertad, which they only work in once a week, because it's pretty far out and really kind of bukid. So this was my first chance in all the mission to really work in a bukid, hilly area. It really kind of reminded me of our hills back home, except you know, with goats instead of coyotes and with very much fewer houses.
So this week on splits with Elder Buckley in Mabini Branch, that was a really good experience. First of all, because it was my first time working in the hill country, which was fun, of course. Second of all, it was really interesting. We didn't really have any planning time, because we started first thing in the morning, so as we waited for the tricycle to leave, we went over the people we were visiting and discussed a little bit about them. The missionaries have only been working in Libertad for about two transfers, and they go at the most once a week, and Elder Buckley had only been there once. So they only have a few investigators they go and visit, and there were several times in the day that were parted out for finding people, specifically that we would teach a lesson on the spot. And we did, in those times, have several lessons that we taught. One was to a member of the missionary Baptist church, who shared a little of her own scriptures, but not really in the spirit of bashing. It was very in the spirit of just sharing (and talking with a rather big preacher-y voice for a little filipino nanay.) But another lesson we taught was a really interesting one. We were walking down the road (it kind of reminded me of Tonner Canyon,) when we stopped at a couple of houses in a little stand of trees. The people on one side started calling out the joes (doubly more than usual,) so we turned to the other side where there was a young couple doing a little work around their house. We introduced ourselves and asked if we could share a gamayng mensahe (small message). The look on their faces as we talked to them, and as they invited us in, it just looked as if they were saying "yes, it's time." They were just really receptive and dawaton (receptive) of this message, I knew the Spirit spoke to them. We just shared a very simple message of the plan of God, but I really hope Elders Buckley and Maasin can go back there. I really just felt like they wanted to receive this gospel of Christ.

I really liked this picture.

On Sunday we had a FHE at the Ortega house. The Ortegas are a less active family, and so this evening lesson became a sort of impromptu FHE, which was really good. We've been able to see some progress, as Sister Ortega has come to church more frequently. Brother has come once and we're really waiting on him, but they are just good people.

Things are going good. With this as my longest time with one companion, I've really started to be able to get to know Elder Montano. I've been able to understand more of him, and I've really been able to learn a lot from him, and from this time. I've been able to learn things that will help me in my life. (And the owner of the internet-han just started playing Take on Me so I lost my train of thought.) But I know that I'm growing here. I know that I can draw so close to the Lord here in his work. And I know that this "message of ours", that this is not the words of man. This is not the works of man. I know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I like how the name of the Church is really a testament of itself. This isn't just any church. This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that this is true.

Love and care,

Elder Adam Dunford

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