Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 22, 2014 - Ayungon, Negros Oriental

Waiting for a ride
Good Day! From the tropical paradise of Negros Oriental.

Walking from Cebu
So it is transfer groundhog week, and the good news is 6 more weeks of Ayungon! The work here in Ayungon is so interesting to do. Mainly because we have an entire municipality to work in, and it can be hard to find where to focus. But this is one thing that President McCurdy has focused on anew, a way to give us focus. There has been instituted a goal of "ONE (1)" converted person baptised every month, every companionship. President McCurdy made it so very clear that this is about focusing and finding the one, helping someone to follow the gospel of Christ. And I have to say that this is something that is good. It can really pushed us to give us a focus on our work, how we go about our day.

This is what our house looks like. We all sleep in the right side, ayungon studies in the left, and we have a nice little courtyard.

Bindoy house. Elder Nadado transfered out this morning to Dumaguete, and Elder Rowley is going to Cebu to pick up his new companion, because he's training! So we're having brand new missionary out here this transfer. Elder Pascua and I are staying strong in Ayungon.
Elder Nadado leaving Bindoy. :(  This is his first area, and he's been here now for 3 transfers. But he is one of the happiest people ever, he's always juts smiling or having something to be happy about. He is a good friend of mine.

I want to talk about to you about the Pastors. Tatay Satornino and Nanay Pelarita Pastor are some of my favorite people. They had been visited by the missionaries for the last year, but when I got here, the missionaries hadn't been for months. Still, they came to church every week, though they had never been baptised. So the first day we visited their house, they received us with very open arms, "kalooy sa Ginoo, bintaha jud mi nga nakaabot mo diri." (The grace of the Lord, we are blessed that you got here!" And I've told you a bit about them, buit htis last few weeks, we've really seen a change. Before, their testimony and belief seemed to be rather "Whatever you tell us, we believe, because we know you're true." Which is nice, but this last few weeks, we have taught very simply the doctrines of the lessons. Of the Restoration. Of the Plan of the Father, and of the atonement of Christ, and how they can receive an answer from God. And we have seen a true change in them. Their faith in Christ is no longer based on what they've learned in their time in all their different religions before, it's a personal faith. And My favorite thing, one of the first things they said when we really saw this change was "Elders, how do we help others do this? Our daughter's family was taught before, and they want you to visit them too." Their minds immediately went to missionary work, and we had never taught that yet. Nanay and Tatay Pastor can sometimes be a bit long winded in their talking about how "bulahan ug bintaha" (different words for blessed) they are to have us at their house, but they know the know this gospel is true, and they will do anything to follow the will of their loving Heavenly Father.

The other day, we were having a very hot, sunny day, when we got in a tricycle to ride to the next barangay over, when it started pouring rain. Like it was coming down, out of nowhere. And the house we were going to was a way away from the highway, so this was me taking solace under a banana plant.

Yesterday, we worked with Elders Quorum President Sobredo and Brother Cajigas in a "half-day mission" activity. Brother Cajigas is really interesting to talk to. He lived in Chicago for most of his life (he said when he went to high school in the 70's, a little new local band called Styx would play at their dances), and his kids and wife are mainly Tagalog, so when we visit them, it's a mix of English, Tagalog and Cebuano that's being spoken. But they're a really fun family, and they've recently been sealed, so they're good. But Brother Cajigas always reminds me of the Chief.

Us eating at the house of the Branch Mission leader, Brother Mondred. It was his birthday, too, so we had a little party. 


Elder Dunford.

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