Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 5, 2014 - Ayungon, Negros Oriental

The Watchman on the tower
So November 1, All-Saint/soul's day, day of the dead, calag-calag (soul-soul), whatever you want to call it, was fun. We couldn't get very many appointments, because everyone had family in town and was going to the cemetery, but we were fed a ton of bico (sticky coconut rice), which is the traditional Nov. 1 food here, apparently. 

This is a picture of me and Elder Pascua with the Filipino Arch Haskins, Elder/President Hernandez. His current calling is something in the District and with Sister Hernandez as part-time missionaries in Perpetual Education Fund. But President Hernandez was Branch President for years as Bindoy branch was growing, so he still generally is called "president" by the members, and he is just wonderful to talk to, just because he reminds me so much of President Haskins. He's got the exact same mentality of "I'm a wise old man, so you're going to listen what I'm going to tell you, whether you like it or not." But he really, truly has a loving heart and is an essential part of Bindoy Branch
Cooking. Elder Rowley knows how to cook things, so we have delicious meals every night. 

This week we had a ton of progress with our investigators! A bunch of people came to church, which was great!
Since the Pastors were baptised we were lacking on really progressing investigators; people who can get to church, mainly. But we've been finding people, and this one family who we've visited a few times came, or at least the daughters. And this family is just so golden, it is truly the reason why this is the greatest mission. We just come to their house and bring the restored gospel, and they know for themselves that it is true. On our third visit to them, we asked them if they had prayed to know if this is true. They said they had prayed and that they had received an answer, and they they wanted to be baptised, because they knew this is the true church of God. These are truly just people who are worked upon by our God. This is truly just miraculous, and I am so happy to be able to be here and bring this truth to these people. 

 Christmas lights at the Sablan's house. There's already been christmas lights and trees popping up in places, and it's really kind of funny to see. I don't know, I suppose I just didn't expect to see that here. 

One night we were waiting for a bus and the children swarmed. Well, that's about every night.

We have another person we've visited, He's a teenager, his mom was baptised in the 80's hasn't been to church since, but he has read the Book of Mormon, and he wants to follow this. He simply knows it's true by the power of God.
I know I am here to be an instrument of God. And I am far from being there. But in the mean time, I am sharing the truth with those that will receive it.
I love you. Always. Thank you for your love.
Elder Dunford

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October 28, 2014 - Ayungon, Negros Oriental

The Bindoy Branch missionary force, including Elder Wayne! The new companion of Elder Rowley, he is fresh from the MTC.  The word I would use to describe Elder Wayne would be "swell." He is a very happy individual, and really just wants to show it to the world. He is really talkative, and is really friendly. He is literally the perfect new missionary, the archetype of good. 

Halloween doesn't seem to be quite as big a thing here, though there is a bit of purple and orange going around. But the main attraction seems to be the actual All Saint's Day activities, they do a bit of praying for the ancestors and things. But we've already seen a few places some Christmas lights coming up, which makes me happy to see. 

The Pastor family, including daughters and grandkids.
Here's us after District meeting.
I really just want to tell about my friend Mori this week. Mori, from BYU, who's serving in Santa Rosa, Calif. We've been emailing a little bit, and I just really liked what he told me last week. He always had the world's best attitude about everything, and I remembered that a bit when he emailed me. About how at first times are rough a bit, but when it comes down to it, "this missionary work is awesome!" It's fun, and it's good, and there really are miracles to be seen every day. So this week I've been trying to follow Mori's example. I've been trying to be more upbeat and happy about things, and it has had a good effect. Our new Zone Leader also said something to that effect, a saying that's gone around the mission that exact obedience + positive attitude = pure happiness. So I'll start really trying that out, because I've been needing something to try.
I love you always.
Elder Dunford