Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 21, 2015 - Transfer from Ayungon, Negros Oriental to Talisay, Cebu

Report: My 40 years (9 months) in the wilderness (Negros) have ended. I have crossed the river Jordan (Tanon Strait) on dry land (a ferry). I have returned to the promised land (Talisay). Have began marching around the walls, but have not yet sounded trumpets, but am preparing for such. Thus far is my report. (Joshua 1-5)

 Last time at the tangke, where we used to bathe every night when we had no water at the house in Bindoy.

Waiting for a ceres. With far too much luggage.

So last thursday, I got on a Ceres bus with Elder Rowley heading North, headed for San Carlos. We were able to ride with some other missionaries going from Negros Oriental headed for Occidental, including my batch, Elder Ioane, and a missionary headed for Escalante Ward. Me and Elder Rowley were just going with them till SC, where we split off from the group and headed on a ferry for Toledo, Cebu. (We did not see Klinger.) We were met in Toledo by Elder Rowley's new Companion and ZL's. Elder Rowley was staying in Toledo, whereas I was headed for the other side. I got on a GTexpress (a 12 passenger van turned public transport) alone! For about 2 hours, I was without missionary companion. That was exciting. So I talked to the guy next to me. He imports bulad (dried fish) from Masbate. I was about to give him a Basahon ni Mormon, but he got off and ran away. So I got to Cebu City, to the bus terminal, where I expected to meet my new companion. But they were not there. So I talked to some people who thought my nose is rather large. Then I met my Zone LEaders, Elders Faasootauloa and Knutson, and my companion Elder Tolentino! We two got thrown in a taxi headed for Talisay, we dropped off things at the house and went to buy food because we were afraid of another bagio, then planned and slept. That was Thursday.

Elder Tolentino is so great. He is such a diligent and energetic missionary. He loves talking to people, carrying the gospel to all. And that's another great part of the area, in the city. There's so many different walks of people to talk to. There's just so many people! That's something I don't think I really saw when I was here before, is just how accessible to people are here, and how much we can do to help them come unto Christ.

Elder Tolentino with a tricycle.

The Tricycle came to church!  A member owns the tricycle. They are very commonly covered with psalms and other religious themes, so it's really not all that out of place.

I love having the opportunity to come back to Talisay. There's so much here I did not appreciate, and now that I am a bit more experienced, I feel like I really can do better work here. It really kind of feels like the House of Israel, who came out of the promised land, then broke out of bondage, worked in the wilderness to be able to come back to the Promised land. Not that I'm saying that Escalante was bondage in Egypt or that Ayungon was 40 years wandering in the wilderness. There was a lot of good that happened there. It's just hard not to see the parallels. :)

One thing that really makes this the promised land really is that we can attend the temple. I am so excited for this. I am so excited to be in this place. Linao ward was only formed in July out of Lawaan, and they're looking for a lot of growth here. I am so humbled to be able to help the saints here do that.

I love you, family. Rachel, Mom and Dad. And Grandma, Tricia, Nathan, and everyone else. I've met a lot of people named Rachel in the last week. It's generally pronounced Rashel, but still. We worked with the WML yesterday, and he reminded me a lot of Jeff. It was kind of weird I'm so glad to hear good of you all. I am so glad to be here doing this work.


Elder Dunford

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