Sunday, April 22, 2012

Update on Elder Pettit's New Area

Last Tuesday I worked in Elder Gunnell's area (my district leader) where we hiked into the mountains, crossed a river 3 or 4 times, and passed by a plant called huya-huya ("shy-shy" because it curls up to hide from you when you touch it) just to get to a member's house. The member walks that distance and more each Sunday to attend church and other days to attend other meetings, and there are other members close by, and investigators there being taught! Pretty crazy. All in all my area is not quite as adventurous. We have pavement/cement roads nearly everywhere we go. But nonetheless it is still an adventure. At least I can say that, while the Tangalan Elders (Elder Gunnell and his comp) go home to a luxurious beach-house (right on the beach, wind and a beautiful view), we are currently having the adventure by walking home (around 30 minute walk from the main part of town) to a somewhat dungeon of a home--unpainted cement walls and rough cement floor, with ceiling only in the bedroom, bathroom, and study room, (the rest being open to the trusses that hold up the tin roof) and the bathroom/kitchen counter not even tiled... (But don't worry, the owner of the house stopped by this morning to let us know he is putting the tiles in the bathroom/kitchen like he promised he would last September :)) But we will not complain!!! Because it is just part of the work. And we enjoy ourselves all the same. We ARE however looking for a new house to move into. But not much luck because lots of people are looking for houses here currently people say. The language is coming along. I can speak Tagalog quite well, my only downfall is the limited vocabulary that I know. But I gave a talk yesterday in church about the Book of Mormon, all in tagalog, and it went pretty well! So I can get my words around, its mostly just understanding because of my small vocab. The crazy language of Aklanon is also coming a little bit. The hardest things are still the strange throat noises, but I can kinda do a few of them :) I'm excited to give you an example when I call in a few weeks. The people are very willing to help with the language so things are working out ok. They say I have a pretty good filipino accent now! I was able to meet most of the members in our group yesterday, which was a great experience. Our group leader is a great man. He has a strong concern for the wellfare of each of the members, and a great desire to help the unit to progress. We have a few other wonderful strong families, and some slightly newer members that are making their way to becoming very firm in their testimonies as well. The entire group is looking forward to becoming a branch in the near future, and I am happy to be able to be a part of that progression. We have some very strong SA/Youth that are thrilled to be able to help in the finding and teaching of investigators and less actives as well and I can see the current members are going to be a great part in the church progressing rapidly here. I really feel like we have been guided by the Lord in all of our efforts the few days we have been able to work. It seems wherever we go, or whoever we teach, we are able to run into new people and open new doors to getting new investigators etc. I feel like our companionship and the members here are really qualifying for the companionship of the Spirit and that is what is going to be the best help in strengthening the members and seeking out new people that are ready to hear the gospel. I am loving these days. Being able to focus all of my time and efforts on the members and investigators is a great feeling, and I am looking forward to these last weeks I will be spending in the mission field. I'd prefer it no other way!