so just so you know i got another horrible keyboard this week everytime i press the shift button on the right it makes a 1 and everytime i press the shift button on the left it makes a 4. so please excuse the hard to read letter im about to send. this week has probably been the best of my mission. it was tiring, exhausting, i felt really trunky, i got mad, i was extremely happy, i was motivated, i was humbled many times, i repented, i was forgiven, i was tormented, i rememebered, i missed home, i missed you guys, i missed my amazing best friends, i missed good food, i missed being able to throw my hands in the air and yell "screw this", i read, i studied, i cooked, i worked out, i got stuck in mud with the truck, i got 3 elders covered from head to toe in mud, i repented, i listened to music, i slept, i dreamed, i had amazing conversations, i met amazing people, i did amazing things, i realize how many miracles the lord has allowed me to perform here with my own hands, i realized how weak i am, i realized how strong i am with the lord. i realized how amazing my family is, i realized how desperately fallen i am, and i realized i could do this forever....why on earth am i going home in 8 months?
so this weeks numbers were really low because i can't seem to deal with all the added responsibilities we have here..its insane and next week we dont get to work till saturday...this is what next week looks like.
monday: today for me we are going to naujan visiting an ostrich farm with the zone then we are driving back to calapan and having a fhe at the couple missionaries house elder and sister jones everyone is sleeping at our apartment tonight
tuesday: tomorrow monte and i are waking up early going to the gym, then studying till about 9...at 9 30 we have district meeting and lunch and then we leave to lipa city which is gonna take us till 5 to get there and we're meeting up with sister smith, sister spjute, elder laudato, mace, olsen and the other aps and cool kids in the mission and having dato's last dinner at shakeys
wednesday: is christmas zone con all day then we travel back to the island..i sent a bunch of pictures for fun for the slideshow
thursday we are getting monte's license and then going to work in the night till 9
friday we have to drive all around the island and interview people for baptism
saturday we are waking up early and driving out to the bueno family..they are interesting i'll talk about them ina bit
sunday it's church again and we have meetings with the branch president and branch mission leaders and we have to start getting a workshop prepared on the new branch mission plan to teach on dec 19th to the district presidents and the all the branch presidents in mindoro.
i realize that none of this makes sense to you...but im gonna email in a bit in my next letter im gonna explain again how i got stuck in mud, found an amazing investigator, taught a family just like us,,,,gotta run love you guys so much!
don't worry we went to another internet shop and this keyboard is horrible too...haha oh well i can't complain my days been good so far. So earlier today we woke up i washed a tshirt and basketball shorts because i have no clothes..the rest i gave to the branch president to wash for me and i should get them back soon...now you think this sounds lazy and uncalled for....wait till you watch me do it when you guys come pick me up...i promise you will be shocked i can wash clothes by hand...i suppose this is a foreshadowing that i'll be a scout leader one day...i'm sure i won't be able to top case or fletcher but i can sure try! we were planning on going to an ostrich farm this morning in naujan so when we went to go pick up the sisters in calapan their apartments like 5 minutes away...we were coming out of their brgy...and the streets in this country are honestly made for motorcycles...theres no possible way 2 cars can fit on a street side by side...so as i'm coming out this guy thinks he can shove his way in on his side so he squeezes in even though there is a huge dirt mound and i have to swerve out of the way and the 2 right tires fall into a drainage ditch thats about 2 feet tall. at this time im a little ticked off...i've gotten the truck stuck like 4 times this week haha its not my bad driving its just why on earth would the church give us a 2wd truck in a muddy rainy climate? anyways the guys drive off fast...obviously they don't know this brgy because they went straight into a dead end..so when they try and come out we are standing in the street so they reverse back and hide for a good 2 minutes...monteclaros and i are pretty livid but we humbled ourselves...we started looking for boulders to stack to make a ramp out of this giant pit..meanwhile everyone finds it funny to come outside and laugh at the 2 foreigners stuck in a pit. (they think monte is a foreigner because he speaks english fluently and has a nz accent). meanwhile the guys who knocked us into this pit finally get enough courage to come back and they get out of their car and start ordering us around and telling us what to do...again we humble ourselves and don't say a word. i was actually really scared monte was going to kill one of them...haha you don't do that kind of thing to a soldier like him. anyways they tell us basically what to do, no one helps us carries these giant boulders..i climbed down into the pit that smelled like feces and rat urine and it's pitch black it's just so gross haha..we build up a ramp and get the truck out...they i get in the truck and start leaving and people start screaming and yelling..and tell us to take away the stones we used to climb out...at this time my pride and anger is screaming and begging me to come out and say a bitter phrase...so i just opened the car door..not made any eye contact climbed back down in the pit ..move the boulders got in the car and left. that was extremely hard..but i was happy that elder monteclaros and myself had our name tags on...it's hard to scream and yell and fight and curse when you are wearing The Saviors name on your chest...so we head back to the apartment i jumped in the shower again..and we went off. we got to naujan and visited these weird catholic church in the mountains and this nice cave...we all got together practiced singing for zone con and just got back to calapan now! overall it was a good day!
Earlier this week we had zone interviews with president! I forgot to tell you my buddy Elder Mace..do you remember him from the mtc and earlier in my mission...he became AP last transfer so i got to see him at the interviews..it was really special we haven't had interviews in over 4 months because of a new curriculum that came out...in the interview i said "Pres, I feel like dropped the ball...last transfer was kind of a joke...we didn't get to much work done it was a little difficult with my last companion..he was going home so i know how that is..." and president said. "Nope i think you're being just to critical i think you're doing a great job!" As little as that was it made me feel great! I honestly cannot believe how much time is consumed having to take care of everyone else problems..it kills me i can't just focus on the area...but i guess thats the reason why there are 2 sets of missionaries here in Calapan City.
So far as investigators go...im in the position that i was 4 transfers ago when i got to batangas. the missionaries before me just really taught the same old non-progressing people...so now monteclaros and i have to find brand new investigators and get them ready for someone else to baptize...it's all good I've lost my pride about caring about numbers and how many baptisms i've gotten. it seems like its been like that my whole mission...get to an area and it's complete crap...oh well i'm glad the Lord trust me. As far as working with elder monteclaros i am learning so much...it's interesting...the whole 16 months i've been here...i was always the one who started the lesson, taught a lot, spoke a ton, answered all the questions..because my companions were pretty quiet or just didn't wanna teach..now i really like the way monte and i teach...we are both each jumping down the investigators throat because we get excited and wanna teach..it's very good for me..it's also humbling because i can't teach the way i want to all the time...but i love this guy so much!!
So as far as the people we found this week. I wanna share a miracle that happened to me this week. So one morning we had planned to visit investigators that live close to us so we don't have to use the truck we are running low on gas haha....what else is new i never used to put gas in my old truck back at home! we were returning the mop and buckets we borrowed from the jones...they live like 6 houses away from us...and as we were leaving to work i had an impression "You should visit that brother down the street" I remember i had been to the house one time and he was really nice..but before i could do anything my mouth opened and said "Monte, that's go over here and visit this guy first" So we were off..we walked up to his house...this guys house is HUGE and he has a car...that is really hard to come by here...if someone has a car they are doing VERY Well...so the first time i tracted this guy was with elder perry and he said thanks so much but my wife is sick...so this time was the second..we went up to his gate and rang the door...as soon as he opened the door i saw him...he came straight to the gate opened it and said COME IN! I was taken back...we walked right into his massive house and sat down on the couches...i was still taken back haha i was unsure what to say..i just met this man 2 minutes before.. so we started talking about his family and stuff...and this is where the miracles happen. Somehow religion got broughten up...and he started telling us how he has read the whole bible and wonders why there are so many churches when the bible teaches christ only had one...when he said this monte looked at eachother and said we have just the message for you! He kept going...he said and why Did Adam and Eve have to sin? did they even really know how to multiply weren't they innocent...my mouth dropped again....he then brought up you know where in the bible it says that you can look for signs of the followers of Christ and know who they are like speaking in tongues, being bit by snakes, drinking poison...he said i can't imagine the priest down in the bayan (town?) could do any of that ....and we were like yeah we could also teach you about authority...monte got so excited and testified that i was a living example of that sign...i'm this big mexican american that can speak tagalog fluently...it was such an amazing experience...the spirit was so strong...so his last questions was how do we know that the bible is true there are so many contridictions....so at last we pulled out the Book of Mormon...and every single questions he had we answered with it...we testified of its validity...we testified so strongly and boldly saying...we promise you in the name of Christ if you pray about this book you will come to know that it's true...if you come to know that it's false...please ask us to leave and never come back...because if thats the case we are teaching lies and deserve to burn in hell..it was so amazing...His name is Brother Nestor...such a humble and nice man...the best lesson i've ever taught...the best part about it was when we left...an hour later he texted us and asked a questions about the pamphlet he was reading..I can't wait to go back and teach him..he's extraordinary! the only problem is haha his wife is pretty catholic so we cant teach him if she's home is what he said haha...the other day we texted him to see if we could come over and he replied "Not now! The Mrs is HERE!" I love teaching people i wish i could sit down and tell you all the amazing people we are teaching...i love it here and i love to see the change in all these wonderful peoples lives...i just wish i could be in an area for another 6 months so i could see them baptized... now i wanna tell you about the Bueno family!
So the Bueno family is a lot like us...they are non members but there son is serving a mission right now..they live waaaaaaaaaay out in the bukid..which means like rice pattys farms? sorry i use a lot of tagalog in my speech now :/ so anywho as we went over there and taught them i could only think of you guys..I wanted to cry when i saw how much they missed their son.. the father was crying and upset..he didn't really understand but knew it was important to serve our heavenly father...I want so much to help in their conversation and get them baptized...i want to see them all sealed in the temple to live with eachother for time and all eternity...to not have to fear death or being seperated but to grow so close together and never take eachother for granted...that's everything i want and more for you guys. It's one of my greatest desires that one day you will all find the peace and joy and happiness that i have found. I learned that day how hard it must be for you guys..and that makes me so so so grateful for how much you are sacrificing by letting me be here..i love you guys so much, i cannot understand the love you have for me...it's insane and i am so grateful for your trust in me and in the Lord by letting me follow my dreams our here amongst his children...even when they laugh at me when im in poop filled water stacking stones to get our truck out.. i love em the same! I love this place so so so much i love everything i am doing here..i've witnessed so many miracles and have seen the hands of God here. I cannot tell you all the amazing things i've witnessed...I can't even begin to tell you the evil i've witnessed too. that's not just including the evils of this world...elder montesclaros and i had a run in with spirits the other night but that stories for another time. i love you all so much and miss you.. there will always be a hole my heart until you pick me up in just 8 months!!! I LOVE YOU!!!