that was such an amazing letter it was so info packed! i loved it..so im gonna apologize in the first place my typing is going to be terrible this keyboard is horrible...it has keys ive never even heard of!!! so this week was really good...i spent all week in batangas with elder lotima this tongan who im way close with and we have so much fun!! we had to wait for transfer days...i also got to work with sister smith and some other of my zone mates...i got to hang out with monteslclaros and my anak dioso...it was really good to go to batangas...REALLY GOOD. So when friday rolled around it was transfer day and i had no idea who my comp was gonna be and i was terrified...i thought it was this one elder who would honestly drive me crazy! he is amazing and hard working but i dont know if he knows how to have fun...let alone laugh haha so i wasn't too excited.. but then i heard my companions name called and i couldn't believe it...it was a sister missionary....so now im the only elder who's companions with a sister...its kind of weird but we both share a house and its confusing..haha no thats not true...Elder Montesclaros became my companion!!! MY LAST ZONE LEADER AND WE WERE WAAAAAAY CLOSE. i honestly cannot tell you how happy i am..and how much fun we are having, hes a bit older 23...and he's actually from Cebu city in the philippines but moved to new zealand when he was 16...and served in the NZ Army for 5 years before he got out and served a mission. I cant tell you how much i love this kid...so now this transfer is just gonna be filled with working out, working hard, finding people, learning ninjitsui and how to become a ninja, driving really far, and loving everything and everyone. this morning we cleaned the whole house and invited the zone over to help us...the house is completely changed....before i didn't realize how bad it was but wow it's changed!!! i mean there are still holes in it and you can see the ground from the bedroom and we're still raging a war with rats and cockroaches and we just discovered a family of rats in our trash...it looks GREAT! So after lunch we decided to go search for waterfalls...so we went to baco about 30 minutes away found this absolutely beautiful falls...had a REALLY REALLY GOOD time. as we were leaving....these 2 mangyans (the native tribe here in mindoro they sometimes wear loinclothes and are really primitive and dark) stopped us and told us there was a 40 pesos fee...at the time i just looked at them strange...i saw the blood red liquid they spit from their mouths from the tobacco they were chewing, the smell that they hadn't showered in a few days, the uneasiness of one when i looked him in the eyes and said "is there really a bayad or entrance fee?", and the dirty clothes they wore. They continue to tell me there was but they would let us go by just paying 20 pesos. So i said you know what monte and i will go back to town and ask if there really is and we'll come back and pay if there really is one...you just dont really know these days. So we drove back to town asked around...and people told us there is absolutely no payment to go there..at first i was upset and i said " Hmm i knew they were lying" as i made our way back monte looked at me and quoted a verse from the 17th chapter of matthew which is
"24 ¶ And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay atribute?
We reasoned together and he told me that...look...they are mangyans....what we will pay em will probably feed them tonight..its only 20 pesos bro...what do you think? If we go back and just pay it will be charitable and there wont be sin on there hands...and plus its alot better than going back and calling them out...In my head thats exactly what i planned to do. I felt really really humbled I said yeah we can do it...but inside I fought it...I thought but what they are doing is wrong..and here is where the lesson came. Monte said "besides bro, the meek shall inherit the earth...if you are arrogant and prideful and difficult even when your right that still makes you arrogant prideful and difficult...lets be better than all that." To which it finally set in and I said "okay, but lets not tell there others that there actually isn't a payment...This was a hard lesson for me to learn...it seems everything inside of me told me to fight with them...call them thieves, ridicule them, demand an apology....and raise hell...but why? Why on earth would i be entitled to that? i am nothing...i am worse than the dust of the earth...because the dust follows every command that comes forth out of the mouth of the Master. It was humbling to realize how incredibly far I am from what I need to be...how incredibly selfish and prideful I am. but im not losing hope...im so grateful for this experience because now i can improve myself with His help..When we got back to the trail..the rest of them were walking back and said they had already paid...the price was no 10 pesos..those mangyans waved to us from afar and we never approached them. Wow i need to be better. This is such a difficult thing for me to swallow pride and admit im nothing...im still learning but i pray that God will help me rid myself from pride and realize that humility is the key to happiness...when one is humble everythng follows. it reminds me of a verse in d&c Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers
I LOVE you all so very much and im grateful for my companion he's teaching me so much and not just how to be and fight like a ninja i an honestly say that this is the happiest time in my mission..i miss you all more than you can ever realize..but hey 8 months only...thats like whaaat 5 transfers?
i love you!!