Hope everyone is doin good! Elder Mitchell and I had a pretty action-packed week! Monday we had a lunch with the evangelista family in the ward and said goodbyes to Sister Montano- a visa-waiter who served in our ward but will now be heading to her mission in Melbourne. We then headed over to the airport to catch a flight to Palawan! That night we worked with a few Elders over in Puerto Princesa. I worked with Elder Harris, an Elder who’s still in his training. His Tagalog is probably better than mine when I was 6 months in the mission! He said he studied the language “a little” before the mission. Well whatever it was that he did it really worked! I also studied the language “a little” but that meant learning about 3 phrases which I wasn’t even pronouncing right haha!
Tuesday we had a full day exchange with the Zone Leaders over in Puerto. I worked with Elder Tuiatua and we had a blast. Their area is Santa Monica 1st ward- my second area!! Since he’s new to the area and didn’t quite know where everything is at we spend the whole day finding the people I used to teach! We went and found Joshua and his family out in their coconut forest and they were so excited to see us come. I was surprised they remember me up until now. We also went and found Sister Morata and she committed to a baptism date! I’m not sure why she wasn’t baptized in the past but she seemed to have great potential. We had a family home evening that night at a member’s house and I got to see lots of friends I made while I served there. I was surprised at how much they’re building over there now! A spot that used to be a huge field is turning into a really nice neighborhood. I love working with Elder Tuiatua- we had a great day and it was interesting to see progress in myself from the last time I was working over in that awesome area.
Wednesday we had zone conference with all the missionaries assigned in Palawan. Elder Mitchell and I talked about consecration for this cycle of conferences. I’ve seen many times on my mission when we’re willing to make extra sacrifices then it makes all the difference in yourself. That other people are more important to you than your own personal needs. I like the analogy of 211*F vs. 212*F. 212 is boiling temperature where water turns to steam. It is a temperature that can cause giant machines to operate- but at 211 it won’t move. Lots of missionaries have a desire to do what’s right and they are often very close to 212, but not quite there. My whole mission I’ve tried to find one shortcut that will bring many baptisms and much success into the area. I haven’t found this one thing yet- but I’ve learned that it is the many small things that we can improve by small degrees that will eventually add up and get us to 212. I feel like to gain a desire to sacrifice so much we need to have hope that the efforts we give won’t be wasted. We always hear as missionaries “you reap what you sow” but I often think to myself if I really believe and have hope in that promise. I know that good things do indeed come from efforts we make even when those good things might not be seen by us immediately.
D&C 123: 16-17 is a favorite that I’m sure I’ve shared a few times in the past.. 16 You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.
17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
Wednesday night we made our way to Narra to stay the night. Thursday morning we woke up and took a shuttle to Espanola- an area that opened up 3 weeks ago! I spent the day working with Elder Vinculado and Elder Beltran. I was once companions with Elder Vinculado so it was sweet bein with him again. Love that guy. That place is kinda like Busuanga- the people are super nice! We taught tons of lessons and got many new investigators. When we first got there we started heading to the first appointment and we walked past an elementary school. There were hundreds of kids performing a filipino cultural dance. It was super cool seeing them all dressed up. They all eventually finished later that day and we happened to be on that road again. I think I got about 500 hi fives in a few minutes haha! Not very many white guys make their way over to espanola haha.
It was weird thinking that we were closer to Malaysia than we were to the mission home! Also, there were some hills that had so many palm trees on them that you couldn’t see the actual hill. The nice people though was the best part though for sure
Friday we had a flight at 1pm to head back to Manila. We got there and the flight got delayed until 4 so we left to grab some lunch. When we got back they informed us that the flight would be at 7pm. Ah! Well that time came around and they informed us that the wheel of the plane was broken and the mechanic had just shown up but they didn’t have the proper tools for him. They shuttled us to a buffet and treated us to dinner then shuttled us to a hotel right on the beach! We got a good sleep and they informed us the flight would be at 10. We got up at 5:30 for breakfast and got to the airport by 7:30. Of course the flight got cancelled again and long story short we ended up on a flight to Clark airport in Pampanga! We flew there (Angeles mission) then took a 3 hour bus down to Manila! We finally got home at about 7:30 that night. Luckily we didn’t miss too much work because it was P day but it was still tried our patience just a little haha!
Sunday we had an amazing lesson with our investigator named Eric. He was at church as well! He was a referral from Nanay Angie :) That 80 year old is a little nuts (she texted us about convos she was having with dogs while we were gone) but hey we’re super thankful for her and how much she’s actually helped the area! He had questions like why God doesn’t give us answers and blessings right away, what is our purpose of being on earth, etc. It was a blast helping him find answers! Excited to see how he does these next few weeks here.
Love Elder Reber
|Apparently no need to send food his way- He seems to be doing just fine!!|
|Celebrating Sister Fermanis' Birthday!|