Alright, for 13 months in the mission you would probably assume that I am fluent in the local language here which is Ilocano. Truth is I still know very little. I had to check if that statement in Ilocano was right with my companion. I really want to start working on improving my Ilocano, which is a lot of work since the mission language is the national language of the Philippines, Tagalog. Narigat ti Ilocano para kanyak, ngem nakasursuro nak!
Now after the slightly different introduction, here goes my week! This Sunday, we had a small victory during church! Except it started as a slightly depressing moment. When church started, there was barely any in attendance. I mean as in there were about 8 people there.
It was not a happy moment. I was slightly discouraged. However, by sacrament, we had 39 in attendance, a few less actives from our area and a family. Elder Bottema came to church again! Honestly for the Philippines, Vintar is a really small branch, but we are happy with the small miracles happening when we see people who haven't come in awhile finally return!
Satan does all he can to discourage us and for a moment he did, but I am happy with the small improvement. We are going to keep working this branch. By the end of this cycle we are hoping to get the branch attendance back up to 50 or 60!
We have a lot to work on though, such as our investigators (who didn't come, sniffle) and other less actives. Us 4 missionaries here in Vintar have been putting a lot more focus on getting less actives back to church and at the same time working on investigators and finding more people to teach. We have a lot of less actives that we can go teach. A lot of the time they're busy though, so it's a work in progress.
Right now what we are doing is working on setting Family Home Evenings with them and finding other members to help out. As for the work such as teaching and finding, whether it be slow or not to be honest it hasn't really phased me as much so far this cycle, which is really good.
The work is going fine, even though we have days where everything falls through, I'm still happy here! Even though there are times that are discouraging, it's okay, I can take them! I love the people here and I love talking to them and learning. Sometimes I mess with them by asking them questions that are pretty hard to answer in English such as what does this mean in English? (for those of you who do speak Tagalog I ask anong basta, o pala o maarte. Mahirap ipaliwanag haha sking them a bunch of works or phrases in Ilocano since I know very little. The people here in the Philippines are just great.
That was mostly what happened this week, sort of a pretty normal week but good nonetheless. Life's still good, the mission’s still great, and the Book of Mormon is still true with so much information we can apply in our lives. Joseph Smith is a true Prophet of God and this is the true Church. Keep the Faith everyone! Ayayaten kayo amin!
**you can email Elder Espiritu at firstname.lastname@example.org
I found my block of concrete here
Looking forward to the future
This is what happens while we are walking back late at night
We found a really "clean" shack and made spaghetti sauce (just kidding, I think it's really old cooking oil... or... diak ammu. Basta, kadiri siya.)
Family Home Evening at the Ubaten family, they came to church that Sunday