Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, October 26, 2015

Finally, A Real Letter

Hello everybody! Feels like a long time since I've written a letter home! That doesn't necessarily mean that this letter is going to be super long or anything but I'll do my best. We just got back from Maggot Dam (for the third time) so I don't have a whole lot of time.

Start off with the typhoon last week. It came in about 2:00am Sunday morning. We all woke up from the wind but I ended up falling back asleep no more than a few minutes later. Woke up in the morning, rain had pretty much stopped. Just a few drops every once in a while. Wind wasn't very strong at all either. Just like a usual Idaho breeze. Some people here were still saying the wind was super strong but I'm sitting there thinking it's barely even windy. Bishop texted and said church was cancelled. Thing is before that text, someone else texted and asked me to give a talk. So in the end, I got out of giving a talk in church! There were a few trees that had blown over during the night but people got right out with their chain saws and cleared the ones that were covering the roads. There wasn't flooding at all in my area. All the members were okay and not effected by the storm. The rice fields were all flattened though. Like back home sometimes some of the grain falls down like the end of July. It was like that with the rice but the entire field was flat. They've still been harvesting all the fallen down rice but it's not the yellowish color that it normally is when they harvest. The only time I saw flooding was on Monday when we were in the bus going to Alicia to p-day. As we went over a bridge, I noticed that someone built their house a little too close to the river and had about 4 1/2 feet of water in it. That's pretty much it about the storm. Not a whole lot to talk about. We didn't even get a service out of it.

This week on the other hand was alright. My first and only district meeting in Alicia for this cycle on Tuesday. It was nice not having to teach and also getting to choose which district I wanted to attend. I could get used to that! After district meeting, we ate at this Japanese place that doesn't even cook Japanese food. We all got burgers. It was a huge burger, not all that tasty but it was big so it was worth it.

Work here in Echague is somewhat slow actually. We don't have that many investigators. Just means we need to do a lot of finding. A couple cycles ago, the zone leaders area was switched with a different area so it was kind of reopened. We do have a few investigators that are progressing and actually have some that will be baptized this coming Saturday. First family I met here was the Ballad family. We don't teach Tatay yet but we do teach Nanay and the kids. Tatay is supportive though and we see him quite a bit around the house. Nanay and the daughter, Eliza, will be baptized this coming Saturday so that is pretty exciting! We are also teaching a boy named Aaron that is a part member. He is only 11 years old but is very intelligent. He will also be baptized this coming Saturday.

I can see the things I can work on while I am here in this area. We have 2 investigator couples that need to be married before they can be baptized so I will get to work with them and become a wedding planner. Also we have a Tatay that loves coming to church but still refuses to be baptized since his belief is that all churches are true. I'm looking forward to being able to work with these people and do my best in helping them come unto Christ! I will also be doing a lot of finding so we can increase our teaching pool. Also I will be working on dinner appointments in this area. As of now we just have them with Bishop every once in a while but I heard that they used to have them all the time before. Hopefully I can get things back to the way they were before!
Church was pretty good. Felt the love the members had for me as soon as I walked in the door. And I love them as well. Got to meet a lot more of them this last Sunday. I love the Bishopric. They are so funny but also hard working. We have a pretty good group of SA and youth here as well so that's always fun since they love the missionaries. I was able to speak for a little bit and introduce myself in sacrament meeting. I also spoke with a new sister return missionary that just got home this last week.

We also had a few baptismal interviews that we had to do this week. Had them on Thursday and Sunday so that took away from our time a little bit since we had to travel pretty far to get there.
Overall, pretty good week this week. Still learning the area and the people here but so far it is going good. Only have one more week the Elder Arorong will be leaving. Plus this week we have leadership training on Wednesday then zone conference of Thursday then a baptism on Saturday. Will be a busy week so I'm looking forward to it! Hope you all have a great week this week! 

Love you all!

Love Elder Haacke

 Elder Arorong and I at Maggot dam earlier.
 The water is way higher than the last 2 times because of the storm.

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