Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, February 29, 2016

Physical and Spiritual Growth

WOW I would have to agree with Dad that this month has flown by! I can't believe it's going to be March tomorrow. That just means I'm gonna hit 5 months left this week! Feels like the 6 month mark was just last week! Anyway, before I start I want to wish Alexa a Happy Birthday! Made sure I wrote it in my planner so I wouldn't forget!:) Hope you had a fun day Alexa. Can't believe you're already 10 years old!!

So I finally got into a daily routine of skipping rope this week. It actually feels really good to get some exercise in. Wakes me up better and gets my body going. The downside is I can feel how out of shape my body is. Can't even think of another time I was this out of shape! But I think it will pay off and I think I'll be able to start to see some results within the next month. I've been trying to eat healthier as well so we'll see how it pays off. Also thought I should update you on my height. Last night I was pretty bored waiting for the KI's to come in so I took out the small measuring tape in the sewing kit, marked my height on the wall and checked to see if I've gotten any taller. Well, long story short the answer to that is nope! Not even a millimeter! So disappointing. Guess I need to work extra extra hard these remaining months to see if I'll be blessed with another inch at least!

We had a pretty relaxed week this week by way of needing to go places for meetings and such. We had district meeting, of course,  but that was pretty much it. District meeting was good. I attended Elder Carrington's district. He taught about the importance of discerning while teaching. He hit the point that while your companion is the one speaking in a lesson, you shouldn't just be listening to him or thinking what you are going to add but you are really the one that needs to be discerning. The stl's also came up from Santiago to attend district meeting so that was fun. Tuesday night we had dinner with the Sandaga family. We laughed a lot again and enjoyed our time there with Nanay. While we were eating, one of the dogs took Sister Delinila's shoes so we couldn't find it when we were going to leave. While we were looking for it, of course since she had no shoe, Sister Delinila was just in bare feet and it was dark out and she ended up stepping right into a massive pile of dog poop. Pretty funny but pretty gross as well. She's really cool though and just laughed about it. I feel like something always happens when we're all together at dinner.

Mark Jun worked with us on Wednesday. He was pretty excited to work with us for a whole day of work since normally he just works on Sundays. Well, turned out to be not the best day. We visited so many people but almost nobody was there. It was a rough day. I think even Mark Jun was starting to get frustrated until Elder Labrador explained to him that the only thing that depends fully on you is finding. Everything else depends also on other people being there. But we literally visited all the backups and then some. Ended up doing some finding which was alright then got a couple lessons to a newly returned less active and a recent convert. Mark Jun is preparing his papers right now and will be a great missionary.

We set some return appointments for Thursday morning with some of the people we weren't able to teach on Wednesday. While we were walking there, one of them texted and said he won't be there so that was disappointing. Then when we got to the other one, she was still sleeping. And by that time it was like 10:00! So getting punted didn't stop over night. Ended up just going by Bishop's house then heading home to do some studies and eat lunch. We did end up talking to Bishop for quite a while. He is really nice and super humble. Time went by faster than we thought when we started talking. But we went back out in the afternoon and eventually returned back to those appointments where we were finally able to teach them. Sister Cyrene is one of them. She's in a part member family and some other members really wanted us to teach her. We've been teaching her for a little while now and she is reading the Book of Mormon pretty well but still hasn't come to church. We taught her again yesterday but she wasn't able to attend church.

Friday we had to go to Paddad to do two baptism interviews. Before we got there, we went to Alicia to ask how the elder there was doing. He had been throwing up blood and had just gotten back from the hospital so we thought we should go by on our way to Paddad to see how he was doing. He is doing okay. Mostly eating apples, eggs, bananas and drinking Gatorade. Sometimes he still throws it back up though. He is scheduled to go back to the hospital to have an operation this week. We got to Paddad around 5 but they didn't end up getting off work until 6 so we waited for them for a while. Interview went really good. They were two boys about 16 years old. Ended up getting back to Echague right in time for dinner with Nanay and Tatay Rivera. We bought a cake earlier that day for Sister Baldomaro and opened it up at dinner to celebrate her one year mark in the mission.

Saturday we had a one day mission with the Elder's Quorum. We have it the last Saturday of every month. That means people should know about it right? Also we just went over it the Sunday before. We got there half an hour late (Filipino time) and there were only three there. Bishop, Elders Quorum President, and Brother Ualat. We waited a while longer but no one else showed up so we broke into two groups and went to work. Elder Labrador and I stayed together and Bishop worked with us. We worked close to the church and we had met most the people we visited before. The two best lessons were to the Quisisem family and to John Garcia. We shared about being the salt of the earth to the Quisisem family and committed them, especially Nanay, to church the next day. Then we had a simple lesson about scripture reading with John. I think it payed off though since they all came to church yesterday except Nanay Quisisem. She doesn't go to church at other churches and she said she still has strong faith in this church but she won't come. We still are yet to really find out what is stopping her from coming.

Clarissa Jaramillo was at church yesterday! I was super happy when I saw her come in. She even beat her sister Marvilyn to church so I got to see Marvilyn's reaction when she saw her sitting down already. Marvilyn was super happy as well. Clarissa plans to bless her baby next week which will make it two weeks in a row. She was also greeted really well by a ton of members.

Sister Jen is doing great. We had an awesome discussion in gospel principles yesterday at church and she is really understanding everything really well. We weren't able to teach her yesterday like we planned since their meeting in Alicia went like 3 hours over but we have an appointment with them tomorrow at 5. If everything goes well we will look to set a baptismal date this week.

Overall it was a pretty good week. Happy Sunday seeing Clarissa at church along with seeing how fast Jen is progressing. This next week is going to be super busy. We have district meeting tomorrow, MLC on Wednesday, and splits with the AP's on Friday. I'll be back here at the computer writing about it before I know it!

One last thing I forgot to mention.... We are doing a power read in the mission. Forgot to tell you about it last week. But I'll have to be honest, I wasn't looking forward to it when we learned about it and the thought came into my head to not even do it and just continue reading where I'm at. Anyway, I did it and I am loving it!! I'm actually ahead of schedule since every time I have spare time I just read! The last two weeks have been great and am learning new things that I haven't caught the other times I've read it. I love highlighting all the things that have to do with Christ. The Book of Mormon is ALL about HIM!

Anyway, that pretty much wraps up this week! Hope you all have a good week this week! Love you all!
Love Elder Haacke

Monday, February 22, 2016

Good Week

Another week gone by and I'd say it was a pretty good one! Started out the week great with zone conference on Tuesday. We got up early and Elder Labrador and I had to be the first ones there to make sure everything was open, set up, and the air con was running. Neither one of us have been assigned to Santiago before but I had been to the church there one other time for my first Christmas conference so I was pretty positive I knew where to go. Well long story short I was wrong. We got to Santiago and was looking around to say where we were going to get off the van but I had no clue. Then the van got to the end of his route and so we had no choice but to get off. Everyone knows the Mormon churches here though so we just asked a few people where the church of the Mormons were and they knew right where we needed to go. Zone conference ended up being really good. Like always I guess. We started off talking about goals and the importance of them. One of the main purposes of this zone conference was to introduce the new Standard of Excellence to the mission. We didn't have a part in introducing them since we conducted the meeting but the stl's and the other zone leaders did a great job. Not a whole lot of them changed from last year but we raised the new investigators to 8 per week and added a new category which is 4 investigators at church every Sunday. Before we just had the new investigators then straight to baptisms so there wasn't really a Standard of Excellence to measure the investigators progress from being a new investigator to being baptized. I think this is a great new category and think it could increase in next years Standard of Excellence. Other than that the Standard of Excellence is pretty much the same. We also made a new vision for the mission. We simplified it and shortened it into three sentences:

We are missionaries who obtain power through obedience.
We connect the people we teach to heaven.
We know the God of Israel leads this mission.

Something that is easier to remember but still tells who we are, what we do and what we know. Pretty cool I thought. Anyway, the rest of zone conference was really good. Of course, ate some good food then had an activity. It was another activity to help with contacting. We got in two rows that faced each other then the senior couples would act out a skit. Then, either you or your partner became the missionary and the other was the person in the skit. The missionary then contacts the person using the CASH method taught to us by Elder Schwitzer when he came to the mission.
Ask a question.
Help them.

It was a really fun activity and the senior couples were pretty funny as they acted out their skits. We eventually returned back to the chapel and President Rahlf taught us more about Joseph of Egypt. I started thinking back when we acted that out in school in China. I still use that play today to help me understand the whole story. The way that President Rahlf used this story was really good. His topic was "Bloom Where You are Planted." As we reviewed the story, there were so many times where Joseph was thrown into a bad situation and could have just given up. Instead, he consistently made the best of whatever situation he was in and then was blessed for it. Something that I could work on but I'm sure everyone could do better at this. He related it to the missionaries since he always hears missionaries complain about where they get assigned and stuff instead of blooming where they are planted. It's something that we have full control over it just depends on us to do it. Overall, really good zone conference like always.
So maybe 2 weeks ago I think I told you about the Jaramillo family or the 3 sisters at least. This week we were able to teach Clarissa, the 2nd sister, and committed her to church. This lesson went way better than normal as well. We were able to talk and joke a lot which really made her open up more. She mentioned that her older Sister Marvilyn, the active one, had dropped by earlier that day and they talked about attending church as well. Also, Clarissa wants to have her baby blessed in church this March so we will use that along with the help of Marvilyn to bring her back to the church. This Sunday was a rainy day. Rained all day long starting early in the morning so she said that's why she didn't attend church but when I dropped by with Mark June she was in good spirits and still looking forward to having her baby blessed in a few weeks.

We got a new investigator this week that seems really promising. It is the girlfriend of one of the members. Her name is Jen. I guess Jenevie but we call her Jen. She is 24 and I think he is 25 or maybe 26 so  I think this could even has potential to get to the temple when the time's right. She is a Catholic but is pretty familiar with our church. She had a friend in Solano that always took her to institute a few years ago and she liked what she heard there. Even though all her family is Catholic, they still support her on whatever she feels is right which is really good because that doesn't happen very often. Elder Labrador and I are really excited to continue teaching her with Elmer (her boyfriend) and see the progress we know she can make.

We are starting to lose hope in Brother Neo. We haven't been able to contact him at all. We went to his house this week and just talked to his wife since he was gone. She was surprised when we told her he hadn't replied to our texts. We know he his close with a couple leaders in his church and we feel he might have been told to stop listening to us. We'll give it a couple more weeks and see how it goes.
Those are probably the biggest parts of this week. Like I said earlier, it rained all day Sunday. Got soaked. We were asked to meet a member at 7 to go with them to the hospital to give a blessing to their niece that got dengue. She seems to be on the upside of it but still gave the blessing. Can't stand the hospitals here. This one wasn't any different. There are cats walking up and down the halls and like 7 people in beds in each room. That kinda made it a little awkward giving the blessing but I was fine with it. The girl getting the blessing was more embarrassed with a lot of people being there but we showed her that it was okay. Then on the way back to town on the tricy I got soaked. So that wasn't fun. Then I just sat in wet clothes during dinner. Dinner was super funny. I don't want to tell everything that happened since it won't be the same reading it but we laughed super hard. Most I've laughed in a long time! Love the missionaries we have here in Echague. We've all become really good friends.

Overall very enjoyable week this week. Hope you all have a great week this week and I love you all!

Elder Haacke

Monday, February 15, 2016

Training Broadcast and Transfers

Another week passed and another transfer day come and gone! Before I get to that though, I mentioned last week that we watched a training broadcast for missionaries that was taught by some of the apostles, members of the Seventy and other church leaders. I went back and reviewed my notes and saw a few things I really liked from the broadcast that I can share with you in my letter this week. 

First thing was something taught by Elder Niel L. Anderson. He told a story about how we need to always be ready to testify about the Savior. He said, "Have the Savior on your lips." If we always have him on our lips we will always be ready to testify of him when the prompting comes. Plus you will most likely receive more of those promptings (or at least recognize them) when you are ready. This is something we can apply our whole life and especially as a missionary.  Elder Anderson then went on talking about repentance and how it relates to the other principles of the gospel. David A. Bednar focused a lot about the spirit and our role in bringing it unto others. Some of the things he said made me remember a few things from my mission so far. He talked about how we as missionaries, having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, bring it into people's homes to those that do not yet have that constant companion. As soon as he said that I thought of our investigator Neo Cuntapay. Many times he has told us the different feeling we bring to his house and himself personally when we are able to teach him. We have taught him about the Holy Ghost and he knows how it works but I think he is still scared to commit to something different then what he is doing now. I also thought of the Chakino family from Bambang. They too loved it when we were there. I remember very well the night Sister Chakino bore her testimony to us and also thanked us for always coming to their house and the spirit we brought and left every time we went. Elder Bednar also talked about how to use the spirit in teaching and how you don't need to know it's revelation to say something. Those were two standout things that I liked. We also learned about teaching less actives, giving commitments and the best ways to find new investigators. Overall a very good conference and learned a lot I need to add/do differently in my teaching. 

Like I mentioned last week, found out on Monday that I wasn't being transferred so I'll be here for 7 more weeks! This cycle is 7 weeks to push us back a week because of the change in the MTC. We've had some crazy cycles recently. 4 weeks then 8 weeks then 6 weeks and now 7 weeks but it should all get back to normal after this 7 week cycle. Tuesday this week was the prepare day and farewell for Sister Villa and Elder Romo. It was also a birthday for Nanay Layugan so they just combined it all and had a little party at the church Tuesday evening. We played some games and ate some pretty good food. By the way, my team dominated at the game I was in. It was a math game and I brought my team the victory. We swept the other team like 4-0. Ended with eating dinner, taking pictures and saying goodbye. Oh also on Tuesday, AP's called us and told us to have those transferring in Alicia zone to just commute on their own instead of us lining up a van. We had already lined up the van so we had to call him again and cancel. Everyone transferring in the zone was angry we didn't have a van but they all still managed to get to Cauayan on time to read the lists. Elder Labrador and I went and helped the sisters in the morning with their bags so they didn't have to carry them by themselves on the bus. Transfer meeting in Cauayan was pretty fun. Got to see some of the other missionaries I haven't seen in a while. I would have to say though there are a ton of missionaries that I don't even know the name of. Anyway, after we read the lists we helped the missionaries get in their vans and then we left. We got some great new additions to the zone which was good because I was pretty close with a lot of them that left. So I don't know if in your missions you would say like you have a daughter and son in the mission and stuff like that. If you are the district leader and you have a brand new sister in your district, then she becomes your 'daughter'. Then of course if you train then that is your son. So in the mission I have one son and two daughters and both my daughters (Sis. Baldomaro and Sis. Argonosa) got transferred to Alicia zone. They are so cool and really funny! And of course hard working! Also my new kabahay is Elder Palas. I was with him in Roxas for 4 cycles then we went to Tuguegarao North together and now we are together again here in Echague. He's pretty funny as well. So I'm pretty happy with the new zone even though I think I will only be here for one cycle longer.

Elder Labrador and I taught zone meeting on Thursday. We introduced the mission wide power read of the Book of Mormon then taught about charity. The zone made a pretty good discussion out of it and also the sister training leaders did a great job teaching their part of it. After the meeting the AP's came by and dropped us off some papers about zone conference this week. Elder Labrador and I are the hosts so I believe that means we are conducting. Our zone conference is tomorrow so we are really looking forward to it.
Friday morning we did a deep clean of the apartment. Mainly because Saturday was our apartment check but also because the apartment needed it. We cleaned out everything and even moved stuff out of rooms so we could sweep and mop it. We cleaned for like 2 hours straight and got rid of a ton of junk. We also reorganized where things are in the apartment which opened up some room in the main room. The apartment was super clean when we were done. Probably cleanest it's been since I've been here at least. It was good though because we passed the inspection Saturday morning. This was my first apartment check with the new housing couple and they check way more than the last ones did. Elder and Sister Shorter usually just came in, shared a message, talked a little, checked a few things and were on their way. Elder and Sister Jones asked way more questions about cleaning and then checked pretty well the entire apartment. Good thing we cleaned so well!

Go back to Friday real quick, we had Aaron's birthday party. I guess they all thought that I was gone so when we showed up they were shocked I was still here. It was a happy shocked not a sad shocked so that was good! We spent a hour with them celebrating his birthday then went to dinner with Nanay and Tatay Rivera.

For the second week in a row we were able to teach Neo. We saw him driving in his car Thursday evening while we were waiting for a tricy on the side of the highway. He honked at us but didn't stop. We got a hold of him over the phone but weren't able to set a time this week to meet up with him. He said he was too busy and would be out of town. I don't like letting people go this long with out being taught especially if they show signs of progression. We'll pray we get to meet up with him this week and share to him.

One of our less actives, Sister Heia, came to church for the third time in a row this week. We had stake conference so it was in Alicia and she was still able to go. She has made a few mistakes in her life but has been doing well on returning to church. Sometimes less actives don't get noticed when they come back to the church. Or at least the part of the missionaries helping them come back isn't seen. I think last week is when this happened... someone came up to us and asked if we were the missionaries helping Sister Heia return to church. We were really happy to be recognized for helping Sister Heia.

Another less active, John Garcia, hasn't been to church the last two weeks either. We were able to visit him though on Sunday night along with his sister and her husband who are also less active. We had a great BRT with them where they talked about their conversion to the church. They were some of the first 10 members of the church here in Echague. It was cool to have them tell us about what it was like back then. It was back around 1988. Just having about 10 of them at church in a house. Pretty cool to see it grow into two wards since that time.

Sunday we had stake conference where we got a new stake presidency put in. Elder Haney from the area presidency was there along with another member of the Seventy. Can't remember his name though. Then President and Sister Rahlf were there as well.The old stake presidency and the new stake presidency all bore their testimonies then we listened to Sister Rahlf then President Rahlf talk. Then the two members of the Seventy. Great meeting. I was thinking we were super lucky to have them here in Alicia stake speaking to us until Elder Haney mentioned Elder Nelson was also in the Philippines but in Naga mission. Just kidding, they still did a great job and we were very lucky to have the privilege to listen to them.

Overall we had a pretty good week this week. Got the new zone all settled in and we are looking forward to zone conference tomorrow! Should be another great week this week! Take care and I love you all!

Love Elder Haacke

Elder Labrador and I with some of the Sisters at stake conference.
Aaron's birthday party Friday. All birthday parties in the Philippines (at least that I've heard of or been to) has these karaoke machines that are super loud. You always know when someone has a birthday cause you'll hear it from blocks away.
 Elder Labrador, Sister Delinila, Sister Baldomaro and myself at transfer day.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Two Trips to Cauayan

First week of February has already come and gone and I am under 6 months left! So as you might know I told myself that when I have 6 months left, I'll start exercising to get back in shape. Well, the day came this week and believe it or not but I exercised! Second day came around and I was up again! Only thing is I jumped rope for about 3 minutes and called it quits. Haven't exercised since! I'll try and give it another go this week though. We'll see.

I mentioned last week that we will be getting our transfer list today. I was totally surprised. I thought there were going to be a ton of missionaries leaving the zone including myself! Well, only 4 are leaving and I'm not one of them. That means Elder Labrador and I will do a third cycle together and I'll do my fourth in the area. Not a bad thing being that Elder Labrador and I get along just fine and work well together. Elder Romo, one of my kabahay (house mates) is transferring so I'll miss him. I've gotten pretty close with him and we've gotten along really well. The sisters here in Echague aren't leaving though. Probably some of my favorite sister missionaries in the mission and we get to stay another cycle here all together. Well as I'm typing this the AP's just called and said it was a mistake and Sister Villa is transferring. So guess we won't all be staying here but it will still be good here in Echague! Everyone in my ward thinks I'm not here anymore and I already gave some neckties away so should be a nice shock when I'm still here next Sunday!

This week went by super fast because of the district meeting in Cauayan on Tuesday then had MLC on Wednesday. Those two meetings in Cauayan were super good and really fun. Woke up early Tuesday morning to get to Cauayan by 9 to start accounting then be ready for the broadcast by 10. Pretty sure we were one of the last missions to watch this but it still was super good. I didn't bring my notes to the net shop but I really did get quite a few good insights from it and can honestly say I listened really really well 98% of the time. Last 5 or so minutes I started to doze off every now and again. But anyway, it was well worth it! Then afterward, they allowed us to go to the mall there in Cauayan to eat lunch. That means I got Macdo! Super good. Then we came home to Echague and got straight punted. We didn't get one single lesson until dinner. At least we were able to share a pretty good message and have a good conversation with them. I led the lesson and shared about Job. Nanay then shared some experiences from her life including the death of her husband that have been trials but she has been able to press forward because of her faith. We were just talking before the dinner about her husband and that the missionaries don't know what happened to him or where he is at. We all learned about it when Nanay started sharing to us. It was a good lesson because of the personal experiences that were shared. This was with the Sandaga family by the way.

Wednesday we got up, got ready and went straight back to Cauayan for MLC. Pretty normal MLC. Finished the new standard of excellence for 2016 that we will present to the mission later this month. We then made some plans for this months zone conference's and how we're going to introduce the new standard of excellence. Not a whole lot on it is changing but the changes that are being made I think will help the mission. Sister Rahlf taught about the Book of Mormon. We will be doing a mission wide power read of the Book of Mormon starting on Valentines Day. Should finish it in 60 days or so. Then President Rahlf taught us about Charity. Great lesson. We really defined the verse Moroni 7:45. I've read that verse so many times but I really noticed on Wednesday that I've never broken it down and thought about what each one of those phrases means. We talked about that one verse for about an hour, maybe even longer. All that along with some great tasting/free lunch made for a great MLC.

The rest of the week started to get a little colder again everyday with it being super cold Saturday evening, all day yesterday and so far today. Everyone is walking around in jackets and stuff. I've been enjoying it so far. Working without sweating bullets has been amazing. Even though it's been nice weather lately, we kinda struggled this week work wise. We did find a Sister's house in our ward that we have had a hard time finding.  Sister Marvilyn Asuncion is an active member but her husband is not along with her two sisters that she is close with. Her two sisters, Clarissa and Jenyvee, live next to each other and also really close to our apartment. We want to help Marvilyn reactivate her husband along with her two sisters. We'll make that one of our goals for this week. We actually taught Sister Jenyvee on Sunday which was my first time. Hopefully we'll be able to work well with them this cycle and help them come back. Both Jenyvee and Clarissa have little babies so that will be something we'll have to work around to help them come to church.

Brother Neo Cuntapay was not in town this week which was too bad after we had a great lesson with him last week. We are really looking forward to following up with him. We'll also have to make it a priority to meet up with him this week.
This week we should be able to hit the work a little harder since we'll only be going to Cauayan once instead of twice this week. I'll be getting a new kabahay this week so I'll let you know about that next week. Also we will be teaching zone meeting this week on Thursday. Should be another great week! Hope you all have a great week as well. Love you all!

Love Elder Haacke

Fell asleep at the Sandaga's house for a little. haha They invited us in then the sisters had something happen so they took like 30 minutes to get there and Nanay was in the back cooking so we had no one to talk to.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fourth Week of the Cycle

Another good week gone by! It hit me that this was the fourth week of this cycle this week. Going very fast. This week could be my last week in Echague if I transfer. We will find out next Monday who is transferring. There should be quite a few missionaries transferring from Alicia zone next week since a lot have been here for a while and others are finishing training a new missionary so they might transfer as well. That's all stuff we'll find out in a week though.

Start this week off once again with district meeting. We were supposed to go to Cauayan for a broadcast this week for district meeting but it got moved to tomorrow instead. It is the same broadcast that Sam just watched this last week. I heard it was pretty good from Jake so I'm looking forward to it tomorrow. Not so much about waking up early to get to Cauayan on time though but it'll be worth it! This last week was just a normal district meeting. I attended Elder Reyes' district meeting this week. We talked about representing Jesus Christ and how we can be better instruments in his hands. Elder Reyes taught it really well and we had a good discussion with everyone in the district. After district meeting we quickly went to a tailor shop and got everyone fitted for a zone basketball jersey. It was a last minute thing so we had to do it all in one day. We wanted a zone t-shirt but nobody designed one until right now and it ended up being a jersey but that was okay with everyone. We should get it next Monday which is right before transfer day. Talk about procrastinating. At least we'll end up with one even though it won't have everyone's name on the back it will still be nice to remember the zone.

This week we were pretty much adopted by the other ward. We were invited to quite a few dinners in their ward and since we didn't have any appointment in our ward, we didn't see a problem going over for a quick dinner. In all, we were invited Tuesday night, Friday night, Saturday night and then the usual Sunday night dinner. Tuesday was a last minute dinner with the Sandaga family. It's just Nanay and her son at the house so they were happy to have some company. They specifically asked Elder Labrador and I to come back this Tuesday and we are the ones to share a message next time. Friday night was with Nanay and Tatay Rivera. We actually eat at their restaurant that they run which is really in our area but they attend church in the other ward because of where they live. They both served missions a long time ago so every time we eat with them we always hear some good stories from their missions and get to learn from their experiences. Saturday was a new place I've never been and actually pretty far. It was with the Bercero family. You could probably be safe to say they live in the middle of nowhere. We thought we were going to have to walk all the way back since they don't have a tricy but luckily we were able to get a ride not long after starting to walk. All 6 of us piled in the tricy and were home in no time.

Work wise this week was actually pretty successful. We got a referral this week (something that doesn't happen very often) and we contacted it on Friday. It was a really old Tatay that I guess was taught before by missionaries. His name is Raymundo Subaba. We were able to share with him when we met him. He said he is always sick so the missionaries weren't able to visit him very often before so we'll have to see if we'll be able to work around that.

Best part of the week was when we had our one day mission with the Elder's Quorum on Saturday. We met at 8:00 in the morning, which as we all know by now became 9:00, then split up and went to different areas. I worked with Brother Acosta and we went to Dammang. That's the place where the bridge got destroyed when the river rose. They have somewhat fixed the road since then so that's where we worked. We went to places I had never been before and were able to visit 4 families before we met up again for lunch. 3 less active and 1 active. Brother Acosta is a great member missionary. He converted to the church after he was married so he obviously couldn't serve a mission but he is probably one of the best non-full time missionaries I have worked with my whole mission. After eating lunch all together at the Dumaliang's house, Brother Acosta came with Elder Labrador and I to work the rest of the day which turned out to be a ton of help. We taught Brother Neo and that was an amazing lesson and Brother Acosta was able to help him relate well to the gospel. Brother Neo is a Catholic as was Brother Acosta before he converted. We taught about Joseph Smith again and more about the Book of Mormon. Then we recommitted him to pray about the things we shared. I think he understood a lot better this time than the first time we talked about him. Brother Neo is beginning to recognize the Holy Ghost which was awesome to hear him tell us. He didn't know what it was when he shared two experiences from this last week of how he was prompted to do something. We were happy to help him understand what that was and how it works. Made it easier to show him how we receive answers to our prayers. I'm looking forward to getting back to him later this week.That was definitely the highlight teaching moment for the week. 

In all we had a pretty good week this week. Sunday was Elder Carrington's birthday so we celebrated at night with the Layugan family. That was a great way to finish off the week.

This week will go by fast since we go to Cauayan tomorrow then go back to Cauayan on Wednesday for MLC.
Hope you all have a great week. Love you all.

Love Elder Haacke

 Us with the Layugan family.
Us with Nanay Quisisem (white) and Sister Bernadeth (grey). Sister Bernadeth is their relative that has been here for the last month from Saudi. Caught them just before they left.
 Elder Carrington and I on top the side car of the tricy coming back from dinner Saturday night.
All of us with the birthday cake.

 Me with Elder Romo.

Went to the mall earlier today and had lunch together as Echague missionaries. We got three pizzas and we each got lasagna as well. Super good until we were all so full we could barely stand up after eating. We also made a t-shirt for the 6 of us which was pretty cool. Send a picture next week!