Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

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

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