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

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