Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, March 28, 2016

Last Week In Echague

Well I can officially say it was my last full week in Echague! I will be transferred this Wednesday and most likely end up in what will be my last area! Pretty exciting but also weird to think about. Time goes so fast. But I'm excited to get to a new area and meet new people and experience another companion. Echague has been pretty good and I will miss it but I'm excited to get to the new area. Today was a pretty good day. Sister Merlyn, one of our investigators, got married earlier this morning at the church. That was pretty cool. Guess who gave the opening address? That's right, I did. Why me? I have no idea. The second counselor came up to me yesterday at church and asked me to do it so why not? They had something printed out and told me to just read it straight from the paper. It was English which I think is why he wanted me to read it. I read over the paper and it was full of mistakes. No idea who tried to write it but it wasn't even close to normal English. At dinner Sunday night, Sister Delinila and I went through it and made a ton of corrections and took some stuff out. Even though she's Filipino, she's probably better at English than I am so she helped me edit it. But the wedding was pretty cool since I haven't been to one since I've been here. It was cool to also be a part of the program. Then after the wedding, they all left and went to PagAsa (where they live which is really far) to eat and we left and went to Santiago for pday. Met up with Elder Enuake since he goes home tomorrow back to New Zealand and we had a big feed together at McDonald's. As for the week this week, we were pretty busy. Started out great. President and Sister Rahlf came to Alicia Tuesday morning and taught a specialized training. It was about the last week of Christ's life as well as traits of becoming a better missionary. I really enjoyed the part about Christ's life. I learned a lot of things there that I have already applied to the work. During the whole week I always thought about the things that Christ was doing on that day. Also taught a lot about Christ this week being that it was Holy week and Easter Sunday. I remember this week last year when I was in Roxas and I remember thinking how weird it is. Like what the people do and stuff. But not a whole lot changed from last year and this year. Friday we did splits with the Elders in Paddad. We almost cancelled it since we waited so long for a van or bus and one never came. I told Elder Labrador we would wait 5 more minutes and if nothing came then we would just cancel the splits and do it again another time. Luckily within about 2 more minutes a van came. That was the only van I saw on either side of the road the whole time we were traveling to Paddad. I split in Paddad with Elder Lott and Elder Labrador came back to Echague with Elder Sorronda. Splits went pretty well I guess. It was kinda hard to get people to teach. Granted I wasn't in my own area but I guess it ended up being similar for Elder Labrador and Elder Sorronda. Everything was closed and almost nobody was out on the streets. Even if people were home they just wanted to relax since it was Good Friday. So Friday was a pretty long day but we survived. Spent the night in Paddad then came home Saturday morning. The apartment in Paddad has air conditioning so that was awesome. Definitely miss that from my days in Amulung. So on Thursday, we were supposed to have splits with the other elders from Paddad in our area but the one got "sick" and said he didn't want to have splits anymore. They still came to Echague that day to do a baptismal interview but then went back home. We went to Bishop's house to get the key to the church for the interview and while we were leaving these two Tatay's outside drinking stopped us and started talking about the Bible with us. We didn't have to unlock the church for about half an hour and we didn't have a set appointment at that time so we sat and talked for a while. Ended up being quite the discussion. He just asked a ton of doctrinal questions but we were able to answer all of them pretty easily. We eventually got up to leave and he told us to sit back down and was keeping us from leaving. He said that's not how missionaries work. You don't leave until the person you are teaching has a perfect understanding of what you're teaching. So he made us promise that we would come back after we unlocked the church. He gave us 30 minutes. I didn't want to go back since it was a total waste of time but my companion wanted to go back and prove a point or something. So we ended up going back and it was no question a waste of time. The guy wouldn't even listen. Every time we talked he cut us off. Plus he was drunk. Plus what he was saying wasn't making sense. So ended up wasting like another hour. I guess it was a little interesting to hear his point of view on things even though he was far from the truth which was sad. But the rest of Thursday was pretty good. Contacted a referral that we started teaching in St. Domingo. The Bauit family. They were pretty shy and didn't open up really well but when we went back on Sunday it was way better. They will be a fun family to teach in the future. Sister Ghen was at church again. The Sisters taught her and her mom in Santiago Sunday so that was good they are now in contact with her. In gospel principles on Sunday, we talked about temples. The ward just got back from the temple this week and the newly endowed members bore their testimony on Sunday so Ghen had a lot of questions about it. We had an awesome discussion and talked a lot about family history work along with a little about the Plan of Salvation. Sister Ghen ended up getting pretty emotional when we were talking about what happens to those that aren't baptized here on Earth. Good thing we have family history and baptisms for the dead. She started crying when she thought of her dad that has already passed away and never accepted the gospel. By the end of class, she had gained a testimony of the importance of temple work and the other ordinances that happen in the temple. I'm excited for her as she continues down the path of conversion. So remember the one investigator we had that we ended up having the sisters teach since we didn't know it was really their area? Well she got baptized on Saturday. That was really exciting. She was really happy that it finally happened. She said she has waited a long time for this. We were all really happy for her. Church on Sunday was pretty good. It was fun listening to a lot of people's experience going to the temple. Right after church we went straight to the Bercero's house and ate lunch with them. Then we went to Savemore and met up with Cesar, Mark Jun, and Joy for work that afternoon. It was really fun working with them and we got a couple more pictures before we would probably split up for the last time. Definitely going to miss the SA always working with us. That has been really fun to do every Sunday. Ended Sunday with Dinner at the Layugan's then went home. Overall it was a really good week. I am looking forward to this coming week though. Going to a new area and getting another companion. I'll let you know all about it next week! Hope you all have a great week. Love you all!

Love Elder Haacke

 The baptism Saturday (above and below).

 Brother Elmer, Sister Ghen and myself at church.
 Brother Acosta (left) and Brother Ualat (right), some of the best member missionaries along with Bishop.
Elder Kane, Elder Carrington, Elder Enuake and me at McDonald's earlier for lunch.

 Work on Sunday. These kids came out of nowhere while we were taking a pic asking to join in the picture so I told them to hop in!
 Walking back to town at night with Mark Jun and Joy.

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