Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, March 7, 2016

New Goals for the Zone

What a busy and super fast week we just had! I knew it would go by quick because of everything we had planned to do but I really can't even describe how fast it really was!
Week started as usual with district meeting in Alicia Tuesday morning. I attended Elder Ratamula's district meeting. He taught about effective study and how it relates to effective teaching. It was a little quiet at first but we finally got a decent discussion going and had a fun role play at the end. Tomorrow we are planning to talk to the zone about some things that we need to work on. We talked about it on splits with the AP's this last week as well. The zone has been at an all time low on contacting the last couple weeks so we are going to have the district leaders focus on that this week and also talk about it as a zone before we split into districts.

Wednesday we had MLC in Cauayan. I really enjoyed MLC this month. One reason is because we don't have to regurgitate it to the zone. We won't be teaching zone meeting this month. Instead, President and Sister Rahlf will come by all the zones during the month and they will be teaching about the last week of Christ's life since it is Easter this month. That will take the place of zone meeting. But I really did enjoy the lessons taught in MLC. It was basically all about leadership. The AP's started off talking about the attributes of leaders. Expounded on all the verb attributes listed in the white handbook like represent, convey, inspire, encourage, help, teach, discuss, share, and correct. Then Sister Rahlf talked about ministering and administering. I feel like here in the Philippines, or at least in the wards, a lot of ministering happens and not a lot of administering. Everyone is excited to act and help and do things but the planning is a little weak. It is another one of those things where if you really want to have success, you need to do both. President Rahlf taught about the differences of being a "Law of Moses" leader and a "Higher Law" leader. Sometimes we get caught up in making sure everything we do is in line with the way we are told or with guidelines given to us but that's not always the right thing to do when it comes to a certain situation. I don't have my notes and I can't remember the exact examples President used but you can probably think of other examples of being a "Law of Moses" leader and a "Higher Law" leader. That pretty much sums up MLC. Hung out and ate lunch with Elder Teikauea again. Food was good as usual which put the icing on the cake for MLC.

Thursday we got back and had a normal day. Best part of the day was teaching Neo Cuntapay. After like 3 weeks or so we finally taught him again. We shared again about the Book of Mormon which ended up turning into a discussion about a ton of other stuff as soon as he read the Joseph Smith quote in the introduction about it being the most correct book of any book on earth. He said, "If that's true then what about us? We study from the Bible and that's not a true book?" This is a relatively easy question to answer but it didn't seem to click with him when we answered it. After a little longer he went back to his personal belief that as long as you live a good life and pray you will be saved. We set an appointment with him for this week either Wednesday or Thursday. Wednesday hopefully.

Friday we headed back to Cauayan for splits with the AP's. I went with Elder Antenorcruz. We didn't have a lot of appointments to go to so we ended up doing a lot of finding throughout the day. We set a goal to try and gain trust in the people we found within the first few minutes of meeting them. At the end of the day we thought we had done well with that and met some with potential to become progressing investigators. We had a good time together. Laughed a lot and had success. Talked a lot about the zone and ways we can help it improve. Like I said earlier, we are struggling in contacting so we talked about that while we were there. All in all it was a good splits.

Saturday we woke up, got ready, left Cauayan and headed for Paddad. We had to do a baptism interview Saturday morning. Ended up taking way longer than we wanted. We got to the investigators house which is right next to a members house that is pretty well known for being strict I guess. Anyway, before we get to where the investigator lives, the member meets us and just starts explaining to us right away why the interview can't continue. He had gone over and talked to her and started doing his personal interview to see if she was ready. Not needed but I guess he wanted to do it. Anyway, so this member tells us that she prayed for a sign which shows that she doesn't have any faith and can't be baptized. He didn't want the interview to continue but we ended up doing it anyway. Normally only one of us would interview but we decided that we both would interview so that we could better understand what had happened. Long story short, she was confused if she was worthy to be baptized since her and her husband are not married and that she will be judged by members because of that. Her husband was married before but has split with that first wife a long time ago. There is no divorce in the Philippines so he can't be married again to the woman we interviewed. Because of that, the church has made an exception that if they live together for 5 years and are faithful and loyal to each other, they can be baptized even if they aren't legally married. Once we explained it well to her she was comforted and had no more worries about not feeling ready. Turns out that is the main reason she prayed. Also she said she didn't ask for a sign to see something but just to know it's what she should do. She's been faithful in going to church consistently for a long time now as well. We knew she was more than ready to be baptized by the time the interview got over. Which lasted like 45 minutes. Don't really want to explain why. But all is well and her baptism happened later that afternoon. After the interview we came home, ate lunch, then went to Bishops house and we worked with him until the evening. We went out to Pag-Asa. The super far area. We have an investigator out there that is planning on getting married here in a couple of weeks so that she can be baptized. We visited a few other members out there before returning back to Echague. Finally got home later that night and I read a ton in the Book of Mormon to catch up because of the busy last few days we had. I'm back on pace now, even a little ahead in the power reading. Still loving it and loving the pace we are going at. It's fast enough that it's basically like a movie playing in my head as I read it.
Quick update on Sister Ghen. She might now be taught be other missionaries. She is from Santiago but has been going to church here so we started teaching her. She wants her family to hear the gospel as well so she will as of now start being taught in Santiago. She lives in the STL's area but in a really far part of their area that they never go to is what they said. Too bad but we know she'll keep progressing and that she's in good hands with the missionaries there.
Testimony meeting was pretty good on Sunday. It was super loud with a ton of little kids running and yelling. If you really paid attention though, the testimonies were really good and a lot about missionary work.

We had a pretty good week overall. Two trips to Cauayan took some time out of the week but we were still happy with what we got done in the time we had. I hope you all have a great week this week and I love you all!

Love Elder Haacke

 Last day with Elder Baclea-an.
The Sisters, Elder Labrador and I at church.

 Saw a peacock while finding in new places on splits with Elder Antenorcruz.
 Elder Labrador, Elder Antenorcruz and I in the pickup. Elder Higgins is behind Elder Labrador.

 View from inside the tricy.
 Sunset Saturday evening on the way back to town.

 The clouds were cool looking coming back from Pag-Asa. Blue and black.
 Me in the tricy. Little blurred since we were moving.

This is how the missionaries here preach sometimes. They just stand up on the bus, hand out envelops for money, pray, share a message, pray again, then go around and collect envelops with money in them. Interesting to hear the things they say. Most the time about who will be saved. Sad to hear how many misunderstandings and wrong interpretations they have. Makes me more and more grateful for the restoration.
Funny sign they had in a bus we rode in going to Cauayan on Friday. "Bawal Umutot" means like farting is prohibited. And no it is not fully air conditioned.

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