Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, May 2, 2016

Some Big News

Alright so I'm going to start this week with some big news! Something that you most likely did not expect... but HONEY MUSTARD HAS MADE IT TO THE PHILIPPINES! Yeah we were at McDonald's earlier and they had honey mustard! Brand new! They've never had it before! So yeah, that was great. Just got done with our zone activity. It was a pretty fun one. We came here to Ilagan and went to a park that has some caves and a zoo kinda. I say kinda because it only had a few animals. But the snake was pretty cool and I bent down too close to the cage of the monkey and out of nowhere he stuck is arm through and hit me! Caught me way off guard so I jumped way bad. But he was fast! Then the caves were pretty cool. In one of them we had to crawl and even get on our side to get through. Plus we had no flashlights so we basically went through blind. Only our tour guide, who was 11 years old, had a flashlight. So we just kept taking a ton of pictures and used the flash for light. But it was a lot of fun. This computer actually read my sd card but I started uploading a picture to this email and it has barely moved so hopefully it will finish by the time I do so I can send at least one picture. Just hit me today that next week is Skype so I gotta find somewhere to do it! Try and get that done this week. The attachment just failed so who knows if I'll be able to send a pic by the time I'm done here. Anyway, today was a lot of fun. Nice zone activity plus got to eat at McDonald's. 
This week was pretty good. We had some investigators at church this week and set a baptismal date with one. Florence Corquera is a girlfriend of a recent convert (Roel Cordova) and we taught her for the second time this last week. The lesson went great and she's already seeing the blessings of the gospel and accepted a baptismal date for May 28. It's pretty quick since we've only taught her twice but we think she can be ready by that time. Roel is also a great helper. He was baptized last February so I wasn't here yet but he is already very smart in the scriptures and has a strong testimony. This Cordova family is amazing by the way. All new to the church but they really are one of the strong families here in Burgos. You wouldn't know they are new to the church if someone didn't tell you. So now we're helping Florence also become familiar with the church and gospel and hopefully one day she will be able to share this with her family. That is really what she wants. Family unity. I told her there's no better way to gain family unity than by living the gospel and following the teachings of the church. 

So I didn't bring my planner to the net shop so I'm trying to think of specific things that happened this week... 
Wednesday was a pretty busy day. We went out in the morning and worked a couple hours. Taught Nanay DelaCruz and the Dannug family. Then ate lunch and went out to Mabini for a baptismal interview. After that we came right back to Burgos for the Sister's baptism where I was chosen to baptize. Part of being white in this country... she saw me at church and wanted me to baptize her. But I was happy to do so and the baptism ended up being really good. Then we went back to Cullalabo for work the rest of the evening. 

Thursday we had a CSP in Caliguian. We helped the girl scouts clean up around the barangay hall. Who even knew there was girl scouts here?? Anyway, basically what we ended up doing was pulling weeds out of the gutter while the sisters painted a fence. Good thing is since it was at the barangay hall there were a ton of people so they got to see that we also do service instead of just teach. So that was pretty good. One of those service projects that aren't the most fun but at least you're doing the right thing. 

Friday we did weekly planning at the church again. Super nice chilling in the air conditioning. Definitely something taken advantage of back home. Then again it isn't as hot back home. This week by the way has still been extremely hot! The last three days though it has rained pretty hard in the late afternoon then ended during the night. You would think that means it cools off but no, it's still super humid or even increases when it rains. Your getting wet from rain and sweating at the same time. 

Friday we had splits with two members. I went with Mark. He's our neighbor that just got home the other week from his mission. He is applying for BYU-Hawaii right now so we talked a lot about that. The question in the application still hasn't changed. About what the hardest thing is you've ever done. We talked about that for a while and got a good laugh out of it when I I told him what I wrote about. But we had a good time working together and he got to see some people he hasn't seen in two years. He lost a lot of weight on his mission so every one is way surprised when they see him. I think it might be the same for me but for the opposite reason! Just kidding.

Saturday we planned an activity with the youth in the ward to help them grow in unity with the leaders and with each other. We played some scripture games then ended with a big water fight. We all then went to the Cordova's house and ate pancit then went home. Quite a bit of youth showed up which kind of surprised me but it was good. Sunday however was complete opposite. There was only one young man there and a couple young women. Kinda sad since they all were able to make it to the activity but not church. 

Church was good however in the sense that we had some improvement. We set teachers for Priesthood class for the next two months and also made home teaching companionships and gave them assignments. Then in Sunday school, Jane Ancheta taught the lesson and did a great job. Then I was talking to her after church and she said that Nanay Diego taught Relief Society which doesn't normally happen. So we had lessons in all the classes for the first time since I've been here. Then we went to sacrament meeting and the microphone wasn't working so you could barely here people's prayers and testimonies but it was still good. I saw improvement in the branch this week and I think it will continue to improve slowly each week. Brother Mark is doing a great job as well helping the branch become more established. 

That's pretty much it for this week. Once again, I don't have my planner and I can't remember a lot of things from this week but I'll catch you all up on Skype next week. The pictures never loaded but I'll send some that Sister Velasco sent to me from the zone activity and the baptism on Wednesday. Hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to talk to you next week!

Love Elder Haacke

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