Start out on Monday night last week. We had FHE with the Cordova family again. They love having us over for FHE. They also LOVE playing Uno so we end up playing a lot of Uno with them. It's kinda funny though. If they know we're coming to their house, they set up the chairs and table before we even get there so that when we arrive we can start playing right away. So we played some Uno, shared a message then ate dinner with them.
Tuesday we had our last interviews with President and Sister Rahlf. We got to the church early and made sure there was two rooms with air con for the interviews. We open up both the offices and both of them had an insect that had died and was getting eaten by a ton of ants. We cleaned them up and for the most part all the ants went away. When President and Sister Rahlf got there, we opened up the first office and it was still clean. When we opened up the second one for President Rahlf some of the ants had returned and were running all over the place. So President found my Branch Presidents cologne and sprayed it all over the place in his office to kill the ants. It was kinda funny and sure made his office smell good! Interviews went well. I feel like there is always so many things I want to talk to President about but when it comes to interviews, nothing comes to my mind. It was still a good interview though. Talked about attributes of Jesus Christ and he advised to always have a continuous study about Him. We then moved on to district meeting, ate lunch and went out to work. At work one of the people we were able to teach was Tatay Dannug. He's less active but his family is active. His son was considered returned this last Sunday since he had been there 4 weeks in a row now. Tatay was also there yesterday and when we visited them after church he was very happy. We asked him how attending church was and he said, "Happy! Very happy!" So that's good! Not really sure why or what happened but we were happy for him. Wednesday we got up and went straight to Cauayan. Attended MLC the whole day. Meeting was good and the food was great! :) Also got to see again a lot of my friends that are in far zones. President and Sister Rahlf also talked a lot about how the transition is going to work with getting a new mission president. I remember thinking that the time we get a new mission president was still so far away but it's come so quick! President and Sister Rahlf have talked and Skyped a lot with President Hiatt and his wife. From what we've heard, they seem very excited to come to the mission. We didn't get home till around 7:30 so that took our entire day.
Thursday we had did service at the school. School starts on the 13th and what they do here every year is about 2 weeks before school starts, they have community service at the schools to clean it all up and get it ready for the school year. The schools are basically abandoned when school is not in session. Weeds grow like crazy and everything becomes a mess. Our branch president told us we HAD to participate at least once. So we called a couple other missionaries and they came with us. He was supposed to be there as well to show us what to do but the night before he said he couldn't come. So we basically just showed up at the school and said, "What can we do?" They gave us some tools and we basically just swept up a ton of leaves and put them in piles. At least they gave us a free snack! We still had some fun though. Played baseball with the broom stick and some mangoes. After that we went home and got ready for the day. We had another elder come home this last week, Elder Cordova. When he left only one other member of his family was a member and now they are all members and really really active. One of the families that are helping this branch stay alive! But he worked with us on Thursday since he hadn't been released yet. He had like a really hard time speaking Tagalog since it's been two years since he has spoken it. Even I had to help and correct his Tagalog. But that just means he served well in his mission. We decided to contact some nice houses on Thursday. We got a few but were only able to set return appointments. Finally we found one where they were outside so we went up and introduced ourselves. Apparently all the people that were there weren't the owner of the house but just the helpers that keep it clean and stuff. We were able to teach one of them though, her name is Jessie. She has one daughter that we also met but we haven't met her husband. She didn't show a lot of interest but we'll have to see how she's doing when we go back this week. We also had three baptism interviews to do on Thursday. I did two interviews and my companion did the other one. All the interviews were successful and I had the chance to baptize two of them on Saturday.
Friday we had another csp at a different school right next to our apartment. We helped clean and fix Brother Roland's kitchen again. This time we focused more on the outside. I dug a path for the rain water since it was going right into the kitchen then made a hole in the cement wall for the water to go out. We're going back this week on Wednesday to finish it all up since school starts next week. Apparently my ditch didn't work though. We talked yesterday and he said the rain still got in the other night so looks like I know what I'll be doing Wednesday morning! For lunch we went to a birthday party and they had a ton of food which was great. There were a lot of other members there as well. Had a fun time talking to them all and once again, played a couple games of Uno. It was Rex Cordova's birthday so that's why we played some Uno as well. They are literally in love with that game. We just worked in Cullalabo on Friday. We taught Nanay DelaCruz again. She is such a fast reader. She's reading faster than we are teaching. She says she always wakes up in the middle of the night and uses a flash light to read. Probably the most diligent scripture reader I know here and she loves it as well. Also got to teach Sister Clarita. She is less active that is from Caliguian branch but she works at a house that is in our area so we visit her every once in a while. We haven't been able to teach her since Elder Dialino has been here so it was good we were finally able to leave a message with her. We committed her to coming to church and she promised she'd be there but it didn't end up happening so we'll follow up this week.
Saturday we had a baptism in the morning we attended. Like I said earlier I had the opportunity to baptize Angelica and Kylene. The water was pretty shallow so when I baptized Kylene her feet came up. I ended up doing what Dad did to me when I was a little kid and stepped on her toes for the second one. Everything was good after that. Rest of the baptism went really well. Speakers gave good short messages and everything went smoothly. Best part of Saturday though was teaching Nanay Luce. First time we got to teach her all week and I was looking forward to it so much. We followed up her prayer and had a better discussion about the Holy Ghost. She said she is searching and really thinking right now about which is the true church. Our lesson was great and we tried committing her to baptism but she said she is still thinking . She explained her answer and we respected it but we told her that she needs to come to church to really get a better understanding of what our church is like. She said she'll pray about coming to church.
The next day she still didn't end up coming. Too bad because this was one of the best Sundays we've had. There were a lot of members there and we had good classes as well. That was the most full I've seen the sacrament meeting since I have been here. The testimonies that were shared were really good. There was actually more that spoke Tagalog than Ilocano so we were able to understand them. We did have one investigator there, Sister Florence. We haven't focused a lot on her since she hasn't been here lately but it looks like she's back so we'll start teaching her again. Something else that was really good was we had 8 less actives at church that we are teaching. Three are now returned and the others are progressing. Two that really had good experiences were Tatay Pinon and Tatay Dannug. I mentioned Tatay Dannug earlier. Tatay Pinon even gave the opening prayer in sacrament meeting. We are planning on visiting the Pinon family later tonight so we'll talk more about church.
Over all we had a very busy week but still finished off strong with a lot of members attending church. Hopefully we'll be able to have the same this week but also with some investigators! Hope you all have a great week!
Love Elder Haacke