Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, June 20, 2016

Surprise Transfer

Wow do I have some news this week! Totally surprised me but as you know, this is transfer week and we got the transfer list this morning. I'm transferring! Going to be honest though, I'm pretty disappointed about it. I've gained a love for the people here and this area that I haven't had in any other area. I really wasn't planning on getting transferred since I haven't been here for very long. Definitely going to miss this place like crazy. Guess we'll have to see what the Lord has in store for me. As of now I have no idea where I could go so it will be a surprise for all of us come next week! 

As for the week this week, we had a busy one so it went by very fast. We went out to work in the morning on Tuesday. We went to Ilagan in the afternoon for our specialized training/farewell with President and Sister Rahlf. They taught about the Atonement which was super good. President Rahlf is very good at teaching about the Atonement. He has studied it very well and for a long time so it's really fun to listen to him teach it. Along with teaching the Atonement, they gave some going home thoughts which were really good and helpful. They didn't go into detail about things but mentioned a lot of things that will be helpful in the mission and in life. President and Sister Rahlf have been amazing 'mission parents' and great examples to all of us. I have definitely admired the attributes they have and will strive to apply the things I've learned from them to myself. Definitely will miss them but I'm sure the new mission president will be just as good. Tuesday morning we only got one lesson with Nanay DelaCruz. It was hard since school has started now. Nobody was there but at least we tried. We left right after lunch and went to Ilagan and didn't get home until 8 so that was pretty much all of Tuesday. We were supposed to have dinner with the Pinon family but they said they were going to go to bed so we weren't able to go. We ended up having breakfast with them in the morning instead so it all worked out. 

Wednesday was a pretty good day. We had a good lesson with Nanay Acopido. She knows how much the church will help and bless her life but we are still having problems with her husband. She has had a lot of friends that have become members of the church and she has seen their lives change so she knows the same could happen for her. Tatay still won't give us time to teach him which is too bad but we won't give up on them. We were also able to teach Nanay Luce on Wednesday. We are starting with the Plan of Salvation which I think she really enjoyed. We just talked about the Pre-Earth Life until the Fall of Adam and Eve which we had a really good discussion about. She asked quite a few questions about the Fall but we were able to answer them pretty easily. The Fall is something that I've started to enjoy teaching. Just because almost everyone else doesn't understand how necessary the Fall was and why it was part of God's plan. Luce is still progressing well but hasn't attended church. We invited her to baptism a week or so ago but she said she needs to think about it first. Her husband told us not to come back but we didn't listen. We went back again on Saturday and was able to teach her again about our life on Earth. 

Thursday we got up early and left for Cauayan. We had splits with the AP's which was pretty good. My companion was Elder Navarro and we had a pretty good time. He is from Boise so we were able to talk a little bit about home. It's always nice to see different ways of teaching and we were both able to see things we liked in each others teaching. It rained super hard on us at one point so we got pretty wet. Just made us contact someone really quick so we could hide in their home while the rain passed. Later that night when talking to the others they said it didn't even rain where they were at. So it was just us that got dumped on. It was alright though, we still had a good day. Also we ate lunch at KFC so that was super good. And they got a new apartment which has air conditioning and a warm shower so that was something I haven't had in a while. 

Friday morning we got up and took off back to Burgos. Travel took forever! 3 hours! Takes like 30 minutes in a car but jeeps take forever. We waited for ages for the jeep to fill up before we finally got to leave then we had to get off and wait for the second jeep to fill up so we could leave. Took forever and was so tiring but we finally made it back to the apartment. I don't know if you remember the Lopez sisters or not. We taught them back in the day but it's been a long time since we've been able to teach them since they went and stayed in Roxas for a while. Well we taught April again and she remembered basically everything we had taught so far. We reviewed a little of the Plan of Salvation then finished teaching it since that's where we stopped last time. We also gave her a baptismal date for July 23. She promised to attend church but she didn't end up going. Her baptism is still far enough away that she'll be able to attend church enough times to be baptized. Also we got a new investigator on Friday that had some potential. Tatay Benancio Salazar. We met him right when he was coming home from the bukid but he still gave us some time to share with him. We actually gave him a baptismal date as well for July 30. We'll have to see if he progresses to be able to make that date or we might have to push it back. We've only taught him once so far so we'll see how the second visit goes. 

Saturday we did weekly planning since we didn't have time on Friday. Don't really like it that much but we got it done! We were able to teach the first counselor again this week. He's having some problems right now so were trying to help him by sharing with him every week. We are also communicating well with the Branch President about his progress in getting rid of his habits. He hasn't made a lot of progress but we're only a week into it so we'll see how this week goes. Also like I said earlier we were able to teach Luce again on Saturday and also the Biernes family. We weren't planning on sharing with the Biernes family but when we went by to see how they were doing he said he had some questions about the Book of Mormon so we decided to make a lesson out of it and get his questions answered. Nestor still can't walk but he says he's feeling better and progressing well. This is the guy that got stabbed a couple times if you didn't remember. His questions were more on what the Book of Mormon was about so we explained it a little better then just gave a simple scriptural thought. 

Sunday was pretty hard. We had a visitor though that was a missionary here back in the day. I was in the same zone with him my first cycle in Roxas then he went home. It was pretty cool to see him again. He has a girlfriend back in that area he was assigned in Roxas so they visited Burgos since it was close. Other than that, church was pretty hard. We didn't have priesthood class since nobody was there. Just the priesthood holders in the Cordova family and us two missionaries. So we just had Sunday school which was last second as well since the teacher wasn't there. Sacrament was pretty good though. The speakers were well prepared and gave good talks. Our attendance was lower than last week. I counted around 50 or probably just over 50. Pretty low compared to last week so that was too bad. We had another meeting with President after church. We were able to discuss some things that we noticed the branch needs. I encouraged him to call a branch clerk to make his job as branch president not as hard. The person he suggested for clerk was exactly who I wanted him to say so he'll get called next week and I know he'll help the branch a lot. Too bad I won't be here to continue to help out the branch here in Burgos. I know the branch has the potential to grow and become a strong, established branch. The only thing lacking is some organization and action from the members and this branch could get back on it's feet. I'll keep in touch with Elder Dialino so I can stay updated even when I'm in my next area. Love this area but I guess we'll have to see what's in store for me this week. I'll update you all as soon as possible on my new area and new companion! Hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Haacke

 We ate frog at FHE last Monday with the Cordova family. Not my first time but it is my first picture with it. It is actually really good.
 My area is definitely out in the rice paddies but I love it! All the fields will probably be planted by this week. There's just a few left that haven't been planted yet and are still being prepped.
 Elder Romo and I in Ilagan. May have been the last time I see him before I go home.
 Me with President and Sister Rahlf after the tie cutting. Chose the purple tie to get cut.
Took a tricy all the way back to Burgos since there were no more jeeps. I rode on top so it was nice and cool.
 This is us earlier this morning. We all went to the chapel and played basketball and volleyball. Last p-day together before three of us transfer!
 More from this morning.

Last pic before I leave, also from the training. Dad, this is Philip Walstad's son if you remember him from Nuskin. We've become pretty good friends here in the mission and will probably hang out a few times after the mission since he lives so close to BYU.

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