Monday, January 23, 2012

January 15, 2012

Hello. 

I have a new companion. His name is Elder Balasta. He is way funny and so loud. Just like Elder Vedrio. Elder Balasta is from Negros Occidental and can speak Visayan. His English isn't really good so we have been speaking a lot more in Tagalog than I have with my other companions. If Elder Vedrio didn't understand what I was saying in Tagalog, I could just speak to him in English and he would get it. I can't really do that with my new comp, but its been really fun this past week. 

We've set some high goals for this coming week so I hope we can meet them all. This Saturday we are having a baptism in Jose Panganiban, at the chapel there. It is in my district. It is the sister of Joyce, who I baptized last October. Her name is Ria Ann and she has been listening to the missionaries forever! 

This week we had a broadcast, similar to general conference, at our stake center. It was a broadcast from Manila by the Area PResidency here. We have close to 700,000 members in the Philippines, but less than 150,000 are attending church. We had a bunch of baptisms last year, but no increase in sacrament meeting attendance. So the Area Presidency is having the church as a whole here and the missionaries focus on reactivation. Baptisms aren't as important as reactivating people. Once we are getting people active again, we are suppose to teach them consistently until they get to the temple. 

I am way excited for this because for me it is easier to talk to people about things they already know, and help them remember the testimony they already have, than teach it all from the beginning. 

Random fact. America has the most members of the church in one country, followed by Mexico, Brazil, and then the Philippines. Also Naga mission has the highest retention rate of its members, in all of the 'Pines(ya baby). 

The language is still way hard, but is always getting easier. BTW I saw the blog y'all posted with the video of me speaking. I'm never speaking to you again in Tagalog until I get home from my mission <3  

I don't know what else to talk about. 
  • Elder Balasta is a good cook. 
  • I have 4 protein bars left. 
  • I try to do 300 push ups every other day (half in am half in pm). 
  • I think I have LBMs. 
  • I love being a missionary.
  • I got a email from Joel. He drinks so much chocolate milk. I'm so jealous. 
Love your first born in the wilderness,
Michael

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