Whats up? Have you both been? Life is going good here. Today is the first day of my 10th transfer. Everything is going by so quick! Elder Madsen and I have now been together for one transfer, and we only have one more left then I'm transferred!! Woo! I'm pretty excited to be transferred and everything, I am going to miss this area so so much, but I'm ready for my 3rd area. Haha. We finally got everything moved into our new apartment. It kind of sucks not having power but our landlord hooks us up to their generator about half of the time. So we have power from about 9-10 at night until about 7-8 in the morning, which is nice. It kind of sucks when there isn't power for an electric fan, but everyone is thinking that by the 25th, the power will be back permanently. Sana! Our landlord is so so nice. Like I said, they hook us up to their power, always are cooking us food, etc. We ate dinner there at there house last night after we got back from work. We had lots of really good chicken adobo and lots and lots of rice. By the way I'm really craving rice right now, kaya sana Ill go get some lunch soon. They are so awesome and are always asking us if we have eaten or if we want to eat food haha. So awesome. They have asked us lots of church questions and they want us to share our message to them sometime. Sweet! I'm way excited for that. The only kind of problem is that they call us 'Michael and Austin or Brother.' They asked about what does 'Elder' mean, and I explained how it means missionary, etc. They thought that Elder was our actual name haha. Then they asked what our real names were, and we told them, now they wont stop calling us that! Or Brother....haahahaha. We told them we should go by the name on our name tags because we are missionaries hahaha I hope that stops soon. But more times than not its Brother. haha. When we don't have electricity at the house, we also don't have running water! So there is a well like thing at the apartment complex that is for all of the residents to use. It is a free flowing waterway down in a cement kind of pit thing. Its where we shower, and wash dishes when we don't have power hahaha! Sometimes its sketchy showering at night because I just know there are people watching, I've seen and heard them. They're trying to get an American peep show. I never shower in it at morning because the whole world will see me naked lol.
This week we have been keeping really busy. Obviously the move took us until Wednesday. We have finally gotten everything situated, its about time. We still were able to teach 19 lessons this week, which is pretty solid for a week like this, especially with the training schedule going on. Our landlord said that President Bliesner stopped by the apartment on Friday morning, around 1030 or 11, but we were out at work. I have no idea why! He has so many things to do, I don't know why he'd come to us, but we were out doing our morning work, which is a weakness in the mission so that makes us look pretty good haha. On Saturday, we worked with Brother Jeff, our group leader. I love this guy so much. He is the 2nd missionary to have come from Baao. He is so awesome, funny, and good at teaching. He is almost 40 now, and has 3 kids, a wife, and a mother in law to care for but he still finds time to work with us. He is the one who asked for a polo. I wish I could just send him a million dollars or something. If anyone needs it/deserves it its him. Anyways, he went to work with us on Saturday. We taught like 6 lessons that day, contacted 7 LA's, and ate lunch at a members house. He took us out to our very very farthest area, and showed us where the LA's were, now we know where to go when we go out there! It was so awesome. One of them went to Church yesterday, and we have high hopes for the rest of them. It seems like the farther away/harder to get to members are more receptive to those who are so close. Like I said one of them fed us eggplant and rice for lunch. It was the best eggplant Ive had in my mission, as well as the best rice. I was in love with the kind of rice we ate. They grew it all (eggplant/rice) themselves. I worry that when I get home to America I wont like the kind of rice out there :/ I'm also in love with vegetables here in the Philippines. Those are my favorite kinds of ulams-vegetables. I love all of it, and that's why I'm getting so fat haha.
We had a lot of members who went to Church yesterday, even though it was rainy. I really have big hopes for this area. We had 40 people attend church this past week. We killed it! Our very very best in Paracale was like 47 or 48. I think in 2 weeks or so, we can get 45. No doubt. Everyone had such a good time going to Church last week that I think they'll all go back. Yesterday Elder Madsen and I spoke in Church. I spoke about what I learned about in my personal study. I am reading a church book called "Lay hold upon the good work of God". It's like a church book/class manual. So good. I spoke about lengthening our stride as members as well as the power of one. I had this impression of what to talk about before church yesterday, while we were out working, as I was looking at my stride. I talked about how we as members might have not to big of strides, in missionary work, and as well as in everyday lives. I stood at the front and walked a couple of steps in small small steps, and asked "After 10 minutes where will I end up?" obviously not much progress, then I took 2 big strides, and asked "where will I be in 10 minutes like this?" It worked better than I thought it would. I said that we might not be meeting our potential. Then I talked about how all of us have a great potential to do great things. I then talked about the power of just one person and the power of their big strides. I used to examples Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ. I said because of just one Joseph Smith, one person, who went maybe out of his comfort zone, to kneel and pray out loud, is the roots of an almost 15 million member church, with the true priesthood that is growing everyday. I also talked about, one Jesus Christ, who because he kept himself free from sin, who even though lived among imperfections, and sin all of his life, chose the right, always, and was able to perform the Atonement for us. Now we all have the ability to return to live with God again. Before I finished the talk, I talked about things that we can do to lengthen our stride: family scripture study everyday, family prayer everyday, setting better examples, and repenting. It went better than I thought it would, haha. I spoke for just short of 25 minutes, the longest talk Ive ever given. Not to shabby. I asked Bro Jeff to count my mistakes before I spoke so I will no what to work on. 2. I'm still working on fixing those 2. But I still don't sound like a Filipino yet, still a long way to go.