Week 31: Transferred to Arayat Branch, Challenging Work, and District Leader
First off sorry to you all that I am on so late and not able to chat with you guys. It sounds like your trip to CA was an absolute blast and I pray you all make it home safely :)
So yes this week I transferred to a new area in Angeles zone. It is about 2 hours from the city in a beautiful 'bukid' or farm area, but to to me it looks like a kinda jungle :) We are at the base of a gorgeous mountain that looks like a volcano. It is not near the size of the ones back home but it is magnificent to look at with all the flat space and trees surrounding it. I look forward to hiking it in the coming weeks :)
First my new companion is Elder Gaudiano. He is from Visayas, and has 3 transfers left in his mission. He is easily the funniest missionary I have met on the mission. He is a very good teacher and definitely knows his stuff! I have progressed quite noticeably in the short time we have been companions concerning Tagalog. We speak on a regular basis and it is starting to become natural to speak about other things besides the gospel. I'm super excited to keep working with him :)
Our area is a challenging one. In terms of work. The average lessons per week is 25 when it should be closer to 40. We only have 3 Investigators w/ Baptismal dates and 2 are quite tentative. But the members here in the branch are quite amazing. Our ward mission leader is blind but he works with us every day! He loves missionary work and is super enthusiastic! I love the guy. So the members are pumped and I'm pumped to work with them along with Elder Gaudiano. I'm hoping to see some miracles happening here :)
I also got called to be the District Leader here. LOL of me and my companion!! Our district used to be comprised of other Elders but apparently there was an emergency transfer and their area was dissolved. President plans on having more missionaries out here next transfer... but they were supposed to be here this transfer so who knows :) I'm just excited to have some extra work and responsibility. It'll help me grow and learn to render more Christlike service :)
One sad experience from this week was Friday morning. Although I was sad to leave my last area, I was very excited! But Friday morning was our first companionship study. To start the study we obviously begin with prayer and reciting a few things, followed by reading 3 pages of the Missionary Hand Book. We started where I had left off and it happened to be "Communicating w/ Converts" I just started bawling my eyes out when I read it. I was just so sad to leave them. It didn't hit me until that moment that they were gone, or rather I had left them... Even though it will be hard and I will continue to miss them. I know the Lord has need of me in other places and I am so happy to continue serving wherever he may call me. I love His work, and it is going by too fast... I cannot believe I am going on 8 months... 1/3 of the way through... only 16 more months to change peoples lives... Gotta get busy :) love you all again have a fantastic week!
Elder Watkins :)
Elder Gaudiano (Dustin's new companion) and Elder Watkins and Mt. Arayat(an extinct volcano) in the background. Elder Watkins is all kinds of adorable!!!