Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Week 49 - 1/1/2014

This week was probably the best week ever, no joke!!! To Start, Merry Christmas and Happy New year! #1 DANIEL GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! I'm trying to send pictures but it's being soooo slow... Anyway, it was like the best baptism ever. It was Sunday morning at 7, since it's so early, it was very reverent and he was just so excited. We took pictures and got started then in walks... Pres and Sister Schmutz! They had talked to him before and they just happened to come in that morning from Cebu to reorganize a ward and they learned of his baptism right when they got here so they got to come! It was a really neat experience and he shared the closing remarks. It was really cool because one of our investigators came who we tried to commit to be baptized, but she wanted to see one first and we haven't talked to her yet but it was so spiritual and she's been having really good experiences in church, lots of fellowshipping from the Relief Society and she just looks so much happier! It's really cool to see the transformation that has happened. So that was like a highlight of a lifetime. Then, Daniel was confirmed and given the gift of the holy ghost in sacrament meeting by Elder Anderson and it was only the most amazing blessing I've ever heard in my life. Talked about how he will be an amazing leader, get married in the temple, have a family, serve to lift and help others as a missionary as he has been lifted and helped... it was literally like a patriarchal blessing and so powerful! I'm so excited to see the great things that Daniel will do in the church and in his life. His testimony at his baptism was really short but really amazing because he said, I was the lowest of low. I didn't think my life a purpose anymore until the missionaries found me and the Book of Mormon and the Church literally saved my life.
Then Monday was...TRANSFER ANNOUNCEMENTS! They do it SO different than Tacloban but it was really fun! We gather as a zone and they announce who's transferring where, who are new companions are, what are responsibilities are and we just clap for each other and are so happy! So Sister Mendoza is transferring! I will definitely miss her though, we're such good friends and I decided yesterday that she really reminds me a TON of Jehee! It's just been a blast and I have learned so much of how to be more diligent and more bold in proclaiming the gospel. Definitely knew that was coming, and Sister Forbush, my new companion gets here tomorrow and I'm so excited! She was in my apartment with me when I stayed in Cebu for a week and she is just so buotan (nice, friendly, basically every good quality). So that's exciting! But a new change that I wasn't expecting which is really sad is even though a lot of people are staying (yay!) our zone is splitting so instead of 12 sisters, we're down to 4! Just my apartment. And the other district in our zone is a little island of Siquijor that just opened up and they can't travel back and forth ever so we basically will never see them! But it's so exciting to see the work continuing to move forward because the members have been working so hard on Siquijor to help it qualify to receive missionaries and right now there is no branch, just a little group that rents out a room ever week but I think it will grow so fast. and we got ANOTHER set of elders in our branch! So it went from 4 missionaries in our area to 10!!! So cool to see such growth. Our area is very progressing and it's really fun to be a part of. 
And Tuesday... Sister Mendoza's Birthday and New Year's Eve and it was the funnest day ever. We had a really good day of work, fed a lot, found some really golden new investigators that we tracted upon and taught on the spot and then that night, since it's dangerous to be out with all the drunk people (it starts early here) and fireworks, we went to the church and watched MONSTERS UNIVERSITY and DESPICABLE ME 2!!! My first movie in 11 months and they were so good!!! We seriously looked like a bunch of 4 year-olds waiting for Santa to come, we were so excited. I don't think a movie could ever be that good ever again. During Monsters University, it was fun sitting next to sister Webber because we both got soooo into in, seriously like the best movie ever! And the Anderson's brought cake and food for their birthdays and we stayed till 10pm and then we were allowed to stay up till 12 to watch the fireworks from our apartments and we got to sleep in this morning!!! all the way to 8...woah, that's huge. I was just laughing because that really is a lot compared to what we're used to but at home, that's so early! It was hilarious because when they told us we got to stay up late and sleep in, we were SO excited then during the movie (before 9) so many people fell asleep and then when we went home, sister Rugg went to bed at 10:30 and woke up at the normal time to do laundry! haha she's hilarious. But we were all so tired even before 10... then do you want to know what I did that last hour of 2013? Sister Webber wanted me and Sister Mendoza to demonstrate teaching the entire restoration in one lesson in Cebuano (it really is quite a feat) so she could see if she could understand it and just how we did it so we could try. We were laughing so hard when she asked us, "Let me get this straight, the night we get to stay up late, you want us to practice teach you an entire lesson?" And we did! Figured it was a good representation of my year in a nut shell. So that's new years for a missionary, SOOOO exciting for us and so... not for normal people. I think it's hilarious.
This week has been really good because all of our investigators are busy so we've just been finding and we've been finding some really prepared people that we taught the full restoration, committed to read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon and accepted the invitation to be baptized! That's when I realized that this area, though city and not really beautiful, is really such a good area because 1/5 we talked to, we got to come in and teach a full lesson! That's pretty great! The 2nd lesson is really when you see if they're interested or not but I'm really excited to go back and teach them more. The Lord definitely works in mysterious ways but I can never deny that he is always there. There should be a lot of really good things happening in this area this transfer and I just feel so blessed! Happy New Year! Although the new year is always about reflecting on the past year and making new resolutions, one thing that I learned on my mission that you should never wait to change for the better. We all have things we need to change and improve on and we should recognize those things not just once a year, but everyday! It's called repentance and it's the best thing ever. It's something we need everyday, even for the little things. Love you all!
Sister Pike

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