Hello po family!
Well, this week was transfers and it was Pres Dahle's first transfer as a mission president so we were all curious what was going to happen. Sis Leakehe and I were certain that neither of us were getting transferred because we were both pretty new. The other set of sisters in our house have been in Pilar for 5 months now, so they were sure that they were getting transferred. On Tuesday, they washed their clothes, organized their stuff and got ready. They both felt they would be transferred. Sis Leakehe and I just chilled. (Well, not really because you don't ever 'chill' as a missionary). We got the text that night that Sis Leakehe was transferring and neither of the other two were. So that was really sad and she didn't want to leave. she wanted to finish her mission here, but.....she got transferred to my old area in Sta Cruz!!!!! So I'm really excited that she'll see all the recent converts that I found up there. (Also, I've gotten news from the sister who was transferred to Masinloc when I left....the families of Merlina and Melvin/Ellen have been baptized too!!!! Wooooohhhh!!!! I was so happy to hear that!) And so of course, I got a new companion, Sister Domingo from Bacolod city. She is the shortest companion I have ever had. 4'10". I feel like I am walking around with my 10 year old sister but she is actually 24. She is really really good at teaching and already in the first few days I have learned so much from her. This will be a transfer with a lot of progress for me. And she was called as a new STL so I have to help her know what to do as an STL. I still don't feel like I know what to do as an STL but oh well, we'll do our best here.
Sunday was an awesome day because we had 6 investigators come to church and 9 less actives. And, our sacrament meeting attendance was 60! I remember the first week I got here and the attendance was 30. There was hardly anyone there. I remember thinking "Oh my goodness. How is this branch going to survive? How are we going to get new converts with this little people here?" But I have been blessed to see the progress here. We have several less active families coming to church again and there are lots of our investigators that are coming to church each week. I'm thinking that by the end of the year, they can hit 100! The Lord is truly working a miracle here in the Pilar branch and the members are now excited about it too. At first, they were pretty negative about how the branch had just split and I remember them saying all the time "when are we going to back together again?" Now they see the progression and every member is involved in visiting the less active members and working with us. It's been so great! I get assigned to some pretty great areas.
The work is moving forward. I am learning and growing so much here in the Philippines. I know that the gospel is true. I know that our Savior loves us so much and because of Him and what he did for us, we have a chance to return to our Heavenly Father. That is so amazing to me because here in the mission I see so many of my weaknesses and think how could I possibly get to where I need to be? But I have seen the power of the atonement here; the power of forgiveness and the power of healing here in the mission. And the power of miracles. I know that our heavenly Father is still a God of miracles! And I know that the fulness of the truth was restored to the earth in our day through a living prophet. We are so blessed!
I love you all so much and I am so grateful for this time to serve my Heavenly Father and the people here in the Philippines!
mahal ko kayo!