We just got word that Jacob is being transferred to Siquijor Island, which is a small island southwest of the Cebu Island. Go here to learn more about this island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siquijor_Island). The island boasts some great snorkeling/diving, which Jacob will never see.
Jacob has been asked to serve as a trainer. He will pick up his companion fresh off the plane from the MTC and travel ~8 hours (mostly by road and ferry) to the island. Also, they will open a new area that either has never had missionaries or hasn't had missionaries for quite some time. I am sure it will be a great experience for both of them and those they serve.
Below are more pictures of Jacob's "sleeping photo bombs".
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Things are super good here in cebu! Well the update this week is record cleaning still! Its hard because sometimes we are thought as the bad guys when we tell people that their children aren't members... But most people are good and helpful about it. Sometimes not.. Its hard when we try to help members and they get mad, but that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Our bishop is really funny, the other day we had a fireside by us missionaries for the ward. Elder Martinez asked him how his scripture study was. He looks up like he was thinking and then said, "Its pretty good.... Every day from 8-5" and everyone laughed. He works for the church as a translator for ensign, liahona, and really anything that needs to be translated, he also does general conference and did the new 3 temple videos. He is a really good member and bishop. There was another member that attended who is probably 60. The sister missionary was talking about inviting friends and family to the church and asked him about his brother. She was like you could invite him to church. He says "well he is really gahit ( mean/hard). And she was like yes, sometimes people are like that, but don't you want to be with him and your family. He responded " With my brother? No." it was pretty funny. The ward is really good! So my shinning moment goes this week to Ruby john! He is a freakin STUD! He come from a family of 12 kids and he takes care of a lot of them. He and part of his family were baptized about 8 years ago but went inactive after. They returned a couple months ago and last week the whole family who live in pardo came! Most of the kids are below 10 right now. But the dad came! And he didn't join with the rest 8 years ago. But Ruby john really wants to go on a mission, he is 20. He is honestly an inspiring story. He use to be in a kind of a gang group. He drank and did drugs, has this big tatoo but when the sisters went back and he came back he stopped all of it! He stopped hanging out with all the bad friends. It just truly amazes me that even someone who got into trouble and hung out with bad friends, completely turned his life around. He reads his scriptures everyday, helps his mom with his little siblings and comes with us a lot. Just so many amazing stories with his true conversion process and how so much light has been brought to him and his family! His testimony is really strong and he is preparing for a mission by going to seminary every week, going out with us, studying the scriptures and PMG everyday. Things are just going so good with him and our whole area.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Its turning into the rainy season here! I really love it, it means we have clouds which is a nice break from the sun everyday. We had zone interveiws this week, it went real well. It was kind of short, but thats ok, president McCurdy wasn't feeling to well. He and his wife are really amazing people, there are so nice and loving. This next Saturday is the baptism of mario jn entienza, we are super excited for that. We love the entienza family sooo much, they are so strong and diligent. They have their trials but continue to press forward through it all. Its been amazing the light that she has received and the blessings.
Elder martinez and I are working really hard. This last week we have had lots of problems with the ward records. According to the records we have 846 members in the ward but an average of 130-140 each week. I am getting better with MLS but I'm sure I will be an expert after it all. Yesterday e. Martinez and I spent all day finding people from the records that aren't members but have been baptized. There were problems with the system so there are about 15 children of record who have been baptized but something got wrong with their record so they aren't members... So we go and ask for pictures, certificates, journal entries, or programs to try to validate it along with 2 priesthood men who attended. Sometimes
I feel like fbi going to ppls house and asking for evidence of their baptism. If we are absolutely positively sure that they have been baptized we can re-create their record, but if there is doubt or usually not enough evidence we have to re-baptize. Most are below 18 and we have some deacons that pass every week but technically aren't members...
Its been a busy week. All day we were walking and got 3 people with enough stuff to re-create and 2 that will need to be baptize. We are also going to go through the attendance because most likely there are a lot that come every week that are children of record, but have no record. The other missionaries that meet at our building but different ward had to re baptize like 8 and reconstruct a good amount. I feel very knowledgeable with the ward organizational systems and structure haha. And now we do teach all the lessons before baptism. I am super excited and happy about that. There are SOOO many less active/ inactive members in the Philippines, mainly from 2004 and before but we are cleaning it up and bringing people back. Its been an amazing expiernce and am truly loving it! I apologize if there are lots of type-Os. Hope everyone is doing well! Love ya all(Photo is of my comp and an investigator, lorenzo is his name)
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Hello all, once again its been a fantastic week! Our new mission president came in, he is a super cool guy and I am really looking forward to getting to know him. The work is going really well. We have seen lots of miracles as people learn the gospel and shape their lives to fit the commandments. Sometimes changing everything. We really see how people are blessed as they sacrifice to do whats right. The work just keeps moving.
I got a spider bite this week. I went to the office one day and the ladies was like thats a brown recluse bite! I was thinking "man i sure hope not" but i don't know what kind of spider bite (I wouldn't recommend looking up spiders in the philippines, there are some pretty nasty ones
I've seen haha) it is but its been going down a lot which is good. Sister schmutz gave me some insecticide stuff. I sprayed my bed and all around the area. Lets just say after I found some bed bug friends that had been sleeping there too. It was kind of gross but they are all dead now. I am super grateful cause before i would wake up with bites on my feet and now i don't have to deal with it! Things are awesome here! The mission really changes you and puts a new perspective to life as you see the challenges of others. Hope all is doing well!
Hello everybody! Hope things are going well! It has been a very good week! Im really picking up on the language, its coming a lot faster. This week we went back to the really bukid (mountainous\jungley) area for a day. After a couple hours of hiking through the bukid and asking people about our recent convert we finally found her..... but she was at work. It worked out because we were able to talk to lots of people and find where she lives. People are so hospitable here in the Philippines. We had been walking for so long and were really tired. When we found our recent convert's home there was another family that lived right next to them who were there. He climbed a coconut tree and cut down 3 coconuts, cut them open and gave it to us. I'll tell ya, there ain't nothing like some fresh coconut in the bukid when you are really tired! It was super good.
We have had a lot of challenges with some of our investigators and recent converts. Its so true when people say its the most challenging but most rewarding time of your life. I really see that, you have some days where things go so good, investigators keep their commitments and really progress and have a new light added in their composure. Then you have days where you are tired, investigators don't care or see the blessings of the church but won't act on it and you just get frustrated. I get frustrated or impatient in my heart but then I really need to realize that we are asking people to change their life. The gospel is so foreign to them, action or going to church, reading scripture, and praying is also new. Most people here are Catholic, but Catholicism is more of a tradition than a religion. It has really taught me to be more patient and put in the effort to understand others. There is a couple named Generose and Reynend. They are live ins and have a son. She is 20 and he is 23. They have been together for about 3 years and are super good! Reynend gave up work on Sunday so that they could go to church as a family. Right now they are working on getting married. They have to get a lot of forms done before but things are really good! We all set a goal together with them for july to get married. Its truly amazing to see their light and happiness as they read as a family and pray together and as they progress through our lessons for them. Their family has really been strengthened. It seems like each transfer gets better and better! I included a picture of a guy we met. He looks mad and isnt smiling but he is super funny and a cool guy. A lot of ppl here don't smile in photos and look mad. He is a farmer and has a little banana farm and eggplant and has lots of chickens. Super nice guy!