Maayong aga!!! Kumusta kamo? Salamat for the emails and Easter wishes. Happy Easter to all of you! Maybe I'll tell you about some of the ... interesting... Katholiko traditions next week. So, let's get down to business, this has been THE Craziest week of my life. And not really at the same time. haha.
So, on Tuesday, President Aquino joined us for our district meeting. After announcements were read, he stood up and told us that the STLs and the DL were going to trade areas. WHAAAT???!!!! SURPRISE! Because the jeepney fare costs about the same, we still live in the Jaro 1 apartment, but now I am assigned to Leganes B (pronounces Leg-UH-neez). And our District Leader, Elder Asuro, took over our area, but still lives in Leganes. We've had a few days to tour each other around and make sure we each know where the Less Actives and Members and Progressing Investigators live, but other than that we are basically "whitewashing" (or starting from scratch with just the basic knowledge of the area that is contained in the Area Book).
So then...President interviewed a bunch of people because he was still finalizing transfers. We asked him if one of us would still be transferred, and he only said that we should be ready for anything. I think he likes to put us all on edge for transfers. haha. We were expecting Sister Marchant to transfer, because she has already been in Jaro for 6 months. But then, on Wednesday night her name was not in the transfer text and the ZL, Elder Asi, told us that she wasn't going to transfer. So we were so excited! 6 months together! What a blessing! Yay! So she unpacked.
At precisely 8:36 am on Thursday morning, in the middle of our Personal Study, Sister Ribelin called us from Arevalo and said that, gali!, Sister Marchant's name was down for transfers after all. Whoa. Then we frantically began to pack her bags. Then the AP South called. Then the AP North called. Then the ZL called. Then the DL texted. All informing her that, yes, she was transferring after all and she needed to be there in one hour. (It takes an hour by jeep to get to Arevalo...). AAAhhhhhh. Just imagine our anxiety. haha. We packed her up in about 25 minutes flat, grabbed a taxi, and rolled into the Arevalo Meetinghouse parking lot at about. Taadaaaa! hahaha.
So, I have a new area and a new ward and a new companion, and the same old apartment. (Which is actually pretty new, I'm glad I still get to live there.) My companion is Sister Irene Vinus Aurelio. Sister Aurelio is from Los Pinyas, close to Manila. She actually is Sister Marchant's trainer. She is a teeny little Filipina Sister, about 5 feet tall, and she is 26 years old. She is the 5th of 7 girls. Her mother converted to the church after her father died. She is soooo sweet and soooo cute. I love her to death! She sings a lot (just like Sister Marchant), and she is always smiling. She likes to braid my hair and she has a lot of questions about English and about America. I am helping her with English, she is helping me with Tagalog, and we are both helping each other with Hiligaynon. I am glad my area is Hiligaynon again! Yay! (The other dialects in our mission are Kiray-a, Aklanon, and Capiznon. Everyone knows Tagalog/Filipino.)
Touring the Elders around our area this week has been fun. Elder Asuro and Elder Walmer are assigned to Jaro 1B now. I have already seen miracles happen for them. A bunch of LAs that would not let us in have already let them in. Yay! I had been thinking a few months back that our ward would really do well if it had some Elders for priesthood support. Rumor has it that there has been a lot of drama back home about women and the priesthood. I know that both men and women have important roles in and valuable contributions to the kingdom of our Heavenly Father. Equality is not being the SAME. It is when both men and women are given equal opportunities to exercise their unique God-given gifts and talents. :)
Anyway, off the soap box, I know that Jaro needs the Elders and Leganes needs the Sisters! A lot of areas got switched around, it was a really crazy transfer. I am very excited to be in Leganes Ward. The old bishop is now the new Stake President, Pres. Suya. The current bishop is Bishop Democrito, who joined the church about 12 years ago. The Ward Missionaries have toured us around more than the Elders did. The Members take responsibility of the investigators and care for them just as much as we do. Probably because a lot of the Recent Converts and Investigators are member referrals. Yay!!!! They are very involved in the work. The funny thing is that I am still basically in Iloilo city. All my areas are within a one-hour jeepney ride of each other. haha.
General Conference was wonderful, of course! I loved Elder Holland's talk. I could've used that a few weeks ago, eh? But better late than never. I will be a defender of the faith! Also, I am glad people here are too nice to spit or throw food at us. Hallelujah! I actually liked all the talks and could write a novel about everything I learned. But I'll spare you all. I just love it. :) The cool thing is...this is the first time I've ever had questions ready for conference, and all of them (no matter how random) were answered in one way or another. I listed out my questions a few weeks ago and forgot about them, then this morning in personal study I went through and jotted down how each question was answered through conference. So cool! I highly suggest it. :) I also read Esther and am working my way through Job this week. I am really glad I am not him, but I am also really proud of him for defending his faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I hope you all have a great week. I also hope you all know that I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God here upon the earth. I know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, lives. I know that all the teachings of the prophet, apostles, and church leaders point us toward salvation and everlasting happiness. Life is not hard. It challenges us so we can grow in faith and love. I love you all! Don't forget that! Happy Easter!
Love, Sister Winward