|L to R: Bishop, Sis. Teresa, Me, Sis. Ragragio- Our first time in Carmen East|
Well Hello Family!
Another transfer here in Rosales for me! I love my area, even though of course it has its challenges, but I'm grateful to still be here..This week was a good one! of course right,?! First of all, we had "transfer awareness & district meetings" with our whole zone- so a ton of elders and sisters were there bale 4 districts-
and anyways I thought it was odd, but they started our meeting at 11:30 usually its like 1:00...anyways, I didn't quesiton, I just went early. Well when I got there...there was this giant white board that just said "Happy Birthday Sis. Allen" And then all of a sudden all these elders came out holding a cake and candles and singing happy birthday to me and then they came out with pizzas and we had a huge party before our meeting! I was almost in tears I was touched, I just love them, they're soo great. The Philipino people are sooo kind...and aAmerican too haha but still I just love them! I had NO idea! So that was exciting! Also, we were shocked when it was announced that not only Sis. Olila was transferring, But Sis. McKinley was too. Ako lang ay naiwan dito. Or I am the only one that got left here hahaha so...I had no idea if we would have 2 sisters to come in place of Sis. Mckinley & Sis. Magalogo, or if I would be in charge of opening an area or what...Well, it was fun because I got to go to the transfer meeting so I got to go along for the ride to Urdaneta even though I wasn't transferring, but I had to go because both of my companions were transferring, and there was no one else that I could go on exchanges with or no other sisters in the area, and of course I wouldn't be left alone,so yes, I got to go to the final transfer meeting of Pres & Sis Jensen...no complaints there, I was excited! :) We sat down and when they announced "Senior Companion, Open Area, Sister Allen, Jr companion Sis. Ragragio" I about died. haha tears started to fill my eyes as I thought...what in the world? How am I going to do that....then I just remembered...alright...if God thinks I'm up for the challenge...so be it. haha I then remembered my prayers and I even fasted a few times for Pres to help him receive revelation this tranfer, because I was so nervous about being left alone there and opening a new area, and I just asked Heavenly Father to please help me accept whatever came, and that it would be a challenge for me...that I would grow. hahahaha What in the world...I remember Dad telling me when I got my mission call and I said "huh, the philipines?" He just laughed and said..."kiddo, you asked for it. You told me you told Heavenly Father that you wanted a challenge". Then I just could imagine him saying the same thing to me...again and laughing. hahaha Well...you'd think I'd learn my lesson, right?! haha just kiddin, I really do want to learn and grow, I don't want the mission to be easy. So, we'll see how this transfer goes, but I'm excited for it. Things are already starting to change. I asked Bishop if we could attend our ward council meeting. When it came time for the missionary part I just passed around their list of "15 focus families" (which is their goal to have them active in the church by the end of this year) and I just asked him...who even knows who the 15 focus families are? Who has done anything to help them? Then I explained that there are only 2 of us, and now not only am I in charge of 500 people, but now I am incharge of over 1000 people in this ward. I told them that we can't do it by ourselves, and that the Prophet and area presidency has said that the 15 focus families are not for the missionaries, they're for the ward. I told them we have visitied some of them and they're not progressing. We need to work together because they're all capable and great leaders. Which is soo true, this ward is capable of soo many good things. They just lack the organization, and the communication with each other. Anyways, it's been a whirlwind. I've been studying the "church handbook of instruction" so I know how everything runs again (which is what I had to do in Lingayen). Anyways, I wasn't rude...it's like the scriptures say "be bold, but not overbearing". So....anyways we had a good discussion. They started speaking loudly with each other and as one of them said they wanted to get rid of a name and replace it with another. One of the men there, Bro. Poblico, we asked him to work with us 2 times now and go with us to visit one particular brother. The others wanted to get rid of his name, but because Bro Poblico worked with us, he stood up for him and just said "may pagasa jan" or there is hope there...and tears just started to come to my eyes as these people were defending those who may have hope, and then others just wanted to put their names aside like they weren't important. I thought about our Heavenly Father and how sometimes I think "Oh, they're not progressing, there's no hope there and maybe Heavenly Father is shouting "oh, there's still hope there, don't give up on him or her". These people are daughters and sons of our Heavenly Father. They are ALL important. I am soo blessed to witness mircales and have tender mercies every day that remind me just how important every soul, every person is to our Heavenly Father.
Anyways, that's all I have time to write,
I love you all, and I am really grateful for all you do
|Bro and Sis Ochona|
|Lazaro Family- We have dinner appt with them weekly :)|