Oh golly this week!
The first and prime major super duper ultra hyper amazing thing I wish to declare to the ends of the world this week... both the Wakas and the Uwi family went to church! :D They even stayed for all three meetings! There is hope!
Me and my beloved companion are very excited, haha. Both families are doing quite well, but one of the main hurdles with the Uwi family is that Sister Uwi never even started schooling and doesn't know how to read. Brother Uwi can read, but also wasn't able to continue his schooling past the second grade which means he's a little bit unused to reading books with 100's of pages in tiny font with two columns on each page about ancient prophets and prophecies... like the Book of Mormon :P But, we're working on it. They're wonderfully humble and sincere people, and they already have quite a few friends at the church. I overheard him talking with the Elder's Quorum President who's from the same barangay as him and was very pleased with his comment.
"It's a little different... but it's definitely better than the church we go to now."
Hahaha! Which is a little bit promising. They had a baptismal date set for November 28th previously, but because they didn't go to Sacrament meeting for three weeks in a row, it was postponed. We're going to re-extend to them for December 12 on Tuesday. Please pray for them!
Brother Wakas also went to church! Because he spends so much of his time in Baguio, we're actually going to try and have the companionship in Aurora Hill, where he stays, teach him while he's up there and we'll teach him while he's down here!
In other news, me and my companion, Elder Dougal, have made it our goal to find every last member of our area on the directory, which is quite a task. Almost every ward I've ever been in here in the Phillies has AT LEAST 600 members on the roster... I've also never been in a ward with greater than 150 in attendance at a sacrament meeting, haha. To further complicate matters, the directory's information sheds about as much light on the whereabouts of the people recorded on it:
Alonso Pong Pong
De La Cruz Raois
And so forth :P Imagine trying to find "John Jones" with no more info than "within five miles radius of the McDonalds at Decatur and Lone Mountain", haha! It involved a LOT of asking members for anyone they remember from way back in the day and when that falls through just going to the barangay listed and asking about 10 people if they've ever heard of the people you are trying to find. It is possible, though, because Filipinos are very talkative and know about 43 X more people in their neighborhood than any given American would. When you ask people, you eventually get a "hit" as we refer to it which narrows it down a bit further. You then go to that place and repeat until you actually find the house, knock on the door and see the fear in the eyes of these years now inactives who are no doubt thinking "how on earth did these white boys find me!" Some awesome experiences have resulted, though. Here's one:
We determined to find a name listed in barangay Baybay, a coastal barangay that actually can't be accessed by the roads of the municipality it belongs to. We bussed up to the city of Agoo and then walked down the coast in order to find it. All in all, we ended up walking about four hours that day, which was about 12 miles :P Then we semi-miraculously found the person's nephew who lives on her house and was willing to take us there. He was the second person we asked :P She was a bit shocked when she saw us, and then a little cold, but she warmed up to us fast. By the time we left she was almost crying and saying that she was so thankful we took the time to find her.
No one from the church had visited her in 20 years.
I love being a missionary!
Elder Mikesell III