Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Maligayang Pasko (Merry Christmas)

This week.  Will.  Blow.  Your.  Mind. Alright.  Buckle Up.  So previously on Manila Missionary... I updated you on how I would most be likely be transferring because Elder Villoso is done with his training. This week, we got a few interesting calls this week from President Stucki.  The first came on Thursday when Elder Villoso was informed that he would be training. Yes, my son is having a baby.  I'm so proud. So that destroyed all my hopes of staying in the same area. The next call came on Saturday. I received the following information.  Elder Obray, the Pasay zone will be splitting and the Lord has called you to be the Zone Leader of the newly created zone! (Don't worry, it gets even better.) I have been impressed to make Elder Carlson (yeah, the Elder Carlson that lives with me and is one of my best buds) the other Zone Leader.  You will be companions.  (At this point I was experiencing every emotion that the body can experience, and that's not even the end). You will be moving to the Manila 1st ward.  (The ward that meets in the same building as the Manila 2nd ward, meaning I will see everyone from Manila 2nd every Sunday). I cannot express how I was feeling during those few minutes. I was full of excitement, fear, stress, happiness, everything.  As the news began to sink in, a few other thoughts came to my mind.  Elder Carlson doesn't speak Tagalog.  At all.  I'm not quite sure how that's going to work out. It's going to be quite the experience.  I'll be doing a lot of the talking.  I sure hope my Tagalog is good enough. The second thought: neither of us knows anything about being Zone Leaders.  What normally happens is a new zone leader will be paired up with an experienced zone leader to be trained.  That is not the case with us.  Neither of us have any experience at all.  We're going to be starting from scratch.  The third thought: The Manila 1st ward has two areas.  Elder Carlson is in one right now, but we will be transferring to the other side.  That means that we will be shot gunning.  We are going to go into this area not knowing anything.  We won't know the investigators, the members that live on that side, the area or anything. So yeah, that's what's going to be taking place on Wednesday. Wish me luck. These next few weeks are going to be humbling.  I'm so dang excited.  Next week’s letter will be interesting.  

We had to change Carmelino's baptisms yet again.  He will be baptized on the 28th of December.  This one is for sure though.  He WILL be getting baptized on that day.  We were in priesthood yesterday and we were all asked to share one of our favorite scriptures about Jesus Christ.  Carmelino shared the sacrament prayer and explained the importance of Jesus Christ's Atonement and how we have the opportunity to remember it every week as we partake of the Sacrament.  I was amazed.  All I could do was smile.  I was so proud of that man.  He's going to be a future leader in the church. 

Mark's baptismal will also be moved.  There was some miscommunication about the baptismal interview so he wasn't able to make it.  The baptismal interviews have to be at least a week in advance and so we have to push his baptism back another week as well. He's still the man. 

I went on exchanges with Elder Carlson this last week (it was actually the same day that I received the news about becoming his companion. What a coincidence).  We had quite an amazing experience. For the past couple weeks, Elder Villoso and I have been trying to contact this one investigator named Tita that we came across street contacting.  We had visited her house multiple times, but she always said that she was busy or sick.  Elder Carlson and I decided to go try one more time.  We went to her house, knocked and waited.  A voice came from inside that said, "Who's that?" We declared that it was the missionaries.  Tita came to the door and began talking with us (this was the first time we had talked with her in weeks).   To make a long story short, she let us in.  During the lesson, she started crying. She told us of her life and how she had jumped from religion to religion but never felt any happiness. In her words "sobrang malunkot ako." (I am so sad). She expressed to us that in the past she had no desire to listen to us at all.  She then explained that for some reason, that day was different. She felt a strange feeling to let us in and talk with us.  She expressed that our arrival at her house that day was a miracle.  Later in the lesson, Elder Carlson asked her (in English), "What is the greatest thing Jesus Christ has done for you?" She responded by saying "the greatest thing he has ever done for me is softened my heart to listen to your message. He sent you two here to me. I really want this to be true."  Yeah, that was one of the greatest things I have ever heard.  It's times like that that make me love missionary work so much.  

Mahal ko kayo.  Namimiss ko kayo.  Maligayang pasko. (Merry Christmas)

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