|My "Posterity": Elder Ronquilo, and Elder Mullins (elders I trained) who are still on the mainland.|
If you don't know what “commiserations” means, don't feel bad. I didn't either until Sister Paine, a senior missionary, said it to me. In easy words, it means the opposite of congratulations.
I'm transferred. I'm in the office now serving along with Elder Obray as one of President Ostler's assistants.
I only lasted 4 weeks in San Juan. I could go on with all the "difficult" things about the position, but instead I'll list some of the good things:
· We're part of two wards. One is a regular Filipino ward with some missionaries. The other is the Makati 4th ward, which is English. Those who can attend are foreigners (or the spouses of foreigners) somewhere in the Philippines. So we thus have a very interesting bunch of members! We have all of the area presidency (Elder Echo Hawk, Bowen, and Ardern) in sacrament mtg, along with several celebrities and models. I'm not kidding. I'll try to get some pictures, but I'll be honest: I was so scared last Sunday with hearing English all over the place!
· I have a van! I'm going to be getting my Philippine driver's license this week and embark on the treacherous roads of Manila.
· I get to see all the missionaries I've grown to love here. This month President is going to be giving interviews, and we're going to be joining him and teaching all the leaders and their companions. We're also going to be doing exchanges 6 times a transfer.
· Life is completely unpredictable. I find it's a good thing. I'm learning something every other minute. You could see it as bad, but I'm honestly happy.
· I get to know President Ostler personally. That is a privilege that'll bless my whole life.
Elder Obray talked with me about our area, giving me the rundown, seeing that he'll be going home the next transfer. The time we get to work is limited, but the phrase that comes up is "The Lord will provide." He has! We actually have a baptism this Saturday. Her name is Sheila, a young Filipina who goes to her member neighbor (who's the 1st counselor in the bishopric) for us to teach her. She's incredibly smart! The ward is great, so the Lord is giving to us, despite our lack of time on the road, opportunities to talk and teach.
Work in the international ward is dramatically different. We're teaching people members know during classes in church because they live outside of our mission. I actually know some people who have connections to Richmond, Virginia! Also, if a missionary meets somebody who doesn't know Tagalog, they give it to us, regardless of how far it is.