Dear President Schmutz,
Can I just point out that this is my third open area. I want to say I accept that the Lord is trying to humble me. Its not easy opening an area its stressful, and it takes time to learn the area. I think though when I transfer in march to Negros ;) (just kidding but if its the Lords will...With faith hehe) that Sister Taylor will be much more prepared to lead since we are learning the area together.
PRESIDENT!! I think that Sister Schmutz needs to have a discussion with the elders about cleaning their apartments again. We came into the apartment shocked. Luckily we didnt have time to look around since we went straight to work with the zone leaders. We luckily went to the store before coming home to the apartment and bought cleaning supplies while we were there. It took me 6 hours to clean the bathroom. Can I just say its bad when you find a bottle of Domex and zonrox bleach full, unused with mold growing on the out side. We thought it was pretty ironic! Supposedly the best cleaning product in the world Dormex with mold growing on the outside! Thank you president for the humbling experience. We still estimate it will take about 3 weeks to clean the whole house its a work in progress, but at least we have a spotless bathroom!! Have I ever mentioned that I like a clean house almost to the point of OCD. I think I have discovered the reason the elders are getting sick so often. I think it has something to do with their mattresses. When I took the mattress cover off to be cleaned I discovered a black mattress pad underneath that smelled stale. I dont know how many elders have slept in that bed sick, and I am sure never washed the mattress cover after. When I washed the mattress cover the first two rinses the water was black. Then next rinse cycle the water was brown. Then the next two rinse cycles the water was yellow!! I let the cover soak for about one full day then washed the years of dirt off of the cover. I refuse to sleep on the mattress pad and have just been sleeping on the wood part of the bed. Its not very comfortable, but at least I wont get sick. Sister Taylor has braved it and just put her sheet on the bed she has yet to try to wash the cover she says if she doesn't look its like its clean, but she has gotten a small cough I told her its from sleeping on the mattress. We texted Elder Ernstrom about getting new mattresses and hopefully they come soon. President I won't even tell you about the rest of the house! At least one positive thing is that I have only seen one dead cockroach under the fridge in the last week we have lived in the house. Unlike the last house when we had to fortify the house against the big roaches getting into the house. Ahh the life of a missionary. Maybe thats why they don't require the sisters to go on a mission they are afraid we will be scared for life when we get emergency transfered into elders apartments. I hope that this will bring a smile to your face remembering the time when you were an elder in the mission feild president I would only hope that you weren't this bad about cleaning!! Also I would like you to know Elder Hardin mentioned how clean the apartment was when he gave us the key. Thats when you know your in for a big surprise!!
At least President I have Sister Pangue YEY!! She has been working with us for the last 4 days. She will work with us again tomorrow. Who trained that girl she is ready for her mission :) One concern of sister Pangue though was that the elders would not go back to the basics they just did book of mormon share every lesson. I think that its not a bad thing, but it would be more effective to review also especially since the ward has not done any new member lessons. I looked at the teaching records and almost all of the progress records were book of mormon share. I am not sure if this was laziness in filling out the progress record or if they really just do book of mormon shares. On the other hand it might be a good thing because they are focusing on the book of mormon. I am not sure yet since we are new into the area.
We have had the oppurtunity to teach one of their recent converts Sister Aileen(recent convert) and her husband Brother Brian Millang(member since child) and they had a strong testimony. We reviewed the restoration with her and have talked with the bishopric during PEC meeting about getting the ward members to do new member lessons. We also taught the brother Adrianne who is on and off active. He is 19 years old and has no desire to serve a mission. We plan to focus on getting him on a mission.
We visited the Commendador family. Sister Cesarnie is a recent convert. her son James has listened to the missionaries but he is just 15 years old going to school near Bogo. The father brother Wilson has listened to the missionaries but likes to debate. We have decided next time we visit we will try to get him to try to find his answers himself. Many of the bishopric have met him going to FHE's and they even agree he only likes to debate. We will continue to visit with him. He is a drinker though and we could not teach him last time since he had been drinking.
We visited the Ybanez family. Sister Wella the daughter walked us out of the house after the lesson and opened up about her father. He has LOC problems for many years. She had just found out about it since they changed cell phones and she read his text messages. she is having a hard time, but we encouraged her rather than just sit in her house to come with us to work. She worked with us yesterday. We also have been encouraging her to serve a mission. She is 28 years old, and has a nonmember boyfriend. I hope that she doesn't take a wrong step in her life.
We visited the Jacob family who is active in the church. They inspire me for the future. We don't often visit faithful families, but when I got the chance to visit the Jacob family and share with them I could feel the hope in their house rather than the feeling going into the fallen and lost members houses.
We also visited MaryFe Sorono, Christina Ngujo, Rustan Lamban, and Rose Cosip. They are all members. Sister MaryFe and Christina have live-in partners. Sister Rustan is a returning member. Sister Rose is preparing to enter the temple. We discussed the importance of preparing ourselves to enter into the temple. Its interesting to see people in so many different stages.
We attended the PEC meeting yesterday and it was very helpful. We are starrting to work with the bishopric to help the ward progress.
Sister Taylor is quiet. We don't talk much, but she is willing to lead the lessons, and follow the training program. I would say that we don't really relate, but we just co-exist. Its not a bad relationship. You realize on the mission that you don't have to relate to someone it's still possible to co-exist and do the work of the Lord. If you just serve them and be diligent in the work. I had hoped though that we would have a great relationship, but to be honest President we just go together like oil and water. Although you can put them into the same jar they will immediately seperate into their individual sections of the jar. They can still co-exist and stay in the same jar without fighting, and sometimes you can get some cool effects like those toys with the blue water effect that drips into the bottom part and you can flip it. I dont know if you know what I am talking about but the point is we are doing our best. I am not sure we are the most effective together, but will we both stay diligent that I know for sure. Maybe we will be bestfriends after the mission. I am trying to be a good example, and so at least she can fly on her own. I am glad I have learned patience through other comapnions for this period when I am having to train. To quote you president with leadership comes a great responsibilty. That with pressure on our shoulders it helps us stand.
Thank You President I know that your burden is far heavier than mine, and for that I am grateful that you are so willing to serve us missionaries with a permenant smile on your face.