Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Whoaaa... myyy loveeee... my darrrlinggg"

(hahaha... videoke... heard that song the other day... Unchained Melody. Love that Song. Unfortunately... the Filipino was quite drunk and his voice matched his sobriety. =PP)(had a lot of laughs though! XD!)

To Ya'll at Home:

Just ta let ya knoww...
I'm Doing Good.

dao dalaga and kickin!
... but in a nice, motherly way.

**dao dalaga means... "like a dalaga (a young, unmarried woman)" **

wow... not gonna lie, was gonna try and use the word "sexy and kickin' "
but that doesnt work for me. For my mom, even in joking, dont feel comfortable saying that. Occasionally, children are close enough with their parents to be able to say that...and its wonderful, because they are so close with one another its kinda of cute. But i know im close with my mother, enough to know that, at least to me, I know she's a Lady.

And sorry... but Lady's is just a whole different Class.
Can't even compare.

if anjelica calls you sexy its ok though.
but i've always known that to me
My Mother's a Lady.

Commands Respect.
And a Wonderful Personality.

Basta... you're not a La-on. (an old wrinkly maid, no husband, that you see in other peoples houses) =P!!

Te?? I can be charming... but come on, im Chris. to much compliments or chamr gets boring for me =P!
i like sarcastic humor xD

i love living life like... those moments like...
for example, Miss Congeniality. At one part of the movie, the refined english man says of Miss New Jersey, "A brief, shining moment... and then. that. trap."

i like living life like that xD!

OH! So i asked about what you could send and whatnot.
And in particular, i was thinking about which wards or whatnot... and i decided Lapaz/ Lapuz... they are set. Dao...they are a strong group of people, a very strong ward and they are living things great as they are.
Manapla... mmm... didnt kno em extremely well nor their situation... just that i know i dont think they are prepared enough...maybe a little more building...

HOWEVER! this ward would be PERFECT to receive a package from ya'll.
We spoke about the Clothing and the Testimonies/ Letters from our ward and from the Primary. That would be wonderful. AND! if you wouldnt mind... Toys would be perfect! liikkeee... i know they would go good use here.
sometimes... if i just pictured them given to random families... i feel like perhaps it really wouldnt be effective. HOWEVER! Primary and nursery would love toys, all and any kind! it would be much appreciated.
I spoke with Bishops wife and the Primary President... and they said it would be wonderful!

So maybe yeah, for the Primary or anyone who wants to be involved... and perhaps if Plymouth wants to be involved too...
Perhaps give up one thing of clothes per person, one toy per person, and one letter per person. And that would be an amazing outpouring of Love and Spirit for the people here! And Mom... if you have toys you would like to get rid of... ya can toss em here =P!

Basta... if you want to organize it... theyd be overjoyed to recieve a package from a ward back home. clothes, letters, toys.


thanks sooooooo much for the pictures of the Quince! Saw the three you sent. And not gonna lie, i was gawking for a few minutes. My sisters look good. And my brother looks like he's a Bouncer (with that nice lookin pony tail and vest xD!)

Looveeddd the picture of Rebecca punching david. "Good Form, Pan! Good Form."

Well... I've been very well so far this week. I need to think a bit more on what needs to be done for this area. I feel as though our time can be used more effectively...what it may involve is scrapping a few ideas and starting over. (unfortunately... i just hope i can do it with love and conviction, especially for my companion... he's been here longer, 2 months in Hinigaran... however... i feel like the "plan" he's been perpetuating from his former companion is not quite what the area needs... and his understanding of the language is such that... hmm... he "thinks" he knows exactly whats going on, because hes been here 2 months... and hes so enthusiatic from what he thinks he knows, which is wonderful....but... hehe... we'll just say that peoples situations are not exactly as he believes them to be... and as such... its time for a new plan! Hope he's in to follow me a lil bit on this one... cuz he's attached to the people here... but i believe our focus is being hindered a bit and the progress hindered a bit by some practices that are not working here... So... Here goes Nothing!)

I am reminded of a quote that came to me, very powerfully, from Brother Leslie, my professor at the MTC. Said he, "Don't be afraid, to tear up the foundation... if you go forth to rebuild it stronger." And more was said. The basis... sometimes, we need to have the courage... to start over, in order to Achieve. Patch ups may work sometimes... here and there...
but sometimes... it would be best, to tear up the foundation, and begin again. Build it Better.

In any case... that's all I have for today... out of time... until next time!

--Elder Christopher A. Lewis

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Assignment: Hinigaran Area

Dear Family,

I thank you, very much indeed, for writing me concerning the Quinceneara. I quite enjoyed the details. I am glad you included all the names you did, because I could clearly see every one of them...from David, to President Volpetti, to Curtis, and iban pa gid.

I am glad for my Sister. And it is pretty amazing... that our Family is growing up. Kind of too amazing. Myself, being 20... however... in his two year pause... i feel like i am without an age. And i feel when i return...
i will be starting out as 18... even though 18 was long back when I graduated high school.

I don't know how long it will come... before I realize that one day, not far off... my age will call me an adult. I do hope... that when this hits me, perhaps around 30 years old...that i will forget it soon after...
and enjoy the years 60-80 years old as that crazy-old grandpa who never grew up or, at least, grew up, knowing the things he need never give up xD
because, for me... perhaps just like so many of us out there...there's something fun... about just being a lil crazy and kiddish.

But for now... Rebecca... being 16. Who'da saw that coming??
and David 23 and Anjelica 22...
meh... for some reason that strikes me as about right...
for some reason the years 20-26 just kinda seem like they mesh,
one big blurr, as it were. You're just... you.
Not like 30... when all of a sudden... ho dang. I'm 30. Wow.

Time is so fleeting, isnt it?
I have so many wonderful memories...
times that cannot come back, nor be lived again.
But, at least for the time they were, they were quite a wonder.
And i can only imagine... the new ones to come. As we grow up.
Family Memories... man... we really do grow old together, dont we?
things dont just 'stay' as they were back when, eh?
i guess thats the fun of it xD

i cant wait to see Dad with a cane...
not that he would need it...
but kinda as a 'right-of-passage'...
so he can call himself "an old man"
and just whack everyone with it.

Well... dont know a whole lot about the Mission splitting yet... probably will hear more later on down the line...
next month should make things final/ announced.

As for now, I'm here in Hinigaran... still not sure where that is... somewhere near Binalbagan and a bit of a distance from La Carlota.

My companion is Elder Hernandez. He's from Idaho. (wow... arent those always the first two sentences that come when introducing companions... =P!) This will be the start of his 3rd month in the area, end of his 2nd. And... im his follow up trainer.

At the moment, there are 4 of us in the House in Santo Rosario (...oh... by the way mom... on several occasion, in my last area, i've come across your maiden name, Bautista. Extended Relatives maybe? everyone always finds that interesting when i tell them im half mexican, that youre full mexican, and thats your maiden name) (sorry if you dont want me to use it... its just is a cool way for them to see my connection to their heritage)

Elder Scott (my companion from the MTC) is companions with Elder Newman (Australian, 6 foot 6ish, nice accent =P and wants me to write his sister (19); this is his 3rd companion, so he's still a bit new), Myself, and my companion, Elder Hernandez. He writes his Girlfriend every week. I laugh xD! ahhh... i should write some of my friends more often =P
started to on occasion... never finished em. 'cept for Cristina from BYU, dad met her... i have a couple for her, just havent sent.
elder hernandez needs some work on his language skills. But its alright... its that drive, that fire... a testimony and desire to do the work... knowing why, that will inspire his mind, encourage his diligence, and release his tongue. It's not about learning a language.
Its about touching someone's heart.

Thats why i know, not too far off, it will come. Because i feel in our lessons, especially in our companionship studies, his drive.
His testimony. Its there. It will become a wonderful power for him, as a missionary.

I do marvel, however, in moments, at the miracles which have happened for me. Not to say i'm the slightest more capable than another sincere missionary... but for some reason, that which the Lord has suffered to loose upon me.

Among my batch, even among the batches several transfers ahead of me... I can speak, like those missionaries who have all diligently sought for and earned the trust, the privilege, from god, i can speak, in Moments... with the Tongues of Angels.

And even more so... this began, for me, from day one. The end of my first month. My 2nd month. You know my story. And in moments, i marvel at the miracle. I try hard... to avoid the temptation, though on occasion i may fall short, of thinking something of myself... and rather, truly focus, on the miracle.

This is why I am excited for Elder Hernandez. I know what can happen. It has meant everything for my mission. Because I've found a way to love this people. And I am excited... because i feel i may have many, many more opportunities...
to help other missionaries, perhaps some more experienced, and perhaps... many very new, missionaries...
to experience similar miracles.

For now, in Hinigaran, there is about a weekly church attendance of about 65. And as I came here... there seems to be a very small teaching pool. No real backups. And those being taught... around the ages of 8 to 14. Perhaps 4 or so of them. And, yes, we should be very happy. To be teaching. But there is more we can do. I know it. This week... i was given the opportunity to follow the lead of Elder Hernandez. I learned much. And i hope... as now, if he shall let me, as I begin to lead... that we can find the way the Lord would have us work here, in Hinigaran. The focus, as it seems to be in many places, is Retention. With some emphasis on Reactivation. However... i am finding that many missionaries have their own... "ideas & thoughts" concerning this. In any case... there is a way to accomplish this. And bring many. Very many, Investigators unto Christ, unto membership... Retain Them...Retain All Existing Strong Members... AND Reactivate several Families. There is a Way.

And... I Do Hope we Find this Way. For, my feelings on this area for now, are such that something needs to change... this week.
I have a few thoughts... Hopefully... God shall aid our Plans. But i do feel... like we are about to find the way.
And how wonderful... if we begin this right, now. At the beginning of this transfer. Let's Go to Work.

--Elder Christopher A. Lewis

P.S. by the way... all the members think I'm crazy...
but they like it =P I'm glad to be who I am.

It makes me reflect often, on a simple phrase Sister Carrie Truscott
sent me once in a letter, "There may be something different about you...
that gets you in somewhere... where others could not."

I am finding this... to be very true. I am glad to be who I am.

(hinigaran, philippines negros)
(google map?)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Alright... well...
I'm sure somehow we'll get that call in... eventually...
But just to tide ya'll over for a lil bit...

here are a couple highlights for this week:

ONE! I played SOCCER!! last monday, at the plaza. It was great! apparently they are having a little tourny right now...and they saw us americans, and thought itd be funny to let us join. xD! we did. Our team won.

(Last Monday, we also played soccer... myself and an Australian missionary, Elder Claven, however... it was with a much more youthful we played nice... there were just a bunch of kids at the plaza we see occasionally (we were hoping to come across the older ones... not so
this attempt...), so... we asked if they wanted a match... all said yes... bunch o lil tikes ages 6-7 to 14-15... a BUNCH. maybe 15 on 15? it was fun.
we made sport... and actually...despite these kids being young, a couple are pretty good for their age. however... by far my favorite... ang isa ka lalake, naka-red shirt siya. He seemed about... 8 years old tops. He was short. very shy. he and his brother asked about half way through to join. we said yup...and soo... i just really liked him from the start... tried to give him opportunities for the ball... because it seemed all the other kids wouldnt... kinda scoffed at him, laughed a bit (he's soo small!)... but boy! were they surprised! he needed a good head start and some room.. but that kid could move. i cant tell you how many kids he could either get the ball from them or completely fake them out. The only times he ever ran into trouble was on a break away... he'd have NO ONE around him... and them... he'd get the ball and run! but his legs are so short...very quickly... 13 kids would be on his heels. it was so funny. I loved that lil runt. He's my favorite out of them all... and i do believe actually... in time, as he gets faster and taller...he'll be better than most of them. needless to say... even though at the beginning, when the kids avoided him, thinking him a handicap...they quickly found out, as he proved himself with the opportunities given him, he was quite the player. They used him a lot more often afterwards. That lil' runt =D!

So... yup... came back last monday... Elder Claven and I, hoping to find the older guys, and stumbled upon a tourny. (by the way, Elder Claven is Elder Headman's companion, mine is Elder Mateo... there are 4 of us at the house, Jaro area and Lapaz/Lapuz area)... they let us join, thinking theyd get a nice laugh. Cuz occasionally they see us around the city/area.

Well... we joined. We played. And despite my glasses falling off now and then... we won xD. Our team was pretty good...they covered all my faults. little out of shape, but still got it xD. And afterwards... got in some good BRT and OYMS. missionary work even in soccer! yup yup.

basta... i had alot of fun. and was very sore the next day.

(oh... dont know if i mentioned... but right now in the house... we have an interesting mix: One American, One Mexican (ako), One Australian, and One Filipino =P!) (fun times!)

(OH! and also didnt mention... that other game... with the lil kids... while we were playing.. something interesting happened. So... we invited our investigators, Angelie, John, and Nestley (soon to be given baptismal dates) (16, 17, 18 years old) (and mothers soon to follow... as well as other siblings) (but those three will be the first)... we were going to build a kite at the plaza... so that fell through... so we were all goingto play soccer... but they decided not to... so they just kinda sat and watched...

sooo... while we were playing... the baptists found them (they have some people who go around talking to people... kinda like missionaries... but not really anything like a missionary) (NOTE: earlier... Elder claven, being the bold man he is... (which is sometimes good, sometimes... interesting...) sought a few ought and basically... umm... well... lets just say they didnt have much to say after he was done with them...
im still not sure how i feel about it, but to appease my feelings, i just bore my testimony. (all things should be done in absolute love for another... seeking to inspire them.) Anyway... so they were a lil uneasy around us from then on... because they couldnt match a conversation with Elder Claven... (his mixture of scripture and testimony "interrogation"... and again, i dont say that this is inherently a bad thing, if done right, it can be very wholsesome and enlightening... its just not quite the approach i like to take =P)... haha...

Well this happened... they are about 20 to 21, two of them... and they, while we were playing soccer, happened to find our investigators watching on the sidelines...and began to 'preach' to them. After a while... elder Claven saw... told me, and said what he was going to do... so he began a lil jog in their direction. immediately upon glancing on the jogging figure of elder claven coming towards them... the baptists ran! ahhaha... it was funny. again... im not sure if i like completely how things went... but it was interesting. Continued with th game for a while... and then afterward, i spoke with elder claven becauseit was almost time to go home. So he said he just wanted to talk to the "leader" of those guys (cuz apparently there were about 15 of them at the plaza...) i told him to be nice... and said id join him shortly.

Spoke with our investigators and had them reflect on their feelings... because it was evident... and they soon doesnt feel they spoke...what they said. scriptures they spoke without understanding. So different from how we speak, always. missing smoetime... that being a heart of love. the spirit. Power of Heaven to confirm our words. and this, was the moment i knew... these 3 were ready. Yes... i knew they were almost ready for quite som time... but this was when i decided...they could tell... no one else... spoke "from Heaven. and from the Heart"... only this Church. These Missionaries...that was the highlight of my day... that their unique experience gave them something very great to think about... to compare... that truly...
no where else can say so magnificent things, beleiving them, understandingthem... loving them... with all their being. I am so Happy.

...and as a side note... i found elder claven not far off... with about 10 baptists around him... and, got a worried vibe...
i came over... and realized everyting he was saying to be very true... but again... the spirit... still... not quite that one of "edifying... for anothers well being"... so we testified, and left in love. by the end... 15 baptists had gathered to cross us. And... they were trying to cross... because elder claven had been able to asnwer every question and could not be moved. but it is so true... it doesnt matter what we say. it was an experience i am very grateful for... because those baptists never knew our purpose... until just before we left. We loved them. And we knew. Without a doubt. And they felt... something they never had before. It came in those last minutes... when I came to elder claven... and we ended the "crossing session"; and spoke boldly... in love.

The Church is True xD!

other highlight... hmmmm....
i felt my first earthquake this week! it was a small one... and ill tell you later about it.
just ask me on Wednesday.

record high! 104 degrees fahrenheit last tuesday! here in filipines highest its been in about a century.

i used an umbrella!!!!!
... but for rain. not for sun =P!!

im out of time... we'll talk bout my highlights Wed.


--Elder Christopher A. Lewis

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