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?)

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