Dear Family and Friends,
This week, I got a new companion. I was the only one getting a companion, so I waited at the pier in Calapan with the couple missionaries for Mindoro all day. He had a twelve hour travel day, which means I had a twelve hour wait day. It's a nerve-wracking experience to wait all day wondering what your new companion is going to be like, but I did get ice cream out of it! (Elder and Sister Cranston are the best) It was actually the first ice cream that I've had since the MTC. Anyway, after waiting the whole day, I saw my companion lugging his suitcase off of one of the boats. We slept over in Calapan and then took the two hour van ride back to our area.
So a little information about my companion. His name is Elder Avelino, and he is from Pangasinan (Ilocano). He is 22 years old and just finished his twelve week training. This is the first time that I am the senior companion, and I have realized how much I still have to learn. But at the same time, I have been a little surprised with some of the things that I have been able to say in the lessons. I'm still not fluent by a long shot, but let's just say that the language is no longer a huge source of stress for me (just a little one). We have spent the last few days getting to know the members and investigators. I have come to realize that the most important thing in our area is the trust and friendship of the members. Sometimes even just a two minute conversation with one of them can really help the work. Things are going crazy here because there are tons of live debates going on between the different religions here in every city on Mindoro. Some of our members and investigators were even becoming interested and attending some of the debates. Our district president visited and gave a very bold talk addressing the matter. He said, "No religion wins in a debate, only Satan." I have become very thankful for the knowledge that I have, and seeing this kind of confusion gives me an extra boost to talk to as many people as I can.
That's all for this week. I was thankful that there was no drop in the work with a new companion. I made sure that everything was organized and updated and we could just pick up where my last companion and I left off. I'm really excited right now to get to know my new companion better and continue to improve our area!
- Elder English
With my new companion, Elder Avelino.