Monday, April 25, 2016


Dear Family and Friends,

     I arrived in my new area and met Elder Pepa on Thursday.  It was about a two and a half hour bus ride from Alaminos.  It's one of the biggest cities in the mission and a really beautiful area.  My companion is 22 years old and from Tonga.  He's a rugby player and probably about three times my size.  He doesn't speak English very well, but he's basically fluent in Tagalog.  So we just speak Tagalog to each other.  He's a really experienced elder, and he definitely knows what he's doing in every phase of the work.  He relates very well to the people here.  Sometimes I feel like I'm working with a really big Filipino.  He goes home this transfer and I'm going home the following transfer, so I think it'll be a really good opportunity to put our heads together and get a lot of work done.  The ward here is struggling a little bit, so I think that we'll be able to get a lot of good work done.

       Most of the work that we do here is in an area called Landing.  There used to be this massive airport.  Then it was abandoned for some reason.  The whole area that used to be where they landed the planes got filled up with all of these improvised houses.  So it's basically a massive tarmac that's full of people.  It's pretty much a missionary's dream for finding investigators and organizing an area.  The only problem is that it turns into a giant oven in the sun.  I've been in some hot areas, but nothing so far compares to going to Landing in the afternoon.

     Everything is going well, and it's a great feeling to be back out to the normal missionary life, and we experienced quite a bit of success the first few days that we've been together.  Really not a single complaint that I can think of right now.  Everything's awesome!
- Elder English  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


WEEK 91 - WEEK 92
Well, the unexpected transfer from the previous letter wasn't necessary after all......
Dear Family and Friends,

     It’s been another great week in Alaminos, and it’s hard to believe that another transfer week has already come.  This will officially be my 6th and last transfer week in the office and it’s kind of a bittersweet experience.  The Elder who will be replacing me arrived last week, and I have been showing both of them the last few things that they need to know.  It’s actually been a really fun experience to train them, and they’re both catching on really fast.  The new office elder is Elder Stewart.  He’s from Salt Lake, and has been in the mission for about a year now.  He’s a really smart elder and isn’t having any problems with the adjustment.  He also attended the University of Utah before he came out, so it’s been really fun to have a fellow Ute fan in the apartment.

The office crew...with Elder Costales and Elder Stewart

     I also received the call from the assistants about where my next area is going to be.  They actually called me from the next room over.  My next area will be in Lucena City.  I will be companions with Elder Pepa.  He’s from Tonga and will be going home in six weeks.  I’m really excited for the opportunity since I’ve never actually been assigned on that side of the mission, so I can’t wait to get out there and meet some new people!

     This transfer week seems like it has been a little harder for me than the others since I’m really close with a lot of missionaries who are going home.  It also became very real all of a sudden that time is starting to wind down for me as well.  There’s this really weird cycle that happens to me every time.  When the departing missionaries get on the jeepney and head to Manila, you kind of get flooded with feelings of homesickness and thoughts of when you’ll be going home.  Then the new missionaries come in the next day and they fill you with this fresh energy to get out and to get to work.  I’m really excited to take that energy to my next area and make the most of the Lord’s time that he has given to me to serve.
With Elder Encinares before he left.  My companion in Tanauan.
     Everything is going great and I’m really excited for the next stage in my mission.  I’ve learned a lot of things being an office elder that I never expected to and I can’t wait to get out and put it to use.  Thanks again for all of your support and advice that you send every week!

-Elder English

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Off-cycle Transfer

WEEK 89 - WEEK 90
Dear Family and Friends,

     So first of all, there has been a few changes for me this past week.  Some things happened, and in this situation, some transfers were necessary.  I was informed that I will be leaving the office off-cycle this coming week, so next week I'll be in a new area with a new companion.  I am happy for the opportunity to return to the usual missionary schedule and work, but I do feel sorry for Elder Costales since he has been getting the crash course of how to do all of the work in the office and is still working on his driving.  He has a really positive attitude and I know that he'll do a great job.  So I will let you all know how my new area is next week!

     One of the few negatives about serving in the Philippines is that we get general conference a week later than everyone else.  So I get to hear all of the excitement and reports a week before we get to watch it, but it really just adds to the anticipation.  I'm really looking forward to it since it will be my last general conference in the mission, and there are lots of questions that I'm looking forward to getting answered.  It's been really important for me to remember that if we put in the proper preparation, we are entitled to receive revelation for the things that we need.  It's definitely one of the greatest things that we should be taking advantage of.  

     We experienced a miracle in our work this week.  We have been visiting a member for a while who has problems attending church because of his work.  I turns out that the assistants were also looking for a member and found out that they actually live right next to each other and that they work at the same place.  We had just never seen him because we always visit later in the evening.  They said that they're going to help each other figure out their schedules so that they can come to church together.

     Everything else is going well and I'm definitely a little anxious about my new area and companion but also really excited to get out and work.  Thanks again for all of your advice and support!
- Elder English