Dear Family and Friends,
So my last transfer in the mission went smoothly. It was a really weird feeling to unpack my things knowing that I would be packing again , but I'm loving my new area. On transfer day, I took a two hour bus ride from Lucena to San Pablo, then an hour jeepney ride from San Pablo to Santa Cruz, and then finally an hour and a half jeepney ride from Santa Cruz to Majayjay. It is the most exhausting thing to travel in the Philippines. Especially when you're pulling your luggage around and sweating the whole time. I also didn't have anyone to travel with, so I did the whole thing by myself, but everything went well.
Majayjay is a really cool area. It's a small town at the base of a mountain. When I say small town, I really mean small. The biggest building here is this really old Catholic church. We don't even have an ATM in our area, so if we want to withdraw our money, it's another hour jeepney ride. It's a lot cooler here and rains about twice a day, so I'm really thankful for that. There are three sets of water falls here that are pretty famous throughout the region, so hopefully we'll get to visit some of those. The members are really amazing and supportive, I'm excited to see what work we can get done here.
My companion's name is Elder Villasana. He's from the Visayas region of the Philippines and speaks Illongo (another dialect). He's a really great elder and loves to smile and laugh. We spend a lot of our time just laughing while we're walking or at members' houses. It's only a branch here, so the members are really close to the missionaries and know all the Elders who were assigned here before. These past few days, we've just been traveling around the area and getting to know everyone. It's been a while since I've done a lot of walking in an area, so I did have some sore feet for a few days.
There was one miracle that we saw this past week. We had Stake Conference and it costs about twenty pesos (50 cents) to get there. We were walking night when we saw one of the elderly women in the branch. She came up and said hi to us. When she shook hands with me, she suddenly refused to let go of my hand. She then told us that she had just spent the rest of her money on food and asked if she could have 20 pesos to be able to go to stake conference the next day. We explained to her that we weren't allowed to give her the money and she seemed a little upset, but said it was ok. The next day we saw her at the Stake Center and she said that her cousin had come by the night before, unannounced and bought some of the vegetables from her garden. It was exactly 40 pesos. Just enough for getting to Santa Cruz and the return trip. It was a really big miracle for me to see how happy she was.
Everything is going well and I'm really enjoying the area here. I can't find anything to complain about. Thanks for all of your continued support and counsel.
- Elder English