mission applications since President Monson's announcement. Prior to the announcement, the church receives around 700 new applications. Since the announcement, that number has risen up to 4,000 per week. That is an astonishing 471% increase!
Then on Tuesday, I received an email from the Missionary Department with the following information:
1. The Philippines Area will receive an additional 804 missionaries. There is an average of 188 missionaries per mission so that number is more than the equivalent of 4 missions! No mention of new missions being created as of yet, but you see the writing on the wall.
2. The Philippines Cauayan Mission presently has a complement of 180 (that's how many we are supposed to have if all of our slots are used. Right now, we have 150 missionaries). Our new complement is now 250!. That is 100 more than we have now. While the missions around greater Manila (Manila, QC. QC North) maintains their current complement, our mission along with the other "provincial missions" are going to receive the bulk of these increase.
isnt that cool to see. missionary work is picking up. thats almost unbelievable that things increased by that much. its cool to think about that and then read the last part of the introduction of the book of mormon.
anyways about this week. dad said something in his letter to me that ill go ahead and talk about. he asked if this area was more difficult that my other areas.. then he said how different every area was and well thats definately true.
opening an area is the greatest thing ever. looking at my planner and seeing absolutely nothing on the first weekly planning other than try to get to know the members (most all inactive for many years) and a few other goals as a companionship and personal goals. and now we have actually got a schedule going (not perfect yet but were working on it) and had an inactive come to church for the first time in about 10 years with his wife and having turn from just people met into actually investigating... (thats the hard part in the philippines.. you can teach most anybody,.. one lesson because theyre so nice then you go home feeling great like you have found some great people then you go back and theyre hiding from you because they werent really interested at all they were just being nice. that transition from someone you meet... to "how to begin teaching" , to having a return appointment... to being a progressing investigator, coming to church, having a baptismal date, then making that big switch in k-i's to baptised and becoming a recent convert, (and hopefully not going to the less active pool ha ha) its a big refining procress that is pretty nerve wracking sometimes. you become emotionally involved with these people.. their lives and problems and hopes and families and seeing to savior come in and changing them is the sweetest experience to be a part of.. and seeing the savior knocking on the outside if the door with no handle like that painting and them not answering is the hardest.
this area is no harder or easier than any other area. and well i dont have a favorite area. santiago was the most fruitful as far as outword success.. cabagan probably more fruitful as far as inward success.. lamut was too short for me to realize or register that i am really on the other side of the world so everything there was great and new... and here being with a new missionary opening an area helping in actives regain testimonys and repent... theres nothing to really say that could explain it right.
hearing missionary stories is a lot different than being a part of them. its almost like if you arent paying attention you would miss what was happening. ive told you of all sorts of cool experiences that have happened and a lot of things that are miracles in any way you could put it. hearing about those kind of things you think.... man thats cool why dont i get to see those kinds of things... i remember before coming here hearing missionary stories about the mtc and the field and getting here and wondering if they had made it all up or exagerated something that did happen but added their little writers liberty to make it sound more cool. but the longer ive been here and the stronger my testimony gets the more i start to feel like theres miracles and things that happen every day in everyone life who lives the gospel that are so amazing and unexplainable and... normal that of your not paying attention and looking for the hand of the lord in your life that you might miss the simple truth stated by president monson "theres no such thing as a coincidence" this last conference president monson said something like i am always amazed at the lords ability to be aware of everything happening everywhere and at the same time able to inspire an individual to do something that will effect the life of another individual (not a perfect quote) but when you think about it its impossible to understand but a real testimony that there is a god, and his ways are really higher than our ways, and his thoughts higher than our thoughts.
i think onew lesson ive been trying to soak in is the lesson that we have the choice whether to have faith or fear, to believe or doubt, to be positive about life or negative.. happy or sad. that no matter what crap is happening we really have the choice to do what joseph smith says in the restoration dvd while they are suffering in liberty jail and one of his companions asks him "how do we endure well"? ( speaking of the revelation in doctrine and covenants, and joseph simply said "we trust in god and we go on"
thats one lesson im praying i can somehow sink into my soul. to CHOOSE faith.
thanks again lagi for everything that you do and for your letters every week they give me strength and i always appreciate them and read them. i love you all very deeply..... ingat elder landeen