Week 52: Almost Hump Day

Dear family and friends,

It’s almost Hump Day for me. This Saturday I will turn 1-year in the mission. It will be my mission anniversary! I’m so excited because that only means I will have 1 year left before I finish my mission; and hopefully I will finish on time!

This week has been pretty good. We had like 22 lessons which is my first time in all ages I exceed the mission’s standard of excellence for the total number of lessons. Teaching opportunities are just easy here in Pila because there are too many members (and too many less-actives as well) and they just live close to each other. They’re mostly less-active and active member lessons because we’re still looking for the investigators the previous elders were teaching. Their records are not in the area book and we just can’t find them….

Anyway, so Mom I hope you are already thinking of things to send me for my Hump Day Package. I actually need new shirts and pants and a new pair of shoes as well. They are yellowed and worn out. But I think it would be more better if you send me cash so I could get them somewhere here, though I don’t think there is an SM around my area. But I will get them for sure if you send me cash by next week.

I feel that I should end now with a poem!

The Hump

So you have hit the hump, and half-way through,
Isn’t it great how the Lord protects you.

We are proud of your work, of your baptisms, and knocks,
Glad you have found work, but know you wore out your socks.

So remember all you learned in this very first year,

You with the Lord have worked hard to get you were you are now,
So don’t let the work slack, and pray as you bow.

With the help of the Lord you have changed inside out,
Growing more valiant, stronger, and very stout.

So strengthen others in this downhill road,
And don’t let it be said that you had to be picked with a goad.
(see Bible dictionary)

12 is a wonderful number you know,
With the Priesthood at 12 you started to grow,

In love, and in service in righteous desire,
And now with 12 months don’t get midway tired.

Just keep on converting for the next two years
Teaching the gospel, (which brings mother her tears)

About the Savior, the Plan of Salvation,
And all that transpired with the gospel’s restoration.

Be proud of your growth, your work and your mission,
And hope for investigators who are willing to listen.

Teach with the Spirit, and work very hard,
It is the best of your life, for you’re working for the Lord.

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Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

Week 51: Kind of Spain, Kind of New Orleans

Dear family and friends,

I’m so tired; I haven’t had enough sleep yet. So transfer day was on Thursday, but I wasn’t to go to my new area in Pila yet; I had to sleep over in San Pablo for district leaders conference on Friday. Then we went on with all the meeting and the travel. After the meeting ended, I told the assistants that I didn’t know where the area is, I didn’t have the phone, and I didn’t have enough money to use if I should get lost. So they were feeling compassionate that they offered to drive me to the area apartment… something they didn’t even know where.
Anyway, I feel that I should tell you that Pila is a great looking bayan. I am re-opening an area; that means the previous missionaries were pulled out for some reasons. This is my first time re-opening an area! And my companion is Elder Taguiam (Elder Salanio’s trainer). When I arrived at the apartment, I cried a little bit…. Mostly the reason was that the apartment was, and still is, filthy dirty. The water is brown and itchy. I can’t poop in the toilet because it’s green and moldy and stuff. I literally cried. As a result, I try to poop in the chapel and I take a bath in the laundry area where there is no door. I’ve never felt so poor in my entire life. But don’t put too much thought about this. A kind foreign couple in branch, Brother and Sister Brown, has been looking a new apartment for us to stay. We hope to move out soon! : )
The houses here are superb. The local officials are preserving the heritage and ancestral houses originally dating back to the Spanish era. Some of the houses were used as a setting to different famous local TV shows and movies. The weather is a little bit hot, but not that humid. The people are kinder, too. There is one old huge Catholic huge just a block away from my apartment. The plaza square offers an amazing picture of the orangey skies during dusk.
I should end with a few pictures!
​After the 2 hour travel from San Pablo to Santa Cruz, we had dinner at McDonalds with the zone leaders (both Bisayas), the assistants, and Elder Mumm and his 3-day old trainee.
​After the 2 hour travel from San Pablo to Santa Cruz, we had dinner at McDonalds with the zone leaders (both Bisayas), the assistants, and Elder Mumm and his 3-day old trainee.

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​Can you believe this? A 7/11 built inside an ancestral house!
More pictures in my picture mail thread!
Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission