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Week 63: A Higher Plane

Dear family and friends,

Thanks for your support; much appreciated. Transfer day went surprisingly smooth on Thursday. When it’s transfer day, it usually is too hot or too rainy; this cycle everything just went smooth. I was in SM City San Pablo (transfer checkpoint) and making sure every transferred missionary went through the checkpoint. Speaking of SM, I’m just very happy I’m near an SM now; which also means I’m a bit closer to the world. SM makes me happy.
My new companion is Elder Vilingia. He’s from Oakland, California, and has been on the mish for 21 months. He’ll be home by January and I actually think he’ll get transferred next cycle (another companion again!). He talks a lot to me and has expressed that the missionaries in the zone were excited that I’m the new zone leader. One fact about the mission field is that the longer you serve the more people know and talk about you.
San Pablo City hot! I feel like I’m working in Mandaue City back home. The streets are too busy and the cars are too noisy. It’s a disadvantage because it’s not really residential unlike Pila; in other words, the members’ houses are way too far apart from each other; simply put, too much money on travel. As for the ward, we’re helping the ward get some less actives back. The bishop is supportive and we hope we can continue to work on the progress of his ward.
Bishop Shaun told me the news that Mandaue stake will be having it’s General Session of the Stake Conference at Hoops Dome! That’s amazing. I would like to congratulate all the stake members for their hard work. I can’t wait to be back soon and share the blessings with you. I love you all!

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Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

Week 62: Zone Leader…?

Dear family and friends,

I know you’ve been thrilled by reading the title, but first let me proceed with my first business: the weather. I’m safe; the typhoon didn’t do much damage here in Laguna. From Friday until the weekend it was only very windy (sweater weather). The only bad thing is that my mission president and his wife are still stuck on the island of Mindoro until the boats are ready again for travel back to the mainland. Another thing is that some departing missionaries this week are also stuck on the island and may not be able to arrive in the mission home on time. Speaking of departing missionaries, my companion has left the area this Monday morning; so I am now with Elder Lapena (Urdaneta) and Elder Abio (Cagayan de Oro) until transfer day on Thursday.
So on Saturday morning I was down in my bed because of the colds. Then out of a sudden my mission president called me on the phone saying that he wants me to be a zone leader. I quickly said yes—quickly because I was out of words! I wasnot expecting to be a zone leader this cycle. Actually, during the zone interviews last month, my mission president informed me that he would make me a zone leader, but he didn’t specifically tell me when. I was hoping to receive the assignment sometime in December or even in January next year, just in time that me labour here in Pila would be sufficient and I be ready for another area. But I think that the Lord really has His own timetable with which we need to be patient and even accepting. I will be serving as a zone leader in San Pablo Zone beginning on Thursday.

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This is Daryl and Darlene. Daryl is a member while Darlene is his girlfriend. Together they have a son named Dre. They will be married sometime in late November or early December. I’m supposed to baptize Darlene in December but I’m transferred, which is really sad.
Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission
PS: So it’s almost Christmas! And with holidays and festivities, Mom, I need another package.

Week 61: #LDSconf!

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Dear family and friends,

I hope all of you attended the general conference session! I was edified, inspired, both chastised and motivated by the messages I’ve heard. And most of all, I hope you attended all sessions of the conference. It’s not just a one-session kind of thing. There are four sessions in which we are all expected to attend. If you didn’t all of them, I’m inviting you to repent until the next general conference in 6 months.
This week has been really busy and quite unproductive because of all the meetings I need to attend and the hours it would take to attend General Conference in the weekend. And my companion will be going home next week and be gone by Monday morning. (Thank goodness.) He has started packing his bags and I will now only wait for him to be gone. I will yet have another new companion again and I hope by this time I get a foreign missionary. There’s too much cultural gap when I’m with a Filipino. I know that sounds so ironic but I think I’m better off and can express myself better in English to my companion. I still feel uncomfortable speaking in Tagalog but whenever I teach I feel the Spirit helping me teach in the local language.
I’m running out of time for e-mailing again. Have to cut off. Bye!

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Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

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1) Rambutan season!

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2) Friends from my first area. Can’t believe it’s been a year since I
was served with them in Lucena! They were jumping up and down when
they saw me at the Santa Cruz stake center. They were there for the
YSA Devotional; I was there for a baptismal interview.

Week 60: SHOCKING NEWS

Dear family and friends,

How is everyone doing?

SHOCKING NEWS #1: So I feel that I should inform you further about my desire to attend BYU-Hawaii in the mission. I’m pretty much serious about it. As I’ve told you before it’s not like I’m sure I’ll get in or it’s my only option, but I would want it to be an available option once I return home from my mission. Mom, I need you to get my original TOR from CDU so I can calculate from GPA. I’ll try to apply as a working student but at the same time I don’t want to feel so poor in terms of the amount of time that I can use to enjoy college life.

SHOCKING NEWS #2: I might start my own family after my mission. I think that the most number 1 profound influence that has come upon me throughout my mission life is the truth that families can be together forever. It’s been wonderful to witness miracles happen in the families I serve here in the mission field and to realize that our Heavenly Father really has a plan for each of His children.

SHOCKING NEWS #3: Baptisms in a couple of weeks! We’ve been teaching people here in my area and I think they’ll be baptized probably before this month ends or early November.

Elder Poblete

Philippines San Pablo Missio

Week 59: Do You Love Me?

Dearest family and friends,

My mother was totally devastated with the very, very short e-mail I sent last week. Forgive me! Things happened that I had no time to write a quality weekly letter. I’ll compensate this week!

As many of you may have known, my mom sent me money to get some new stuff for my 1-year anniversary. But rather than getting new shirts and pants, I opted to get new scriptures. They are pretty much expensive, but I figured that they’re so much better compared to my 20-year old scriptures which I received from my late grandparents. Here is a picture:

This cycle has been really busy because of recent zone conference. A zone conference is a missionary meeting in which all missionaries assigned from specific zones (a mission field equivalent to a “stake”) gather together for instructions and training. We went to San Pablo last week and it was great as usual.

I have a shocking news for everybody: I am considering BYU-Hawaii after my mission. It’s not like I’m totally sure for BYU-Hawaii, but it’s not impossible. That means I’m still not sure if I should leave med school and rather finish my studies in BYU. I’m still praying and fasting about it. I’ll tell you more about this next week.

Elder Poblete

Philippines San Pablo Mission