Family, good morning!
What a week! …wow! We survived. It reminds me of when Elder Madsen and I finished our first training together and we threw our hands in the air and ecstatically yelled, “We did it!” After which, President leaned over and mentioned, “Said Dora.” Remember when Dora the Explora reaches the big blue mountain or wherever she’s trying to get to and says, “We did it!”? Last week we had conferences from Tuesday-Friday and we had to get into the office super early on Saturday. So much random stuff came up. I’ll have lots of stories for you to tell one day. It was the busiest, most trying week I’ve had on my mission. And at the end, we were left saying… We did it!
Do you remember my third companion, Elder Simmons? He was my companion just before I got transferred to the Legazpi Mission boundaries. Meaning, he got left in the Naga mission when our mission split last July and I haven’t seen him since then. He became an office elder (finance, same thing Trevor did) though, so I get to talk to him on the phone sometimes which is always super fun. Anyways, on Thursday, a group of Naga missionaries had to come down to the regional department of foreign affairs in Legazpi. Guess who was driving them… Elder Simmons! I was so excited to see him. Only problem was… We were doing one of those conferences in a different city so I didn’t get to see him! ;( That would have been a great reunitement. Ever since Elder Madsen and I have been companions (almost 6 months now!) we’ve been trying to find an excuse to drive to Naga so we could stop by our old areas along the way (the areas in Naga Mission that we can’t go back to). The other night, we were with a group of missionaries and only a few of us were assigned in Naga Mission, we started PROUDLY singing the Naga Mission Theme song. Loved that. It’s crazy how much progress there has been. It’s a great feeling to find success in your previous efforts. Baao, the group I was assigned in at the beginning of last year, went from averaging 20-30 people at church to now being its own branch with 100 people attending! Comun, the group that was my last area, has grown so much as well and is getting a meeting house built for them. And I’ve been told so many times that people I used to teach, or even just tracted are getting baptized. What a good feeling! It’s something that you don’t expect, because when you leave you didn’t know what would happen, but in the end, your effort really wasn’t wasted (even if it takes a year to happen – which it has so many times). How great.
In other news, there was a brown out every day this week in Daraga (where we live, in Legazpi they were supposed to not have power for two weeks in certain parts because something broke and it had to come from Japan). Luckily they were shorter ones. We made a “fan train” in our apartment to get better ventilation in the “kiln” (our room) from the other elders’ room with a door and window to let the breeze come in that side of the house. We just set up four fans in a line to push the air through. See pictures.
I sure love you! It’s been a great week.
Love, Elder Shane Brown
1. Elders locked the key in the car... Had to call some random tatay to rescue them.
5-9. "Give us ventilation"
10. The waterfall is much prettier in the daytime...