A little background on the area, so last transfer there were 4 elders in our area but 3 of them got pulled-out and now Elder Lindley and I took over the other elder's area as well. Lets just say the area, area books, and the apartment itself were not looked after very well to say the least. We've cleaned up the apartment and now we are working on cleaning up the area as well.
There are a lot of challenges associated with our area. Church attendance is very low, few Melchizedek priesthood holders, and our teaching pool right now is not looking good to say the least. But on the other hand I've never been more excited about missionary work before in my life and honestly never thought I would be either. I literally am thinking all day long about how we can improve and where we got to go and who need to talk to and what are their needs. What we lack in knowledge of Tagalog, we make up for in effort that's for sure.
This is the first time so far on my mission that I have gained a testimony about the Gift of Tongues. Coming into the transfer that was my biggest fear, Elder Lindley and I being so young in the mission, but the language to my unbelievable surprise hasn't been a major stumbling block. By no means are we "great" at Tagalog yet but there have been so many times where words have literally just started coming out of mouth that I don't think I've ever practiced before. I don't know if its always grammatically correct and maybe its just the Spirit interpreting the words for them, but all the people we have taught and OYM'd have understand our message and the things we prepared to teach them.
Before I always just kind of thought, the gift of tongues was just a catchy phrase everyone throws out there just to give us hope in learning the language one day. Now, however I know it's real. The gift of tongues is literally a gift from God for the purpose of teaching His children the Gospel. I have a firm belief, that as long as we are obedient, keep working as hard as we are, and keep our desires focused on His work...the Lord will never hang us out to dry. Simply put, I know He's got our back. Because of that fact there is no fear in speaking or OYMing anybody at any moment.
Last transfer 92 lessons were taught in this area, we set a goal for 150 this transfer and are determined to get all of our key indicators up to the standard of excellence by the end of the transfer. We have good support from the ward missionaries and we spent a good portion of our time this week delivering member lessons in an effort to gain the support and trust of the ward for our area foundation first. Over the next couple of weeks comes the real task of laying the brick work. There is incredible potential in our area and likely over 100,000 people. With that many people, we know there are hundreds if not thousands prepared by the Lord waiting for someone to show them the way to everlasting life. There are too many people, and too much potential here to go wasted. As we continue to work hard and have fun, relying on the Lord's support in every thing that we do, I know the area will begin to flourish.
Kaloocan is a tough little city but the people here are kind once you get to know them. Not to mention, who wouldn't be interested in talking to two huge white guys walking around in church clothes in the hottest, dirtiest place on Earth? You best believe, we bout to ball out this transfer.
Pray I don't get stabbed, but if I do that'd be a cool story
Elder Krueger T