At the start of the week on Monday we headed out to the Montalban & San Rafael zones to make a fairly surprising announcement and oversee the combination of the 2 zones into 1. President Bertin is very adamant about having zone and district sizes proportional enough so that the leaders can have opportunities to fulfill their purpose as leaders. So instead of one zone with 12 and another with 16, there is now simply one zone with 28 elders/sisters and 3 districts within the zone. Similar things happened in zones within the mission. We now have 10 zones with 16-30 elders/sisters in each of them.
The following day was exit day in which 16 elders/sisters finished their missionary service and boarded the van bound for the airport. We conducted the meeting which included the famous "go home and get married/don't go less active speech" by the mission president. The best part was the testimony meeting at the very end in which all the leaving elders/sisters have their final opportunity to bear testimony as Quezon City North missionaries. It was pretty hard to say goodbye to Elder Carteciano this batch since we have literally been in the same zones for my entire mission and have gone on so many exchanges together we practically consider ourselves as having been companions haha. I'm looking forward to hanging out with all the mission friends though in Provo after the mission ends.
The power also went out that day at the mission home so we made our way over to the neighbors house (who we have contacted a few times about the gospel) and asked for their help in cooking the rice for our meal. It was the last time Elder Kumar and I taught together as we waited for the rice to cook and sat out on their patio by the pool (yes they live in the nicest house I have ever seen), we taught Sister Eliane about families, our church and beliefs. We even worked all the way up through the word of wisdom because the house helpers kept offering us coffee, and when we said 'no thanks' they brought us tea instead! Haha after an explanation they settled on a delicious pink lemonade yummmm. The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways to bring about His eternal purposes! We hope to begin teaching this wonderful family in the future.
Luckily for us there was no time to get trunky because bright and early the very next morning we welcomed in 21 new missionaries fresh out of the MTC! The contrast between brand new, extraordinarily timid missionaries and these 2 year veterans, beaming with confidence and testimony, is almost indescribable to put into words. I had no idea just how much people grow spiritually and mentally in the short span of a mission. We welcomed these new missionaries in and tried to make the transition to real field work as smooth as possible for them. While at the same time we were also running a training session at the other side of the church for the trainers. Just before lunch President Bertin stood up and assigned the new trainer/trainee companionship right on the spot. Elder Kumar got a New Zealander elder and was so excited that he jumped out off the bench and screamed in the middle of the chapel hahahaha.
Just yesterday we had another training session for all of the newer/recently called leaders in the mission. Whether they be district, zone, or sister training leaders they all came to the mission home for the early half of the day. The mission home was packed with close to 40 people all gathered in the living room to hear 2 workshops from us, 1 from the STLs and 2 from President Bertin. Elder Ehlert and I really have good flow in our teaching and I enjoy teaching with him in both English or Tagalog!
Later that night we traveled all the way out to Meycauayan to find an emergency new apartment for the elders out there. Their apartment complex has reportedly been frequently used in association with a whore house, no place for elders to be living in such a degrading environment. When we finally got home around 8:45PM, tired from the events of the day. We felt like we should at least go tract one house in our neighborhood before calling it a night and beginning our PDay. Sure enough the very first house we knock on, let us immediately right in and listened to the entire message of the restoration! This is especially miraculous because we live in a very wealthy area which generally means automatic rejection. Just goes to show that the Lord is no respecter of persons and is preparing people to hear the gospel from all walks of life and all social-economic backgrounds.
I'm exhausted but happy as can be. Hope things continue to fly by with increased speed in this effort to hasten the work!