Sunday, June 7, 2015

Week 20 Olongapo Branch 3 Pilar 1

Transfers this last week were crazy! If you didn't hear, I was transferred! I have moved south for rainy season ( I would say winter but it's hotter here in the south) So, unfortunately I am not able to kill the rat but I left Sister Walker and Sister Potestad in charge of killing the thing! 
I was in shock at being transferred. I did not expect it would be me leaving and I was the only one that left. The first thing I was told about my new area was that there are more bugs and more rats here! But so far I haven't seen any rats just flying cockroaches everywhere. So we keep the doors closed at night to keep them out. 
Pilar is going to be a lot of work for me even more than Olongapo city was. We have a lot of work to do to organize the branch here and to continue and teach investigators and work toward a more organized area. I think I will be able to pick up this area a lot quicker than my last because there are a lot less barangi (or neighborhoods) The hardest part will be the language. In this zone, I am the only white person, there are foreigners but they all look either samaon or Filipino.  I will get the opportunity to play the piano here. I guess only very few people know how to play so I am the designated pianist for church. Our church is tiny! There are 3 rooms, the chapel, and two classrooms and the baptismal font is outside! We had quite the experience yesterday there. We had our Branch Council Meeting and we kept hearing this noise coming from one of the rooms. We figured it was just a kid still in the church playing. The member of the branch presidency then turned his head around the corner to see what really was going on and they saw a spark. The ceiling fan had caught fire! So we all ran outside and leaders started looking for water anywhere they could find it, One old Tatay even got in a tricycle and went to go find help, but came back with the police or Pulis as it is spelled here :) We all had a good laugh that the police showed up to help us put out a fire and that the church almost burnt down. We made sure that President Dahle was informed of this and that only minimal damage was done to the building itself. The news here spread like wildfire and everyone knew so quickly we all had some good laughs about it all. I am going to make sure to take lots of pictures of this new area for you all because its more like what you think the Philippines are, rice fields, and being in the middle of nowhere. All the work we have to do here in this branch makes me feel so blessed to have the organization we have in Salt Lake.  I am determined to bring the organization that I can here to leave this area much better than I found it! I'll get lots of pictures for next week so that you can all see my new area.  Already, I have cute little kids always coming up to me and hugging me. I didn't get that in my last area, so I am excited for the new opportunities.  Just so you know, our church attendance was only 70, definitely not the 200+ I am used to in Olongapo. One day we will get there, we will have to add to the church building in order to fit everyone! that can be our goal :)  It's actually kinda funny this new area of mine, I am actually in Sister Lucillo's last area before she came to Olongapo for her last transfer. I am replacing her trainee from 6 months ago but who would have thought right? 
Hope all is going well with you all at home that you all are being watched over and protected. A special Happy Birthday to a little 6 yr old girl on Friday! Happy Birthday to you, Ada Rae! Have fun and go do something together. It's independence day here in the Philippines so I bet it will be a big celebration here just for you Miss Ada Rae. Have fun with your little gifts from Elder Longson, I have some of the kiskis ( they are the small beads, with the terrible English instructions) sitting on my desk so I have some too! In the instructions I sent I said a 2 L bottle, it may need to be bigger or less water. But have fun with those they are so cool looking! I hope you have fun with them and with your lego person. 
Love you all,
Sister Hansen     

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