Monday, April 27, 2015

Exchanges, New Missionaries, and Other Stuff

I'll just keep it real simple this week. So we had 2 different Exchanges with different Zone Leaders this week. The Guinobatan Zone and the Sorsogon Zone Leaders. They were pretty fun, I always love getting out of the Office and back to working. Guinobatan was one of those Jungle areas, so I was lovin' every bit of it! Even got to have some Coconut again! I've missed Buko a lot, that'll be one of the hardest things about coming home I think. But it felt good to be out in the Boonies again, ipinaganak ako sa kabundokan! It just smells and feels so much better there. Anyways its was a really fun exchange. The Sorsogon Zone Leaders: Elder Poulton & Elder Benson, are both studs. I went with Elder Poulton...and we met harsh rejection from many a people due to their area being in a richer area. So a lot of people are just not up to listen. But we still had fun. On Wednesday we had a new Sister come into the Mission from Pakistan...and she hardly spoke a lick of English....or Tagalog. Poor girl, its gonna be a rough take off. I think I realized that when I was trying to orient her with all the Mission Rules and such and she didn't have any questions and was kinda just sitting there like a stump on a log. Oh man, well she'll be fine I guess. We'll just have to pray lots for her. After dropping her off at the Port to go to one of the islands in our Mission with her Trainer, we drove back. We decided to stop at the Pilar Elder's apartment (our Zone) on the way back to check on them. When we got there it was about lunchtime. We walked into the house after seeing their shoes at the door. They are 2 Filipino Elders, but I heard this different kind of English accent when I was there. After giving Elder Surio a "Whats going on?" look, it clicked for us both. Elder O'Connor! The Dirty Aussie himself. Ha so we walk in and him and the other Zone Leader, Elder Pasadillo (my old comp) are just chillin, they were waiting for the other Elder's to return back from work. They had just come through from a different area from exchanges and were just doing an Apartment Check, but we were cracking up trying to figure out what the heck they were doing there! So we took them home with us, and on the way home we decided to make some little kid's day! We had these free coca-cola's given to us, but we aren't allowed to drink it. So as we were driving down the highway we would stop and give it to kids walking down the street, along with a pass-along card. We actually got a text saying thank you from one of them which was cool. But one kid wasn't that excited when we offered to give him one, instead he took off on a dead sprint for the hills! Funniest thing of the week, and we got it on video so I'll upload that soon. So much fun! I love being a Missionary, especially dito sa Pilipinas! Oh and by the way, I've been pondering it for a long time and I gotta say that I'm on Team Pacquiao! Its gonna be such a good fight! Oh man its gonna be crazy! People are already getting ready for it here. And I really hope Pacquiao wins because I really don't wanna find out what will happen if he doesn't haha. Love you all! Take care.
    Elder Akins

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gubat Visit

So this week wasn't much of a commotion. President Guanzon has been gone the whole week at a Mission President's Conference in Manila, so there wasn't much Office work to do. We did however get to take some Sister's down to Sorsogon Province, to Gubat my first area! I was so excited to get going. The sad part though was that we didn't get down there until 9:00pm, which means everyone and their dog is asleep in the Philippines at such time. So I didn't get to say hello to some of the people I know there, like the Pimentel Family. It killed me driving past their house on the highway out. We did get to go see the Elder's at the good ole blue apartment there. Its even smaller than I remembered it ha. Can't believe that's where I started my Mission, its gotta be one of the worst apartments we have here haha but it took me right back! Especially the bathroom, still smells bad. This week I listened to a cool talk by Elder Marcus B. Nash of the First Quorum of the 70 about "Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth" which he delivered at a Law Class at the University of Utah. I liked it a lot, made me understand the Creation better and the importance of taking care of the Earth. Yesterday me and Elder Surio were out working at night and we ended up teaching one of our investigators at the house that is next door to her's, its her sister's and her husband's. Anyways it was a good lesson, and afterwards we got in the car and Elder Surio just looks at me and says, "Ok, what the heck just happened?!" Then he explained to me that something weird had happened in the lesson. So he was sitting almost across from me on the floor, leaning against a wooden doorway. The doorway had like a drape thing over it so we couldn't see into the rest of the house. And apparently while we were teaching someone was running a finger over his back! Haha from my perspective I couldn't' see anything, and the investigator couldn't either. It was crazy haha I was laughing the whole time he told me the story. We think it was our investigator's sister because Elder Surio said that once he heard the husband coughing on the other side of the house the finger stopped. So we won't be visiting that house anymore. Haha only on the Mission. Well I hope everyone's doing well! Spring is here and hopefully you'll be getting rain soon back at home! We need it!
    Love Elder Akins

Monday, April 13, 2015

Happy Late Easter/General Conference!

So sorry about last week, we were swamped trying to get ready for Transfers and all that. Gratefully I now have time to say whats up to everyone! So ya life's going good, especially after watching General Conference! Oh man, that was my favorite so far. Given before my Mission I had never watched a full G.M. so ya. But the talks were so impactful for me. After watching Elder Nielson's talk I realized that even though I am trying to do my best to follow Jesus Christ and use His Atonement and everything else, that I will always be a Prodigal Son. Thats why I am so grateful for God's Mercy, that He would make it possible for me to return to Him! It was a great talk. I loved Elder Packer's talk from the Saturday Morning Session ha made me crack up when he was talking about how his successful marriage all started when his girlfriend was sneaking out of class to give him a "Cookie and a Kiss". Both of my favorite Apostles gave great talks as well. Elder Perry talked about Families and Marriage and talked about his experience when he and President Eyring went to the Vatican. It was cool that members of the Muslim faith quoted our "Family Proclamation" in the meeting. And then Elder Holland's talk was amazing, it hit me so hard! His story was so gripping, I could feel that warm sandstone on my hands! And then I loved how he brought it to the Fall, and then all the way back to the Atonement. Ah man it was so good. I thought about Josh during it haha if he would be there for me, and I know he would if the situation ever called for it. He's a good kid, and I miss him. Well this week has just been lots of planning and getting ready for our MLC. There are moments of fun and jokes though, so its not all boring. We just got a new Elder here in the Office, Elder Peterson. He is training to be the new Finance Elder, so he will replace Elder Kelley after another Transfer. Well I hope all is well back at home and you guys are getting lots of rain! I miss you all. And I can't believe Devin's engaged, that kid! He better delay that until I get back!
    Love Elder Akins