I cannot believe that I left Botolan felt like home. I even picked up a lot of their dialect Zambale. I loved those humble people so much and can't wait to see them again. I couldn't have done it without some of my awesome companions that were sent to me, and the spirit which was my constant companion. When I first got sent into Botolan branch the average sacrament attendance was 48 with half of them attending all 3 hours. We also had a few kind of trained but humble leaders. I was excited when the branch president showed trust in me and gave me an assignment to talk on the first Sunday. I took full advantage of it to talk on missionary work. Immediately I saw a change in the branch as me and my companion, Elder Urcia diligently talked and taught to as many people as we could. Little by little, our little branch turned into a big group of families from every part of the city. When I left there were 98 members there staying for all 3 hours with a desire to help the missionaries in as many ways as they could, many times meaning food haha. When I got there, there were 10 active Mel. priesthood holders (including the 2 Elders). When I left there were 20 that had returned or been baptized with close help from the couple missionaries and leaders. There was one member in the ward named Harvey. He had just become our Less Active Return and had started working with the missionaries for the first time when I asked him his office in the priesthood. Shockingly he said none. We soon made him a priest (being a 22 year old) and had him blessing the sacrament instead of the Elders which was a huge blessing since we could then fellowship instead of blessing sacrament. A few months later he got sustained for the Mel. priesthood and got ordained after a few weeks. Soon after that he became the Branch mission Leader! There hadn't been a branch mission leader in over a year so he was a huge blessing for us as missionaries. The day before I left my last area he submitted his mission papers. As in the day before! What a story! This kids amazing! I got there and he was a less active recently returned graduated certified nurse, and when I left, he was a BML with submitted mission papers! I love this kid! Another merit from our work in this branch is that we held the first Priesthood Executive meeting our branch president had ever seen, the first Missionary correlation meeting and Branch correlation meeting. Anyways, the accomplishments in this zone and branch for the month of Oct were 34 baptisms for a zone of 7 companionship and our area had a solid 8 baptisms. I had a total of 27 baptisms for that area who were still all there at church my last day to say bye and endure to the end as newly converted members. I love this work and will always strive to leave my areas better than I left them!
Keep striving to endure to the end and live the gospel to the word! I love you and be careful always! Oh yeah, and buy food storage. As in do it THIS WEEK.