Monday, March 9, 2015

My Beloved Family,

Some crazy things happened and I'm still not sure what to think. Thursday night I got a call from President Balledos and he told me he was transferring me a week before transfers. He asked me to be the Zone Leader in Baguio City and I was to leave the next morning. I was speechless and I feel really unqualified. I've only been out for 6 months and I STILL DON'T KNOW TAGALOG. But I will do anything the Lord and my mission president want me to do. It's really hard for me to leave Aringay. I wasn't able to say goodbye to everyone because I thought I still had a week left. So I packed my bags and got on a bus the next morning and drove the 3 hours to Baguio. Baguio is HIGH in the mountains and that's why it's a lot colder then the lowlands. IT'S SO COLD UP HERE. The people are more wealthy(prideful) here and it's really hard to find people and teach. People here feel like that they don't need religion or a new church in their lives. The Baguio Zone has been struggling and is the worst zone  in our mission and it's about to get worse now that I'm a Zone Leader hahaha. But really. I still feel like I'm a super new missionary. I'm not sure what the Lord wants me to learn yet. I hope with my little experience that I can help this zone be successful. Did I mention I still don't know Tagalog? Someone please mention that to my mission president. My new companion is Elder E and he's great. He's really experienced and he's helping me. It's really beautiful up here but I miss my first area. The church is more established up here in Baguio, because they actually have a stake. And with that the members don't really rely on or appreciate the missionaries as much as the struggling branches in the lowlands. But I'm going to work hard and try not to do anything stupid haha. 

I love ya'll. See you in 2 years

Your Valiant Missionary,
Elder Strader

I'll email more about my new area next week but here are some pictures of the Aringay members and the view from my new apartment. Here's a picture of the me and the Oribello family. I gotten really close to them and I love them so much. They were less active before but now Brother Kris is the Elders Quorum President and  Sister Joy is having a baby soon. Their first baby boy and their naming him Jaren Oribello. I'm full of emotions and I guess there will now be two Jaren's in the Philippines. I love these people so much.

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