Well I am now happily here in Bambang! This is one of the farthest Zones in our mission and is in the mountains. I have to say the 4 hour drive was a little brutal to the knees but its nothing I can't handle! The area is a little cooler than my other areas due to the fact that I am on a mountain, but I still manage to sweat a lot. Story of my life!
In other news, we have a pizza place literally right next to us and man do I take advantage of that! One of their pizzas is like the perfect snack size for me! I just need to make sure I don't spend too much money on them haha. My new companion is Elder Tabudlong and he is pretty funny. I can also see that he is ready to go home, but I am making sure we end his last cycle good!
The area is pretty great so far. We have a ton of members in our branch which is a total difference from my last area. Like my last area, everyone likes to ogle over me but that's ok. The major difference I have noticed is that people are a lot more outgoing in this area. I love it because it makes it easier for us to get contacts!
Alright!!! I have realized there are various advantages to having a companion who is going home after this cycle. For one, we get a lot more food! Members are always feeding us because they know that my companion will be going home shortly. It's also awesome to have a companion who has his Testimony to such an elevated level. He truly believes and knows in what he is teaching. He is my 5th companion so far in the mission and he is my 4th Bisaya (native) companion. For some reason, I seem to get along really well with the Bisayan!
Anyways, leaving my last area was a little hard. Its hard to believe that I only left that area 4 days ago. It was harder for me because in those months I really bonded with those members and investigators. I really treasure those relationships I was able to build with the people of Naguilian. I hope that I'm able to do the same with the people of Almager branch! At this rate, I may have to return to the Philippines after all because I have a ton of friends here! I feel rather accomplished right now as a missionary.
My main reasons behind going on a mission were to help others find the true joy that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ and to form eternal relationships with the people that I meet. Throughout my mission I always pondered about what things I could bring back with my in the next life and I realized that one of those things is relationships. The beautiful thing about relationships is that is built spiritually rather than physically. The connection you build with people you meet and love is not seen, but rather felt. I am really glad that Heavenly Father created such a beautiful place where I can build such relationships and bring them with me throughout all eternity. After all, I do love spending time with my friends!
On another bright note, my new Zone Leader is my MTC batch mate Elder Ishibashi! He looks like he is doing really well and he is super excited to be in the same Zone as me. We will have a great cycle this cycle. Well I love you all and I am grateful for this new opportunity to serve in the Mountains! I feel at home here.
Well I will talk to you again next week!
Elder Zach Warren