Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Switching Islands

I've been here in Baclayon for 4.5 months, 18 weeks, 3 transfers, 4 different companions, 2 baptisms, various different sicknesses, and TONS of priceless memories....and now I have to say goodbye!

I'm called to serve as a sisters training leader (STL) in the Danao Zone, which means I'm going back to Cebu Island! My new companion is Sister Allen, who is one of my MTC batch! She's great, and I'm excited to learn a lot from her! I'm definitely going to miss Bohol....mingawon na ko og mga Boholano! 

This transfer went by so fast, it seems like just yesterday Sister Pulotu joined Sister Smith and I in our companionship! Training her has been so great, she's the funniest and most proper Tongan I've ever met! She'll be staying here to lead the area in Baclayon, so we've been going over with her how to get to members' and investigators' homes, and how to tell the trayke driver where our balay is! She's going to do awesome :)

This past week Carla got to attend the youth conference, but she had UTI and had to come home one day early! We've been visiting her in the hospital, and we've been so grateful for the wonderful members here in Baclayon branch because they really took care of her; the youth even went as a group to visit her on Sunday!

I spent my last Sunday here in Baclayon branch doing a branch activity: less-active caravan! We got together and split into various groups- Sisters with the Relief Society and Elders with the Branch Mission Leader, and then the branch presidency, and we all went to visit less-active members. Then we met back up all together at Nanay Edith's balay to administer a special sacrament service her. Our transportation was 12 people stuffed into the back of an elf truck, and Sister Pulotu and I almost fell out the back on a sharp turn, haha, but we were okay. As I sat there with wind whipping in my face and blurred palm trees flying by listening to the members here discuss the various needs of the sisters in Baclayon branch, I just thought  man, I love the Philippines, and missionary work, and Baclayon! It was a perfect last Sunday.

Scripture thought for you: "Strengthen your brother in all your conversations, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings." (D&C 108:7)

Both of my companions had a death in the family this week, and I've been so impressed and inspired with the way they chose to handle the natural emotions that come with news of a death- they both turned toward their faith, their testimonies of the gospel, and to comforting and strengthing their families. They both talked about the temple and the doctrines of eternal families that we are so blessed as members of the church to know. 

"There is a connection between heaven and earth. Finding that connection gives meaning to everything, including death. Missing it makes everything meaningless, including life." -John H. Groberg

Amping mo, have a great week!

Love, Sister Bertoldo

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