This week in Vigan was amazing!! The coolest city I have ever been to in my life! The best way I could ever describe it is that it seems like Venice, only in the Philippines, with weather like California, mountains like the ones in Utah, with a country side like in Tennessee. So needless to say I have the best of all worlds here haha. Vigan is soooooo much fun though!! It's by far the most unique place I've ever been to in my life. I forgot my camera today but I'll send you pictures next week! Vigan is AWESOME! Plus we get to teach in the Philippines which makes it even better :)
So I realized this week that I'm pretty fluent in Tagalog. I understand every word that is being spoken of, I'm able to respond, and I'm able to read and write in it too. Of course there's still a lot more vocabulary I need to learn to be able to be better at the language but I've hit the point of fluency which is really really cool to think about. Plus it just makes it so much more fun when you don't really have to worry about the language all that much but I'll still be studying everyday for sure and trying to learn Ilokano too. Being in Ilocos Sur now there's not too much Ilokano speakers but it's still a nice skill to have to be able to communicate to ALL of the people here. And Ilokano is like 80% Spanish too so i might be able to pick up a couple more which is really really nice. Just got to keep working hard and keep studying, praying, and striving for the spirit. It would have been impossible if I didn't have the spirit with me :)
But my companion Elder Gamboa is different than all the rest of my companions. I'm grateful for all of my companions because I have learned and grew so much because of them and having to adapt to their different personalities, weaknesses and strengths, which has made me a better person in return. I'm very grateful for all of my companions and I have grown with all of them and the same will be with Elder Gamboa too :)
We worked really hard this week. We had 38 lessons and taught 30 new investigators. The Elders before didn't do anything in the area so it's kind of like opening up a new area. When I first got there there was no progressing investigators, no baptismal dates, and no teaching pool but we worked hard this week and got 12 new baptismal dates and 3 progressing investigators. Vigan is a REALLY big area so there's a lot of people who have been prepared and we're excited to be able to help them here :)
Everything else is great though! I'm in an apartment that's pretty big and pretty nice in San Vicente. Our area is actually mostly in Bantay, very little of it is in Vigan. But we live with two other Elders which is A LOT of fun to have. It's SO much fun in our apartment haha. Bantay is BEAUTIFUL. If there was an area where I think I could live in the Philippines it would definitely be Bantay. It's really really nice there.
The church is great in Vigan! Everything is organized and nice and calm and spiritual during Sundays and we're able to have a good church service which is really really nice. The chapel is BEAUTIFUL and it's been a really really nice change so far. I miss Laoag but I fell in love with Vigan almost immediately :) Everything is great here! :)
I'm excited for this next week of work in Vigan! It's great here! :)
Anyways I love you all and I'll talk to you all next week! :)
A NOTE ABOUT THE PICTURES FROM ELDER OSLUND:
So here's some pictures from the boodle fight, and some random ones and my farewell yesterday! Enjoy! Hopefully you can feel how much I love the members here from these pictures :) Love you all!