I cannot believe Elder Betancourt has already been in the Philippines for SIX weeks. This week Elder Betancourt's area has transfers. Transfers occur every 6 weeks. Transfers are weeks where new Elders and Sisters come to the field, and those who have served their full 2 years head home. Some companionships are split and Elders and Sisters move to a new area where they receive new companions. Elder Betancourt's companion, Elder Reyes completes his 2 year mission this week and will be heading home. Elder Betancourt will be receiving a new companion. He could potentially change areas or stay in Naguilian.
Here is some of the things Elder B. wrote in his e-mail that I received on 12/10/12,
"Well hello Devynn!
My time is short! We have like no time today because its Elder Reyes last P-day so we have been all over creation!
week has been so good, SOOO BUSY. It was kind of lame when we were
sick, but we are all better now! The work was different this
week! We found a few new people, but our lessons got so messed up with us
being out which kind of messed up the whole week! But all is well!
Always another week! We have transfers this week SO we will be teaching
very little and in Cauayan city for most of the week! Elder Reyes will be
going home so he has lots of meetings and stuff!
I am excited to get to experience a new companion. I love Elder Reyes so
much, he is amazing so it will be hard to experience someone else, but I
am still super excited!
Well, keep being awesome! I promise there
will be more next week!!
Stay happy stay strong!
Forever Yours! (and not one minute less!)
I love you!
Elder Ryan Anthony Betancourt"
I also received TWO letters that were BEAUTIFULLY written from Elder Betancourt this week. These letters definitely made my week. Below I will add short stories and messages that Elder B. has shared with me in the FIRST letter I received and then I will share the other one next week.
"The work is hard many times a day, I find myself relying fully on the Lord! Our area is huge. It is often hot and humid, sometimes rainy, but I choose to find joy in the work. Instead of focusing on the heat, I focus on the light breeze I felt twenty minutes ago! ....As Elder Reyes tells me about his childhood, I begin to feel guilty for all I have had, all I had been given, and how I was not grateful for it. He told me he remembers when they got their first electric light (using only candles before). I thought, light.. really? It had always seemed like a bare minimal requirement for a home. As I thought about it more, I began to realize its not light, TV, nor believe it or not it's not even food, for I have seen families happier than most in America without all of these. It is love. Love is all that is required in the foundation of a home. If I have learned one thing about the people here is that they love so much.
...My tagalog has some how progressed to an acceptable level! I often still feel lost, but the progress I have made is no doubt because the work is true! This will happen to you too in Russia! I am certain of it. I have been giving it a lot of thought, and I know that you are going to do so well there!
....One of my favorite scriptures I have come across has been Alma 26:12. "Yea, I know that I am nothing as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea behold, many miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will ever praise his name forever." I know that I am nothing, and cannot do this work on my own. Only through the Savior, Jesus Christ is this work possible, and he sure does make it possible! He loves everyone, and I can feel that here. I feel a fraction of that love for these people. It is amazing! I am so excited for you to feel this way about the people of Samara, Russia. I know you will because you are amazing and so incredibly loving."
I love hearing from him! He loves doing the Lord's work even when it is hard!
MORE TO COME NEXT WEEK
Elder Reyes and Elder Betancourt at the Mission Home. He always manages to be silly!!
Elder Oyardo, Brother Cauiran, and Elder Betancourt