How are all of you? This week has had its' ups and downs but I am so grateful that I am here. There is so much work and service to be done and I know that there is no other time in my life when I could completely dedicate myself to the Lord. I can't believe how much I have learned the past couple months (with the gospel and the language, and just about myself..) And did you know that next week I will have been on a mission for three months? Crazy to think about.
Anyway, earlier this week we taught the Cantos family (which is one of my favorite families that we have been working with, that we have been reactivating) and their daughter who is about 4 was sooo sick. She was just throwing up and lying sprawled so weak. The next day we asked the bishop if they could go and give her a blessing but they had already gone to the hospital, which they didn't want to do that because they have no money. They have 10 kids. We asked the bishop if he could go and give her a priesthood blessing. He didn't ask any questions and went with a couple of other priesthood holders to their house - which is pretty far away and across rice fields - but the daughter had already gone to the hospital and so they went directly there. Apparently she had parasites. The family was so grateful. After four days, she was ready to leave but they literally didn't have any money. So once again we contacted the bishop and he didn't hesitate. He went there right after work and made sure they were taken care of. He helps people all the time with his own personal money too if they can't come to church or are in need. He is such an example to me of consecration, and I hope to become as selfless as him.
Anyway, they were so grateful and as we have been visiting them, I can see how their testimonies have grown so immensely. The father powerfully shared his testimony to us about how he knows that this is the only true church on earth and how grateful he is for that knowledge. We have been teaching their son and his girlfriend. They are so ready for baptism and have agreed to get married on the 22nd and to be baptized on the 29th. Jason and Marylin. They are so funny and fun to teach and I have been amazed as I have seen their feelings towards the gospel change. Keep them in your prayers so that they will keep their commitments.
We also started to teach their other son and his girlfriend. Apparently he used to be a big trouble maker but I can just see in his eyes how his feelings are changing. And they all came to church on Sunday. The ward was very grateful.
We have found a couple part member families, which is what our mission is focusing on (they are the low hanging fruit) and so we are excited to start working with them. It is also good when the part member are less-active so that we can reactivate and baptize at the same time. Every time we teach the first lesson, I usually recite the first vision and I am almost in tears every time. The spirit is so strong and I am so grateful for the restoration.
We are also working with Jesus - the one I met on the tricycle. He is so interested but his wife is not. So we are trying to figure out how to soften her heart. And there are a lot of other part member families that we are working with.
Earlier this week we were doing a little bit of tracting before going home and I felt impressed to go down this street. So we tried talking to this family and they were very cold. Haha I just started to think that it was my own thoughts. And right when we turned around, we heard this boy call out to us and said he was a Mormon. Haha he was inactive and we got two referrals from him. The spirit works in mysterious ways.
Sister Hingano has been sick and she is always ready to work, but on Thursday she had a really high fever and threw up 4 times. The district leaders came to give her a blessing and told us that we need to stay home. It was the longest day of my life hahah but I am glad that she is better now but it made me grateful to go out and work the next day.
|Me & Sister Hingano|
She was so cute though. I took care of her throughout the day and made sure she kept taking her temperature and getting food and stuff and she said, "Thank you for taking care of me. To be honest with you, no one has cared for me like that except for Jesus Christ." That was super extreme haha but it made me feel good that I could help her. It made me sad to think how spoiled I am with my amazing parents. I have taken it for granted. There are many people who did not grow up with my same background. But I am glad that I could help her a little bit.
I have been getting lots of questions about what I am eating haha: As for the food, it is getting better as I am finding the different things that I like. I am like the least picky one in our apartment which is funny to me. But we always cook lunch together which is nice. Sister Dicen has taught me how to make this cooked vegetable soup thing which is soooo good and it has ginger in it. I love it! And we have been eating papaya with calamence on it, which is kind of like a lemon or lime? So delicious.
My companion and me usually go to seven eleven and get ice cream there. It is the best! I don't think I will ever get sick of rice either. And I think I will eat it a lot more when I get home haha.
|A broom I found at the church|
I have seen a couple big spiders but they honestly didn't scare me. I have seen a couple huge cockroaches and had no problem killing them. Maybe Heavenly Father is giving me help with that haha.
We have to burn our garbage every week. It's crazy. There is always so much pollution. Hopefully I don't come home with lung cancer. Haha Sister Ott and me always joke that none of these cars would pass the emissions test at home and everyone burns their garbage. It's the worst.
In my district I love both my district leader and Elder Tabbilos. They are both Filippino but just really sweet and Elder Tabbilos is so funny. Whenever we practice teach he says his name is like Taylor Swift or Jason Mraz. Super funny.
The mission home is so far away it will be VERY RARE that we ever go there. I feel close to my Mission President and his wife though. They are the best. I really do love it here.
I just love the people here so much. They are so kind and humble. I don't know if I told you this story already but I was on the jeepnee and I was talking to this young girl and I just told her that I like her earrings and she just took them off and gave them to me. Haha crazy. They are sooo much more selfless than I am and are great examples to me. I am so lucky to get to know them.
Honestly, you would probably die if you saw how poor these areas are. It seems normal to me though? I don't know how to explain it. But I feel safe. I haven't felt unsafe once yet so that's good:) I try and pay attention to the spirit and be smart about it.
My favorite people include Sister Corachea ahhh she is the best. She feels like she is my mom. She is a "pioneer" of Rosario which means she was one of the very first people to be baptized in the area without any fellowshipping or anything. She truly is incredible. I also love Sister Ajeda and we're working with her son and his girlfriend to try and get them married and her baptized. Sister Ajeda is super tiny but super sweet. I love our bishop and his wife. He has only been a member for 8 years and a president (now bishop) for almost 5 years. Nuts but he is amazing.
I study the English Book of Mormon but I use both in proselyting. And I am memorizing scriptures in Tagalog. Sometimes I pull out the English and Tagalog one when we read in a lesson so I can look at the English for reference and make sure I know what it is talking about.
I love all of you and I hope everything is going well at home.
CONGRATULATIONS HALEY NEEDS!!!! You dirty dog. I am so happy for you. You better send me pictures and the whole story. Ahhh I knew that it was going to happen soon.
Love you all.