(New pamunkin! ahhhh I'm very happy grave)
|Me & Sister Tafiti|
Ok. FIRST THINGS FIRST. My first nephew!!!! Ahhhhh I am so so excited. I already love Jace Clark Rasmussen with all of my heart. I am so excited. I am glad that he is one big, healthy, happy new addition to the family. Haha so big. I hope that Lindsay is ok!! She is in my prayers. All of you are in my prayers.
But this week has been kind of a slow week. And today, all of Calapan is out of internet. I don't know how that is possible. So we are in the elder's area and don't have very much time and the internet is slow but I hope you get this. I am glad I at least get to print off your e-mails... I uploaded half my pictures on Photobucket and it was canceled. I will have to do it next week I miss all of you a lot. Especially with these new changes in the family.
My church starts at 9 and Sister Busbee plays the piano (one of the couple missionaries.) She is 80 years old and offers piano lessons to the members and missionaries. She teaches the members how to play so that when they leave, they will have pianists in the ward. It's super cool.
So a few funny stories: I have officially experienced my first earthquake. Haha but it was short and really small. We were right in the middle of the lesson and all of us were suddenly so confused. Sister Tafiti said she could see flowers shaking on our investigators shelf. It was such a strange experience. Then afterwards, when we realized what had just happened, our hearts were racing and we were kind of freaking out. It took us a little bit to pull ourselves together and try and bring the spirit into the lesson. I was just thinking... wow if I got that scared at a tiny little 5 second earthquake, how am I going to react in the ginormous earthquake that we're due for in Utah. Which reminds me - make sure all of you have your food, water storage!!! Haha really though... I think the second coming is sooner than we think. Then one night this week, I kneeled down with Sister Tafiti at her bedside to say prayers and I totally passed out. We were so pooped. She was saying the prayer and she said amen and I was gone. She was laughing and said "amen" over and over getting progressively louder but I wouldn't budge. She would lean in right next to my face and say "amen" and I wouldn't wake up. Hahaha she was laughing so hard. Finally they started to be incorporated in my dreams and I woke up and was sooo embarrassed. It was so funny though. Sister Tafiti and I are basically laughing the whole day. I feel like she is my best friend. I am so lucky. I secretly pray and hope we'll have one more transfer together. I hope so.
On Friday night, one of our investigators wanted us to come to his daughter's 18th birthday party. He said he had some referrals to introduce us to, so of course we wanted to go (food and referrals haha). But, when we got there, it was not your typical low-key spaghetti and videoke Philippino birthday party. I thought I was stepping into a wedding. We entered into this big hall and sat down at a table at the base of a grand staircase. They started with this huge presentation, with announcer and music. The birthday girl had almost bridesmaids? They all came down the staircase, one by one, with dates, in giant ballgowns.
We just looked at each other like, "what did we get ourselves into?" Haha then the birthday girl came down the staircase and she had parang suitors come up to her one by one with a rose and dance with her, then they had family members and friends come up the front and light candles and give her birthday wishes.
Then they set off a million balloons into the sky. Haha we didn't know how to leave but it was so weird! Haha and it was catered with all of these amazing foods. I don't know if it is a cultural thing but I can't even imagine how much all of this cost. Anyway, even though it took long it was a funny/cool experience.
Our golden investigator, Wayne (19 yrs. old) is ready for baptism. He is amazing, and I wish all of my investigators could be like him. He is just really searching, really praying, reading, always asking good questions. We had a really good lesson this week with him on the gospel of Jesus Christ and on Sunday he came to church and asked when he could get baptized. It is hard because we can only teach him twice a week so I think it will still be about 3 more weeks but we are excited for him. Still following up on our other investigators, but the area is really progressing. We're excited. And we have just received a bunch of referrals from members. The field really is white and ready to harvest.
On Saturday, we went to the baptism of one of the elders and their investigator gave such an incredible testimony. He is so converted. He had such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. The converting power of that book is inevitable It is almost impossible to deny its' divinity if you prayerfully read it. I could feel the spirit so strong as he was testifying and I resolved to make sure that all of my investigators are completely converted and repentant before they enter into the sacred covenant of baptism. Especially because there are just too many LA's in the Philippines.
One sad thing that I have witnessed this week are all of the broken families. Within members and investigators. You can see how much it effects the parents and children and how much unneeded sorrow it causes. I am so grateful for the gospel and how it can bless and strengthen families and allow them to stay together forever. I am also so grateful to you mom and dad. For your incredible example, your love for one another, and your love and care for us. I pray that I can have a marriage like yours someday.
I know that the gospel is true. I won't deny it. I love all of you so much and prayers are with you and our new addition, Jace! Ahhhh he is so darling and so chubby.
Love, Sister Rasmussen