(Another good week)
Well it has been another great week and the cherry on top was Wayne's baptism. But let's start at the beginning.
So earlier this week, we went to go teach Lovely. When we went she started crying in the lesson and wouldn't stop. We didn't know what to do. I can't remember what I have told you about her but she has had a rough past. She is only 18 but was living in Manilla with her boyfriend. She was pregnant and her boyfriend beat her up so badly that she was sent to the hospital for head injury and the baby was killed. There are obviously more details but you get the gist. So anyway, we talked to her about priesthood blessings and offered the Elders to come and give her a blessing of comfort. We explained that her healing would depend on her faith and the faith of her loved ones. She agreed to have them come. Later that night, she seemed to be fine again and was fairly happy. The elders asked her what she hoped would happen from receiving the blessing. As she was explaining that she just wants to feel peaceful and to be able to forget, she started to tear up again. But as soon as Elder Pulido put his hands on her head we could all feel so much peace. The spirit was thick. As soon as he finished the blessing she started weeping. I went over and gave her a hug and she was weeping so hard in my arms. None of us knew what to do. She was speaking in Tagalog and I could not understand her words mixed with sobbing. This went on for about 10 minutes and we were so sad and felt a little awkward. We didn't know what to do. Finally, we told her we had to go but we assured her that everything would be ok, and that if she read the Book of Mormon, prayed, and believed in Christ, she could be healed. Later on, Elder Pulido told us she was just saying that she couldn't stop thinking about it and that she wants to make revenge and things like that....Well we went back to her in two days and she was sooooo happy. She was so much better. She expressed how grateful she was for the blessing and that ever since she has been completely happy. I already have such a strong testimony of the power of the priesthood from my own personal experiences, but this was just another confirming miracle. The priesthood is the power of God.
Lovely is going to be getting baptized on the same day as Jenny Rose on August 16th. They are both very excited and have even expressed desires to serve a mission... which to say the least would be my dream. They are so amazing and are prepared of God. I feel that with them, and Wayne, we just kind of sat back and watched their conversion. We were just lucky to find them at the right time.
|Elder Pulido, Sister Lero, Me, Sister Tafiti, Wayne & Elder Parry|
Wayne's baptism only had a few attending but it was beautiful - the spirit was very strong. Sister Tafiti and I sang a duet and Elder Parry baptized him. Haha I don't know if Wayne knew he needed to stand back up or if his feet just slipped out from under him but it looked for a second like he was just floating and enjoying a swim in the font haha. His feet were paddling back and forth. Elder Parry was using all of his strength to try and get him back out of the font and finally he stood up. Haha we laughed a little bit about it after but it was awesome. Then he shared his testimony and everyone was very touched - he is truly converted and his life has changed a lot more than I realized. He hand drew a picture of Sister Tafiti and I which is pretty cool. I taped it in my journal but I will have to take a picture of it so you can see.
We also had a really good lesson with the Acedillio family. They are amazing. I am sorry I also forgot if I told you about them. But the father in the family is an ex convict and actually used to be a drug dealer. The first time we taught them we just tracted into them and I didn't really know how potential they were but of course we had faith. Well, they ended up showing up that Sunday. This week we taught them and one of the District Presidency members (President Flores) attended the lesson with us. When he was sharing his testimony the whole family was dead silent and so interested haha it was awesome. President Flores talked about how he had been investigating Inglesia ni Cristo (the second largest church here in the Philippines and I am convinced that it is of the Devil. I will explain more about them later). Anyway he said that they basically tried tricking him into baptism. One Sunday they took him in this back room and these priests were interviewing him. One of them asked him if he was ready to accept Christ. He said he thought to himself, "I have accepted Christ for a long time now haha." Then another one came in and was asking him more questions and he realized that this was baptism. Suddenly he heard an audible voice tell him, "do not get baptized in this church." He ignored it, and heard it again. The third time he heard it he stopped the priest and told him he would not get baptized. The priest was super super rude, said some offensive things, and left him there in the room alone. He said that experience confirmed his decision. Then he was working abroad and came home for only 15 days. The first day he was home, the missionaries knocked on his door. They came everyday and he read the Book of Mormon and knew with all of his heart that it was true. Stayed home, got baptized. Now 8 years later he is sealed in the temple and a member of the District Presidency. Brother Acedillio (our ex-convict investigator) responded saying that he has tried going to church in other sectors and never wanted to go back. But it is only in the mormon church that he really felt the spirit and he can't wait every sunday to go to church. In fact he surprised his wife last sunday morning as HE was the one getting dressed and getting all their kids ready to go. He only has an elementary education and it is hard right now to get them to read the Book of Mormon, but I know that we can help them do it and after sometime, they will get baptized.
They are fish vendors and had extra fish they brought home, haha so Sister Tafiti and I ended up buying some, gutting them that night (which actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be), and cooked them the next day. That was my first time cooking fish but I love it and I think we will do it more often. I am becoming a pretty good cook, at least of Philippino dishes, if I don't say so myself.
One funny thing that happened at the end of the FHE last week in our branch; the elders were going to give us all a ride home. But Sister Tafiti and I told them that we would just catch a trike. well we ended up climbing in the back of their truck. We rode all they way to our apartment (because they were dropping off the other sisters) and when they dropped them off we banged on the back window and screamed. THEY WERE SOOO SCARED. It was so funny mom. We couldn't stop laughing. But then when we went back in the apartment, I saw a giant cockroach on all of our dishes and I FREAKED OUT. My housemates were on the floor crying it was so funny and Sister Lero kept saying, "it's the karma! It's the karma!" Haha because we had just scared them in the car. Anyway, I am so happy here!
|Surprise for Sister Hingano|
Sunday was Sister Hingano's birthday and so we woke up early and decorated the apartment (with all of that stuff you sent me mom:) ) The night before, we didn't have any treats or anything and our landlord already locked the gate outside of our house. Haha so I ended up jumping the fence so I could buy her a cupcake at the shop across the street...
haha I felt like I was breaking out of jail. Even though it wasn't much, I still think she liked it a lot. We stuck one candle in it haha and sang to her. I hope she had a good birthday.
Later that day we went visiting/home teaching with President Asis (branch president). All of our appointments weren't home, but as we were about to leave this house, we noticed this woman on the side of the street who had a TON of rice she was trying to put in these big bags. There were about 5 of us, so we started talking to her and then all of us finished the job for her in about 2 minutes (something that would have taken her about another hour and a half). I thought about in the New Testament when the Jews used to judge Jesus for performing miracles and serving on Sunday... thinking that He was breaking the Sabbath. As we were driving away she had the BIGGEST smile on her face, and a man ran over with an amazed look. We shared a little message with her... it's amazing how just a little service can really lighten one's load.
|Nanay Nori. We work with her lots and I just thought it was a cool picture with her and her grandbaby. It just looks philippino.|
There was a similar expression on the face of another investigator when we told her that this Saturday we will come (along with some ward members) and help her remove all of the garbage in her back yard. It's always fun when we have opportunities to serve.
But, this reminds me that I have been studying the New Testament lately and it is AMAZING. But I have really been enthralled lately with the idea of laying up treasures in Heaven. Before my mission, it was so easy to get caught up with the worldly endeavors/treasures, however worthy they may have been. And it is ok to pursue those things, as long as you put that which is most important, the gospel, or the Savior, FIRST. It is easy to be distracted by those things that are corruptible. We need to remember the Savior's words, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." This last part is my favorite: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (3 Nep 13:19-21) Of course it is easy to maintain that eternal perspective as a missionary, but I hope that when I come home I will be able to keep my eye on the true prize. Here are some other scriptures that you might want to study:
2 Nep. 9:50-51
and my favorite Bread of Life Sermon: John 6:22-65
I guess I just challenge you to ask yourself... Where is my heart? What are my treasures? Am I placing that which matters most at the mercy of that which matters least?
One quote from Talmage, Jesus the Christ:
"Take a lesson from even the dishonest and the evil; if they are so prudent as to provide for the only future they think of, how much more should you, who believe in an eternal future, provide therefore."
I just keep thinking about how close the second coming truly is. Are we prepared?
I love you all so much. Thank you for everything... support, letters, prayers. I am so grateful.
Ingat po huh?
Fruit at the market
The fruits are super good but I still miss Mangoes.
- sweet and juicy when fresh. Rambutan literally means hairy because of the 'hair' that covers this fruit.
|Durian (top left)|
|Once again our Refrigerator|