"good news for all of you"
let me start this e-mail by saying that i am in the bayan right now here in calapan in a pretty crappy computer shop. the shift key is broken on my keyboard so it looks like everything is going to be in lower case. also exclamation marks are going to be rare so just know that i am really happy and excited about everything here even if it seems like i am content lang hahahah i hope that you can be patient with me.
but i have some very exciting news! i am going to be a trainer this next transfer. i was hoping that i would have this opportunity because i knew that it would challenge me but i knew that it all depended on the will of the lord. but it's really happening and i am so grateful/excited/and a little bit nervous. i can already forsee the stress that i will experience but i know that it will help me to become better. so i just wanted to let you know and i am asking for your prayers!
there are some other changes as well. after i emailed you last week, we went to the mall where i cut my hair for the first time here in the field. i was very nervous because i have heard of horror stories haha but i really wanted to cut my hair because it was getting way too long and it's hot! haha so we went into what looked like a pretty credible place. the only thing is... in order to become a barber, you don't need any training whatsoever - you just apply. my haircut only cost the equivalent of 2.50. anyway so we go in, and the man who cut my hair was very feminine and flamboyant.
i told him that i was nervous and he scoffed and told me to trust him. i showed him where i wanted my hair and that i wanted some layers.
he got super excited and just started going at it.
haha i kid you not - my hair cut probably took a total of 2 minutes. he was grabbing hair and chopping back and forth like no ones business, with what looked like kitchen scissors.
anyway.... it isnt as bad as i am making it sound but the right side looks like someone just chopped off the top layer of my hair so i am going to have to cover that up for a few months.
haha i am just lucky that my hair grows fast, that i am serving a mission right now (and honestly it doesnt matter too much what i look like) and that i still have a year to let it grow back.
haha but that was probably one of the most thrilling/scary moments so far on my mission.
I just found out some sad news... sister ramsey went home because she is really sick. Do you remember her? She was in my batch in the MTC.
so last week we knew that we had to build up our teaching pool again and we are already so excited about our investigators and know that they are prepared. one of our new investigators actually approached us on the street. apparently his best friend growing up is serving a mission right now and so he asked him to come teach him (Ryan) and his girlfriend and brother. you can see how the example of ryan's friend has influenced him and softened his heart. they all immediately accepted their baptismal goal date. they are definitely prepared, but ryan and his girlfriend joanne need to get married, so obviously everyone we teach has concerns that need to be resolved. on friday we went to teach loyd, a fairly new investigator. he is a part of this big abelgas family/clan that lives in lazareto. they all wanted us to teach them but everytime we went back we were teaching someone new and it was outside and a little bit crazy and noisy. we were wondering why we were continuing to go back because there was no one progressing yet. well last we sort of singled out loyd... he is in his 50's and is separated from his wife, and hasn't seen her or his children in a long time. but when we went back to him on friday, he told us the most amazing experience. he said that the day before he hiked up to the top of this mountain where he was all alone and it was quiet and peacefull. he read his assignment that we gave him and sincerely prayed to know if the book of mormon is true. he said that he 100% felt the spirit testify to him that our message is true and he was so grateful that we had come to him and brought him the truth. haha i tried not to laugh when he added, in english, "praise the lord!" haha but it really was incredible. he is also getting baptized but wasn't able to come to church because he doesn't have the money for transportation. but we are working with a member to help him and i know that we can help him to accept the gospel of jesus christ.
saturday was the baptism of jenny rose and two other children in the ward. it was beautiful and the spirit was so strong.
we were a little worried though because jenny rose was a little bit sad - her dad is really upset about her decision and doesn't approve.
she bore a really sweet testimony explaining that even if her family doesn't support her, she is still getting baptized because she knows that this is the only true church and the only way to truly be happy. she says that she will leave her book of mormon open or some of the pamphlets that we give her around the house in hopes that her father will read it and his heart will soften. but all of us are continuing to pray for him. but after she was confirmed on sunday she explained that she feels so much peace and happiness and that she is so grateful to officially be a member. she is excitingly preparing to go do baptisms for the dead in october in the manila temple.
sunday was also sweet as we got to listen to and watch both wayne and ricky bless and pass the sacrament. a month and half ago ricky was slipping back into his bad habits of drinking and was slowly going back off the path. but i am so grateful to have played a part in helping him to come back to the gospel and progress. we had 6 investigators at church and it was a really beautiful sacrament meeting.
later that night, we went with the elders over to the acidilio's to give veronica a blessing. she has been sick for a month and has tried all different kinds of medicines and nothing is working. her throat is constantly itchy and she can't sleep at all. we explained that if the elder's came to give her a blessing for her sickness, it would be through the same power that jesus christ himself healed the sick. but we explained that it depended both on her faith and the will of god. the elders laid their hands on her head and the spirit filled the room. elder parry gave such a beautiful blessing - heavenly father was truly speaking to her through him. he said things about her family and children that he could have never known. at the end she was crying and really trying to cover it up. before we left i told her, "wow... heavenly father really trusts you." and she said, "i know...." looked at me and said so sincerely, "i have faith in jesus christ." it just hit me to the very center. i am so grateful to be here and help others to come unto jesus christ. i know that i play just a small part, and this truly is the lords work, but i am so grateful to play that part.
i love all of these people so much and i love the philippines. i miss you and pray for you. i cant handle those darling pictures of jace. ahhhhh he is so cute.
i love you