Hello family!! This has been another amazing week. I am still in shock at how blessed and happy that I am here. I don't know if I have ever been this happy.
First, let me start by giving a HUGE thank you to Mom. Oh my goodness. We received the package that was filled with stockings for all of the Sisters in my house. I wish that you could have seen their faces. They were sooo happy and grateful. They loved it. All of the Sisters that I am living with never get packages or anything from their families/parents. They kept saying, "It's a miracle!! It's a tender mercy! Your parents are sooo nice!" Haha I was so excited and grateful to both of you mom and dad for your generosity and exceeding thoughtfulness. I hope you know that you are truly blessing the lives of others. I hope that I can become as thoughtful and generous as you someday. I love you!!
So actually on Thanksgiving, Sister K and I bought some pie and then displayed the stockings on everyone's plate and then Sister Napit made us chicken curry. It was an awesome day. And since we didn't really have anything else to do to celebrate, Sister K and I did what you suggested dad... we gave only thank you prayers. It was awesome. Haha we were also getting creative with all of the things that we were thankful for:) Other than that, just a normal day.
The beginning of the week started off a little rough as we went to go find a referral. As we were looking for them we started talking to this couple and the woman came out and started speaking in English, "No! We're not interested in Mormons. I know one of your members. She is a BAD GIRL. I don't like her habits. Bad girl. She is FAMOUS in your church." Haha I know this is terrible... but I just couldn't help but laugh as she was telling us this in English. But it did make me sad. We just tried to explain that we were sorry and that there are no perfect members but the gospel is perfect. They were super anti-Mormon. Then, the next guy that we talked to is an apostatized member because of the things that he read about Joseph Smith on the internet. It made us sad but also grateful for our testimonies. We also tried to explain that the most trustworthy source for truth is our Heavenly Father, and through prayer you can know with surety what is true. And if the Book of Mormon is true, He HAS to be a true prophet. If the Book of Mormon is false.... then it's all a lie. Anyway.... his heart was super hardened and he just seemed very angry and unhappy. As we were walking away we were so grateful for our Sister Conching, my favorite investigator who is hopefully getting baptized on December 20th, is a seamstress.
We had this Luau party last Saturday in the Ward and so she was going through her old clothes to try and find something for us to wear. She pulled out this dress that she gave to me to wear, all of the members loved it. Haha you will see pictures. It was the best activity ever!! I didn't know something like that was possible here in the Philippines. They had a bunch of games with everyone and then the Young Women performed a hula dance and then they had lots of food.
|Sister Kekauoaha, & Me|
Unfortunately the Barcenas family didn't come to the activity. They are scheduled to get baptized on the 13th. The father (Ding) is COMPLETELY converted and wants to get baptized any second, but his wife and children are a little bit slower to follow. We were really trying to focus on their daughter Claurice who is 14 and is still unsure about the whole thing. We took it back to the basics, about asking in prayer if the Book of Mormon is true. She said that she still felt like she hadn't received an answer. We decided to kneel as a family and had her pray and ask. Before she asked it got really quiet, and as she was asking you could feel the peace and power of the Holy Ghost so strong. I know she felt it. The father basically jumped up from the prayer saying, "Oh my gosh I felt it so strong!! I know that this is true!" Haha.... anyway, we followed up again with Claurice and she says she feels a lot better and thinks that it is true. We are continuing to focus on her to ask and pray. I know that she will receive an answer and peace about the decision to be baptized. The only problem is they still don't feel like they have friends at church so we are going to focus on that.
It seems like the first vision is the most sacred part of the lesson, and because of that there always seems to be something that happens right when we recite it (dog bursting out of a room barking, hungry pigs freaking out to our right) Haha it is almost freaky how timely it is. Happened again this week as we were teaching an investigator for the first time. Just an interesting fact that I thought you might find interesting.
This week I went on my very first exchange with Sister Napitupulu (34 year old indonesian). Haha she didn't really want to set goals or anything and it was hard to have effective studies with her but it went good. By the end I just really tried to teach by example and she said it was her favorite exchange that she has been on. This week I am going on an exchange with Sister Johnson (my batch mate). She is actually really struggling so we fasted for them Saturday-Sunday. It was the hardest fast ever but made me appreciate having food (poor people). I will let you know how it goes.
Anyway, I love all of you so much!! I miss you and pray for you all the time. I hope that you enjoy the Christmas season and keep in mind the most important part of the season.
I love you.