"Another great week ..."
Hello po yung paborito kong pamilya...
|A bunch of random members. The only one I know is Nanay Dada who is standing next to Sister Oldem. That is just her nickname. But she is a recent convert and is sooo strong in the church. inspirational.|
I miss you!! How are all of you? Another great week. Siyempre... haha what else do you expect? Honestly though I am so grateful for all of the miracles that we have been seeing.
Tuesday, I went on exchanges with Sister Dula... this awesome little Philippino. She is super magaling (talented) and we were laughing and having fun the whole day. While we were teaching one of their investigators sitting on a tiny little bench in this filthy alleyway, one of her neighbors came up to us who was totally drunk. Haha he came up to us and kept telling us to come and teach him one day. Haha he was super happy and giggly and then he put his index finger right in Sister Dula's face and said, "make sure you come and teach me ok?" haha and she laughed and agreed and then touched her index finger to his. Haha it was such a great moment. Then he did the same exact thing to me. Haha so the rest of the day, anytime we saw a miracle we would touch index fingers and then laugh our heads off. Maybe this sounds weird but it was hilarious if you could have seen it.
As far as the Sosong family goes... let's just say that our faith and patience are getting tested and stretched. They aren't really keeping any commitments and Brother Sosong (the less active) won't even open the Book of Mormon. He sort of acts like he knows everything and every time we invite him to read he sort of laughs and takes it as a joke. He seems to think that we'll just be teaching his wife and his kids but really the progress won't start happening until he takes the lead and shows the example. He is the father. We are really focusing on and praying for him. We don't want to give up yet. I have a feeling we'll see a break through this week. We did end up watching the Restoration with them which was good because Jane (the wife) finally understood why she needs to ask God and we could tell she felt the spirit. I can't even tell you how many times I have seen that movie and I never get sick of it.
In stark contrast, something beautiful happened with Ralph Delacruz and his girlfriend (not yet married) Angelica. These are our investigators that live on the side of the construction site. We taught them the plan of salvation one night and when they saw it all laid out in front of them they were in awe. We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask if it and the Plan of Salvation are true. We returned Saturday night and it was dark and they didn't have any electricity in their shack of a home. We told them it was totally fine and we ended up teaching them under the light of a small candle and our pathetic flash light on our cell phone. But the spirit was sooo strong. We asked them about their experience reading and praying about the Book of Mormon... Ralph said that after our last lesson with them, they both read together as a couple, then knelled together that night, facing each other, and asked God in sincere prayer if it was true. Then Ralph seemed to be struggling to find words to describe their experience. But in the end he simply said, "I know that the Book of Mormon and what you share with us is real and comes from God. I know." Angelica said that after they asked, they both waited while kneeling and she said that she had chills all over her body. This was such a beautiful experience. Ralph and Angelica have absolutely nothing, and they aren't very learned, but they love each other with all of their hearts, they love their kids, and they love God. They are humble and desire to know the truth. So just as it states in Moroni, because they asked with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Jesus Christ, they were answered by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Haha Sister K and I walked away from that lesson with giant smiles on our faces with our arms around each other. We were busy celebrating and talking about the lesson when all of a sudden both of our feet sunk in super deep mud (as we were walking on the construction site). Haha of course you know I am a drama queen and I started screaming and freaking out. I tried to yank my foot out and my shoe stayed in the mud and so I ended up stepping bare foot in the mess. So then I started freaking out more, but still laughing the whole time). These other construction workers a ways off started laughing pretty hard and then ran over to help us and show us the way out. Haha the whole thing was hilarious and was just such a classic Sister Ras moment. But needless to say... it was a beautiful night.
Sunday, was the birthday of Brother Vitaliz. He is this 68 year old man whose wife is abroad and doesn't have enough money yet to come home. I think that his kids have abandoned him. He invited us over to his house for his birthday and no one was there. We peaked into his humble home to see bare walls and no furniture. He borrowed his neighbor's kitchen to make sticky rice and this giant pot of beef stew that he said he learned how to make in the army. He said he wanted to make chicken curry but that his budget was tight. It was so sad. He was really excited that we came. While he ran to his neighbor's house to grab the ginormous ladle for the stew (I am sorry I forgot to take a picture but just imagine a ladle as long as my arm haha) we ran over to Bishop's house to grab his wife so that he could have a little more company. We sang him his favorite hymn. He doesn't have a job and is there all day with no company. He has been less active for the past month and started smoking again because he said he has had a problem. So sad. But before we left a few other members from the ward showed up which we were grateful for. We left just feeling so sad for him. The thing is, despite his situation, he is always so kind and helpful. In fact, the day before we went to garden at Bishop's house for service and he saw us and stopped to help. I think it was good for him and we are going to try and have him work with us more so that he will have company and be in the service of the Lord. He gave us a ride in his "petty cab" (you will see a picture) which is basically a tricycle but instead of a motor it is a manual bike.
But I left his birthday party so grateful. Gosh I am so blessed. We are so blessed. When I go home I want to seek out the lonely and befriend them.
I think that in my past areas I learned a lot about charity, but I would say the thing that I am learning the most in this area is the role of the Holy Ghost in the work. I have really learned to recognize the promptings that I receive and to act on them immediately. The more I seek them and act on them, it seems the more I received. One simple example, the other day we were on the way to an appointment and I saw this guy who seemed to be rushing. I kept thinking that I should talk to him but tried to fight the prompting and say that both him and I were in a hurry. The more I walked away, the more impressed I felt to go back. Finally I stopped Sister K and we went and talked to him and he was SUPER interested. Hopefully we'll see him some upcoming Sunday. Just a simple example of what I have been experiencing. So Dad... I am trying to do what you tell me to do in every single e-mail... follow the spirit.
I love all of you. I know this work is real. This church is true. God lives and loves us. His son is Jesus Christ and through His atonement we can be clean, change, and become saints.
You are in my prayers.