|One of my favorite pictures of Sister Maagad and I. |
I love her so much!!!
How are all of you? The time is flying. Going home never seems like a real thing and sometimes I feel like all of you just live in an imaginary world. Every night I have dreams about going home, which is weird because during the day I never think about it! Really. It's the worst. One of my dreams, all I could speak was Tagalog and none of you understood and I started crying haha. But, I am just going to keep pressing forward as if everything is normal.
I don't know if you remember Gilbert Salvador. We are sad because their family is struggling a little bit. Gilbert started smoking again (after he had already quit after baptism and prepared himself to go do baptisms in the temple). Obviously it's pretty normal for recent converts to experience this but we are trying to help him overcome as soon as possible because it is keeping his kids from getting baptized. We were also sad when we dropped by yesterday on Sunday and their store was open. We also saw another active member selling from their house as well with tons of customers. It is only on my mission that I really understand how important it is to keep the Sabbath Day holy. I know that it can be tempting to work on Sunday when you are really poor, but I have seen miracles over and over in the lives of members and investigators who will take big risks to keep the Sabbath day holy. And of course God keeps his promises. As they exercise their faith, somehow their needs are taken care of.
It is so important to keep these recent converts active and retain the fruits. Haha sometimes it is stressful worrying about taking care of all these RC's and worrying about all the baptisms coming up. But I guess the stress could be worse and we could have nothing to do. Like I said. Sta. Cruz is the promise land.
Brother Willy and Sister Regine Fontalba will be getting baptized this Saturday. They are referrals from the Barcenas family and Brother Ding will be the one baptizing. They are all soooo excited. It has been cool to see how although they haven't had the advantage of a great education and don't understand everything, they are really converted. They have been changed by their reading the Book of Mormon and accepting the gospel in their lives.
The Gatdula family will be getting baptized the following Saturday and Sister Charmaine the Saturday after that. We are crazy busy and all of these people are changing my life too. I can't wait for you to meet them.
Monday, Sis. Maagad and I borrowed bikes from the Stake President and rode all over town. It was the best feeling. I have missed biking so much! That night it was really hot, so all four of us filled giant bins of water in the back and showered with our clothes on. Soooo nice. Haha the hot season is coming back... I forgot about it. But I love it!! (despite you all saying that I would complain about the heat... I haven't yet. soaking it up).
This Monday morning, we had the opportunity to wake up early and go do laundry for the Fontalba's. Hahahaha I am still not good at hand washing laundry but I do my best. They all make fun of me and my awkward, American attempt. BUT I have improved a lot since I got here. They were so grateful though. It was fun because we just used a bucket to fetch water out of the well by their house in order to do it. Such a simple but beautiful life.
I am most excited to tell you the story about Sister Reyna. This is a true missionary story and evidence that Heavenly Father guides and directs His work through the power of the Holy Ghost. Last Friday I was doing exchanges with Sister Japus and we went to Lynville, an area that we haven't been to in a really long time but have wanted to go back to find some new investigators. While walking there, I suddenly had the distinct impression to go and visit Sister Reyna (the girl that Sister K and I randomly met a long time ago who came with us to the birthday of Tatay Vitaliz). To be honest, she hadn't really crossed my mind since then. She is 17 and is the only member in her family. But I really felt that we needed to visit her. I couldn't remember exactly where she lives and right at the moment I saw Tatay Vitaliz and I asked him to take us to her house. We go there and she seemed really shocked to see us. She was a little bit flustered and sort of stuttering. We finally got her settled down and taught her. It became immediately obvious how much she needed us there. We asked her how she was and she asked, "You want the truth?" She stumbled over her words and just explained how she is having such a hard time. How before, she used to always work with the missionaries and wanted to serve herself. How they looked up to her so much and she was so sure. But now, because of school she wasn't able to attend church and slowly overtime her faith was replaced with doubts. Because of all of the philosophy and different things taught in school she started to question things that she once believed in. She also feels so alone because her parents are separated and she is obviously not close to them. She shared a lot more but I felt so grateful that I received and followed the impression to see her. We focused on Jesus Christ and showed her the "Because He Lives" video. The spirit was so strong. One of the coolest lessons on my mission. Two days later she came to church. She was crying during sacrament but I was so grateful when afterwards all of the YSA rushed to her and welcomed her back. At the end of church she had such a big smile on her face. We are going to keep strengthening her but I know she will come back and become a strong instrument in the hand of the Lord.
Anyway.... that's it. I love you so much!!! I thank Heavenly Father every day for my family. I love all of you so much and I realize now just how lucky I am to have the family I do. No family is perfect.. and as cheesy as it is... I wouldn't choose anyone other than you. Love you!!!
Love, Sister Rasmussen
Sister Pamilacan as a blond :D
|Sister Connie Marannan|
Yeah... That's the great and abominable church. Joke lang!!! The Catholic Church here. This was Easter.
Brother & Sister Pamilacan
|Welcome to Santa Cruz Zone|