Hello everyone!!! I have survived yet another week. Life is so so great here in the Philippines!! I am obsessed with it. Ah, the people here are amazing. Missionary work is amazing. I just really really love it all and feel so lucky to be here!! Here are some highlights of the week:
So this week, one of our recent converts, Brother Rudy, had a referral for us! He came up to me and said “Sister, I told my friend he needs to hear about the only true church on the earth, and I told him I have a beautiful American to teach it to him.” Hahaha okay he’s my favorite Filipino old man ever. So on Monday, we went to teach his friend Antonio. We show up and Brother Rudy is already there, and he had given him all of the pamphlets and a Book of Mormon. Hahaha love that man. So, we taught him the restoration, and tied it in with the Doctrine of Christ, and invited him to be baptized! AND he accepted!!! Yay. So exciting. In the middle of the lesson, Rudy all the sudden says, “Antonio, you need to get baptized because this is the only true church, and this beautiful American came all the way across the seas, leaving her family for 18 months to teach you.” Hahahaha. And then he tapped me on the shoulder and just said “Sister, why would you come all the way here so far away from your family? That must be a big sacrifice.” Ah I didn’t even know what to say to him! So I just said, “I came to serve the Lord!” But later thinking about it, it made me realize something. It made me realize that although it is so far away from everything I have ever known, and sometimes it is hard being in such a different country, it is so great. Because I have this great responsibility and calling to be a representative of Christ. To do what He would do and say what He would say. To teach with His Spirit and to love His children like I know He would. So that is what I’m here to do! And even though I’m so far from my home and everything is so different, it is so worth it!!!
So this week I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!! Jorel and Jovelyn were baptized. Let me just say that it may have been the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. Ah. It is amazing to see these people I have grown to love so much, make covenants with the Lord. I am so grateful to be a little part of these amazing people’s lives. I can’t say it enough! After Jorel and Jovelyn’s baptism, they bore their testimonies along with the 5 others that were baptized the same day. Cute little Jorel, he is 9, got up there and just poured his heart out. He said “When I stepped into the font, I heard a voice. It said to me, ‘Do you want to change?’ And I said yes. Then I was baptized. When I came out of the water, I heard the voice again, and it said ‘Your sins are gone.’ I am grateful for Sister Alabanza and Sister Reategui teaching me about the only true church because I can be a good boy.” OKAY I WAS BALLING. This boy gets it. He is so golden. Ah I just really love him so much! We will be walking on the streets, and boys will call at me of course because everyone loves the American hahaha and Jorel will turn around and sush them and get so mad at them. Haha I’ve got myself a little Filipino body guard. Oh, and everytime we go to teach them, he has a little drawing ready to give me. He’s like my new BFF. He’s the best.
So, of course Sunday was also a highlight of the week. I don’t think I will ever get over how much I absolutely love Sunday’s here. I love being able to stand at the church doors and welcome in everyone! And to see our investigators and less actives come to church is the greatest feeling in the world!!! This week we had 17 less active members and investigators at church! Ah. It all pays off seeing them come to church. Such an amazing feeling. Sunday was also the ward primary program, so of course that was so much fun to see! They all have parts in English, so it’s quite impressive to hear! Our Branch is so great and I love the members here!!
So something that was funny this week: I was walking along the streets like normal and all the sudden I saw a man in his 60’s just staring at me haha so I smiled. Then, out of no where, he points to me and starts singing in his best English, “When I see you smile, the whole world stops and stares for awhile…” Hahahahaa Sister Alabanza and I just laughed. So so funny. I love these people here!!!They make me feel like a million bucks.
Well, life is so so good here. Sweaty and rainy, but so good! I feel lucky to be a little part of these amazing people’s lives. They are changing my life day by day! And it is amazing. I hope you all are doing well! Always remember that little me in the Philippines is thinking of you all!