Sige so this week we had the baptism of Alfred!!!!! Ask me if it was super awesome because yes, it was super awesome. He has such a strong testimony already. His grandfather, our recent convert Alfredo, was the one who baptized him. His sister Apple, our recent convert, was one of the speakers. Their family is progressing SO much already and I love being able to be a little part of their conversion! I feel so blessed to be an instrument in the Lord's hands here in the Philippines. It was a special baptism for me because it's my first that I have taught since day one! And...I have failed to mention that Sister Fonua and I have a tradition of singing at all of our baptisms. For some reason people here think I have a good voice haha probably just because I'm white but I just go with it :) So this week we sang Savior, Redeemer of My Soul. AKA the prettiest song ever so look it up. It's a Hymn but we sang a different version. Mom, it was inspired from the Vocal Point CD that you sent me that we listen to ALL the time so thank you!!!! Anyways yeah I'm a singer now. No big deal. Everywhere I go people assume I can sing and they call me up to do a special musical number. Like they call me up straight from the pulpit right before they want me to sing. But don't worry, I'm a missionary and ALWAYS prepared for anything! Because if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear :) Oh and Jorel, one of our other recent converts who is 9, (and happens to be progressing SO MUCH TOO) gave the closing prayer. It was the cutest thing. He said "Heavenly Father thank you for the prophets because without the prophets we wouldn't have the Book of Mormon or the true church here on the earth or missionaries like Sister Reategui and Sister Alabanza" hahaha can you say PRECIOUS??? Like who taught him that? Him and his sister are the only members in their family. He is such a good example to them!
This week we also went to Legazpi for our mission Christmas Conference! President loves us and we were able to have a conference with the WHOLE mission AKA.....I GOT TO SEE ELDER TATUM NIELSEN!!!! May or may not have been one of the best reunions of my entire life. SO good to see him! He is like a legend basically so it was cool to see him in real life hahaha. The conference was super good, President is awesome and inspiring as always! There is so much work to be done here in the Philippines and I feel lucky to be a part of it! The work is really progressing! This week it felt like we were traveling to and from Legazpi most of the time so it was kind of a slow week. Pero syempre I will fill you in on some of my favorites :)
So about Jerome. He sounds like a crowd pleaser because all of you ask about him all the time haha. To answer your questions, he is doing well! Hanging in there. After we found out about him getting kicked out of his temporary little home, we didn't see him for a few days. He was no where to be found. Actually we couldn't even look for him because as you all know, he has no permanent home. So we just have to depend on him going to the Perez home. But one morning Sister Alabanza and I all the sudden thought to go to the Perez home. Kind of weird because we usually go there in the afternoon because that's when Jerome is there. We walked in and suddenly a boy jumped into our arms!!! YES. IT WAS JEROME!!! Okay it's a miracle he was even there!!! AH The Lord is really really helping us out in this work. Not even kidding this was such a big blessing to see Jerome. SUCH A MIRACLE!!! So we talked with him and found out where he was. I can't really share many specific details of the story but long story short, he was taken to a clinic to get some special shot, and the owners there heard about his story. Now they want to adopt him. But the people that want to adopt him live in Manila. So it's kind of really really sad pero happy that he will be taken care of :) We don't know when this will even happen or if it's for sure going to happen or not. He deserves someone good to take care of him though! And until then, we will continue to teach him :) This week in the middle of teaching him, he just said....these are his exact translated words... "Sister Ring, (yes he calls me sister Ring hahaha he can't pronounce my name...) after your mission where are you going?" Haha and I told him back to America, and he said "Will you take me with you to America?" Hahaha we all started busting out laughing. AH HES THE CUTEST! I told him yes. He asked when I will be leaving and I told him February 2015 and then he said "Excited ako!" "I'm excited!" Hahaha we were all just laughing so hard. So basically when I come back don't be surprised if I have a little boy with me :)
Well everyone the work is working. I LOVE being a missionary!!! I love the Christmas season. I love these people coming together to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. They don't need fancy clothes or gifts or food to really celebrate Christmas. Because it is all about CHRIST. And the happiness His gospel can bring us. The peace that He gives us. One of my favorite scriptures that I have been sharing a lot recently is D&C 50:40-44. It says: "Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost." He has overcome the world, FOR US! That we may feel of His grace. Of His peace. We don't need to fear because He has set the way for us. He lived a PERFECT life. Atoned for OUR sins. May we remember our Savior at all times, and during this Christmas season, may we celebrate the TRUE meaning of Christmas.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! I am so so so grateful for all of the love and support and prayers that I feel every single day. I really have the best friends and family in the entire world!! Thanks for everything. Oh and PS shout out to the Manning family, I hope you are reading this! Thank you SO MUCH for the package!!! Made my entire week! You guys are the best and I appreciate it so much!!! And thank you for the yummy American goodies :) I am working on writing a letter back to you all! :)
LOVE YOU ALL AND I HOPE YOU HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
here are some pictures, i don't know what order haha but one is an awk pic with Elder Nielsen haha so far away from each other because we are missionaries now...hahaha and one with JonJon and Janzzen (and friends) and the bracelets my AWESOME sisters and cousins made and sent to me to give out here, THANK YOU FOR THOSE BY THE WAY!!!! The kids LOVE them!!! and a picture at Alfred's baptism of course :)