HELLO PO SA INDO GABUS!!!!! (yes thats totes Bicol here in Tabaco so basically I'm trilingual)
Kumusta po kayong lahat? It's been another great week here in the Pines of course! It was such an interesting week. So, my companion was sick with the measles from Thursday-Saturday and so we had no work, which was rough. It obviously took a big effect on the amount of people that we were able to visit. So, not much to report on this week. BUT we did have a really good day yesterday so I will just talk about that :)
So yesterday was Sunday. After having basically no work the whole week, we went to church kind of disappointed with the week we had. Well at least that's how I felt. I felt pretty disappointed with the week. Well we get to church and we were just barely on time. As we are walking up to the church doors, a sister was waving at us so excited and just said "they are there!!! they are here!!!" And we immediately ran in to see the Arabia family all sitting in the congregation in their Sunday's best. GUYS ASK ME IF MY EYES WATERED OUT OF PURE JOY. Yes. The sight of them sitting in church was something I will never forget, and a feeling I will never forget as well. PURE JOY is really the only way to explain it. All 8 of them were there!!!!! Let me just tell you how amazing they are. A few weeks ago they were sad because they had no money to get to church. That's why they hadn't come before. Pero, Nanay really had such a strong desire to go to church. She told them in their little store they would start freezing water as ice to sell and all of that money would go to their church fund. She told us she would pray and pray everyday that they would have enough money to get to church. OKAY SHE IS AMAZING! So they did this. Then that week they had a high record of sales in one day: 181 pesos. To put this into perspective, each American dollar is about 47 pesos. So this was about 4 dollars. That was their high record. Nanay was almost crying to us as she told us how blessed by the Lord she has been. She then said all of that money the whole day would go into the church fund so they always had money to attend church. Okay this is a family that doesn't have much, they really could have used that money for extra food for them or something but they didn't. They really are such a good example to me of faith and trust in the Lord. Ah I just really love them so much!!!!! So long story short, they had enough money to get all 8 of them to church. And oh, words can't explain the happiness radiating off of them in that church building. IT WAS A GLORIOUS SIGHT REALLY. Words can't describe it. I thought it didn't get much better than that. Then we go to gospel essentials class they are the ones answering all the questions!!! Because they seriously study the Book of Mormon and all the pamphlets we leave with them. BUT WAIT: IT GETS EVEN BETTER!!!!! Nanay bore her testimony in Relief Society. Yes. Her first time at church and she bore her testimony. AH and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. She bore the strongest testimony about the miracles from the Lord she has seen recently. She talked about how grateful she is for us teaching her and her family, and the glasses that we gave her last week, the clothes that were left by another sister that happened to fit her so she had clothes to wear to church, she talked about the blessing of the money for church, everything. I was balling like a baby, the Spirit was SO STRONG. I am so grateful for her strong faith. She is even strengthening my testimony! Anyways, so that night we went to their house to teach them. So we get there and we tell them the lesson is about baptism. All Nanay says, like it was instinctive, was "when?" Hahaha yes she is golden. We went on with the lesson and extended baptism to them. They now happily have a baptism date for April 5th :) Needless to say, it was a really REALLY good day.
Well everyone, missionary work is awesome. I really feel so blessed to be here in this exact area serving these exact people. I know it's inspired of the Lord. Everyday I am doing my best to really give my all, and I am seeing the blessings and miracles of it. It is amazing to see the blessings when you really forget yourself and go to work. One of my new favorite scriptures that I read this week is found in Alma 5, verse 16. It says "I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?" Take a second and imagine the Lord saying those words to you, as He is judging us on our works. Let us keep our works here on earth worthy of hearing those words when our life here is over!
Well, I love you all. Thanks for being awesome. I pray for you all daily and hope you are well, wherever you are in the world.
PS- Here are some pictures, from a family home evening we had with the Arabia family, and when they came to church :)