Hello po sa inyong lahat!!! Sorry, again I don’t have much time and the internet connection isn’t really working so I’m gonna try and do this as fast as I can. haha.
Tuesday - Gray hair don't care. Yeah, I found a gray hair in my hair today. So yes I'm getting really old. Haha but don't worry everyone, I taped it in my journal so you can all see it when I get home. Lets hope that one is the only one for awhile......hahaha. Well today was a really good and busy day. We taught a lot of lessons. One lesson we taught to a man that was recently baptized. But his story is a little unique. Actually after his baptism in December he told the missionaries that he didn't want to be a member anymore. He wanted to continue drinking and smoking and stuff and so that's what he did. He said he didn't want the missionaries coming back to his house for awhile and he would tell us when. Well we pass this man every day and have been doing service at their house a lot because his wife is a member. We've gotten to know him pretty well and I would say that him and I are pretty good friends now haha. He always feeds us because he says "Sister Reategui is like a white Filipina because she eats fish with her hands" hahahaha it's awesome. A few weeks ago we felt prompted to ask if we could have a friendly family home evening there with them. She said it was okay and it went well, brother attended but didn't say much. So long story short we have been having family home evenings at their house every week for a few weeks now. Then this week he told us that he wants to start coming back to church!!!!!!!!!! He said he is working on his Word of Wisdom problems but he said he is really close to coming back. LET ME TELL YOU HOW HAPPY I WAS!!!! As he was testifying to us that he really wanted to come back and raise his family in the gospel, my smile was bigger than ever and tears were just about to come down my face...then he just all the sudden he said "Sister Reategui looks too happy" and just went up for a high five. Hahaha it was really the best feeling ever that I was able to be a part of him coming back to church.
Wednesday - "With God on our side, who can be against us?" Guys we taught Sister Rances again this day and this was one thing she said to us. OKAY SHE IS AWESOME. She is the less active sister that served a mission for her church before she was a member. She is so great and I learn so much from her every time we go to her house. And she's come to church 3 times in a row!!!! She shared a verse in Hebrews 12 or something about how Christ is the author and finisher of our faith and that our lives should be centered around Him and around aligning our will with His. About really becoming Christlike and living His teachings. She is seriously my inspiration.
Thursday - Pinakakaligayahan. That means "the happiest" aka this day. So we taught lots of people but the lesson I want to talk about was the one we had with the Arabia family. So I told you all about Marvin, the super awesome soon to be mission president haha. So we taught about being Christlike. From there it went to what Christ expects of us. It was such a spiritual lesson and really I felt the love of Heavenly Father so strongly for their family. Well, towards the lesson Marvin told us how he has been praying if he should be baptized. He just all of the sudden told us "It's what I need to do." OKAY HE'S AWESOME. So we extended for April 9th and he accepted!!!!! He said he knows this is the true church and he knows that everything we have taught him is true. He thanked us for helping him come closer to Heavenly Father. He explained to us that he really knows it's true and Heavenly Father has blessed him with some really strong faith. He said when he has extra money he doesn't even think about it, he just saves it so he can get to church that week. He told us how he is constantly wanting to follow the will of God and we have really seen how that is so true in his life. He also told us that he asked his boss (again) if he can come just a little bit later to work. GUESS WHAT. Other members have asked at the same store he works at if they could do that and the boss didn't let him. Well Marvin said that he just went up to him and asked if he could and the boss was a little surprised that he was asking again and he said why? what religion are you? and Marvin (he's like the best seriously) said straight up to him "I'm proud to be Mormon and we need to go to church because it's a commandment of God." OKAY HE'S SO GREAT!!!! And the boss said he could come in 30 minutes later than he usually does!!!!! So he doesn't have to leave early from sacrament meeting and he gets to stay for the whole hour and a half!!!! Even though it's only 30 minutes extra, he was so excited and just told us "it's what I need to do" He's seriously our inspiration. He has such strong faith!!!!! He will be baptized next week :)
Friday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE BROTHER SETH!!! S/O to Seth: You're the best and I love you and I hope you had a good 17th birthday. NEXT YEAR I'LL BE THERE TO CELEBRATE WITH YOU!!!!!! Today was a busy and normal day. We had English class and taught lots of lessons.
Saturday - Around the whole town. Today we had so many appointments in each of our areas. It felt like we covered the whole Philippines hahah but we taught lots. We also got to attend a birthday/FHE with our investigators/less actives (half the less active family are our investigators). The birthday boy is in red in the picture (of course because if it's your birthday here you wear red its like a rule haha) and he's 5, his name is Lehi (named from the scriptures) and if you look closely in the picture you can see that Lehi has an awesome mullet. So that was the highlight of our day of course.
SUNDAY - IT DOESN'T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS. THIS WAS A REALLY GOOD DAY!!!!! We had the best sacrament attendance I've ever seen here in the Philippines. They had to get a bunch of extra chairs because every bench was packed with people!!! The attendance was 193 officially, but that was counted after some of our investigators came super late so probably over 200!!! We had 6 investigators at church which was awesome, and listen to this....we had 24 less actives come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT COULD HAVE BEEN CHRISTMAS I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!! We have been making a goal to really teach all of our less actives every week and we are definitely seeing the blessings of it. Families that haven't come to church in over a year came!!!!! Needless to say, it was a very happy day. AND, this week we were able to teach 35 lessons again YAY!
Well here are some side notes...
-we ate octopus again. see picture attached.
-someone this week told me they thought i was half filipina... #win
-around 90% of the last names here in tabaco start with the letter b.....it's awesome and incredibly hard to learn them hahaha.
-tabaco fun fact: it is called the city of love. aka no wonder i love it so much here.
Well you all should know that I am loving this work so much. I am working hard and seeing the blessings from it. Heavenly Father is good. Prayer is important. This gospel is true.
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!