This week went super fast and there's always so much I want to report on and no time. But let's get started!
Tuesday - Power
Yeah we again went to all our appointments, and no one was there....so we went to another area and taught some of our less active families that morning. In the afternoon, we taught Cindy and her family. Since she is a new member, we are just finishing up her new member lessons. We reviewed lesson 3, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And what I mean by we reviewed it is that Vincent reviewed it himself...hahaha he is the brother of Cindy and SO SMART. He studies the Book of Mormon like crazy and is always at seminary...and he's only been a member for barely a month. I love seeing how fast he's progressing and how much he loves learning more about the gospel. More about them on the other days...
We also taught a few other less actives and recent converts too. That night we taught the Arabia family, who I have talked about before. We have really been focusing on Sister Arabia, because she is struggling with a few things right now in her life. Usually she doesn't read her scriptures, but this week she totally did and told us all about it!! It was awesome. She told us about how she prayed before she read that she would learn something from what she read. Well she said she just opened the book and read the first verse she saw. She said she read a verse that said something about how it's bad to keep committing the same sin after you know that it's a sin. She told us that was her answer to all her prayers. It was just a simple verse, but it was what she needed to hear straight from the Lord. That is the power of the Book of Mormon!!! Heavenly Father knows us and knows what we need to hear from Him.
Wednesday - Binyag sa...upuan?
Hahahaha oh my goodness. Another funny day. First we started with our CSP (see the pictures I sent) We totally washed all the clothes for a whole family...by hand. Hahaha and even got to use the awesome well in their village. The service was awesome because literally EVERYONE in the village came out to watch us (me an American) hand washing clothes haha and they kept asking why we were washing clothes. We told them because we wanted to help out, and started talking with all of them and got a bunch of return appointments!! They were so surprised that we would do something like that and everyone in the village was talking about it. They kept saying "oh that's how those Mormons are!" And they were so excited haha. We started teaching a lot of them later on in the week!!!!
That afternoon we taught lots of our investigators!!!! One being the crazy kids I talked about last week...the ones I just love so much. Well we taught about The Gospel of Jesus Christ and focused on baptism. We used pictures and I was telling them that there's two parts of baptism, baptism by water....and I showed them the picture...and then I showed the next picture and I was about to say baptism by Holy Ghost, but I showed the picture and before I could say that, they yelled "BAPTISM SA UPUAN??" Which means "baptism by chair???" Hahaha because in the picture of the boy receiving the Holy Ghost he's sitting in a chair. Haahahahaa we were all laughing so hard. You had to be there....
The rest of the night we taught less active families. That is one of our focuses here in our mission, so half our time is spent with less actives. About 4/5th of the members here are less active so we really work with them too. Well, we finished all our lessons and it was only 8:45 and we still had a little time left. Something told me that we needed to visit a certain less active family, but I was a little confused because the last time we went there, they said they didn't want any more visits from members or anyone from church. Well I knew that this was a prompting from the Holy Ghost that I needed to follow, because Heavenly Father knows His children better than I do. So we went there, and they actually let us in!!!!! GUYS. If you knew this family, you would know that this is a huge miracle. They hadn't let any missionaries into their house in at least a year. We were able to share with them and the Spirit was strong. I was grateful for the Holy Ghost and that prompting I received.
Thursday - Speechless.
Ah today was a great day. We went to a lot of appointments but I want to share about our appointment/testimony meeting with Vincent and Cindy and their family. I say testimony meeting because we get there..and they had prepared their favorite scriptures from their reading to share with us. Even their mom who isn't a member. TALK ABOUT SPEECHLESS. They are so amazing. They really have nothing, they work SO hard just to eat a meal or so a day. Their mom is a single parent, and she does her all to provide the temporal needs that her children need. She has shown them what is important in life, which is the gospel. She really is my inspiration. Some days she even has to work in the junk shop next to their house, standing in the sun ALL day (7 am to 5 pm) washing bottles with a chemical solution that burns her skin, just so her kids eat some rice that day. Well, she shared with us a verse in Alma 39, verse 14 which says "Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you." Okay. She is the best example of this verse that I have met here. I am grateful to learn from these amazing people!!! She shared, then her kids both shared, and then sister Leonardo and I shared. I was just so overwhelmed with the Spirit the whole time we were in their house. I have literally seen their progression, since the first time I stepped foot into their little humble home, they have been so receptive. I am blessed to have seen them since the very first time missionaries entered into their home just a few short months ago, and to see them now..wow. Even though there are SO many trials and hard things in their lives, they are so strong in their faith and they know what's important. I was really speechless. I feel just so blessed to see their growth.
We ended that day with a family home evening at the home of our Relief Society President. (see pic attached)
Friday-Saturday....relax ka lang.
These days Sister Leonardo was a little sick because of eye problems...so work ended early when she blacked out for a few seconds in our lesson. Haha she is doing a little better now though so don't worry too much. We were able to still teach lots of lessons and have a good time. But the title came from something sister Leonardo and I always say....just relax. Even if everything is going wrong...relax and trust in the Lord. There is a solution for everything!
Sunday - Happiness.
This happens to be the title a lot of times in my emails....because if there's one thing I've learned in my mission, it is that this life is meant to be HAPPY!!! Even though there are a lot of hard things that happen, we are really wasting our time if we are not happy all the time. There are so many great things about this life that we take for granted every day.
We had a family home evening today at the house of Sister Venus, Vincent, and Cindy. One word to describe....HAPPINESS. Oh my goodness. I just wanted to stare at Sister Venus (their mom) the whole time because she was SO extremely happy. She had requested that we have family home evening so she can experience it with their family. We started spreading the word. I am so grateful for this amazing Tabaco Branch because they are AWESOME and never let me down. I will send some pictures of the family home evening. We had over 20 people there!!!! Ah it was so great and so happy. We had some fun games....and here when you lose in the games you get lipstick on your face,...awesome. Hahaha and sister Venus even prepared a soup for all of us. It was so sweet of her because she had worked just specifically to provide that for us so she could show her gratitude. AH I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE. I never want to leave!!!!
Goodness. There is so much more I want to share but that will have to do for now since I'm almost out of time.
I read this scripture that I LOVE in Matthew 6:21 that says "For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also." That is definitely something I've learned here on my mission. Where are our hearts?? Are they placed on things of the world or things of importance?? Are the centered on Jesus Christ or on things that are worldly? Let's make sure that our hearts are always centered on things of importance that we can carry onto the next life :)
--tuesday: a dog took my shoe during a lesson. he ran across the little canal and it took us 10 minutes to find my shoe. but it was still intact.
--wednesday: a different dog in a different area took my shoe. i found it after our appointment and the strap was gone. awesome
--here in the philippines we are already singing Christmas Hymns
--every soap here you buy at the store has skin whitening in it. like i just want to get tan....(its considered ugly here if you're dark)
--our investigator spelling her name "a" as in "egg" "q" as in "cute"
--shout out to my mom....i can actually cook really well now and i cook with vegetables..this week i cooked with green beans. YAY for a change of heart haha vegetables are masarap!!!
--the power went out on sunday...aka we went through the whole 3 hours in darkness lathered in sweat
--i recently found out that the hotdogs here are made of worms. awesome
Well, life is good, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! This is the greatest and happiest time of my life.
Thank you all for the support and love, and please keep the people of the Philippines (me included) in your prayers this week through the typhoon. It's supposed to hit us pretty badly.