Hello Family and Friends!This week was wonderful to get back out and proselyte after needing to stay indoors all last week from the Typhoon. Things are very back to normal here in Bacolod, but we continually pray for those in Tacloban. This week we had SO many tender mercies. I don't think I can even keep track of them all! I'll just have time to list a few highlights from this week:
We are teaching an investigator named Menchie. She is GOLDEN. Heavenly Father has prepared her SO well to receive this Gospel. She soaks everything in and despite some family troubles, she is smiling ALL the time and constantly tells us how happy and at peace she is. She's 19 years old and she understood things so quickly, that we finished all the lessons in a week. She had her baptismal interviewwith Elder Templeton and he said she's the most prepared candidate he's ever met. I know Heavenly Father is truly hastening His work and preparing more and more people to accept His Gospel. The sisters in the West ward had a baptism , so we attended since we taught her at the church and the baptism was right after our lesson. After the ordinance, she turned to us and exlaimed, "I'm so excited!!" Her testimony is so strong and she really wants to serve a mission. When I asked why she said, "because I want to bring the same knowledge and truth you two have brought me to other people so they can know and come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ." Pretty perfect answer if you ask me! She's so awesome! Her baptism is set for and we couldn't be more excited for her!!
we also had a tender mercy and got 6 member present lessons! That might not sound like a lot, but it was for us and we were so excited! Heavenly Father definitely answered our prayers for that day to help us reach our key indicators. :)
There were so many other tender mercies throughout this week. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father loves His children and He is preparing more and more hearts to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The typhoon might have helped a little bit with that, seeing as our church attendance shot up. Miracles are happening here in the Philippines as a result and I'm so grateful to be here at this time to share the wonderful light of the Gospel. My testimony has grown so much this week on faith and the importance of the Sacrament, as well as the Restoration and Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know Heavenly Father created a perfect Plan of Happiness for us and I feel so blessed to be sharing this glorious message with my brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Some days I feel like my love for these people could just explode! I love them so much. The joy I feel in serving among them is indescribable. Some days I feel exhausted, like Alma, with the amount of joy I have.
Have a great week and know that I pray for you all back home and love you even more! Thanks for all the love and support, as always!
"Sister Portugal and Sister Bendoy. We went to Pamilya Grill one night because the next day Sister Bendoy went home. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. Her parents and a sibling died in the typhoon because they lived in Tacloban. She was two weeks from the end of her mission, so she just went home. She was very strong and I didn't see her cry once, but Sister Portugal said she's suffering quite a bit. Can you imagine being that close to going home and having your family die? I would be a complete mess."
(Sister Bendoy is the sister on the right. Please continue to pray for her and many others. The effects of this typhoon are far-reaching).
"Apartment on the outside. That's the gate I had to climb over four times in my skirt because we left our key inside the house. So we were literally locked out of our house but inside our gate. haha We got the key from the landlord, though, so it's all good. the adventures of being a missionary. :)"
"The sugarcane fields and the mountains. Not as glorious looking as it actually is.
It's very breathtaking."
"Sister Martinez will go home after this transfer"
"On the way to the mission president's training. We all fit in one taxi to save money. All 8 of us! haha"
(Notice the leg in the back----gotta love these sisters!!)
Ritchel and Josephine Marabayles