Good morning! I hope everyone is having a great start to their week!
The days this week kind of seemed to blend together, so I'll try to remember what I can! It was a good week though!after district meeting we had exchanges. I went to Binalbagan with Sister Cabalquinto. I'm pretty sure I learned more from her than she did from me...she's amazing! She has such strong leadership skills and is so friendly and easy to talk to, making finding new investigators a blast! We had an awesome experience together. We had just contacted the Heva family, a referral, and had just started our lesson. It was night-time by now, and they are very poor, so we they had no light. We used a flashlight, and stood up during the lesson since they had no chairs. We were introducing our message and 'how to begin teaching' as well as addressing the importance of families. After a few minutes, the woman who referred them walked in their house unexpectedly (I think she was on her way home or something and stopped by). She kind of had a shocked look on her face to see us there. We asked her to bear her testimony about how the gospel has blessed her family and afterwards we talked about the importance of baptism. We extended an invitation to be baptized and both the mother and the father very willingly accepted. The member still had a somewhat shocked look on her face throughout all this. Sister Cabalquinto asked the member to give the closing prayer and she got very tearful as she prayed. It really touched my heart that this member was able to be part of such a spirit-filled lesson. She was able to see her friends accept the invitation to come unto Christ and be baptized. The spirit was very tangible and I was full of gratitude that this member was able to experience such great success in missionary work. I think she was so shocked because of the great amount of spirit she felt. There is truly nothing better than missionary work, and when you get to witness miracles of missionary work like this first hand, I can see how it can be pretty 'shocking' because it's so wonderful!! I'm grateful I get to witness these miracles daily, even hourly! I'm also grateful for Sister Cabalquinto and her sweet spirit that allowed the Spirit to enter so strongly into our lesson. :)
A while back I asked for a few tithing stories to share with investigators and members (and thanks to all those who have shared your amazing experiences!). But I'd like to share a tithing story of one of our recent converts, Marilou. We were teaching her the new member lessons of tithing and asked her if she's had an experience with paying tithing. She told us that before she was a member, the only thing they would have to eat at times were bananas. At the time she only had her little boy (she has two now), and a lot of times she would give her portion of bananas to her son and husband, meaning she would go without food. She is normally a very happy and upbeat person, but she just broke down in tears this time. She said that after they started paying tithing, they were blessed to have enough food for all of them. Even now, even though money is still extremely tight and they don't have a side dish to go with their rice a lot of the time, the four of them are at least able to eat without starving. I love this woman. Her example of faith and love for her little family and the Lord is incredible. Her faith makes me want to strive harder to be better and trust more in the Savior and His promises for keeping the commandments.
I'm so grateful to be here in Pontevedra to help this little branch grow! I'm grateful for my Savior and for the Priesthood. I know that through the Priesthood we are able to receive saving ordinances that will allow us to live with our Father, Savior, and families for eternity. How grateful I am for this knowledge and testimony and that I get to share it with others all day, every day!
I hope you all have a wonderful week full of sunshine! Thank you for all your prayers and support. I'll talk to you next week!!
PS In Hiligaynon, salt is "asin." Last night, Brother Rusia told me there are actually 11 commandments. The 11th is 'though shalt not eat salt. Because it is 'asin.'" haha very clever. :)
PPS HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROO!!! Love you bunches and bunches! Have a great 12th birthday!! Can't believe you'll be in Young Women's now!! :) xo
"We have to climb this ladder over the wall to get to one of our areas."
National Service Day
Jessica said she was so excited to wear the "yellow helping hands shirt"!
A tree centuries of years old!
We haven't seen Jessica in jeans for about a year! She said it was very hot that day, and she is grateful they typically get to wear skirts.:)
"Sister Minerva's adorable kids. :)"
"Sister Norma (in pink) and Minerva (in yellow). Two of our investigators. Sister Boncag is behind them, and her sister is on the far left. :) We usually teach at their house."