Another wonderful week has come and gone. Time is just flying by! Last Monday I had to get my chest x-ray(****I asked Jessica why she needed a chest x-ray. She said it is to check for TB. It is done to all the missionaries who will soon be departing the Philippines..she said no worries, she is good!!)....I couldn't believe I already had to do that! It was pretty funny because I think I was asked by about four or five different health workers what my middle name was. They were shocked when I told them I didn't have one. haha Every Filipino has their mother's maiden name as their middle name, so I think they were culture shocked. ;)
Anyway, this week we were blessed with finding new investigators, helping with immunizations for the kids, spirit led lessons, celebrating family week here in the Philippines, and having the Baptism of Daniel Wenceslao!
Honestly, my brain is kind of fried at the moment, so I'm just going to list some of my favorite moments from the week. Okay lang? Sige. :)
-Cheyene bore the most powerful testimony to one of our investigators who happens to be her aunt. She explained how before she and her mom were baptized, there was always contention and misunderstanding, and whenever they didn't have food for dinner, she would get pretty upset. But now, there is so much love and laughter in the home, and when there's no dinner, Elsie just smiles and says, "let's pray! The Lord will bless us." They always pray before leaving the house and before meals, and their family has really come closer because of it. A family that prays together, stays together. :)
-One night after we planned, I had the name "Bellya" come into my mind. The name of a former investigator. We hadn't planned for her, and I thought it was just myself thinking her name, so I brushed it off. The next morning in my prayer, all I could think of was "Bellya." So after lunch, I asked Sister Tangonan if she wanted to go to Bellya or the people we had planned. She said the people we planned, so we went, only to have them not home. Then I knew for sure we were in the wrong place. We went to the Chua's home, where Bellya is their househelp. Sure enough, she was there. We had no idea what to teach since she doesn't really listen when we teach...she just compares everything with her religion. We just started teaching about how the Gospel blesses families, and somehow the discussion led to how poor they were. I thought, "tithing." But I had never taught tithing before as a 'first lesson,' and wasn't sure how to bring it up without confusing her. Then she randomly asked, "do your Bishops get paid?" We said no, and she all of a sudden had a change of attitude. She thought that was pretty awesome. She then asked where all our money goes if it doesn't pay the Bishop. Perfect lead into Tithing. It was so neat to feel the Spirit work through us to help this Sister. We left her with a tithing pamphlet and the first picture she looked at was a family eating a nice dinner. We told her that is the promise of paying tithing. We're excited to go back and see how the Spirit has worked on her to hopefully soften her heart to accept the Gospel. I also learned a valuable lesson from that experience that Heavenly Father is constantly reminding me...always follow the Spirit!
-we celebrated family week with the members at the church and then later that afternoon, Daniel, the head of the Wenceslao family, was baptized! It was such a wonderful moment and his family, especially Cheyene, was grinning from ear to ear (although in the pictures she smiles with her mouth closed). haha It's been amazing to see Daniel accept the Gospel and how it's really changed their whole family. Cheyene gave a sweet prayer the other day praying that soon her older brother, Darwin would join our lessons so they could be sealed in the temple in a year and be together forever. She's so sweet. I just love this family and I feel like they are one of the biggest reasons why I was sent to Talisay. :)
-One last experience....a few weeks ago, a tricy-kad driver named Roberto took us to church. We talked to him along the way and gave him a Restoration pamphlet. He said he'd like to come to church with us the next week and said he'd wait outside our apartment so he could take us. Sure enough, he was outside our apartment earlymorning reading the pamphlet again and smoking a cigarette. This man's life is pretty sad. His wife left him because he had no money, so he currently lives in his tricy-kad. He has long hair, a beard, always smells like alcohol and cigarettes, and his clothes are pretty old and grungy. As he was taking us to church, he said he didn't want to go to church this week but would really like a Book of Mormon. He had studied the pamphlet and knew everything from prophets, to the Apostasy, the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood, and the need for a Restoration. He's read the Bible of many different religions, so all he wanted now was a Book of Mormon to find out for himself if Joseph Smith is a prophet. It was quite an amazing experience to see a man in the above description holding a copy of the Book of Mormon in his hands. Holding CHANGE for his life. We are praying that he truly will be able to find change by reading the Book of Mormon, because I know that it can and does change lives. Every single day.
I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. All of us. I love serving His children here in the Philippines and know I was sent here to be here at this time. These people and their faith never cease to amaze me and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to learn from them. I know the Atonement is real and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know Joseph Smith was called to restore Christ's church here on the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet. I love him. I can't wait to hear in a few weeks the guidance our Heavenly Father has for us through his prophet.
Thank you for everyone's love and support as always. I am sure one blessed sister missionary. :)
Palangga ko kamo kag halong kamo permi!
Daniel Wenceslao's baptism
Saying goodbye to Sister Lara.
She left this morning to Bacolod, and so her companion, Sister Ve'ehala is with us until transfer calls are made. :)