|Inside the courtroom, Pangasinan|
Well Hello Pamilya!!!! Another week gone...how sad. Actually, that makes me think of the quote Mom was talking about, about how we need to find joy in the moment. Not wondering when another companion will come our way or transfer, or when we'll have a family, or when we'll get our next job, the one we want; or when a certain event in our life will make us happy, but it's finding joy in the moment. I have always tried to live life like that...but I've never really been successful at it...I've always looked forward to the next event that would happen in my life. I have to tell you I had an "ahah..epiphany" this week. I walked into our CR (comfort room aka bathroom) and saw 3 buckets sitting there and started to cry. Not because I shower out of a bucket or the challenges that are here, but because I am truly happy. I have learned to love it here, it doesn't matter the little struggles that take place every day. I know I have had my share...and what scares me is there are plenty more to come my way I'm sure of it. Just when I'm comfortable...something else happens...thats how life is. And That's why the Gospel is so important, and why it's even more important to understand the Gospel. We will never be truly happy unless we understand that life is about challenges. We learn from them, we grow; and we move on, letting that trial make us a better person. The talk I think you were trying to quote mom was President Uchtdorf's "Forget me Not" which I have to tell you I read every day the first week of my mission here in the Pines...it's like Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory- you have to find joy in the moment and not wait for the golden ticket but just savor the taste of the candy bar itself! Anyways, this is one problem I think a lot of the saints here have...a lot of them obviously have challenges we don't there in the US...well our family anyways and that is; living in complete poverty- not even being able to afford the equivalent of 40 cents to travel to church. But that is the problem- they are happy here- but they don't understand that the Gospel doesn't come into our lives and wipe all of the challenges away- sure it wipes away extra trials that we bring upon ourselves- but it takes ordinary problems and makes them bearable- so that we have kapayapaan or peace through the trials and know why we're experiencing it. Yep...that's my sermon- sorry I'm a missionary- it's what I do. Which by the way I have to tell you this morning we traveled to Dagupan which is the city- it's like our Provo or SLC where there is a mall!!! yay! :) Anyways we were on the bus and this girl gets up and stands right next to me and starts yelling at the top of her lungs preaching to everyone calling them to repentance and quoting from the bible...I wanted to laugh but then remembered I'm wearing a nametag- I need to be more respectful so I didn't. She passed out envelopes for donations for her church- she didn't bother passing one to us haha...I told Sis. Fajardo I wanted to give her a restoration pamphlet- I seriousy was going to give it to her and say I really enjoyed her words, and they were true, God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotton son- I have more information for you about how you can return with your Heavenly Father some day- and then give her the pamphlet- but she got off the bus before me so I couldn't haha. It was a funny experience!
Oh, and I'd say that the package only takes like 3 weeks- not even so yeah...I'm sure I will get it soon. Actually they were kind of hesitant to send my package- so I'm not surprised customs searched it haha I'm just glad everything was in there. You got my dvd in there too right? Did you watch it? I'm glad you liked your keychain :) It made me cry too when I was picking it out! And It cost like probably equivilent to $18 dollars- it was sobrang mahal...so I probably won't be sending another pkg like that till next Christmas haha but its just because the keychains were so heavy. Oh...and Mom if you send another package- do you think you could send some CD's? Like EFY or pretty church music...like pretty music- sometimes the MOTAB isn't my style not that they're not pretty- you just...know what I mean) :) You can even put them in zip lock bags so that way it weighs less! And Stickers---like the ones before :) Maraming salamat mom! Oh and you asked me how many baptisms I have so far- it's 6 with one more on Feb 11! Oh and I forgot to tell you yes...i just rolled my eyes and screamed "stop...oh my goodness" when I heard "good morning to you, good morning to you" come on that recording that you sent haha Sis. Fajardo was like "what...what?" haha it was funny!
So this week the work went well, of course. We had Stake Conference this sunday- I was soo impressed. Pres. DeGuzman asked that we stand in front of our stake and introduced us and was like "these our our missionaries, they are soo nice!" - only sa tagalog he said that hahaha anyways it was funny! :) It was really well organized and they ran out of chairs again- our ward was well represented- and we had especially this one family that Sis. Fajardo and I have visited now for 4 weeks. Every time Sis. Orpia says that she is going to come to church- but she never does. But- we wanted to keep visiting and trying- so we did. This time we really really prayed hard about what to teach her and share with her. In my personal studies the week before I had read Mosiah 2:19-24- (its either 2 or 4) about how we are eternally indebted to God because even if we serve him with our whole soul- he blesses us again- and then we are indebted to him- and he gave us everything that we are. Anyways, I told her we have visited her now for 4 weeks and it's not because we are trying to convince her to come to church but we visit her because we want her to remember the covenant she made to God- and to return to church and be active again. I asked her if she wanted that. Then I asked her if she did- why wasn't she doing it? And then Sis. Fajardo asked her what she could do to prepare to return to church? We were very bold...very bold- but also very loving. The spirit was totally there- we asked a lot of questions and let her teach herself. She knows the answers- she just has to remember them and why it's important. We can promise all the blessings in the world to these people if they return to church and keep the commandments but it's not going to make any difference to them if they don't see how it's personally applicable- everyone wants to know what's in it for them. So- we let them teach themselves what's in it for them. Then Sis. Fajardo used her favorite question at the moment "If not now, when?" haha I love her! We walked out and both were like wow, what just happened. The spirit was so strong- there were many moments there when we would just stop- and wait for what we should say to come next- we do that often- but It's never been soo powerful yet, at least for me since I"ve been here. Turns out- she came to church. With...her entire family! It was soo great! We also had 11 investigators at church...it was soo crazy! Oh my gosh soo many miracles! We have been teaching at the Reyes families house ( they are our recent converts in December) and they are so anxious to share the gospel with everyone...they gave us 7 referrals in 1 week haha it was soo funny but great! Bro Ali and his son Rendil- and Sis. Inday all of them come with us and help us out...they are the best family! I just love them! All of the Young Single Adults go and hang out at their ...house...slash not really a house..it's more of bahay kubo (nepa hutt...made of bamboo like all the houses here) haha Anyways, they have these 4 investigators who are all young- one is married with a baby on the way but the rest are 18-28 years old. We teach discussions over there- and it just feels soo great I love it, I feel at home- and the atmosphere is so great! Soo awkward though the other night Sis. Marla (she is 16) asked if she could ask me a question...this was in front of everyone...and I said sympre (of course) and she asked me "My brother wants to know if you have a boyfriend or not" ...Her brother...is also an investigator...who was sitting in the same room hahaha...I was like uh...."Mayroon, Mayroon!!!" meaning "I have, I have"....I was NOT about to say that I didn't have a boyfriend---so awkward- I'm not quite sure who he is- but...I needed to say I have one haha. Everyone was laughing because I turned bright red! Anyways- back to Sunday- I also met a 98 year old woman- She literally walked bent in half- her back was complete scoliosis and she was pretty much bent in half- she had to have people help carry her- but she comes to church every week- even at that age with all the struggles she has- because she knows it's important. I just thought wow- I couldn't believe her faith was soo great!
We have been visiting Brother Tommy Our investigator- that really was baptized in 1985- the one with the lost record- teaching them the basics again which is good because they really don't know it. Sis. Fajardo says the missionaries before here taught "Fast Offering" as what the church could do for them- that if they came to the church the church would help them- which is soo wrong- it's what you can do for the church- so we made sure to clarify that which is good- they didn't even remember what it was. I got 32 mosquito bites on my legs that night! It was ridiculous! And that's with Deet & permatox sprayed on me and my stockings and clothes- I don't know what more I could do...it's okay though...I'll deal with it! Oh...can you also send in a package "after bite" we got it at the Mish mall...it's been a real life saver! I love it!
|The Governors Office, Pagasinan|
|Inside Capital Building, Pagasinan|