Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!
It was such a blast skyping with you guys and it really made me miss being home. just seeing you guys and the house and especially Cleo! haha jk. but i really do just miss hanging out and talking with everyone and telling stories. It's crazy how far away I really am from you guys distance and time wise, but I am really happy I still have nine months left because I am enjoying my mission SO much! My companion really is awesome and we get along super well. I'm really surprised we never met at byu, because she and i have so much in common. It makes the days go by so fast and so fun because I love talking and working with her. plus she has a great attitude and is really willing to work hard and be obedient. even though her tagalog is still slow and not always correct, she is patient with herself and the investigators are patient with her. if she says something super wrong, I just help her and she always just laughs about it later. 
This week was amazing and we are seeing so many miracles! it's amazing the difference when you and your companion are in sync and totally focused on and excited about the work. I always assumed that as sister missionaries we would focus a lot more on women that the elders couldn't reach. but this last week we pretty much taught all guys. and it was a miracle because they all had their families with them. it's not allowed to teach guys by themselves if you're a sister, so it was perfect and a plus that their families were with them. so here is what happened;
first, we taught Ericson, the most legit and prepared investigator EVER! He's 20 and so excited about the gospel and getting baptized Jan 12. He's not even baptized yet and already wants to serve a mission. He told us the book of mormon is his girlfriend right now. and the other day i left him a pamphlet and he was like, "no assignment in the bom?" all disappointed. so i made one up and gave it to him to read lol. I seriously love teaching him because he is just SO ready! It's seriously a miracle. so anyway, we taught him wow a week ago and he said he had no problems except he drank coffee every morning but before we even asked him to stop he said he would. then he came to church and our ward mission leader sat by him and said he smelled really strong cigarette smoke on ericson's breath. and so i was super bummed but i didn't really believe it because he's been super honest and open with us and if he's willing to give up coffee i don't think he'd smoke and then go to church. so our wml was all dramatic about it and telling the other sisters and saying we would have to move his bap date. and i was like, wait a second. just hold on! we're teaching him tomorrow we'll just ask him then. so we did a super thorough follow up and he said he's never ever tried cigarettes and he's been completely off coffee for the past 4 days and he feels like he's changing. and he loves it! he was just so happy the whole time we were teaching him and i was super proud of him and happy to report back to brother jun jun (the ward mission leader) that he has no problems. 
so then, we taught him law of chastity which i've only taught once, to a girl. so i was really nervous that it would be awkward and when me and sister jones were practicing, she kept cracking up in the middle and saying the most awkward stuff. i was like, if you laugh tomorrow in the lesson i'm seriously gonna kill you. and she's limited on the tagalog, so basically i gave the entire lesson. BUT it went great actually! no one laughed, and it wasn't awkward, and ericson was totally willing to live all the rules, and understood everything. he told us that at his age, there is a ton of pornography and prostitution and swearing, etc, etc, around him all the time, but he knows it's bad and doesn't want any part of it. and it's not a big temptation for him. and he just asked us if it's okay to marry a nonmember and we told him about temple marriage and he's going with us on saturday to the temple tour. I was promising him blessings and was saying how i hope my future husband is keeping the law of chastity and staying worthy so we can be married in the temple, and ericson smiled and was like, "the way you're talking, sister, it's like you have an inspiration!" haha which is what everyone calls their crush here (their inspiration). and then he totally made fun of me for blushing haha. but it was a great lesson and i was proud of myself for being able to explain everything clearly with the spirit and without being awkward. He always tells us that he can't wait to be baptized.and the change in him is crazy, how much more happy he is now. it's amazing to see people truly repent and change. 
So then on new years a ton of people had work off so we tried to go visit them and one is our part member family. the mom has been a member her whole life but her husband never joined and they have 4 adorable kids! so we have been visiting the mom since august but her husband just starting becoming interested recently and said he was willing to listen to us but not sure about baptism. so we taught him the first lesson and it was so great to see their whole family all together and the dad was so focused on us and so excited when he told us about a time that he received an answer to prayer. it's so obvious that he just loves his family so much. and then he told us he has work from 8am to 8pm every day, even sunday! which sucks because our curfew is 7pm and he obviously can't come to church. BUT i'm going to ask president this week if we can get an extension twice a week just for this guy because it really seems promising and he told us that he would walk us home afterwards. his wife was like, "Wow, he's really WILLING sisters if he's willing to walk you home!" haha, but i think it's a great sign that he is really interested in learning more! and i'm super excited about it. the wife really wants them to be sealed in the temple. 
THEN we visited a active family where the dad has been less active forever and not really sure why he joined the church. he has a drinking problem and isn't willing to pay tithing. but when this guy died in our ward he all of a sudden starting coming back to church. the mom said that his drinking has gotten better, but she really wants us to teach him so that he can go through the temple and be there for his daughters wedding which is coming up and they can be sealed some day. before us he has always run away from the missionaries or hid and not wanted anything to do with us. but now he is listening and participating and said he would pray about joseph smith. timing is so important i guess. but man, another miracle!
THEN we were visiting tatay rosete, this 73 year old man who is the only member of his family and just joined a year ago and never misses a sunday even though he lives SUPER far away from the church. so since he's so far i always kinda don't want to visit him because he's so solid and doesn't really need us plus it takes a lot of time to go see him. But he really loves us and is always so happy to see us, we keep going back. so on tuesday we show up (and he is super poor by the way) and he has the table set with rice and grilled chicken and juice bottles and spaghetti all laid out. and he's like, Eat! happy new year! i was like, what the? he's never ever fed us before and he just pulls out this feast! it was so cute and he was so excited! so of course we ate and tatay was loving it and it was really good and sweet of them! 
so then in the middle of our lesson, tatay's son walks in the door and goes, my nephew told me you guys were here. and we were like, ya come in and join us! so he does, and he's like, i just left iglesia ni cristo (the great and abominable church here in the philippines) and i've been to your church once and i just remember it was so beautiful and every one was so nice and i'm catholic now but i want to learn more. so we told him about how families can be together forever after he told us about his fam and he was like, "i just feel so happy and peaceful hearing that, and this sunday i'll come to church with tatay!" i was just blown away. i mean me and sister jones didn't have to do ANYTHING! he just walked in and was like, tell me more. it's true that God will really lead people to you. literally. so then i'm like, can we meet your wife? and he's like, ya sure! so he takes us to his house and we meet his whole family plus his neice and nephew and teach all of them about the gospel and eternal families and they said we could come back and teach on sunday. it was amazing.
i just feel like if you can get the dad in, you can get the whole family. and that's what the church needs more of-worthy priesthood holders. and who would've thought two white foreigner girls could get into the doors of all these great dads and young men? and it's not just cause we're gorgeous, ok? hahaha it really is a miracle and i feel so so so grateful! i wrote in my journal that i just want to stay in this area with this companion forever because i feel like heavenly father is just pouring down the blessings. it's a little scary to think He trusts me so much with all these people but it's also really comforting because i know i can only do this through trusting in Him. 
Anyway, that was my amazing week! i'm super happy that you guys had a great christmas and new years, all your gifts sound amazing and fun! well i love you guys so much and miss you tons! thank you for all your prayers and for updating my blog! the church is true and changes lives! i love it.
love, age

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