Monday, March 27, 2017

Ang liwanag sa Kanilang Mata

Kumusta po kayong lahat?! Isa pang Monday sa Pilipinas!

Thanks for the emails friends and family!!! I hope you know how much it makes my week when I see that the people I love are still thinking of me!!! I know I'm so far away and can't be there in person but you all still are thinking of me anyway! It means the world and I think of you all and see you in my investigators and it just makes me love people here. I have some necklaces from my grandparents and my dad that I wear everyday and think of you all.

I wish you could see the view from my area: it's beautiful. I stand on the top of the mountain and see all the mountains covered in cement houses with green and red roofs. And when it get's foggy, it's gorgeous. And you can see all our Ilakanos washing clothes outside or tons of little kids playing outside on the street. I'm going to get pictures.

I'm sure you all wanna know about the food here haha:
My favorite dish right now: puso ng sagi -- banana heart. Soooo delicious when you boil it with some soy sauce and vegetables. My Filipino companions are really good cooks haha. My body reacted kinda rough to some of the food, but I'm taking care of myself here. I buy myself tons of fruits and veggies. Some fruits you'll have never heard of haha.
Favorite treat: buko pandan-- It's soo famous here. Coconut, jello, sweet milk and little jelly balls. Sooobrang masarap!!!

So this week I've had to learn to be patient with myself and others. I'm kind of a go-go-go person trying to get everything done in one day, but I realized that sometimes you just need to sit and help your companion or sit and listen to the concerns of your investigator. We are here to listen and help others! It reminds me of what Jesus would do. Sometimes I've wondered why Jesus couldn't get to everyone in Jerusalem or everyone in person always. But I think Jesus was a listener and really cared about people's individual needs. I'm here to lift up my companion even when we have some differences. She expressed to me the other day how much she wanted to be obedient and have a successful last four months of her mission. It was hilarious because I just looked at her and said: "Okay! Are you ready to work? And we got on a jeepney and started talking to a sweet old lady." We call it testifying of Christ. We make goals to talk to people and just give a quick testimony of Christ.

We teach a lot of mothers because most of the time the fathers are away working, a lot of the time 12 hour days at construction or call centers and sometimes abroad! I've really learned to appreciate how amazing mothers are. One of our investigators, Sister Dona, is basically a member of the church. It's amazing to see her progression and how the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed her life. We sang "I am a Child of God" in her home the other day, and she shared with us her personal study of the Book of Mormon which was incredible! She has become so self-reliant in her studies and really understands the gospel! I saw a light in her eyes as we sang. Christ is changing her life. 

Sister Raquel is a mother of three whose husband is only home on Sundays. She reminds me of Joseph Smith. The most important thing in her life, she said, was getting to know who her Savior really is. She's had tons of religions come teach her at the same time, including us, but as she prayed about the prophet, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, she said she really has started to come to know her Savior better and that she knows this is true and the Savior is really there for her! May liwanag din sa mga bata niya! We extended a baptismal date to her and she accepted. It's really hard for her to get to church so sana things will work out. She's truly an elect. The thing is we haven't gotten through many of the lessons yet and she already knows! We literally didn't do anything. God prepared her to accept the gospel and all we had to do was say something and God did the rest.

We don't have a ton of progressing investigators and we feel like it's really hard to meet the goals that have been set for us. It often makes me feel inadequate and that I'm doing it all wrong. And it's true that I cannot speak the language very well, I don't understand what people are saying, and I make mistakes every single day. But I know the Lord knows my heart and we keep trying to get better every week. 

Mosiah 24:15 -- "they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.... and it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience." Hard times aren't forever, and the Lord never forsakes us even when we forget Him sometimes. 

Mahal na mahal ko Inyong Lahat! Naalaala ko kayo araw-araw sa Aking panalangin! Nararamdaman ko kapag nagdarasal kayo para sa akin talaga! 

Sister Porter

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