Kumusta po kayo Inyong lahat!!!!
This week was amazing-- it was like all of a sudden everything turned around and I really can't explain it. Sister Agner and I were on the same page -- we were both motivated to work so hard and talk to as many people as we could. We met so many incredible people and felt the Spirit so strongly in our lessons as we extended commitments and our testimonies that Jesus Christ and His gospel can change lives. We were just happy even though there were hard times too. We study Preach my Gospel everyday and apply it. Our mission has been struggling a bit so President Bangal came and told us to put our focus on the Book of Mormon. So that's what we did. Everyone we talked to-- we explained and testified that the Book of Mormon is another testament that Jesus Christ LIVES and LOVEs us so very much and is very much in all of our lives. We are flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon talaga! We start and end our day with the Book of Mormon -- and I know that that habit right there changes lives.
But that doesn't mean there aren't hard times. We have this incredible incredible investigator -- Sister Raquel. She is a true convert and living example that the gospel changes lives. She doesn't have a lot and her husband struggles to find work-- he is hardly ever home. But she told us that as she has studied the gospel and the Book of Mormon everyday that her perspective and her family life has completely changed. You see it in her eyes -- expecially this Sunday when all the members were helping her with her baby and her kids love primary. She shares her testimony often to us and is working on getting the courage to do it in front of the whole church. She is live Joseph Smith -- she talked to so many different religions but immediately recognized the Spirit when two girls met her on the street and she started listening to them in March. I wasn't there the first time Sister Agner met her but I was there the second visit. Jesus Christ is so merciful and so loving and I just love Sister Raquel so so much. She was going to get baptized next week but we learned that due to some marriage laws her she has to wait one more year. We all cried. Why did it have to happen now? As missionaries we were so disappointed that we had to wait. But her testimony didn't waver. She came to church with a smile on her face and said: ''Ang landas patungo sa kaligayahan -- Ang landas sa Simbahan'' -- The path to happiness is the path to church. It was incredible talaga. Pray for her! I hope to see her baptism in a year!
Sister Christine is the same way-- she has had the hardest life and cannot pay to go to church every time. She's waited a long time and knows this gospel is true and she wants to give everything to her kids. But she has to wait for her baptism too.
As missionaries -- it was so hard to see everything fall through --we were trying so hard to share the gospel, be bold and loving in sharing our testimonies -- why did this have to happen. But we decided this is a test of our faith -- that we will help our investigators and find more if we trust in God in His timing. He loves all of us and sometimes we just have to be patient. But there is a promise in Alma 26:27 to missionaries: "Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, and bear with patiance thine afflictions and I will give unto you success." God will help me learn this language in His timing and help us find the people that need us.
Cultural Note: People burn their chickens ALIVE here. It was a little scary the first time I saw it happen to be honest.
Another Cultural Note: Older Sisters and Older Brothers get special respect here! Older sisters are always called Ate and Older Brothers Kuya.
A special Filipino treat that you can all make at home and think of me-- It's one of my FAVORITES -- they sell it on the street : Fry a banana and sprinkle brown sugar over it -- SOOO delicious. But the bananas here -- mga saging -- are way better here hahaha.