This week went out to visit a referral that we had received from one of the recent converts...their house is located in Capuy, which takes about 45 minutes for us to travel to, by jeepne. So it takes some time for us to go out there and to cover the expenses...and to our dismay, they were not home. We have no other investigators or members out in the area and so we were walking around when my companion said that we should go visit this one family--the Lasala's. We only had a general idea of where they lived, but with our luck and the continual guidance of the Holy Ghost, we were able to find Brother Lasala. This family astonishes me...Brother and Sister Lasala had attended the Christmas party we had weeks ago and they had spoken to my companion and had set up time to be visited the Saturday following the party...however my companion had forgotten. This family was not offended...in fact they were more excited that we had actually come to see them. We sat down and were talking with them and my companion told me that they had made many dishes for us that Saturday we were suppose to visit, but they knew that no matter what they wanted to learn more about the Church. We introduced some materials to them and it was just amazing how much they wanted to know. My companion was saying that they are so ready to receive the gospel...there will be trials along the way, as we found out that Brother and Sister Lasala are not married and Sister Lasala has a previous husband who took their son and deserted her. We taught them again on Saturday and it was wonderful...they were excited about going to church and one of the other individuals, April, was anticipating to have her son receive a priesthood blessing because he is always sick. Unfortunately they never arrived at church on Sunday...so we are going to follow up this week and see what is going on. I had shared a couple of weeks ago about two young boys (brothers) who desire to be baptized, but are not able to because their parents don't want them to join...I admire these two so very much. We went to visit them again this week...they get so excited when we come to visit. We were talking to them and they were sharing with us how sad they were the last time that we had visited, because the last time we visited, their aunt had told us that they were not home (which was false). One of them said that he cried, because he wanted us to visit him and teach him about the gospel. We taught them about their purpose in life and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They loved it so much! One said that he wants to be married in the temple someday and the other said that he wants to become a police officer/security guard for the church. They also said that they were upset with their parents because they were making them attend a catholic church, which they do not believe in or enjoy. My companion and I can only have patience in this circumstances, for we may only be the planters of the seed, and another may reap of the blessings of these two young boys. I pray many times that the Lord will watch over them. The two investigators we had that were preparing for baptism on the 19th were delayed because the District Leader did not feel that they were ready....which my companion and I were prepared for. But it was hard to tell these two girls that there would need to be more preparation for them, in order to be baptized. It is interesting how we are given that discernment to know if they are ready or not to receive the covenant of baptism. We are hoping this week to work more with them this week and help them really feel the change that is necessary in order to be received unto baptism.We have several other investigators that we are teaching that are uncertain about our message and we are striving to work with them to help them understand the need of the gospel in their lives. Pray that we may be able to bring light to them :) I know that God is watching over His children, but he does give them the agency to choose and make decisions in their lives that may change it's course forever, whether good or bad.
My companion and I are doing well. She told me that when she went into the interview with our mission president, that he asked her if she was happy. She said that she was and that this has been one of her favorite transfers. I am struggling some days to adjust to the culture and the ways in the Philippines and I must have my heart always open to my companion for this reason. I do love her...she is so very patient with me (especially when I break down over not being able to help her teach the lesson as much as I would like to, because I don't know how to say it, or the pain I feel when I can't share the joy I have through the gospel in words, to the people we are teaching). We each have our strengths and our weaknesses and we are working on them together.
It doesn't feel like I have been out for a month....i still feel so brand new. It has definitely been fun experiencing the Philippines. For New Year's we had an eating appointment, but we had a curfew for 6pm...so it was pretty uneventful. Other than all the fireworks and loud noises at 12am-1am. Our bed time was still 10:30pm...so it was nothing exciting :)
Arjay's baptism was wonderful! He is such an amazing 11year old. He has just been growing so much spiritually since he has been a member. We are so very excited to teach him more about the gospel and the blessings it will bring to his life.
Dec. 13 with batch & trainers
Sorsogon district (sisters) with Sis. Bleisner