Before I get into the good stuff this week and tell you all about my wonderful adventures in the Philippines Islands and what the Spirit taught me, and how I have seen the atonement change the lives of the people I love here... I have a funny little thing to tell you of what I did this morning.
me eating dynamite and listening to dynamite :)
So first you must know that I live in a cement house very close to many other houses. The one behind ours likes to play music a lot. Sometimes I hate it, cause it can be inappropriate. Sometimes I love to hear Christmas music at lunch time. Sometimes I do not mind a little Elvis or whatever they are playing. But sometimes it is really really really hard to stay concentrated on the work when songs that I know every single word to, and just love to dance to just play and play and play, and I spend my study time singing primary songs and hymns to myself. But today... was one of those play all of sister hellewell's favorites days. And also other songs that you could say are commonly played at YSA dances... Well Dynamite was played today..... Also, I ate some dynamite while listening to dynamite! Sister Calla made some dynamite today I’ll send a picture. I wouldn't say it is hot according to American standards, but for philippinas it was pretty hot... but also very very masarap!!! I loved it.
Now to the important things that happened this week.
|A funny tree at the church building|
First you should be proud of this sister missionary. Yeah, I got us to San Pablo on Thursday... on time. And I’m pretty proud of myself and my communication with the outside world on finding out how to get us there.
Disclaimer: my tagalog is still struggling, but I do know how to ask for directions! And understand a response! (most of the time) We went to San Pablo for the new missionary check-up. President said to me, that William’s group of missionaries is the loudest he's ever heard, when he was driving us to St. Thomas (half of the way home) I reminded him that It was two group's plus some. Me and all my group. William's group and then many of my group's trainers too! Crazy stuff. But it was good to see them, and learn from president and the AP’s. Mostly what I learned is that sister Williams is astig/awesome and I got the best companion probably. She really is incredible; I wish she could see it in herself. She really doesn't realize how awesome she is doing no matter how much I tell her. She is struggling to adjust at times, but who doesn't?
|Me and Williams on the way back from San Pablo|
Also yesterday was the greatest day ever, so I will hold you in anticipation to hear all about it.
Tuesday we worked with Sister G again. Oh man, I love working with her. But honestly she has the most hard to understand tagalog of my life! It is really frustrating at times. I was all discouraged and stuff like that and then we bid farewell to G and went to M's (less active) I understood her today! A fervent prayer was answered! We talked about her concerns and made a plan to resolve them. It sure is hard to go to church without your family when our church talks so much about the importance of families. But Also, my language study is helping! I recognized the word Pagabagabag! (It is used in the tagalog preach my gospel book under chapter ten under how to begin teaching. I've been reading those two pages in PMG everyday for the last week trying to really get good at how to begin teaching in tagalog. I know it in English... but some of the things I want to be able to say are still hard in tagalog.) Anyways, I was super happy to hear that word for some reason. Maybe because it is a deeper tagalog word and I really like saying it! But also M told us that we are angles and that always makes your day when people compliment you and thank you for what you are doing. I always hear how beautiful I am and stuff like that but that's not what I want to hear! I want people to tell me the message I share with them is exactly what they need and most beautiful to them!
Thursday M.A. was baptized. IT was just wonderful! She said that she could not sleep for the last 24 hours she was so excited to be baptized. Me, Sis Williams, and Brother and sister Reyes sang “Nearer my god to thee”, in parts for her baptism. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL I think that mostly I miss hearing a base part being sung, but also it really brought the spirit.
Also Thursday morning president and the Ap's came to practice teach with us. That was a lot of fun and a good learning experience. I loved it. We practiced the baptism invitation and resolving concerns. The first time was a little rough and I feel like we started to resolve the concern but it didn't fully happen. The second time though... it was good. Elder Merriam said " Wow that one was just... powerful. There was no denying it!" which made me feel pretty good about that practice. I love practice teaching. Mostly I love after we evaluate and do much better the second time. We also got to practice teaching what to do when someone does not read the Book of Mormon, which is really all we want our investigators to do! They can't know if what I am teaching them is true and that the church was restored to the earth if they don't read the evidence I give them and pray to god to know if it is true! So we practiced that with Elder Calling, and it was something that we are able to repeat time and time again. I learned a lot. I need to shorten my questions, especially since if they were long in English they will be a million times longer in Tagalog. And I also really just need to focus on what the real concern is- is this church true? Was Joseph smith a prophet? and Is the Book of Mormon the word of god? That is really all someone has to decide for themselves. When they do, everything will fall into place. It won't matter that they were already baptized in the catholic church or iglesia. It won't matter that they are tired and do not want to read, it won't matter that their family may not support them. They will know that God has restored his true church here on the earth, and they will want to follow Christ’s perfect example.
Also yesterday I COMMUNICATED WITH G FOR LIKE 20 MINUTES ON THE TRIKE AND JEEPNEY BACK FROM BALETE AND I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF. I hope that my caps explain my excitement. We talked about random stuffs. and Then she told me she hoped her father hadn't locked the house gate yet and I told her the story (in tagalog mind you) about the time that I left the key in the house in tayabas and me and Basa were stuck between the house and the gate and how funny it would be to have watched two sister missionaries jump the fence.. she thought it was a funny story. Which was good... but really yesterday was better for many many more reasons:
because before that... was the greatest.
1. R received the priesthood.
2. M A received the Holy Ghost.
3. M's baptism was announced! And Planned!
AND.... R WILL BAPTIZE M THIS WEEK!
and I am just overjoyed and excited. And I know that yesterday felt like the best day ever, but honestly this saturday will definitely top it!
I also received a lot of personal revelation from church this week. I know that we teach our investigators and members that this is something that really happens at church, but I have been struggling with it here in the Philippines when I am more focused on what is going on. What people are saying and translating to myself rather than really thinking deeply about what I am learning and applying it to myself. But I really did learn a lot that day by the spirit. Our Sunday school lesson was about the post-mortal spirit world. And I have really been learning a lot on my mission much much more than I ever dreamed of knowing about our life after death. And I was thinking about how thin the veil is between us and others. And I know that those who have passed on are right here with us, and that they are doing the same work as me right now, Missionary work. Their job is much harder than mine though I bet. They are teaching the people there who never had the chance to hear and accept the gospel while here, and they are also preparing people here to prepare the message that we as members of the church have to give to them. It's beautiful really. I just want to be a member missionary for the rest of my life. Both missionary work and family history are so important. It is the reason why we are here. To prepare to return to God, and we cannot unless we live the gospel. My love for family history really grew my last semester at BYU I am grateful for the people that influenced me to really get into it. And I can really see why it is so important to people. I am grateful for the example that my grandparents have set for me. And I really do miss family history and indexing and the blessing and happiness that came from it. I learned much more, but that's all I am going to share with you today. I hope that my family member's and friends will pray for the love of family history and to feel the spirit of Elisha in their lives. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for being so dedicated to it, and motivating me to do family history work. I'd thank some BYU friends too.. but honestly they are all on missions now too! :) I love that fact.
Anyways... lots of love. And thank you all my family for all of the updates I love hearing how you are doing and am grateful for all that you do for me and each other.