|Us eating banana cue! Super yummy!|
|These are some of my favorite investigators Glydel, Rommielynn, and Erika (less active)|
Grabe! I can't believe that we are halfway through the transfer and that somehow I've managed to be okay with a brand new missionary. I was certainly worried at the beginning but I know that the Lord has truly strengthened me and helps me every single day.
Something I've learned here on the mission is that everyday is an emotional roller coaster. This week, we had some days where no one was home and all we did was street contacting and no one wanted to listen to us. And then the next day, we had lots of appointments and people practically came up to us and asked us what our religion was and let us teach them right then. It just goes to show that the days that seem to not go right or be productive are days that we need to just have hope and diligently work and try our best. If we have hope that everything will work for our good and will get better, it will. Hope and patience. And a good attitude. Something I really like from preach my gospel is that it says that we need to be energetically diligent in all our doings and work until we have done everything we can, even when we are tired. I know that is so true! If we are not energetic about the Lord's work, our efforts are wasted and it is way harder. Happiness is the key!
We did have one kind of disappointment, but kind of funny thing, happen this week. Our golden investigator who is excited for baptism didn't come to church. We told her that we would meet her at a certain place and we waited for 40 minutes for her and then she showed up just having got back from the market. She said that her husband had come home from work early and didn't want her to go to church. (a lot of the husbands go away for the entire week and they're only home on Sat/Sun) So we carried her groceries back to her house for her and tried everything we could to get her to come to church. Unfortunately she wouldn't. But we just kind of hung around her house for 10 minutes trying to get her to come. Thinking about it now, missionaries are kind of awkward sometimes! I mean, who does that? Who just hangs around someones house like that trying to get them to come to church. And then since we had waited so long for her, we had to literally run to catch a jeepney. So here we were running down a rickety footbridge and up a bunch of stairs and over to the jeepneys. (I'll have to send a pic of the footbridge next week) Missionaries are weird! We were late to church but that's okay.
So this week was exciting because we had an amazing amount of people come to church. 173! It used to just be 110 or 115 but 173 yesterday! Every set of missionaries (there's eight of us) had several investigators and lots of less actives come to church. I was really excited to see a lot of the less actives in my old area (Sta Rita) come to church. A lot of the time, when Sunday would come around and no one from my area had come to church, I would feel like I wasn't being an effective missionary and I was doing something wrong because people weren't coming to church and keeping their commitments. But then yesterday, I saw almost all the less actives that we visited come to church. And I felt like my efforts the last 3 months haven't been wasted. Although they are not technically "my" less actives and investigators, I felt a great sense of happiness and accomplishment because they were all the people that we had been visiting for so long. So yesterday, I had the realization that a lot of times in missionary work, we don't see the result.
But I know that every effort is not wasted. Sometimes, people take a long time to change. Not everyone is instantaneously converted or reactivated. It takes continual and dedicated effort. And every time we do missionary work, seeds are planted. I feel like me and my old companions planted a lot of seeds and then the next missionaries got to actually harvest from our efforts. I feel really blessed that I was able to see the fruits of a lot of my efforts because I know that a lot of times, missionaries are transferred before they see people reactivated or baptized and so they feel like they weren't successful. So to all of you member missionaries, have patience! Even if people don't immediately accept what you are offering, you are planting seeds. It may take months or years before those seeds actually turn into something but no effort is wasted. And always, some good comes of the missionary work, even if it is just for ourselves and our conversion and dedication to the gospel.
Well, everything is going well here in Gua Gua. we're starting to see success in our area. Man, opening areas are hard but I have grown so much in the last three weeks. I know that I couldn't have grown this much in any other way or with any other assignment. I know the church is true and that the Lord is hastening His work! Our branch is getting ready to split into two starting January and hopefully we can turn it into two wards.
Have a great week!
Mahal ko kayo!
PS this letter was really hard to write in English....
At the Mission Home in Subic, just north of Olongapo and Subic Bay,
the night was fairly calm. It did rain some, but not hard and with no
flooding. The power was off until about 3:00 this morning (Saturday)
which made sleeping miserable. I don't know how the missionaries live
without air conditioning. This morning it is still cloudy and breezy
(nice). We love the breezes, but they are not common. I understand the
typhoon is now leaving the Philippines and heading for Vietnam. If
this is the case, the worst is over and for us, the worst was a real
nice change. Cooling breezes are wonderful and the rice farmers would
love any rain they got. I do not believe the storm interrupted any missionary or other
activity in our Mission.
Love you all,
Elder Gary Gorringe*