Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 16, 2013 Malapit na ang Pasco!!!

A Jeepney!!!

One of our families the Laxa family!

Three of our investigators: Mary Ann, Jinky, and Liza. 

Hello Family!!!

Well, everyone here is in the Christmas spirit and now I am too especially after watching the First Presidency Christmas devotional yesterday.  It was sooooo good!  Especially Elder Nelson!  I loved his talk.  I loved it all!  I have to admit, I saw everyone wearing sweaters and the lights on temple square and I got a little bit homesick for a minute.  But then I got over it!  It's kind of hard for me to really believe that it is Christmas because you just see the decorations and hear the music and you don't smell pine or cookies or see snow.  It just doesn't seem like Christmas but it's fun to experience what Christmas is like in a different part of the world.  We've already had so many people invite us to their house for Christmas....I can tell I'm going to be so full!  And we had one investigator invite us over for new years eve to drink.  We told them that wasn't allowed for us.  (we haven't gotten to Word of Wisdom yet...maybe we'll wait until after the new year....haha)

We found two investigators, a couple, that I am so excited about!  Mario and Mary.  I think I wrote about Mary last week but this week we had a chance to teach her husband.  We went to teach Mary and she wasn't there.  So I did the normal "Oh!  We'd love to share with you too!"  Not really expecting him to let us because Mary wasn't there.  But to my surprise, he said "Tuloy kayo!"  (come in) I was so surprised I said "Now??" So we went in and he had seen the pamphlet that we had given his wife and started reading it.  And he'd started reading the Book of Mormon too!  He is just so ready!  When we asked when we could come back, he said he would love it if we came there everyday.  (That always makes a missionary feel good...especially when there are so many other people that are avoiding us...) The only problem is, his wife doesn't want to come to church until she knows that it is true.  I guess our explanation that you have to go to church to know if it is true didn't really click yet.  But, we're going to try and get some fellowshippers out to her.  They're also kind of nervous to attend a church where they don't know anyone.  So hopefully that will help her feel comfortable about attending.  I have a really strong feeling that they will be baptized, although I think that I will be transferred before they are baptized.  Oh well...

We also had another lesson with an investigator that was one of the hardest lessons I've taught but I think it turned out okay.  She is studying with Jehovah's Witnesses too (That's always tough) and she has a lot of questions.  Lots of questions.  Like, what is God's name?  If we are praying to him, we should know his name.  And, "If a man sees God, the Bible says he will die.  I don't believe that Joseph Smith saw god" and "Joseph Smith isn't in the bible.  If he's a prophet his name should be there." and lots of other questions like that.  Those lessons are super hard not to immediately just answer the question, but you have to not do that because they don't have the doctrinal foundation for the answer and then it turns into contending about the Bible.  So, we just have to bear our testimony about our message and get back to the lesson.  She also didn't want to read the Book of Mormon because it says that we should not add to the Bible.  I was praying so hard for Heavenly Father to help us in that discussion because I can see that she really wants to know and she is just lost right now as far as the truth.  We just kept bearing our testimony and we told her that if she doesn't read the Book of Mormon, she can't tell us that it isn't true.  And that she has to give it a fair chance.  Eventually, at the end of the lesson, she was very quiet and agreed that she couldn't say we were wrong if she didn't read the book.  And she agreed to read a little bit everyday.  She still doesn't believe us, but she is willing to try the promise of Moroni and she read the chapter summary from the reading assignment we gave her and she said "Oh! that's true!".  I honestly could not believe that she agreed to read and try to do what we told her to do.  Usually those kind of people are emphatic about not reading the BOM.  But I know that the spirit was there and she felt something.  I know that there was nothing that we said that could have changed her mind, only the Spirit.  And it's amazing to me to see how powerful a testimony is.  People will always have a contending answer for anything you say except when you say "I know this is true for myself".  They are always quiet after that.  They don't have anything to say when we bear testimony of truth.  Whether they believe it or not.

So those were two of our really neat experiences this week.  Life here in Gua Gua is good.  Sister Hausia is doing great and she's doing really well at Tagalog.  She is learning so fast!  And we get along really great.  I don't know what I'm going to do when one of us is transferred in January!  Something funny about her though is that she is DEATHLY afraid of frogs.  Like seriously.  It's actually a little ridiculous because there are tons of frogs at night and so it's almost a little hard to be out walking.  But the good thing is that I am not afraid of frogs and so I fearlessly walk past them and she hides behind me as they hop away.  No matter how many times I tell her they are harmless, she is still afraid of them.  So strange.  And.....I have gotten her to start eating vegetables!!!!  Her mother is going to be so happy!  (I just threaten her with my eyes when we're at a dinner appointment because it's too rude to leave food on the plate)  She's up to eating 4 vegetables willingly and she'll swallow the others without chewing them.  By the end of her mission she'll like them all!

Life is good and I miss you all, but I know that the work here is important.  And I also know that there is lots of work to do all around us!  We just need to open our eyes to the needs of others, just like they said in the Christmas devotional, and think less about ourselves.  Basically, we just need to act like Christ would act which is always thinking about and serving other people.  Never Himself.  I love you all and I know that the Church is true!

Ingat kayo!

Sister Sirrine

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