|Christmas time here in Gua Gua....very hot!|
|Me and Rusha Tapiador. She reminds me of Sarah and Mary! I miss them but this is their replacement for now :)|
Happy New Year Family!!!
I can't believe that it is already 2014...well in two days. This year went by so fast. I can't believe that this time last year, I was waiting for my call to come and wondering where I was going to be for the next year and a half. I would never have guessed the Philippines but I know that this is where I am supposed to be!
This last week was obviously Christmas and it is very different here in the Philippines. Apparently New Year is actually more of a bigger holiday than Christmas here (I'll see if that's true in a few days) but Christmas was good. Of course, none of our investigators wanted us to come teach them so we just went to all the members houses in our areas. And every house fed us. Busog na busog ako!!!! I have NEVER been that full in my life! Not even on American Thanksgiving. Even though we were full, they would get offended if we didn't eat the food, so we'd eat and then they'd say "More sisters! More!" Oh man. So full. We didn't really feel hungry for the next two days. They say that's what new years is like...or maybe even more. Oh dear....
We had two really neat experiences with investigators these last two weeks. First of all, Mario. So I think that I said that he really likes us coming to his house and he always reads the Book of Mormon. Last week, he told us that he just didn't feel like he could make the decision to be baptized. He knows that it is a big decision but we told him to pray to Heavenly Father. Last week, we decided to put the lessons on hold and really focus on building his faith. So we read with him from the Book of Mormon and explained his reading to him. We focused a lot on prophets and how important they are for us. It was one of the most spiritual lessons we have taught. Sister Hausia and I were really working together...it didn't feel like a Sister Sirrine lesson and then Sister Hausia when I stopped talking. I feel like we were really following the spirit and there were even some things that I said that surprised myself. I know that was the spirit guiding my words. Then this week, we went to him and we asked him how his preparation for baptism is going. He was quiet for a long time and I was so afraid that he was going to tell us that he doesn't feel that it is right. Then he said quietly, "Gustong gusto ko iyan. Naniniwala ako." (I really really want that. I believe.) Talk about a huge rush of the spirit! I think I know what the Nephites were talking about in the Book of Mormon when they say that they are so happy that there aren't words to describe it. I didn't really know what to say to him other than our Heavenly Father is so happy with his decision and his faith. Then our lesson was on Word of wisdom and he drinks coffee and tea but he said that's easy to give up. It's easy because he knows it's true and he knows that Joseph Smith is true and so of course he'll follow the commandment. Our district leader told us that if they have faith, nothing can stop them from being baptized. And I know that is so true! I know that Mario will be baptized and I am so excited for him.
Then, we taught a first lesson to an investigator, Mary Ann. She's 17 and she told us that she's studied with almost every religion here. When we got to the part about Joseph Smith in our lesson, she read the first vision and just said "Wow." Then she looked at us and said that we are different than anyone she has talked to. And that her feelings right then were different too. She said that she is really curious because even our appearance or aura is different. She said that she can't wait for us to come back and give her a Book of Mormon because she knows that our message is different than anyone else's. It was so nice to teach her because almost every time we teach the restoration, the people say afterwords, oh that's just like the Catholics. Of course, we believe in the Bible so explaining about prophets and Jesus Christ is what they would read in the Bible but they don't see that it really is different. The difference is the restoration. I have really gained a testimony here that the restoration story, coupled with the Book of Mormon is what really has power to convert people. (And the Holy Ghost of course) When they say,"Oh your church is just like ours." I say that it is not. There is nothing in our church that is like theirs because ours is unique from every religion. And it's not just another religion. This is the original church that Christ established. There is no other.
I feel like we are finally finding some investigators that have a lot of potential. Unfortunately, transfer day is in two weeks and I've been here in Gua Gua a long time so I probably will get transferred. So I probably wont be here to see them baptized which is sad. But I know that this work is so important and that there are so many people who need the message that we are here trying to tell them. And of course, every member a missionary so it's not just the missionaries that have a responsibility to share this message with the people. It's everyone! I love you all and I hope that you had a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Mahal ko kayo!
|Camille Duque was finally baptized!|
Oh! And, one of my investigators back in sept/oct, Camille, finally got baptized!!!!!! She is technically the elder's baptism but I feel like she's mine too. Best Christmas present ever!