|Our investigator Arcangel Garbriel Efe was baptized this week!!!!|
|The baptismal font is outside here, not inside the church so that's kind of different :)|
Well, this week was exciting because we had a baptism!!! Although I didn't do much to get the baptism....I just showed up here. I kind of felt bad for the sister that left because she didn't get to see him baptized but then I realized that I left a bunch of investigators in Gua
Gua that will be baptized. And then you realize that they aren't MY baptisms. We are just here to help them reach baptism but there are a lot of factors going into their baptisms: missionaries, friends, the branch, who knows how many years, and of course the right timing and the spirit. So we can never really say they are OUR baptisms haha! But it was really exciting.
Our investigator's name is Arcangel Gabriel Efe (yes that's really his name, cool huh?). He was totally prepared by the Lord and he is so excited to serve a mission in a year. He is really sad that no one in his family wants to hear about the gospel but we told him that he is just the first. Of course, through his example, they will be converted but we just have to wait for the right timing. But he is excited to serve a mission and bring the gospel to others. He said that this has been the biggest blessing in his life and he also said that there have been five times in his life when he should have died but he didn't. He said that he knows it is so that he could accept the gospel and that he has a purpose here on earth and he needs to take the gospel to others. It was really neat. Also, something cool is that the baptismal font is outside, not inside. That was really different for me! I liked it....kind of like being baptized in the river and you could see the palm trees in the background :)
On the other hand, one of our investigators died this week. That was really sad for Sister Pati-on. We had even just had a lesson with him where he said that he would be baptized in March. But it was also kind of a good thing because he had a stroke 15 years ago and has been paralyzed ever since. So at least we know that right now he isn't sick and hurting anymore. And, his heart was prepared here so he will accept it when his temple work is done. We think that he would have been baptized a while ago but he was embarrassed because he didn't know how he could be since he was in a wheel chair and all. His friend who takes care of him, Jimmy, is our investigator too (he will be baptized Feb 14) and he called us at 6:30 am on Sunday morning and said he couldn't come to church. Sis Pati-On asked why and he said that Norman had just died. We couldn't believe that Jimmy called us to tell us that. He is another investigator who is so excited for his baptism and he knows that he has to go to church in order to be baptized. So he made sure he called us! He is so ready for baptism too!
I seriously love this area here in Masinloc! Life is a lot more relaxed here than it was in Gua Gua. Part of that is because it is a province and so people don't have professional jobs. They are fishermen or something like that. As a result, they are lot more prepared to hear the gospel and take the time to listen too. We also have the best branch president. He bikes from house to house and visits all the members and less actives. He knows them all personally. For tithing settlement, he went to each member individually, instead of them coming to him. He is really committed to being a great leader here. And, yesterday, we had something called the Rescue Caravan. So at 3 p.m. all the members that wanted to came to the church and then split up with the missionaries and for one hour, we visited less actives ("rescuing the one"). They do it every fourth Sunday. It was a really good idea! When I get transferred to the south again, I want to do that in the branch because it is a good way to get the members involved with the less actives. And one hour isn't that much time out of their life.
And our companionship is doing a lot better. Our teaching is really good now and it's fun to teach with a Filipinio and I'm learning a lot of Tagalog. I really like Sis Pati-On! Already, this transfer is going by quickly!
Well, I love you all! I know that this work is so important and I hope that you will all find a way to get involved...even if you live in Utah and everyone is a member. There are so many ways and if everyone helps, the burden is spread out among many. One thing I've learned from the senior couple missionary is that we need to feel more urgent about this work. Time is quickly running out! I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and he loves every single one of us. He is waiting for everyone!
Mahal ko kayo!