|All the mangoes that we have been given (we're so lucky!) There's even more in the fridge. We've pretty much lived on mangoes thislast week., It's been great!|
|The Candelaria Zone!|
Kumusta ang minimahal kong pamilya!
Wow, another week has flown by and another transfer! I'm pretty sure that I'll get a new companion on Wednesday because Sis Pati-on has been here for a long time. I'm really going to miss her. This has been the best companionship as far as teaching and so it's been really fun. Not hardly stressful at all!
This last week was so awesome! We have tons of really progressing investigators and really are really excited about all of them. We have 10 right now with baptismal goal dates for March...hopefully that actually happens :) Yesterday in church, we had 7 investigators come! Sis Pati-on and I were soooooo happy. We saw the first one and we were happy, and then another walked in and another and another....and we just got happier and happier!
I can't remember if I told you about Norgito Equita. He is 72-ish years old and he really loves when we come and teach him. We've invited him to church before and he'll never promise, he always says it's hard to promise but we'll see. So we went to teach him on Tuesday and found out that he had gone to the church last Sunday but he didn't come inside! He said that he didn't see us waiting outside and he was too shy to come in because he didn't know anyone there. So he waited outside for an hour and then he went home. We were so sad when we heard that! So we told him to come to church again on Sunday and we would wait for him. He said "It's hard to promise...but we'll see." And.....He came to church!!!! We were so excited! And he really enjoyed the church too. He said that he'll come again next Sunday and he already has lots of friends. Also, we gave him a Book of Mormon 1 week ago...he's already in Alma. Yep. He's beating me. But he's also retired so when he has nothing to do, he reads. He said that he likes it but sometimes he doesn't understand it. But he does understand the story line. We have high hopes for him that he'll be baptized.
Also, we have another investigator, Sonny Dait, who is also excited for us to come to teach him. It's so fun to be a missionary when you know that they want you to come back again. But he has so many questions, and they're deep questions too, and he listens intently. One of his questions was what if someone was shot and were dying and then the missionaries came and taught him and he accepted it and had faith and repented of his sins and then he died. So he didn't have the chance to be baptized. But he would have. "What then?" he asked. It was PERFECT because our lesson to him right then was the Plan of Salvation. It was such a good lesson! We invited him to church but he said that he has to go fishing every day, otherwise his family doesn't have food. He said that maybe in March because he hopefully will be getting a more regular job. We told him that he needed to exercise his faith and put the Lord first. And that the Lord gave us 6 days to work and one day to go to church. He just smiled and said maybe in March. And then.....he came to church the next day!!!!! We couldn't believe it when he walked in! And he actually knows a lot of the members so he wasn't out of place and he participated a lot in all of the lessons. I am super excited to go back to him and ask how church was for him. He really seemed to enjoy it.
Also, our two recent converts that got baptized this last month, Mel and Gabriel, have been working with all the missionaries. It's so cool to see that they are so excited about it and they want everyone to be baptized. (The recent converts are the best to get to work because they are still so excited from their baptism!) Yesterday, we went to Gabriel and he was so excited when we got there and he ended up teaching us the lesson. He is anxiously preparing to be able to serve a mission and can't wait for his one year to be up. It's so great to see the confidence that he has gained in just the last 6 weeks because when I first got here, he loved the lessons and the church but he was still quiet and not really super outspoken about it. But now, totally different Gabriel!
I seriously feel so blessed to be serving a mission right now! I now know what Alma and Aaron and the sons of Mosiah were talking about when they said that they felt so much joy from sharing the gospel. I have never been so happy in my life as I have been the last few weeks, especially last week. Of course I was happy at home, but this is a different happiness. It's a joy that is deeper than happiness. I get so excited to see people come to church, to see people reading the Book of Mormon, to pray for the first time. We have three kids in the branch here that come to church every Sunday by themselves. Their parents are less active and working in other countries too. But by themselves, they get themselves to church (the oldest is 11). I just feel so blessed that I get to see people here showing their faith to the Lord in so many ways and to see the change in so many people’s lives. A mission is hard, but there are so many blessings that make it worth it!
Well, there is more to tell from this last week (it really was so good!) but wala na ang oras. Hope you all are doing well! I love you!
PS... One funny story: I texted the Zone leaders about that family that isn't married. I said we had a question and asked if they would call us later that night. They forgot to call, so last night I texted them again and said "May tanong kami kay E Batausa tungkol sa kasal. Ayos po ba ngayon?" (We have a question for elder Batausa about marriage. Can we now?) So Elder called us and said "Sister! I am not yet ready to get married! Promise!" Basically, I proposed to the zone leader. It was just a really funny thing about how sometimes my Tagalog doesn't come out exactly how it should :)