|This is the branch president's family. They are so awesome :)|
|This is Mel Francisco! Baptized Feb 14 :)|
Wow! This week was exciting because we had a baptism!!!!! Again! The work is so easy here in Masinloc...the people are so prepared and ready even before we get to them. Our investigator Mel Francisco was baptized on Feb 14 (Valentines Day!) and he was so excited. He is the same age as Dad (I know now how old you are...surprised to find out not 40 anymore!) and he has been ready to be baptized since lesson 1. His best friend is the branch president and so right there, he has an amazing fellow shipper. The branch president answers all his questions that he thinks of when we aren't there anymore so he didn't even have a chance to start doubting our lessons when we weren't there. And, we went to go teach him tithing (the second hardest lesson in my opinion) and he already knew all about it and all the blessing that come from paying tithing. If only that's how missionary work was all the time! After the baptism, he bore his testimony and it was amazing. I just know that he is going to be one of the priesthood leaders here in the branch really soon. And he's already asked if he can work with us and come with us to other lessons. One of my favorite parts about missionary work is seeing them after they have been baptized and confirmed. They literally have a glow about them and a new confidence too.
This morning, three policemen stopped me in the street as we were coming home from playing basketball. They asked if they could take a picture with me. The people here are so funny! I have never been so popular in my life, joke lang. Also, the good news is that here I am losing all the weight that I gained in Gua Gua. My secret: mangos! Everyone says that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, I'm going to have to say it really is Masinloc. The branch president here told me that this is the mango capital of the world and the sweetest mangos come from Zambales, Philippines. Also, all the members and investigators have been giving us mangos!! So we just eat mangos mango mangos! It's great. I'm going to be really sad when mango season ends again.
We found lots of new investigators this last week and lot of our investigators accepted baptismal goal dates. We have 10 hopefully for March 22. If all of them really are ready then, that would be the most exciting day ever… right???
One of the investigators that we found this week is actually a family. For a long time, the father has really, really wanted to get baptized. They said that they've had lots of missionaries teach them but they still haven't been baptized. They said that they all got transferred or the Americans went home and then they lost contact with the missionaries. So I'm thinking, "Hmmmm...if they really wanted to get baptized, the missionaries wouldn't lose track of them. Especially when they had dates too." So I asked when they got married and they said that they haven't been married yet. That's why. Unfortunately, they are super poor. Probably the poorest people that I have met here on the mission and literally don't have the money to get the birth certificate and registration needed for the marriage. Especially because the father is from Cebu which is far away. Sister Pati-on and I were so sad! They committed to a date and were so happy but now we don't know how we can make this happen. In other branches, I know that members have donated money to help a wedding happen, but here the members are all really poor. Most are fishermen. There aren't any professionals here. Something else that made me sad is that the family doesn't know that the problem is that they aren't married. They think that the missionaries got transferred or went home and they lost track of them. But the father said that he hasn't gone to any other church because he knows that this is the right church and there is only one correct church on the earth. It just doesn't seem fair that they want to be baptized so badly and they I'm sure are willing to get married but they can't because they literally don't have the money. Sometimes I feel really spoiled as an American. Even though I feel like I am a poor college student, I'm not poor. My trials back then seem silly sometimes compared to the trials that the people here face every day.
But despite that, I know that Heavenly Father will help us find a way. When there is a will, there is a way! I know that this church is true and this work is a happy work, even when there are some letdowns or kind of bad days. We have to know sadness and frustration to truly know happiness and joy. I love you all!
Mahal ko kayo!