Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014 Hello! Hello!

FHE at Herson Estipular's home.  With a lot of branch members too.  Sobrang masaya!\

A pretty flower I found.  There are TONS of flowers here! Flower is bulaklak in Tagalog.

Kumusta ang pamilya ko?

Well, this week was really great.  It started off that on Monday, we had an FHE at the home of one of our investigators, Herson Estipular.  He really really wants to be baptized and knows the church is true and if other people ask him, he says that he is Mormon (he's been an investigator for a long time).  The problem is that he smokes.  So we decided to have an FHE at his house and it was super fun.  We had the branch president there and RS president and other branch members so I think that they really felt the support of the branch.  (In the picture, I have flour on my face.  That was one of the games we played) We have been praying for him for several weeks now and trying to think of what we could do to help him quit smoking because lots of missionaries have gone to him and so far, no luck.  So we need to do something different.  Then I happened to pick up a missionary book and there was a section just on helping investigators quit smoking.  The way is by focusing on the atonement of Jesus Christ and asking them to quit smoking for 24 hours to show their love to the Savior.  Then you go back before the 24 hours are up and recommit them.  So that's what we are trying to do.  The first day, he promised that he wouldn't smoke and he didn't!  The second day he wasn't able to do it.  The third day, he smoked one cigarette but his daughter caught him and so he didn't finish it.  So now we're on day 4.  I think he's kind of sick of us coming to him everyday but I just know that he can do it!  He really wants to be baptized and he really loves his family so that's what we are going to really focus on.  Hopefully this is the answer to all our prayers for him!  He is really smart and good at the scriptures and has the potential to be a leader someday so we are trying to really focus on him.  Hopefully he will be our April baptism!

Also, I think I told you about Ellen and Melvin...or maybe not.  I forget.  Everything kind of runs together here.  But anyway, they are golden investigators!  They came to church again this week and they are on track to be baptized in March.  Ellen cried a little bit in church yesterday because she said that all of her kids were baptized in the Born Again church, except Melvin.  He didn't want to.  She said that he's never wanted to go to church until now.  So she is really grateful and wants all of her kids to listen to us.  It was a little funny because on Saturday, we taught them word of wisdom and the 6 year old daughter walked in on the lesson drinking coffee.  Ellen was a little embarrassed.  She said that they are all addicts to coffee but they will stop.  Melvin stopped immediately.  He went and bought some chocolate powder instead.  Ellen just had one cup yesterday but is trying really hard not to.  I'm so so so excited for their family!  We're just a little nervous about the father not agreeing to their baptism but we'll keep praying for his heart to be softened.  I know that with faith, anything can happen!

Other than that, pretty normal.  We were punted some days this week and some investigators are hiding from us but that's okay, we found some new ones.  That's the nice thing here:  there are lots of people that are ready for the gospel.  Unfortunately we have 4 investigators that have Word of Wisdom problems.  That's been our biggest challenge this week in trying to seek inspiration to help them.  It's just so hard when you want to do everything to help them but it's just so addictive.  I'm so glad that I never even had the desire to try any of that stuff.

Well, I know that the church is true.  I'm so grateful for all the challenges that I have faced here in the mission and am continuing to face.  I know that I have grown in so many ways here.  Also, I'm so grateful to be a part of people's lives in this way.  It's really humbling to be a part of such a big change in people's lives.  And I've also really grown to realize how important the atonement is for us.  The more that I learn about it, the more I realize I don't know.

I love you all!  Hope you have a great week!

Sister Sirrine


This week we had a wild morning.  So apparently here in the summer time, the water is kind of weak.  It's been sputtery and sometimes has only a little bit of water.  But then one morning, I exercised and ate breakfast and ran up to take a shower.  I was the last one.  Sis Salado came out of the room and said "I've got bad news for you.  There's no water." As in none.  The pipes were dry. But I really really really needed to shower.  (You can't miss a day of showers here!) So I decided to study first and see if the tank would fill up with a little bit of water and then shower just before proselyting.  I was so lucky that after an hour we had just a trickle of water coming out of the pipes.  So I put a bucket under the tap and got it filling up and took a bucket shower.  Not super effective because the bucket never did fill up and there was only a tickle coming out.  But it was better than nothing.  And then, at lunch time there was still no water.  So, we used our water storage for drinking and the food and then came the time that Sis Salado and I needed to wash the dishes.  There was water outside in the garden (I don't know where it was coming from) so we filled up a bucket with water.  But the water had dirt in it.  So remembering all my survival skills from when I was back at home with Johnny, we got a piece of cloth and held it over a pot and strained the water through it.  And then proceeded to boil our water so that it didn't have bacteria in it.  (the water really isn't safe here if it isn't filtered) I felt like such a boy scout!  And like I was camping.  But eventually, we got clean water (a little bit hot) and were able to wash our dishes.  It was an adventure!

March 3, 2014 March Already!

My las pic with Sis Pati-on!

Me and syril De Claro (granddaughter of Merlina)

Hello Family!

Wow this week went by super fast!  We had transfer day on Wednesday and I got a new companion: Sis Salado!  Again!  Everyone couldn't believe that we were assigned as companions again.  It's kind of unusual with how many sisters there are in the mission now.  But I was excited because I learned so much from her.  And I guess I still have more to learn.  Hopefully she was excited to get me as her companion again...haha

Baptism of Merlina De Claro!!!!

The big news of the week is that we had a baptism this week!  Sister Merlina De Claro was baptized on Feb 28. It's been a long road to her baptism because at first her husband wouldn't agree to it.  But eventually, he agreed.  so we went to her the morning of the baptism and she was really sad that Sister Pati-on got transferred.  And, she was really feeling the influence of Satan trying to get her not to be baptized.  She asked if we could do the baptism on another day.  She said that she didn't feel ready.  We got really worried and assured her that she was ready.  We read some scriptures and told her that was what Satan wanted her to think, that she wasn't ready.  So she agreed.  She showed up to the church and we could see she was still hesitant.  But when she came up out of the baptismal font, she had the biggest smile on her face.  She said that she had the best feeling and all the other feelings from earlier were gone.  And then she bore a wonderful testimony afterwards.  It was short, but definitely from her heart. And it was so great to see her on Sunday at church because usually she is really quiet and shy and doesn't talk to people at church.  Just us.  But yesterday, she was smiling and talking to people and looked like she was really enjoying church.  That's one of my favorite things about a mission:  seeing the change in people when they accept baptism and the Holy Ghost.  It is literally an immediate change.  It's really neat.

We had one sadness this week.  Our investigator Norgito eguita (77 years old) was really sad that Sis Pati-on got transferred, espcially that it was so sudden.  so now he doesn't want to come to church.  I think that it's because he's afraid that he'll get attached to people and then they'll leave him.  that's the hard thing about teaching older people.  They get attached to the missionaries really easily.  But we're going to work hard to find him fellowshippers and hopefully he'll realize that he needs the church.  He's already finished the BoM and he's only had it for 2 weeks!
Our investigator Norgito Eguita (in pink) and Elder Doyle the couple missionary

Other than that, it was a pretty normal missionary week.  We have one family that I'm getting really excited about.  They came to church yesterday and they are really interested in the lessons.  They are keeping their commitments and I'm really hoping that the mom and the son will be baptized this march.  I'm a little worried about the father because he doesn't want to listen to us and so we are worried that he won't agree.  But we are trying to talk to him and soften his heart so he'll let his family be baptized.  And hopefully him!!!

well, I love you all!  I hope that you are all doing well and reading your scriptures daily.  I know the church is true!

Mahal ko kayo!
sister Sirrine