|Sisters at Mount Samat|
Well, we had a really good week this week! Today, we had a zone activity in the morning where we got to go up to Mount Samat which is a World War II memorial here in Pilar. Right now, I am assigned in Pilar, Bataan which is where the Bataan Death March happened. So they built a huge memorial at the top of a mountain and it is a huge cross that you can go inside and ride up the elevator to almost the top and look over the entire Bataan valley. Sooooo pretty! In the museum, we read a bunch of stuff about the Bataan death march and it was neat because I know where all the places are and have been to most of them. They said that they made the American soldiers walk from Mariveles (in my zone) through to San Fernando (different mission but right next to Gua Gua, my first area). They marched it in four days with no water in April, which is the hottest month here in the Philippines. The death rate was about 350 per day. Living here in the Philippines and reading all that has given me a new appreciation for what really happened. In April, we were super thirsty and drinking over 3 liters a day and we weren’t even walking all day. We got to stop and teach. It was a really neat memorial and I’m super grateful that I got to see it. And it was absolutely beautiful over there. It looked a lot like Hawaii. I have a ton of really cool pictures but they all got deleted so I’m going to try and get my memory card fixed and I’ll email them next week.
As for the work, it was a super great week. In my zone, we had a challenge week where the districts battled against each other with some competitions. One competition was how many lessons we got in a day, new investigators, lessons taught to recent converts/less actives, etc. Normal missionary stuff. So we tried really hard to get a lot of lessons in every day. The other part of the challenge was that we had a word of the day that we had to mention somehow when we were contacting people on the street like tennis ball, Christmas tree, bato, tulawin etc. Suuuuuper funny! Great ice breaker! People probably thought we were crazy half the time asking for tennis balls (those are rare here) and Christmas trees (obviously, it’s July….there aren’t Christmas trees yet…). The best one was nakakpagbabagabag. It’s a tongue twister in Tagalog and most of us couldn’t even say it. It means that you feel bad about something, like your conscience. There are some really funny stories in our zone from the word of the day. We also had challenges in our apartment like who could drink a soda fastest, eat 2 Skyflakes without water (like saltines), suck up milk powder from a straw the fastest (that was hard), and who could hold a chunk of ice the longest (that was a boring challenge. You just had to sit and wait). It really made this week super fun and added something new to missionary work. We don’t know yet which district won the competition but I’ve heard it’s close.
And….we had 4 investigators come to church this week! One was Rome Justin who has now come 3 times and really wants to be baptized. We still need to get permission of his dad first. The other was Delio and his wife and son. Oh man, I think he is golden. It was so great to see a family come to church! That is the first time that has happened to me here in the mission and it was super exciting. I could imagine all of them being baptized together and then going to the temple. And the members were super welcoming and they looked like they really enjoyed church. This last week we taught them about the Book of Mormon and gave them a copy. When we gave it to Delio, he said “Is this book following me? I remember that I was given one when I was in elementary and now you sisters showed up and gave me another.” And they accepted a baptismal goal date for August! So that will be exciting!
There were so many exciting things that happened this week. I feel like I don’t have time to write them all. I also got to do exchanges and be companions with sis Pati-on again. It was fun to be companions with her again. I miss her a lot and it’s fun to see how much we have both grown since we were companions! Well, I hope that you all had a great week! Hope you’re all having fun this summer and sharing your testimonies with the people around you!
Mahal ko kayo lahat!