Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014 Hellooooo! The best week!

On exchanges with Sis Jayaweera (she's from Sri Lanka).  One year ago, I sent a pic beside a Bataan Death march kilometer marker when I was in Gua Gua. I think it was around km 89.  Now you can see how much closer I've moved to the start of it!


My investigators from Sta Cruz got baptized last last week!!!!!!  Manolito Arong, Erick Racza, and Tessie Gilig!!!!!! It's so amazing to see that the investigators that I found were finally baptized!!!!!!!!  I wish I could have been there but that's okay.  That's how missionary work is sometimes 

 We had the best week last week!  We are seeing so many blessings of missionary work right now!  So last month we had a pretty rough month as far as stats.  We felt like we were doing everything that we could but we didn't get any baptisms or LAR (less actives returned to active).  That was my first month my whole mission that I got zeros on everything (in Gua Gua I always had zero baptisms but always had less actives coming back to church).  Sis Leakehe and I were really feeling like we should be released as STLs because we have no moral authority to be advising other missionaries what to do.  We talked about what we are doing wrong and tried to see what we could do to change our work and if there was more that we could have done last month.

But this Sunday we had the best Sunday of my whole mission!  We had 7 investigators come to church which in and of itself is a pretty cool thing because several of them were investigators that we have been trying to get to come for a while.  And then the best thing was that two of our investigators bore their testimony up in the front!!!  It was amazing and I was so close to crying because the spirit was so strong and I was so happy!  One of the was Rome Justin who is 15 years old and is golden!  He is going to be a leader someday I can tell.  From the first time we taught him and his mom Lovely, he came to church and hasn't missed since and goes to seminary every day too.  He got up and bore his testimony and said that even though his parents haven’t agreed to let him get baptized, he knows that this church is true and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God.  He said that he doesn't know when he’ll be able to get baptized but he knows it is all true and he is going to keep learning and studying because this church can answer all his questions.  And then after him, his friend that he started bringing to seminary and is now being taught by the missionaries, got up and bore her testimony too.  (The kids that are members sometimes don’t come to seminary, let alone invite their friends to come.  Justin is more like a member than they are!) Our branch kind of struggles with people going up and bearing their testimony and usually there is a lot of silence and then it’s always the same people that bear their testimony.  And the missionaries always have to bear their testimony which isn't a bad thing, but we get to bear our testimony every day so we want to give the chance to the members.  And then after our investigators bore their testimony, other members got up who haven’t borne their testimony in a long time and said that they felt challenged by the investigators who weren't baptized yet but still bore their testimony.  The spirit was so strong in the sacrament meeting and we have some really amazing investigators right now!
Elena and Erika Mandi!  Our investigators

And Delio came to church again with his wife and he is still really excited to be baptized.  His friends are already calling him Mormon but he is okay with that!  And another investigator, Lizette, FINALLY came to church.  She was supposed to be baptized last May but they were waiting for birth certificates and stuff to come because they have to get married first.  And then she just stopped coming to church and stopped doing the commitments that we gave her.  Sis Leakehe wanted to just drop her because she was making no progress but I said "no, we need to stick with her".  She is so close and I can see that she does want to get baptized.  Last Tuesday, we went to them after not going for a little while and I was kind of bold with them and told them that it was a commandment to get married even if they can’t afford a big wedding with food and stuff.  Even if it is very simple and only have juice and crackers as a little snack.  And that we are doing everything we can for them because we want them to be able to go to the temple.  So we left it at that and then went back to them last Friday and there was a change about her and her "husband".  They said that they have picked a date to get married (August 16) which is the first time I have heard them say that.  They usually keep pushing it back saying that they don’t have money.  And they are really excited about the goal to go to the temple.  And then on Sunday, they walked into the church and we were so happy!  Every week that I have been here they have said that they will go, and this week they finally did!!!!  So now we get to plan a wedding!  Which will be kind of fun.  So that’s our big plans for the next two weeks and then she’ll get baptized on August 30.  Yay!!!

We are finally seeing the progress here in Pilar.  We were a little disheartened last month but I think that the Lord was wanting me to learn patience and learn that it is all in His timing.  I think August will be a really good month for Pilar but we needed to learn that even though we are STL’s, we are still on the Lord’s errand and His timing and no matter what we do, if it is not the will of the Lord, it will not happen.  It was a good reminder to me.  Although, to be honest, I don’t know why I have this calling and I have felt that way since I was made STL.  There are a lot more sisters that are way more talented and have lots of baptisms and lots of success.  But I guess there is a reason for it and I just need to try and do my best. Well, I love you all!  Summer is coming to an end (which is weird because it is winter here.  And I am FREEZING!!!  I thought the Filipinos were crazy last August saying that it was cold, but it really is cold now that I’m used to it here.) Everyone have a lot of fun for me! And my challenge to you is to follow the example of my two investigators and share your testimony once this week to someone that you come in contact with.

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Sirrine

Wawa destruction still


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