magandang hapon po sa inyo lahat!
This past week fleeew by. Most assuredly, the next one will too, and I’m pretty sure November will be very quick indeed.
ayon, so last monday was pday as usual…with our usual macdo-computer shop-savemore adventures. haha, although it was one of those pdays where we don’t have support yet, so all the missionaries need food but are way too poor to pay for it.
tuesday we went to district meeting. we had a great lesson from our district leader, Elder Berends, on finding people to teach. I got really excited to go out and work. then we went to mang-inasal for lunch and then as we were about to arrive home…sister solis threw up. so I made her go to bed and we didn’t work the rest of the day. luckily, I think it was just a 24-hour flu thing, so she was fine the next day.
Wednesday we had a full day planned…and then pretty much everything fell through, so we did about 4 hours of just walking around our area, trying to oym and think of other places to go. Something sad also happened…we have one investigator who has committed to be baptized for a while now, but has been trying to overcome his smoking addiction. we showed up for the lesson on wednesday, and the nanay (his mom? anyways..she goes to church every week) says, “pagtulog na siya.” He’s sleeping. and I just stood there looking confused at her because I had just barely seen him. so finally she says, “Lasing siya. next time na lang, sisters.” pambihira. yep, our investigator was drunk. super. so we left. and he didn’t come to church on sunday, either, and hasn’t for a few weeks. so we’re pretty concerned about this situation for now, but we really want to keep trying and try to help him progress again. I just felt really sad as we walked away from his house.
Thursday was very unusual. Wednesday night we received a text about a typhoon, saying that the eye would hit tuguegarao and that there would be a lockdown for the tuguegarao zones from like 1-5pm. finally we all had support (yaay!) and so all the missionaries were at savemore in the morning buying food. we bought food, ate lunch, went home…and the typhoon started. we did more companionship study for her 12 week training, and then I was suuuper tired and took a nap…woke up and the typhoon was still raging outside (level 2) aaaand….lockdown for the whoooole day. happy halloween, haha. then the power knocked out at about 6 and we did the rest of the evening by candlelight. such adventures!
Friday we did our weekly planning in the morning, and then we went to the church to meet Jamvee and Ramvee for their baptismal interview! ….only, Elder Berends texts and says the church was nakalocked. so we met them there, and then jamvee and ramvee’s grandpa brought them on his motorcycle. so then we had to go to the ward 2 elder’s apartment so elder berends could conduct the interview. Sister Solis and I waited outside. the whole thing took longer than we thought, but happily, jamvee and ramvee will be baptized this saturday!!! we just hope their dad doesn’t change his mind….his new strange request is that his kids are baptized by an american, so we arranged for one of the elders to do it so that the baptisms will actually happen this week, haha.
But the best part of Friday was the morning. We were about to start personal study and I looked outside and noticed all our neighbors were cleaning up from after the typhoon. no real damage was done, but there were just tons of tree branches and leaves everywhere. so we changed into regular clothes and went out to help and somehow all our neighbors were gone already. so we thought to go over to Tina’s, one of our investigators, and help her out.
we went there and she was outside sweeping the road in front of her house. we asked if we could help, and she said yes. so we start helping her clean up her yard. after about 30 minutes, her next door neighbor called her over and started asking her questions about us. Tina is already a super great missionary and started telling him all about us and the church. then we went over and introduced ourselves. the mom, Hazel, started asking us lots of questions and seemed really interested in what we had to say. We asked if we could come back another day and teach her more, and she happily agreed and gave us her phone number.
super great, right?
but that’s not even the best part.
like 12 weeks ago, probably the second week I was here, Sister Barril and I tracted that whole neighborhood and OYMed everyone we could find. Hazel was one of them. She didn’t really listen to us and just kept telling us she was busy. After that, everytime we walked past her house, we would say hello if she was outside and she would ignore us.
12 weeks later…she’s prepared. We were at the right place at the right time, and now she is prepared.
We visited her and her family on sunday. She and her husband have 3 kids, the oldest is just 7. all we did was how to begin teaching, but she was super excited that we were there, so willing to listen to our message, and already so open. The Spirit was so strong, and I’m super excited to continue teaching them.
Saturday, though, was the saddest thing. We’ve been teaching the Calluengs pretty much since we got to this area, so for the past 3 months. in total, they’ve been being taught by missionaries for over a year. for a while they progressed, and kept commitments..then they stopped keeping commitments and unfortunately, our lessons now are kind of just…bible study. no matter how much I do to try to help them learn why they need to pray or why scripture reading is important and however many different ways we try to say it–their hearts aren’t into it. So we went to the calluengs’ on Saturday night, and I had this new idea that I was hoping would help them to remember the testimonies they already have. We got there, and it was just super awkward at first, because I couldn’t think of a single thing to say or ask them about…so we just started the lesson. then Jane says, “sister…magiging Iglesia na ako…sorry sister..” Her boyfriend, who is Iglesia (Iglesia ni Cristo….it’s a big religion here in the philippines..), has been trying to get her to convert. but I guess now they are getting married, and so she just decided to convert to make him happy. so that pretty much broke my heart, and all I could think to say was, “malungkot kami, sister..” we are sad. and she said, “malungkot ako din sister, kasi, hindi pa ready ako sister..” she didn’t feel ready to make the decision, but she did anyway. the whole rest of the lesson was just really hard. at the end, I just bore my testimony. I felt the Spirit really strong in my heart, and my testimony was confirmed to me again. but then we left. and I was just heartbroken. and not sad because I felt like I had failed, but sad because for the past 3 months I’ve been working every single day to help them understand and accept the gospel and wanting them to gain these blessings so badly..and then knowing that she is choosing to walk away from the most beautiful blessings there are, and choosing to walk away from Christ. It’s another one of those times when I felt the smallest piece of the sorrow of our Heavenly Father. But I just went home and prayed and prayed that she would have more chances to receive the gospel, and that hopefully one day, she will accept it. I know God isn’t giving up on her. Not at all. He will keep trying, and will always keep trying.
This week will be exciting because the Philippines area president, Elder Nielsen, is doing a mission tour of our mission. We will be having a devotional wednesday night with him and then zone conference on thursday. he’ll also be doing apartment inspections so let’s just say our CR (bathroom) is a lot cleaner now than it’s ever been, haha.
I love you all! I really loved seeing halloween pictures. hope all is well with you at home.