Maupay nga aga!!
I hope you all had a wonderful week. I still pray for you all every single day and I miss you all. Stay safe and happy!
Today, I am officially out of training, so I graduated yesterday from training (we had a ceremony and everything last night with medals and pictures). I know that is kinda lame but it was fun haha. Unfortunately that also means that I have a chance to be transferred tomorrow, but hopefully I will stay here because I have gotten so close with the investigators and ward. The YSAs/ward missionaries are now some of my best friends and I am so grateful for their help and love. (picture attached with below)
My kabalay (housemate) was a cook before her mission so she knows how to make delicious things and she is teaching me! We made my new favorite dessert (mango float) the other day and it was so easy and the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. I am excited to make it for you all when I return.
We have a 9 year old investigator, Joyce, whose entire family are members but her parents are less-active so she didn’t get baptized at 8. When we teach her, her cousins and friends are always there so it is like we are teaching a primary class every day and I love it. Every time we approach their house, they all run out and give me and sister Cerdenia hugs and then hold on so we have to struggle to walk to the house with kids attached to our waists and sides. Funny story about a lesson with them yesterday. We were teaching the 10 commandments and we had just finished repeating and the commandments in Tagalog/Waray like 10 times and we had explained each one in detail, so we explained what it means to not take the Lord’s name in vain and they understood it. We were just getting ready to say the closing prayer, and their cousin (not a member) walks in and says “Oh …) and took the Lord’s name in vain, All the kids looked at her and after the prayer, they all hit her and said “if only you had been here during the whole lesson” and taught her it is not good to say it. We were proud teachers.
I also attached a picture of an FHE that we had at the Lutao family, with another one of our investigators, Renelyn. We played charades but since everyone here knows a lot of English, Tagalog, and Waray-Waray. We had to make a sign to begin to tell them what language it was in, then proceeded to act it out. It was me against Brother Nimrod the whole time and it was so much fun.
We also teach Jean Rose, Sister Gina’s daughter(if you can’t remember Sister Gina is the one who is so happy even though she was without a house and raising the kids on her own. Jean Rose is the only one of her kids not baptized), every day because she will be baptized February 6. For the first month that we were here we tried to teach Jean Rose but she was not interested and was often kind of rude to us. Then after we helped their family the day after the typhoon, and then build their house later, she was always so happy to see us and now she is teaching people in school about the Plan of Salvation and other lessons we have taught her. Gina and her family are in the picture in front of their house.
The last family I want to talk about is the Letran Family. Brother is a leader in the Seventh Day Adventist church here and they are the ones with all the questions. We visited them on Tuesday and he was at work, so Sister Letran called him and he came home from work to listen to our message. Even though he has a lot of questions and knowledge of the Bible, he is so open to our beliefs and wants to know more about our religion. We then visited them Saturday and Brother spent all day(instead of going to his church) researching The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and printing out his questions and the proof he had from Bible, and so I have been researching his questions and diving way deeper into the Bible than ever before. His only hang up with our lessons and religion is the Plan of Salvation. We were able to bear our testimony about Joseph Smith and latter day revelation and the Book Of Mormon and he said he is really excited to read the Book of Mormon so he can find out more about it.
I love this work and I love being a missionary. I love all of the people and experiences that I am having and I hope you all continue to be safe and build your faith everyday. I love my Heavenly Father and the opportunity we have to have such a close relationship with Him, despite the billions and billions of children he has. I know that He hears and cares about every one of my prayers and he does the same for you.
We sang “I Am a Child of God” to start a lot of our lessons this week, and although I had the song memorized by the time I was 7 from singing it so much, it has never meant as much and touched my heart as it has this past week. I know that we are all children of Heavenly Father and he wants us to return to Him.