I can’t express how happy I am! Thinking about all of the experiences and things I have done this week brings a permanent smile to my face so this email will just be about those experiences. I have never worked harder than I did this week or loved missionary work as much I have this week. I didn’t get transferred and Sister Healey is still my companion! 🙂 So that makes Catbalogan my longest area and I am so glad. We had 13 investigators come to church on Sunday and they are all so incredible and willing to get baptized.
Here are some of the incredible experiences we had this week:
THE BUSTILLO FAMILY: On Monday we visited the Bustillo family (the ones who were just baptized a month ago that I sent pictures). Even from three months ago, when I first got here they have changed so much adn have a visibly brighter countenance and light of Christ. They read the Book of Mormon everyday and are the first ones at church every Sunday. Brother’s uncle has started going to church with them and he is deaf. But he said when he went to church, he could hear everything and he didn’t have a problem now with his hearing. But as soon as he leaves the church, he can’t hear again.
Then Sister started bearing testimony of the Holy Ghost and how when she has a hard time understanding what she is reading, she prays and asks for help and then she can understand perfectly what she reads. She also said that one time she did this, the Holy Ghost whispered to her that she needs to be modest to read and so now, before she starts reading in her house she changes to be modest. (Before she was always in tank tops and stuff). They are true true converts to this gospel and I love them and their example to me.
THE PINCAS FAMILY: Last week, we did an on the spot teaching to three people on this bench and one of them was this brother who is a principal at a school and so we decided to visit his house this week. We taught him, his wife(who is a bookkeeper for the governor) and one of their sons. We taught them about the Restoration and they are very intelligent so they understood and we gave them a book of Mormon and told them that we would explain about it the next time but that if they had time they could read it. We (Sister Lizardo and I) went back just a few days later (even though we usually wait longer than that) but we decided it was the right time to go back. Sister had a read a little from the Book of Mormon but just opened to a random page and read the chapter so of course she was confused. We explained it and then read the introduction with them and invited them to read some and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We explained what it feels like when the Holy Ghost testifies of something and then invited Sister to give the closing prayer and in her prayer she said “please help us to read this book and learn for ourselves that it is true like the Sisters say…” She said amen and I realized she was crying. I told her not to be shy to cry and asked her why she was. She first said that she is just emotional and then she pointed to her heart and said she could feel what I was describing. She could feel the Holy Ghost telling her that the Book of Mormon is true. One of the biggest smiles I have ever worn followed her answer.
THE ADINA FAMILY: The Adina family runs a CMD business that started Salt Lake City and they have come to church almost for a whole month now. Leo, Malitia, Mac, and Shauna. They are such kind people. At first, Brother loved to argue and express all his strange opinions, but since then he has changed and he doesn’t argue anymore, he just listens and says funny things sometimes that are out of wack in gospel principles. (better than the first Sunday he came to church and he stood up and lifted up his shirt) BUT they are amazing now. We visited them on Wednesday and we have been on the first lesson for the past few weeks because brother likes to talk and they like to dissect everything we say. We asked them if they read from the Book of Mormon and they all had and then Mac(the 21 year old boy) told us he knows that it is true. And then Shauna did and then Brother and Sister Adina told us they know it is true too. Brother Leo told us that the Book of Mormon answers the questions from the Bible and so we committed them all to get baptized next month. I have attached a picture with them 🙂
COLLEGE GIRL: Sorry I can’t remember this girl’s name. We were trying to find more investigators last night and we walked past this house with a bunch of college aged people sitting on the porch. So we walked up and started to talk to them about their school, work, life, etc. They invited us in and we just taught them that they are children of God and they have so much potential and since we still have a long life ahead of us we need to always remember our potential and that every decision we make will determine our future. Then I just asked if they had any questions, even if it was just about Mormons in general so we could clear up anything they had heard or any curiosities. They asked the differences between Mormons and Catholics and then one girl (who was listening more intently than the rest) asked about the Catholic confession thing and Danica talked about how we confess to God unless it is a serious sin. And I bore testimony about the Atonement and how we are all just people and sometimes we are weighed down by the guilt of sin, but that all that can be taken away through repentance and baptism and she started tearing up and her little smile that showed she had that hope will also be forever engraved in my mind.
I love being a missionary and I love the people here in the Philippines.
Of course there needs to be a…
FUNNY STORY 🙂 Soooo I have been told a few times that I have the same face as “Mama Mary” (compliment? undecided) So we were teaching the Lominoque family with all the kids and Sister had just gotten back from a Seminar at school where they just showed Jesus Christ’s Atonement and she was saying how he is still alive and then they started saying that Mama Mary is still alive too. One of the little girls said “mama mary is still alive?” and then another girl answered yes, and the girl turned to me, dead serious, and said “Are you Mama Mary?” This little 7 year old girl believed with all her heart that Mama Mary was in her house and that I was her. I had to break the news that Mama Mary is dead and it was the same face I imagine a kid makes if you just killed their puppy. hahah. She was shocked.
Anyways, this week has been incredible. I love you all and continue to pray for you all. I want to bear testimony of the things that I learned from the people here this week that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and that it can help change lives. That the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion and friend to guide us to what we should do. And that the Atonement is real…. And that I am not Mama Mary.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
The Dela Cruz family(that I have been teaching for 3 months now who are all members) came to church for the first time on Sunday!! (pictured)
We picked mangoes today with one of our less active Grandma’s and I pretended to be a sloth and koala bear. The koala bear looks too much like a koala bear to show you – I apologize haha.
Also watch this and share it. If you haven’t done so already.