Week 66: Heroes, Scattered Israel and Brother Samuel

Hi πŸ™‚

I love you all and love that I have the opportunity to share my experiences with the people that I love so much here to the people that I love so much there(all of you) πŸ™‚ I also am grateful that you all take the time to read these experiences. They are very dear to me.
We gave our training to the Zone Leaders and STLs and hopefully helped them to see how big of a difference they can make in their missionaries’ missions and told them that they were all heroes. I attached the PowerPoint that I made just in case anyone cared or wanted to see it haha. We can all be heroes in others’ lives especially our family members and friends. Don’t underestimate the power that you have to help lives with the gospel as your best weapon πŸ™‚
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Elder Haynie from the Area Presidency came unexpectedly and spoke with just two Zones from the mission and I was lucky enough to be a part of one of those zones. He changed my mission. I know I only have three months left which is really unfortunate, but he shared things that I wish I knew when I first started. He talked about how Israel has been scattered and it is our job to find them and gather them back to us. He stated “Scatter Israel hangs around gathered Israel”, meaning that those ready to receive the gospel are those that hang out with members of the church whether that mean they are their friends or families. He also said it is easy to tell ih someone is scattered israel or not if they keep commitments. He encouraged us to drop people faster and distinguish faster if people are part of the group. We are going to focus on part member families from now on and after finding new investigators, quickly decide if they are going to progress or not.
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We have already started to apply it by getting a list of part member families in our ward. We found one unexpectedly with Sister Esekia.Β Sister Esekia and I planned to teach the less actives and recent converts that we planned for about the Book of Mormon to see where they were at with their testimony. I asked Sister Esekia what is a scripture that means a lot to her and has helped her in a hard time so she could share it with the members. She picked Mosiah 4:15-16 which I thought was kind of random. Sister Esekia and I were going to teach a less active family and their uncle who just got back from Manila(he was there for 4 years) was there. He had never met missionaries before and even though he was about to smoke a cigarette, we decided to share with him. His wife left him and their child right after their son was born and so Brother raised and is raising the son on his own. I asked if he brought his son to Manila with him and he said of course, I could never leave him that is out of the question. We told him that the love he feels for his son is the same love Heavenly Father feels for him. We all teared up as we explained that the trials he has experienced in his life are not evidence that there is no loving Heavenly Father but rather the opposite and talked about how he has also given us the BoM to deal with those trials. Sister Esekia shared her verse which was PERFECT for this man. The Spirit definitely guided her to that verse as we were planning. We explained about the Holy Ghost and everything and on Sunday, HE CAME TO CHURCH with the family πŸ™‚ For the first time ever; we visited him after and he is excited for his baptism in January and to continue to go to church with his 8 year old son to feel the Spirit and peace even more. We re excited to continue to find and teach part member families.
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We had exchanges and my companions were Sister Neemia(polynesian/my best friend and it was so fun), Sister Southworth(from Mesa) and Sister Esekia(also Samoan). I had two different Samoan companions this week and they are so much fun. I want to live there so that I never stop laughing.
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Sister Neemia and I were basically companions in the MTC and we both beg President every time we see him to let us be companions but he won’t do it 😦 We decided we wanted to teach the family that lived closest to the church so we went to the closest house to the church and they let us in and we taught them about families πŸ™‚ At the end the Mom asked us to put spit on her baby in the form of a cross on his forehead so that she didn’t grow up ugly…yes that has to be the strangest thing I have been asked to do. We didn’t know what to do and we were afraid of offending our new investigators so Sister Neemia did it and I followed. hahahah. We do realize how Catholic that was and should not have done it but it was so so so funny.
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Sister Southworth and I were pretty punted but we stopped at a random funeral to give condolences and help them to know they could see their mother again. This old 70 year old man comes up to us and starts to speak English and pretends he doesn’t understand the Filipino languages. He asked if we were single and when we said yes he did a face to the other men sitting down that was priceless and I wish I could have taken a picture. He invited us to sit down and “convince him that we were the true church” so we sat down and explained our real purpose and he said lots of other religions have tried to convince him but he has not believed them. After sharing our testimonies, he says “okay I believe you, I want you to come back Saturday and continue to share with me and my family.” Even though he was strange, we are excited to share with his family.
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The members here are incredible and so sweet. We have dinner appointments almost every single day and I love getting to know the members and getting closer with them and knowing their stories. The Nanay(Nanay Manog) that I have a picture with is an active active active member and her sons are preparing for missions. She was baptized at age 14 and she was the only one in her family to be baptized and she has remained active ever since. Her parents left her when she was young and she worked and paid her way through school and paid for everything since her teenage years. The conversion stories I think are my favorite because it helps my faith to grow by seeing how strong they have been even through very difficult times.
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I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES πŸ™‚ I also love our Heavenly Father and the love He makes apparent to us every single day.
Sister Prudencio
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