Maupay na Kulop 🙂
I know that it is not even February anymore but that is the only word I could think of as I tried to think of a subject line to summarize this week.
I don’t mean to sound cliche pero I love these people more than I ever imagined I could love them. I love them like I love my family and that is what has driven me to give everything that I could give for them for the past 18 months. I can’t imagine serving anywhere else or getting to teach any other kind of people. I am biased but Filipinos are the best. I wish you could all have a chance live here and love them and get to know them because I can’t do it justice with words in describing them. They just know how to love and find joy in any circumstance.
President Maurer asked me last week to go to Mission Leadership Council(even though I am not an STL anymore) and to give an hour training to “try to explain how having enthusiasm and attitude for this work really does bring results…and joy and satisfaction…and help leaders to enthuse other missionaries to be “actively” involved in the work…and make success happen.” He then asked me to give tips on the things that I have learned on my mission. I felt so inadequate and nervous to give such a training. I prayed and fasted and worked on it for a week to make sure the Spirit could teach the right things and guide me to the right things to say to the leaders of Tacloban Mission…Heavenly Father did not let me down…again. The Spirit was so strong, that even I learned things from what He put in my mouth to say. Anyways, I focused on LOVE. I did a role play of how to show love to the missionaries that they are leaders over and the Sister that I called on, Sister Portin, started crying in the middle of the role play and when I ashed her how she felt after, all she said was “loved”. I talked about how we need to not only show our love to those missionaries but equally as important to the people that we teach everyday, to our investigators. That we need to help them feel loved, important, and to see their potential. I am sharing this because I realized that is not just the “secret” to missionary work…it is the way to enjoy life. We all need to love whoever is around to be loved and help others to see their potential and worth here in this life. One of the things the Spirit led me to say was, “You often see more in your investigators than they see in themselves; tell them what you see and help them to realize and live up to their potential” and “Whomever you are speaking to should feel like the most important person to you at that moment”. The 10 commandments all stem from that very thing..LOVE. I am excited to love when I get home and show it. I would just hope that we all try to do the same in our daily activities. Love others. It’s that simple.
I love Sister Beverly. Sister Beverly was baptized on Saturday 🙂 She bore her testimony that she knows that this is the true church and thanked Joseph Smith for restoring it and that she could be baptized and cleaned. She already has so many friends at the church and is excited to serve a mission:) We are so happy for her and also the influence she will have on her family.
I love Brother Jason. Brother Jason(Gamay) is someone that I have mentioned a few times in the past few weeks. He is so unique and is like a little brother to me now. The other day he was standing on the side of the road and he saw us drive by and he clapped and smiled that big smile you see in his pictures. We went and taught a new investigator(one Jason has never met) and just as we were about to close, Jason shows up. We asked how he found us and he had ran all the way from his house to find us so he could join us. We were playing a hand shake game that everyone in the Philippines seems to know goes, “Nanay, Tatay, gusto ko tinapay, ate kuya gusto ko kape…” Which means ” mom dad I want bread, older brother older sister, i want coffee.” I stopped as he said coffee and said what do you want? since we have already taught him Word of Wisdom and he said coffee and I asked,jokingly, is that allowed? and he said no it isn’t. So we started over and he said said coffee again so I said WHAT? and he started laughing and he said okay lets start over. Let he said “nanay tatay gusto ko tinapay, ate kuya gusto ko gatas” and then we started laughing a lot because gatas means milk. Those are just a few stories to help you understand his personality some more.
On Sunday he was supposed to get interviewed for his baptism this coming week but he didn’t come. Brother Ian, Jason’s mentor best friend and roommate, told us that his family came by the other day and made Jason come home and he needs to live with them again. I have already explained Jason’s family how they beat him and didnt enroll him in school and never threw him a birthday party. Sister Osma and I were so worried all through church and cried most of the time because of our worries. He had just told us the other day that he was never going to move back home because they wouldn’t let him go to the true church. Our hearts broke for him.
We went and visited his family after church and after a month of Jason not drinking and knowing it was wrong, his dad gave him alcohol and he got drunk before we got there. I have never seen brother Jason like that; he was like a drunk missionary because he made everyone sit down and started teaching us every single thing we had tuaght him over the last month and kept saying he wanted to go around helping people by teaching the gospel but it wasn’t Brother Jason. We sat down and talked with his dad who just wants Jason to help him out around the house and farm and he is letting Jason get baptized and “become a Mormon” but Jason has to live there. With a dad that lets him drink and that beats him really bad when he is drunk.
We still don’t know what we are going to do about it. We are just praying and fasting at this point that his dad will let him live with Ian again.
I love Sister Jennifer. Sister Jennifer is Joan’s older sister and has been an investigator for almost 5 years now. She is 23 years old now and her whole family got baptized except for her. For those 5 years, she jsut let missionaries come and teach her but she never went to church or read the Book of Mormon. Sister Jennifer had a mighty change of heart and now she is reading every day and she comes to church every Sunday even if her sisters in law(who are also investigators) don’t come with her. She is excited to get baptized now and her family is also so so so happy.
I love Sister Precious. Sister Precious is a new investigator that we found a few weeks ago. She is 28 and has 4 kids. We weren’t able to get back to her house for awhile. When we finally returned, she said, “Sisters I have been praying that you would come back and I see you walk by my house all the time hoping you will visit me”. Her mom who she is so close to is in the hospital and she cried to us and begged us to pray for her and help her to know what she should do because her mom is kind of far from her. We all cried together as we shared about eternal families and the Atonement. Just the other day, we randomly saw her in downtown and she had just come from the hospital. The doctors say her mom isn’t getting any better and might not have that long to live. She told us that if we hadn’t visited her the other day and shared to her that she could still see her mom and have fun with her and make memories with her after this life, she would be a wreck right now and so sad but not that she knows she can see her again, she isn’t that sad and she is content with the fact that maybe this is just God’s plan.
Earlier, we went hiking and then to water falls and then we got buko or silot again:) It was the best, last P-day a Sister could ask for and I love the people here in San Juanico Ward. Even Sister Jessa(who we had an FHE with last night) came!! She was just baptized and not a youth like the rest of the people who came but she really enjoyed herself.
Lastly but not least, I love you all. SO MUCH. And even though it will break my heart in a few weeks to leave this place and these people…I know that I have all of you to see and love back home.