I love and miss you all so much! Its so awesome to get to write you all my experiences during the week. Its been hard to remember them all on monday haha. This is seriously the best gift ever. Thank you so much
Okay it is now wednesday. This week has been so great. One of our tinituruan is progressing really well right now. Her name is Tessie. She is a 61 year old lady, with a 10 year old daughter. They came with us to church last week and REALLY loved it. They
are excited to go back next week. But the really cool thing is that her daughter, ella, is diving into the scriptures. She had all sorts of questions for us. Tessie says that ella has been reading out loud to her a ton. She is in mosiah in her reading,
and asked a ton of questions about king benjamen and mosiah and stuff. It was seriously so awesome. That, and the previous visit we had written the way to pray in their book of mormon, but hadn't yet taught it. When we came, we started teaching it and tessie
said, "yes, yes, I know all this. Ella read what you wrote and taught me how to pray. she is my little teacher." Seriously how awesome is that?? She is gonna come to church with us again this sunday. Our church is irregular this week. We are all meeting
at buen dia chapel, the first chapel EVER in the philippines. Their is either going to be a broadcast of Jeffrey R Holland or he will be there live. We aren't really sure, but everyone is talking about it right now. The cool thing too about nanay tessie,
is how excited and on fire our recent convert cesar is. he is so happy. During our visit (the one where we were going to extend the baptismal invitation) cesar shared his testimony and said, "when you are baptized tessie, then we have 5 more friends to invite"
we were really surprised and so was she haha! she responded, "wait you are going to baptize me huh," then pointed an acusing finger at us "you two never told me that." she is seriously so spunky. she reminds me so much of granny. We were planning on it
but i guess cesar beat us to it haha! its okay, she's progressing really well and it has been very fun to share with her and ella. Their baptismal date will be on january 26th. Im very excited for that, but a little worried since that is 3 days after transfer
day. Its ok. It only matters that she's there right??
During my personal study this week I searched for ways to improve myself as a missionary. We are here for only so long, and i want to constantly become more like my savior. I want to work my hardest to become who he wants me to be. i studied this week about
the principles of talking with everyone. i studied about Ammon and his brethren who "preached in their synogogues, streets, hills, temples..." I thought about how well these men lived the principle of talking with everyone and wondered how I could better
live this principle in my mission. As I searched for the reason and the motivation behind their constant sharing, I remembered reading a verse about the character of these men. As I read it again, my soul was impressed on the compassion and conversion that
these men had to their savior and how badly they wanted to bring souls unto him. IT says in mosiah 28:3, "-they were desirious that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish-" wow. Can you feel
the power and emotion in those words? They COULD NOT BEAR, that their brethren should perish in unbelief. They truly recognized and saw the devine potential in everyone. They looked at people as the way they could become, not the way they are now. I find
that this christlike gift is a beautiful and essential part in the sharing of the gospel of jesus christ. He views us as what we can become, not our current state of imperfection. i hope that through increased prayer and love for the people here that I can
acheive this christlike gift and view everyone as they can be.
I also studied captain moroni and the story of the title of liberty. i thought of how he prepared his people in righteousness always, and how even through many trials, his time was one of the happiest in nephite history. I thought of how to apply his principles
in my work. I thougt about how he hoisted the title of liberty everywhere he went. in EVERY city. In EVERY tower. In EVERY home. I thought about how I can lift the standard of liberty everywhere that I go. I made a decision for myself that I would sttrive
to share a verse at every door knocked or every person who we talk to. I believe that doing this will increase our spirituality and provide us with more opportunities to testify of our savior and redeemer. After talking with my companion, we decided to act
on my personal revelation and strive to hoist our title of liberty everywhere that we went. It was amazing. We had the opportunity to teach SO MANY PEOPLE. We were already sharing verses at every lesson or visit, but doing it with EVERYONE we talked to
was absolutely great. The day felt so full of spiritual power and Ii felt wonderful. I promise that the book of mormon has power. Back home, dont limit your spiritual learning to the home. Read a couple verses everywhere you go and I promise that you will
fiind renewed energy and peace in your home.
To add to this promise I will share an experience with you. In preparation for my mission, I desired to obtain a stronger testimony of the scriptures and feel their influence always in my life. i desired their uplifting message constantly, especially at work.
I made a plan that I would drive to work 20 mins early and read a chapter of the book of mormon while I waited for work to start. Some of my fondest and most spiritual experiences occured in the grocery outlet parking lot. The opportunity to sit and spiritual
enrich myself before my work was one of the greatest blessings I've had in my life. And i promise you that I saw a huge difference in my work capacity and enjoyment. Work seemed easier, I was happier, and I felt the spirit stronger than ever before in my
life. For me, this was a turning point in my testimony of the gospel of jesus christ. I began to set reading habits during other times of the day, including a chapter before school and study each night. Setting those habits of earnestly searching the scriiptures
were one of the best ways I prepared for my mission. I am very grateful that the spirit prompted me to turn to the scriptures during that time of my life. I never had a happier time. That is one thing I can promise without a doubt. I had never been happier.
I felt so free and unbelievably light. I promise that if you set the daily habits of consistent and FREQUENT study of the word of god, that you will be uplifted. When life throws its winds at you, turn to your savior. Turn to his words. he is the rock that,
"if men build upon, they cannot fail" I wish I could adequetly put into words the joy that the book of mormon brings to my soul. I wish I could adequetly descirbe the peace that I felt. I KNOW that this book is true. I know now more than ever that this
church is true. I love the book of mormon most of all because of its powerful witness of our savior jesus christ. I promise that as we immerse ourselves in his gospel in all times and in all places, that we will feel the power of his redeeming love and feel
the promptings of the spirit more powerfully in our lives.
I LOVE the people here. They are seriously so wonderful. We have been doing a lot of finding lately in an effort to bring the gospel to as many people as possible. I seriously love getting to talk to so many kind hearts. It is so fun to be accepted into
their homes and talk with them, laugh with them, play with their kids, and share with them. i feel like I connect really well with the culture here. How could you not though? they are so wonderful, anyone would feel at home here. They are so complimentary
and kind. They tell me that I am the "happiest foreignor they have ever met" I feel like Im the luckiest foreignor I know. I honestly feel so blessed to be assigned here in the philippines. i can trouly testify of the worth of souls here in the philippines.
They are the most precious people I have ever met. How can a people, who go through so much hardship and heartache, be amongst the happiest and most grateful people I have ever met? How can people, who live in tiny makeshift houses thank God so earnestly?
How can those who barely have enough to feed themselves insist on buying us food every time we visit? My heart aches for the sufferings of these people, but joys in the purity and greatness of their hearts. These people are special. There are so many wonderful
things about this culture. They are so family and community oriented. Whether you are a friend or a stranger, you are welcome at their dinner table. Whether they know you or not, they are happy to talk to you and listen to you. What a special people.
Their hearts are truly of gold. Sometimes when I walk around at night, I think about how lucky I am to be here and how much I will miss this place someday. I thank my heavenly father for my assignment here. Months ago I could not have anticipated the love
I would feel for these people. But now that I am here, It feels like they have always been a part of me.
Friday was really fun, we had a ward basketball night. A lot of non members showed up and we found a guy who grew up in the church but was never baptized. We are really excited to visit them. After bball, we slept at the San juan house with Elder Ladao,
Elder Davis, Elder Selvan, and one of our zone leaders (they were on splits) elder Moser. It was really fun. We ate fish and rice, and then had some wrestling matches which was awesome! My favorite was to wrestle Elder Ladao. he is a tiny little guy but
is actually really strong.
Our tinituruan are doing really well and I have high hopes for the people we are teaching right now! Transfers are next week and I feel like I have an idea of what is gonna happen, but Ill wait till everything happens to tell. We just got back from hours of
pday basketball with Elder Mulipola and Elder Grothe. man I have such great friends in this mission. im so grateful for all them. It feels like a giant family. I seriously love it here. I will take pics of the apartment Im in right now, but the view is
amazing. My favorite time is sitting out on the deck at night and looking out at the city. The city is kinda gross, but man do I love it here.
I love you all and hope you had an excellant week! Miss you, and hope you are all feeling the blessings of the Lord on you.