Alright! So here we go :)
Sister and I had a good week this week. We had 10 investigators at church this week! Thats nuts!
In the passed couple of weeks we have taught the aragon family a least four times and have probably stoped by there place 5-6. Point is, we go to their home a lot. We usually teach the nanay who is a less active. She knows the church is true and knows the importance of going to church but her husband (who is less active as well) doesnt let her go. Last Wednesday as we went to try and go teach her she said her husband didnt want us teaching her or inviting her to church anymore. But we went back on friday and that time her husband was actually there. She let us teach her and after we went up and met her husband. He seemed really nice and laughed at the fact that I was trying to learn tagalog. haha. Anyways, we invited them all to come to church again and guess what! They came! Well, nanay didnt come because her grandson made her mad right before church started (that happens often haha) but tatay- her husband came for sacrament meeting! There son who is not a member (who we had previously taught once the first week I was here) also came. We couldnt believe it!!
But just wait- it gets better. We thought that alone was a miracle but as we again taught the son later that evening, we asked him what he knew about the restoration and he basically taught us the lesson. He said he knows that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that Thomas S Monson is a true prophet on the earth today. He said He knows the Book of Mormon is true. We asked him if he would be baptized and he said, "Oo naman." or "Of course- that is why I came to church today- because I want to be baptized." We said that we could arrange that. haha. Anyways, it was really interesting to see the complete 180 this family has taken. I pray that it lasts and that they all continue to come to church. I honestly dont know how exactly it happened (it wasnt us) but it is so cool to see and to know that God is preparing His children to accept the gospel. What a blessing it is to participate in this work!
I hope that kind of made sense. I dont know why I can not think straight right now.
Another great thing this week was that we started teaching a family-the Buenconsejo family! June Albert Buenconsejo (16yr) is one of our 3 baptisms next week (So excited!-ill tell you more about them next week :) ). We never taught him in his home because he was always out working or with his friends. Therefore- we hadnt met his family. But we ran into him and his dad this past week and asked if we could come and teach his family-he said yes! June Albert has 3 siblings (19, 14, 10) so we taught them and their parents. They seemed pretty receptive- especially the 19yr old girl. Its so fun to teach them as a family. That is what the gospel is centered around. So many people here are the only members in their family and i think that is part of the reason so many of them fall a way. So it is really exciting to be able to teach them all as a family.
Last thing from this week was from a lesson we taught last night. We were on splits so I was teaching Noric (a Recent convert (23yr)) and her sister sylquize (Investigator-22). Noric is wants to serve a mission but is afraid (I could relate to her-haha) and Slyquize knows and wqants to be baptized but is afraid of a few things. So we talked about faith and the opposite of that- fear. In Jerusalem i think i began to understand this concept better. Before that, I didnt like the idea that because I was afraid that meant I didnt have perfect faith. Being the perfectionist I can sometimes be- I wanted true/perfect faith. Yes, I had faith. Faith in so many things- but it wasnt (still isnt) all perfect. But you know what- God doesnt expect "perfect" from us- he only expects our best. Like it says in Alma- God will take the faith that we have and increase it. We will then take that faith- act on it- and then he will again increase it. Until eventually we are on the path to becoming the person He knows we can be. The key is that we act on the faith we have. No matter the size of it. Eventually our faith will diminish (this isnt exactly the word im lookin for) our fear and we will be left with perfect faith. That is possible. I am not doing a good job of explaining it but the lesson went so well! (it helped that they can speak a lot of english so i could give the lesson in Taglish) The spirit was there and I learned more as I was teaching then they probably did. I know that sometimes I am afraid- but I know that I can always act. As I do I know that God will take care of the rest.
Tagalog is coming alright- i dont really feel like i progressed much this week- but i know that it will come. Lance wrote Lisa and I a letter about having patience when learning another language. He was saying how you learn much faster when you just speak- dont worry about whether what you are saying is exactly right, or even if the people you talk to laugh. That is how you learn- by speaking. I know that is really true and I need to be doing more of it. In the lessons I feel like I do that but walking to and from lessons we mostly speak english. So im going to try and change that this week. The thing is though- whomever i am trying to talk to has to have alooooot of patience because it takes be a good 5 minutes to get one simple point across. haha. oh well. most people are. One of the things that is the most helpful is role playing as im sure yall know. I need to be doing more of that.
Laurel and Jman- as I am thinking about what/how I have been studying this week im remembering the things I studied in Preach my Gospel. READ IT! There are few better ways to prepare for a mission. Dont just read chapter 3 like i did (the one with the lessons) read it all! I know you both will be remarkable missionaries- start preparing now!
Guess what- raining season is coming! Saturday we were riding in the tryc to one of investigators homes with our DLs for a baptismal interview. Literally out of nowhere it started to pour. Literally poor. Cats, Dogs, Pigs, Elephants, chickens, everything. It poured. (I hope yall are picturing that child's book we had with the picture describing this... i forget what its called.) So we pulled over and stood under some palm branches for 20 minutes or so until it passed. Its funny how everything stops here when it rains- they like the rain because it is good for their crops but boy- they do not like to be in it. Even if it is just barely drizzlin. haha. I love it though because its about 10 degrees cooler when it rains and I am only wet because of the rain and not wet because of my sweat. haha
Alright better go but I love you! I am so blessed to be serving a mission especially here in baler. They say you usually stay in your first area for 6 months- the people in my district are guessing ill be here for 7 and a half. I would absolutely love that. It is gorgeous here and I really want to be here when I can actually speak tagalog to the all the people im meeting. haha. But back to yall family- I am so blessed- so blessed to have you as my family. I knew that before but I am realizing it more and more while I am out here. Enjoying being together and dont worry about me. I am working hard and loving it here.
PS. Just found out about sending mail (real mail) back to the states. They said it would take about a month and a half, cost 3-8$ a letter and only maybe get there. haha. They said I should send a bunch of letters in 1 pouch from Cabanatuan and it will be cheaper and probably get to you. Ill do this but that just means yall will have to wait a while. Im sorry!
PPS. Yesterday I taught some people in the branch the meaning of "yall" and they found it absolutely hilarious and went around laughing and trying to say it. It was pretty funny
PPPS. Sorry this letter is so scattered. Hopefully ill get good at writing letters sometime soon for yalls benefit.