It has been another great week! Yep, this week we have been teaching a lot of recent converts and less actives. We found some more less actives as well this week! About half our lessons are to them, and the other half are investigators! Most of our investigators right now are part members, so their parents are members but they haven't been baptized yet. Our investigator, G--, is getting baptized this saturday!! A year or two ago she and her family met the missionaries, but she wasn't really interested. But two of her sons were, and got baptized! So since then, she's seen the difference the church has made in their lives, and they've taught her a lot about the gospel as well. She started meeting with the missionaries about a month before I got here, and has came to church and been progressing SO well ever since!! She understands the gospel and the book of mormon SO WELL and we are very exctied for her :).
Yep sister culangan was assigned in cebuano her first 6 months, so she knows cebuano too. And her english is good too :). Haha we always joke that our prayers and everything else we say are a mix of english, cebuano, tagalog, and waray waray. We speak a little of everything! Hahaha. Yep us two are the only missionaries in our ward. The tanauan 2nd ward sisters are in our house too though! Which is SO fun, living with other missionaries. They are GREAT missionaries.
Yes there are still signs of yolanda here. Buildings that haven't been rebuilt, and stuff like that. I'll try to remember to take some pictures! We hear lots of stories about yolanda though. Most everytime we ride a put put, we'll ask where they were for yolanda. Everyone has a story and its hard to believe what happened. I can't remember if i told you, but my companion before, sister gaono, was here in tanauan during yolanda. She was in the chapel when the storm hit, and then walked all the way to the mission home after, since there was no transportation or communication.
Our ward has about 400 members, and about 120 at sacrament meeting each sunday. So lots of less actives to go and find! We asked for a list of some we could go visit and will hopefully get to go find them this week :).
Yep i have heard that there will be no more foreigners in our mission...i'm not really sure why. All i've heard is that they want the Philippines to be self reliant with missionaries. But, how lucky am i that i got to come! Wow. I am SO grateful that I have gotten this chance to serve in this beautiful country! I couldn't be more blessed :). I honestly LOVE my mission, so so much. :)
I'm glad you got the letter!! Sorry i can't send them more often :). And jax, I'm glad you had a great birthday! Haha the night of you birthday, i guess I was thinking about that, becuase I had a dream about you! Haha you were my companion here and I was training you how to be a missionary :). Haha so cool!
Josh!! WOW you're about to graduate from high school! Holy moly. and then you'll get to go on the church history tour! ahhh i'm so excited for you :).
So, this week i'm going to start focusing on the Chirstlike attributes! My and my nanay did this, and I wanted to do it again now :). This week is FAITH! So i'm gonna study faith and focusing on strengthening it and teaching it. And pay attention to how faith effects the work here! So i'll let you know how that goes next week:).
This week we've seen a couple of times how hard life can be sometimes. There was one night in particular around 8 where we had one hour left to teach before we headed home. We were walking to go teach a recent convert. We were a little behind schecule, so there was one less active family that we had planned to visit that night that we weren't going to have time for. But as we walked, we were talking about it and thought we maybe should go visit the less active family instead. When we got there, we could tell something was different. Usually the 5 little kids are excited to see us and come give us high fives. But this time they just stayed there on the porch. And their mom looked tired and worried. We sat down and asked how everything was, and she started tearing up, but wouldn't tell us what had happened. With a little persuasion (aka...stubbornness...haha see, it's a good thing sometimes :) ) she finally told us that her husband hadn't been home since early that morning. She had no idea where he was or if something had happened to him. And she didn't have any money for food for her kids. They had had some noodles for breakfast, and no lunch or dinner yet. Ahh. Me and sister culangan told her we were actually feeling hungry now and ready for dinner, and wanted to share it with them :). We went and got some rice and chicken, and then hurried back to them. We shared a quick message with them. We sang Abide with me tis eventide, and then shared alma 26:37. We talked about how our Father in Heaven is mindful of our situations and is always watching over us. Her husband is being taken care of--she just needs to rely on the Lord. Everything will be alright. :). Throughout the lesson, the kids would touch the bag of chicken and look at their mom. One of them said 'it's still warm!" haha :). The spirit was so incredibly strong though. I could feel how worried she was, but I could also feel that everything was going to be all right. We told her how the spirit had led us to come visit her that night, which is just one of the evidences of Him watching over their little family. I definitely cried though that lesson. We didn't stay long, so they could eat and then get to sleep :). That was such a great lesson to me to always follow the spirit. Many times, it's as simple as listening to a thought that comes to mind. I really need to be better at paying attention to its promptings. But I know the Spirit is SO important in this work. We went back the next day to this family, and the father had made it home :). The mother was gone at the time so we didn't get to teach, but they seem to be doing alright now :). I'm sooo grateful the spirit led us to them when they needed some extra reassurance.
Time to go :). Till next week! Goood luck with everything you do! be safe! be good! and be happy! listen to the spirit always :). God is watching over you!
Love you :)
Last Pictures From Serving In St. Bernard