I'm certain that you'll forward this to the rest of the family. But, HOW IS MEXICO? I hope you're having a great time...I suppose you get to feel how my life is 24/7 living on an island. But at the same time, I've never worked harder in my life, never tried harder to speak this crazy language, and never been more tired. So it's not really a vacation, but that's fine...when it's p-day I P-DAY. I'm excited this week is the start of the Moriones Festival, where people dress up in Roman soldier outfits, crucify people, and there's a ton of tourist here! I've been finding a TON of awesome souviners here, so excuse the expenses I've been taking out! I'm thinking of buying a wooden roman soldier mask they are REALLY COOL, but I don't know how I'll send it home... This week has been really good for me, but REALLY LONG. I received your package! it was aaaaaamazing! My Zone here will be eating Tacos later today thanks for everything I love it! The tape was really good too, I must admit I didn't notice the note you wrote on the package and I ended up listen to on of your conferences for a LONG TIME haaa. I can't believe it's week 3, things are going very fast here in the island. I'm beginning to nagsasanay or get used to the life out here. The first 2 weeks I absolutely hated it. But I'm adjusting. The water taste of rust, it's hot, theres no FASTFOOD!? I have to cook?!, there are no malls?! haha I know I'm in the philippines but I was in a city my last area. But I was lucky to find a store that has aton of imported food from the duty free at the manila area port. so life is good here! An interesting story happened here. I've been complaining a lot in my prayers ha, and lamenting and being pretty weak in faith, so we were teaching an inactive family who is endowed, or in words less mormon, they've been through the temple. I remember bearing my testimony about how wonderful the temple is and remembering the time I spent there before I came here and how much I have too look forward too after my mission. That's when I realized, I need to stop thinking my area sucks or thinking it's hard, indeed it's very hard don't get my wrong, missions are ahhhhhhhhhhh. but God has giving me EVERYTHING and all that I do here is a gift to Him who is so good to me. I am excited to serve because I know what every happens, If I get baptisms, If I get rejected, If I get stranded in the middle of the island because the tricylcles all went home and have to walk waaay far to go home across 2 rivers in the dark of night (p.s. that happened :] ) that God is faithful and he'll be with me every step of the way and he's proud of me whatever I do as long as I do it to the best of my ability. heyyyy missions are good! theres no grades it's all up to you ;)
Another story happened this week, we went tracking in a barangay right by the sea. We got punted our two return appointments... eh happens.. (punted means, they basically stood us up and werent there) So E. Villamil and I went tracting, we walk up to this man who is getting something out of his car, and walking up my mind thought
he has a car, he's mayaman (rich) that means he's prideful and won't listen to us--- Strike 1 haa
I talk to him anyways, we find out that's his bosses car, and we just start chatting.
We find out his sons a preacher in Tarloc, a baptist preacher-------Strike 2 ahhhh
Then we find out they have bible study every saturday night with their preacher from their church------------strike 3 haaaa
And If I remember right this same preacher isn't too fond of us because we went to his church thinking it was a house and he wanted to debate haa So we debated, he yelled, got mad walked away, and I lossed the spirit.
So anyways we said we'd like to share our message about jesus christ with you.
he accepted said come in come in!
so we get to teaching, I'm thinking its a waste of time but I put my fears away and thought good thoughts. We shared about Eternal Familes, about Jesus Christ then I felt prompted to share about the Joseph Smith story which is odd because I don't usually teach it the first lesson the explanation is long, but I said whatever and I did.
I said something to the effect of this: Well in your opinion how do we know that families are eternal how do we know our message is true? I want to testify to you that God reached out in love to his children again in our day and age in 1820 and called a prophet and through him restored the fullness of the Gospel. This prophet's name is Joseph Smith.
I explained the first vision it was amazing! The spirit was strong they were very interested. then at the close of the lesson I asked what they felt.
they responded, I felt the presence of God here thank you so much your message and explanation was beautiful (maganda). I then asked if we could come back and they said "yeah! anytime even if we aren't here! you can teach our kids. I was so awesome
I realized that whatever their beliefs are our my preconceived notions. nothing is stronger than the spirit of God bearing truth through his missionaries, I don't accredit it to me because I was doubting like Thomas the Lord's apostle.
But life is good here in the island and now I am going to go eat some food and watch crazy filipino's celebrate a confused and wicked holiday! yeaaaah
I love you all so much!