Monday, April 25, 2011
So this week was HOLY WEEK, or I suppose in easier words..the events leading up to the most important thing that happened in the history of the world about 2,000 years ago.
Last year I was in my hardest area, Marinduque where people were whipped and crucified and reinacted the Crucifixion and Atonement of Jesus Christ...hardly anything reverent or respectful, but that's another story.. Haha it's funny to see where I am at right now. We are in one of the richest cities in the Philippines and I'm with my best friend in the mission and we killed it this week. Besides the fact that almost NO ONE was outside haha and Good Friday was really tough to try and find people to teach we had a great week. This week we are baptizing a 25 year old young lady named Gem, she's studying in Maynila to become a Lawyer and she's so awesome! She's the girlfriend of the Ward Mission Leader here in Canlubang and it's been such an awesome time teaching here the gospel...because not only is she super intelligent...but she doesn't understand the deep tagalog words we use haha funny huh? So she prefers we teach in english...to be honest it's actually really hard..to teach in tagalog for almost 2 years and then be expected to rememeber everything you're suppose to say I sounded like I've never spoken the language first and had to substitute tagalog for a few words I couldn't remember for the life of me...oh no what am I gonna do when I get home?
So I talked to Bishop and I found out when my home coming talk is...it will be on the 24th of July...6 days after I get home...and I expect a lot of my mission friends to be there.. if not for sure Elder Mace will be... I am completely stoked! We are killing it here in Canlubang and I really think this will be and should me my most productive area. This week has been sad as well...we had to say good bye to a few investigators. Sister Norma, I really had high hopes for her she is the best friend of a SUPER active family in the ward and she's been taught by numerous missionaries and her daughter Josh is a member since she was 16...haha that's ironic... and even though we taught some really good lessons, she won't read she won't ask God if it's true and when she told us she was done she basically just said. "I was born a catholic and i will die a catholic."..which is unfortunately something I hear a lot. I tried to explain here that we aren't here to tell her Catholicism is false...we want you to keep all the truth of you have and love...what we WANT you to do is read this book and pray about it and Joseph Smith.but people won't do that and will never come to know the happiness that i have in my life and to be honest It's not a pride thing but it kills me, I literally feel pain for them and it makes me want to shed tears for just them not trying... well this week it happened twice. The other one was a man named Santos, he was a stud and was really interested in reading the bible and use to do missionary service a few times in Manila, at any rate we taught him and he was reading the book of mormon...but what had happen was that his Pastor came over and told him that he needs to stop listening to us because he is his pastor and therefore has stewardship over him or something? Something to the point that he is the pastors sheep and therefor must listen to him...Again I just felt sorrow for the man who wasn't willing to find out for himself..I didn't spit out any bitter phrase or ridicule them, I just humbly bore my testimony that i know this would really bless their lives if they would just really give it a chance...but to no avail they blindly closed their eyes to the thing that has brought me the most joy in my life. But i cannot stay upset I'm having the time of my life here. This week Burt and Rose worked with us to pass their marriage license..if you don't rememeber they are the couple that had a serious trial in their lives because Bert was injured at work and of course his company here didn't come through and pay for anything so they have been super poor (mahirap?) and we had to tell him he had to get married before they were baptized...and of course the Filipino Government has made it cost quite a bit of money to even search in the records of non married people to see if they've had a marriage before (There is no divorce here kasi) So we told them and basically told them they can pay however much they can and Elder Mace and I will take care of the rest (that's kinda why I've been taking out a lot of $ and we live ina place with BURGER KING...I know now that you all understand haha..) So without question they gave a pretty good ammount...and then Bert said one of the most faithful and inspired things i've ever heard...he handed over quite a bit of money that i wasn't expecting and when his wife saw it she said...but you need to make sure you buy medicine you jsut got out of the hospital and have certain medication.. and he replied that's fine I'll just buy the cheap generic medication and pray alot the Lord is faithful and will support me...I have absolutely NO DOUBT that the Lord will...You may not completely understand because I am horrible at explaining but this man used to give missionaries a lot of trash, he would listen in on lessons and be very philosophical, he was a lush, he didn't care for his wife, their relationship was suffering, he only cared about himself...that was until the accident ahppened and really changed his life and now he is ashamed of the things he does and always says that was his past life..he's amazing...I cannot wait to baptize em...it will be my second family the Lord has blessed me with! It is a testiment to me that whatever walk of life that we come from it's not important, what ever we have done or may do...we can change and become better. I suppose that's what the Lord wanted me to learn on my mission...Forgiveness is amazing and constant improvement is perfection. I'm exhausted from playing so much basketball earlier and jamming in a study I think I'm gonna go home and go sleep I'm SO TIRED.
Monday, April 4, 2011
So I'm sorry last week letter was really wack and short but I really ran outta time! I've been trying to respond to the massive amounts of unanswered emails that clutter my inbox and without knowing ran outta time. So here is the news! I am Zone Leader I am no longer in Mindoro! So here is what happened. Elder Mace ( He was AP last transfer) got called into the office and President needed him for a special assignment. He needed him to reopen Canlubang, Cabuyao there was a problem with missionaries last december and got pulled out..(reopening means putting 2 missionaries in there who have never been there so we gotta find the church, the bishop, investigators, and tract tract and tract some more) He told him to pick his companion, So Elder Mace picked me...despite the fact he's one of my best friends here haha he said he needed me for my ravishing good looks and people skills. So we have been in this ward and it's absolutely AMAZING! I really cannot believe how functional this ward is...despite the fact the members are pretty wealthy so sometimes pride gets in the way of things and I have to humble myself...it's amazing. We have recieved about 20 referrals, and have 6 baptismal goal dates but will probably get more than 10 by the end of this week. The Lord is blessing us so much I've never had a area this amazing..It's humbling crazy and hard to stay on top of all the success, but I'm so grateful for it. I'm also way grateful for my companion..since the MTC I've wanted to be comps with mace and it's a been a dream. yesterday at Church we had 6 of our new investigators come to church and we already have 6 baptisms coming up on the 24th and 16th... I want to tell you a bit about them
Gem, she's a 25 year old college student who is in Law school, she's the girlfriend of our Ward Mission Leader who is the Son of our stake president. Here's a side note the Stake Pres is ridiculously rich and has 14 cars half of them Mercedes, but he's way humble and he feeds the whole zone unlimited fried chicken every 2nd sunday of the month...which IS THIS WEEK!! :) anyways she's been going to church for 2 months and she's way rad we've had some pretty amazing spiritual experiences and great laughs. she'll be baptized on the 16th
Bert and Rose, They are a couple who will be baptized on the 24th, Bert found the Lord through and interesting way, he got injured at work and is really poor because you know in the philippines there are no worker compensation..so basically what happened was he fell and iron rebar pierced through his butt and and passed threw slit open the intestitives spilling feces into his stomach and coming out of his stomach...It got to the point where he was about 50/50 and the Dr's weren't really sure what was gonna happen. He told me that he prayed and asked Heavenly Father for another chance and he would make it all right...I testified to him that God did indeed hear his prayer and we are His answer...Despite the fact he has a hard time walking around because they pulled his intestines out of his stomach for the time being so he poop and pees in a bag that is connected to his intestines..it actually sits outside of his stomach it's CRAZY..he goes to church every week and he's one of the most humble people I've ever met.
Jerzael or Ghani and his cousin Joshua. Ghani left Bacalod (jax's family's province) to find a better life and find work for his family. He's 22 years old and a total stud. I've been practicing my Visaya (The dialect they speak in Mindanao- Southern Philippines) so it was fun to speak to him...Illongo is his dialect but nakakaintindi kami or we can understand eachother for the most part. He's been reading the book of mormon a lot and really seems to enjoy our teaching.
Those are the ones who we really focused on this week...this weeks been crazy we've been working really hard and taught about 29 lessons last week, we're gonna try to keep a constant 30 and start getting these people baptized. I'm so happy in my mission it's so amzaing the success we are having and how extremely kind the ward is. It seems Heavenly Father is gonna bless me in my last area hahaha I LOVE it HERE!
I gotta run we just got 2 more refferals and we're gonna teach a family tonight so MUCH WORK IS GOING ON HERE I don't have time to sleep haha and we have FULL schedules..
But I really do miss you so much and I'll see you in less than 13 weeks?! but who's counting? I'm probably gonna be Elder Mace's last companion and then I'll do 4 more weeks here and be home in no time! I miss you so much! the boxes WERE amazing thank you so much! We hadddd soooo many chocolate! I'm trying to diet here and work out haha..it's a shame really every missionary in Cabuyao zone get's fat because members feed us ALL THE TIME! next week I'll include a story about our home owners they ARE AMAIZNG and treat us like their kids ahah so last monday we cooked pasta for them and just hung out with em . all their kids are grown up and moved out..taking care of some oldies! I love you guys! and miss you more than you could ever know..but I am happy because the Lord's bounty is plenty and I am learning more than I could anywhere else. Glory to God