Well, two kids in name tags and one to go. I feel like I was just reading about them opening their calls yesterday and now they are off and ready to teach and preach and work as missionaries do.
We had a wonderful week! Things are going great here. The time is going so fast and my companion and I are working well together. We have taught over 30 lessons each week we have been together and we have been able to find a big group of new investigators. The area is definitely prepared! We are excited for a baptism this Saturday and we have zone conference on Wednesday! So it is a busy and fun week.
The set up of the missions in the Philippines is inspired. We don’t tract but we are always talking to everyone about the gospel and a lot of the investigators come from referrals or part member families. We were at our investigator family’s home earlier this week but two of the kids were not home yet. We were sitting outside their small bamboo home on a fallen tree log and I was talking to the 17 year old, Jezrell. There are always kids running around in their area and I was asking if there were kids his age. We talked for a while and then he got up to go somewhere. It was starting to get dark and sister Abarabar sat talking in the twilight when a group of teenage boys started walking towards us…. Jezrell had rounded up all his pals to come listen to us. We both looked at each other and tried to stifle our laughs as 5 teenage boys sat down to hear the message of the restored gospel. We taught, they listened and I don’t know if they will be receptive but as I listened to our young investigator bare a simple and plain testimony of the gospel to his friends I was filled with joy.
Later that night we were teaching Jezrell’s older brother Crisanto – his baptismal interview was on Saturday and we were going over the questions he would be asked. He was nervous and felt like he needed to have memorized perfect answers. We would explain the questions and review the principles but he kept getting flustered. At the end we asked him to bare a short testimony of why he wants to be baptized. He was quiet for a few moments and when he finally spoke his voice was quiet and filled with honesty. He said when his mom was baptized he didn’t want to listen; he wasn’t interested and didn’t really care. He said this time from the very first lesson it was different. He said from that first lesson he wanted to stop smoking and he knew he wanted to be a part of this. He said he can’t wait for his baptism so he can stand in front of everyone at church and bare his testimony. He got quiet again and tears filled his eyes. He said, I just know it’s true and I am grateful for it……. He did great at his interview and he is the person being baptized on Saturday.
The testimonies of these two young boys have strengthened my own faith. I too know that this church is true. I know that this is the same church Christ established when he was on earth. I know that it is through this gospel that we find happiness and peace. How grateful I am for those first early family members that opened their hearts to the missionaries which brought the gospel into my life.
Thanks for forwarding the pictures of Meg leaving - so fun. I am glad she got her nametag before she left and you guys got to see her in it! I am jealous about that - I won’t lie. Our name tags are in English and it always made me so mad at the MTC when people thought I was English speaking. I wanted to say, “oh if you only knew the stress I am going through.” Meg’s letter sounded great!
Exciting news for Hannah. Tell her congrats for me. I saw the pictures Adelide put together - way cute!!!!!!!!
Speen good luck this week! I love you and couldn’t be more proud. Have a blast in the MTC – but not too much of a blast. I loved the MTC. It was so fun being around so many missionaries and the devotionals were incredible. Eat a ton –especially the ice cream on Sundays and the chocolate milk. Those were my favorites. Don’t stress TOO much about the language because it will come but stress just enough that it will push you to work hard and give your best. A special memory I have from the MTC was one day an Elder from Haiti who was assigned to learn Spanish broke down into tears, exclaiming in his thick Haitian accent, “I am not accustomed to learning Spanish.” A big Elder from Tonga who is assigned here in the Pines, stooped down, put his arm around this disheartened elder and said, “Brother I am not accustomed to learning Tagalog, but remember that with God all things are possible.”
Speen, I don’t think you will have cockroaches in your room in Provo but hopefully you can admire their diligence in Mexico. Haha love ya kid!I love you all and am so grateful for your love and support.
All my love from the Pines,