Pamilya ko! Kumusta po kayo dyan! Sobrang maiinit dito! Summer na! HAPPY BIRTHDAY sa papangs ko!
Happy Birthday dad! I love you and am so grateful for you in my life. I hope you have a great birthday and eat delicious sugar because it is your b-day and you deserve it!
Well it was a wonderful week! Jesrell did it! He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This was a huge success. Jes’ brother Crisanto that was baptized 2 weeks ago was able to baptize him - so neat. This was so special for both of them. I got so teary eyed as I watched them both stand in white in that water! What incredible changes they have made in their lives. He was in a white shirt and neck tie yesterday at church. I can’t believe the changes from that first Sunday - such incredible miracles. On Friday night we went to their house to teach and make sure Jes was ready to go for the next day. At the end of the lesson we asked him to bear his testimony. Jes is a pretty shy and not a kid prone to use lavish language. His testimony was simple and he plainly said, “I know the church is true.” He then stumbled for a moment and responded again, “I can’t really explain it but I know in my heart and my feelings that it is true.”
I was thinking how our conversion is not something that we can easily put into words. In the Emma Smith movie the character that plays Emma says, “sometimes you know things with your heart that you don’t know with your head.” Commonly my spiritual experiences and my conversion is something I have a difficult time explaining in Tagalog or English. I think this is because we are converted with our spirits not just our intellect.
We were taking pictures before the baptism and I told Crisanto and Jes to stand together. As I looked at the small screen on my camera and saw these two brothers standing in white I was so overcome with happiness and warmth. Then again, as they were standing together in the font and Cris raised his hand above his little brother and said the words, “….bilang inatasan ni Jesucristo binibinyagan kita sa pangalan ng Ama, at ng anak and ng Espiritu Santo. Amen.” Joy filled my heart – a feeling that is full and real, not temporary or fading. Like Jesrell, it was a feeling that I can’t really explain – it is something that I can feel in my heart.
Of course as spiritual and wonderful as the baptism was there was not enough water in the font so the first time Jes went down he hit that water surface as hard as a wakeboarder doing a nose dive. I also think Cris was nervous that he wouldn’t go all the way under so he used a little too much force. This in turn shocked Jesrell and his knees floated up. We were cracking up. The second time was perfect and on Sunday he received the Holy Ghost - so it was a perfect package.
We are not sure why but we haven’t had water for the past few days… luckily we order drinking water so we have been able to cook. But showering has been an interesting experience. The water will come on for a few hours at a time so we have been saving up and use that to shower. It is so hot outside now that showers are mandatory or we might scare off all of the people we are teaching.
I am a Halo Halo addict. This is not a video game. Halo Halo is a dessert here and it is crushed ice (that is probably the reason I love it so much), and ice cream, and corn and beans, and this jello type stuff and banana’s. I know it sounds gross but I love it! I would eat it every day but then I would have no money - so I resist but it is delicious.
We are teaching a woman who has 5 boys…. We have started teaching the oldest 3 and yesterday they 9 year old came to church all by himself. They live pretty far away and I couldn’t believe he traveled all that way. He and I shared a bench in sacrament meeting and maybe because he is 9 and he has big brown eyes he reminded me of my baby brother way back in Salt Lake. This hard working little kid was my Owen for the day. Miss ya big O, thanks for the email!
One of our investigators gets married on Wednesday so we are attending the royal wedding! The wedding is going to be at the chapel and then they are having lunch after. We are excited for them. The wife is a member and they have a set of twins on the way!
Anyway, mission life is so busy and I love every minute of it. I love living in the Philippines, I love the people and the food and of course being able to wear my name tag everyday and spread the good news of the gospel. I know this church is true and I am so grateful for the way it has shaped my life. It is a miracle being able to watch other people learn the language of the gospel; the language that is spoken without words but with our hearts.
I bought a replacement for the Jelly shoes that I lost in The Muddy all those years ago in Southern Utah!
Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!
Love from the Pines,
P.S. The new batch of missionaries arrived... they have that wide eyed, deer in the headlights look.... I would pay so much money to be with Speen in his first week in the field.
I haven’t met any of the new American Sisters yet; only elders. Our house has the only 4 sisters in our zone, so I probably won’t meet them until transfers. Only 4 American sisters came in this time but there are 13 on the way for April.
Thanks for sending me the pics from Kevin’s wedding.