Monday, April 15, 2013

Tatay Eddie

Hello family! It’s been a great, sweaty week!! It's hard to believe that we are heading in to the last week of transfers.  Life goes fast, I am pretty sure mission life goes faster. 

Our zone won the recent clean apartment contest and this morning we went to the beach with President and Sister Bliesner and the AP’s.  We played a good game of beach volleyball that lasted about 20 minutes and then we all began to die of heat stroke.  There is just something different about the beach when you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt and are fully aware that there is no chance of entering the beautiful blue water.  One day . . . . .  But it was fun to breathe in the fresh ocean air; the air at the beach just smells and feels different. It’s cleaner.

Last week I mentioned that we spent the day in Naga trying to get the loose ends tied up in order for our cute elderly couple to get married.  Tatay Eddie is our investigator and he is 68 years old.  His soon to be 65 year old bride is the pioneer in Goa, and they are just darling!  Tatay was a tricycle driver when he was younger. He is a simple man. Some elders in our district were telling us about their Investigator who has read the Book of Mormon entirely in Taglog and is working on it in English now.  At each of their meetings he asks very deep doctrinal questions, but he will not pray.  I was thinking about the conversion of this man and how it will never take place, regardless of how intellectual he is because he will not commune with God.  He is looking at the gospel without spiritual eyes and therefore the gospel is just an analytical exercise for him.  Tatay Eddie tells us in each lesson how grateful he is for us because if we weren’t here he wouldn’t know the gospel.  He wouldn’t know he was supposed to be baptized and he wouldn’t know about the priesthood.  He has never argued with us about commitments or praying; he just humbly follows.  He doesn’t ask us deep questions but he sees the truth.  He is willing and wanting to believe in this message and his conversion has taken place quickly for him.  Our district leader told us yesterday after his interview that he had a strong testimony of the Prophet Joseph.  I realized that our conversion takes place only when we invite the spirit in, especially through prayer.  He passed his interview and he will be married and baptized on the same day – April 27th! The gospel is for all, both old and young, male and female, but it depends on us and whether we are willing to let it into our lives. 

President Packer once said, “We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.” 

This is how Tatay Eddie is.  At first I was worried he was only obedient because he didn’t know any better or because Nanay wanted him to get baptized. But over the last few weeks I have come to realize that he is converted because he can see.  He is willing to see and willing to let the light of the gospel into his life.

We had Family Home Evening at Crisanto’s last night for his birthday! His wish was that he will go on a mission this year!!! That’s my wish for him to.  I hope and pray that through the next months he will only continue to grow in the gospel.

Well Conference was amazing and there was so much to learn.  I am in the process of spending all of my extra money printing talks because I can’t wait for the Liahona edition to come out haha. I loved Elder Holland’s talk!!! He is a very powerful speaker and I liked that he said the only thing God has ever had to work with are people that are imperfect and we need to be patient with ourselves and others because God is patient with us.  I also liked Elder Christoffersons message about alleviating people’s burdens.

I just read Meg and Spencer’s letters. They sound great! It is good to get that first week out of the way - it is rough! It generally takes about 7-8 months for missionaries in the Philippines to feel comfortable with the language - even with studying every day.  I don’t know about Spanish.  By months 4 or 5 it started to feel okay-ish. But, there is so much to learn when you are memorizing the dictionary haha. It sounds like there is a giant army of sisters hitting every mission this spring. Ours is next week!

I am excited to hear about Will’s call. He is such a good kid; focused and driven. He will be a good missionary.  

Well I love you all and hope you have a great week! Maybe we will send some of this blistering heat your way.

Love from the pines,

Sister Meish








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