Monday, September 26, 2011

the kind of lesson I've always wanted

Monday, September 26, 2011
Sibunag, Guimaras Island, the Philippines

(Please Note: To protect privacy, the names of investigators in this blog have been changed.)

It's been a pretty interesting week.  I guess every week is, though.  I feel like I'm in the groove.  In fact we both are.

I feel like Monday is my Saturday, and my Tuesday is the real first day of the week.  This last "week" started with a funny thing.  Our district leader and his comp didn't come to district meeting.  They just didn't show.  Elder Bono has back problems, and goes to Iloilo to get his back treated about three times each week.  His comp, the DL, goes too.  They didn't tell anyone that they weren't going to be at district meeting.  It was kind of funny.  Elder Andrews led us in a discussion about our area.  It was still a good meeting.

Last Wednesday we went tracting.  A lot of our investigators have moved away, so we are back to finding folks to teach.  I've told you about a lot of investigators.  It seems that every time we get someone really going, they fall off the face of the earth.  They move away because their husband beats them, or because they need work and there isn’t any in Sibunag, or they go live with their parents while they are pregnant, or their husband doesn't want them listening, etc.  We have had a lot of investigators that really were going places but never got there.  They are in the area book though, and in the future when their situation changes up, maybe they’ll progress.  

Anyway, last Wednesday we went tracting.  We found one new investigator and that was it.  Then we started walking on this dirt road, and it led downhill, so we didn't have the desire to walk back up it.  We reached a point where we were so far away that it was unlikely that anyone there would be able to get to church.  We decided that we'd just walk until we reached somewhere, and then try and hitch a ride.  We almost walked all the way down to the ocean.  We did get someone to give us a ride, but first we had them swing us by the dock.  It was my first time going to the ocean in our own area here in Sibunag.  I had been to the ocean on the other side of the island, but not on the east side.  We chilled there for a few minutes, and talked to some people about how to get to the islands in our area.  We are positive that missionaries have never been there before, so it might be a good P-day activity.  We might try it week after next.  People say there are prime beaches over there.

We had a pretty ok FHE at a less-active family this week.  The less active family is shy, and it was a little awkward when we showed up on time.  The other members didn't show up until at least an hour later.  MST (Mormon Standard Time) has nothing on (FST) Filipino Standard Time.  Elder Workman directed the FHE, the lesson, and games.  At one point he used a machete as an object in one of the games.  The game was each people had a two syllable fruit.  One end of the machete was the first syllable, and the other end was the 2nd syllable.  He’d point the machete at you, and then change up the person he was pointing at.  It's pretty funny.  The next day Brother John brought it up in Coordination Meeting, saying that he didn't like the fact that Elder Workman was using a machete.  No one else had a problem with it, though.
We have some super sweet investigators, the Johnsons.  The daughter Ann is back for a while from Manila, and her mother Sue has been an investigator for a way long time.  We've been having some way good lessons with them.  We did The Plan of Salvation with them last Saturday.  Elder Workman made cards and would flip a new card at each part.  For the most part, they held off their questions until the end, but we could tell they had a ton that they were aching to ask.  A couple times we asked "Do you want to ask a question?" and they said "No, continue, I want you to finish it."  We did, and then they let loose on us.  They asked questions like "Can you sin in heaven?"  "Why don't I just wait to be baptized in the spirit world?"  We even got a little into ghosts, but that was just how deep they were getting.  We talked about how death will not change our desires, and that there is no sin in the celestial kingdom because there is no desire for it.  We explained that repentance changes our desires.  We explained that if someone still had the desire to sin they wouldn't feel comfortable in the celestial kingdom.  We talked about not being able to prove ourselves if we were in the presence of God, and why we need good and evil on earth.  It was the kind of lesson I've always wanted to do with the plan of salvation, but we’ve never had the investigators who had the interest for it.  It was a blast.  It was so much fun.  We used a ton of scriptures too.  In a couple cases they asked a question and we said "Let’s open our scriptures" and had them read it.  It was so much fun.

Sister Rita came to church last week, but not this week. She had visitors, so she'll go next week.  Her understanding is very low.  We had a lesson with her on Saturday about authority.  We just went around in circles for like twenty minutes.  Elder Workman used a lot of object examples, but she just wasn't getting it.  Finally Elder Workman read a scripture in the Book of Mormon.  She didn't get it at first, but then she read it to herself like five times, and then it clicked!  She said "So you’re saying all the other churches teach the gospel, but only one church has the authority to baptize.  And I can know that your church is true through prayer and going to church?"  I literally said "It's a Christmas miracle!"  She already believes the Book of Mormon is true - she tells us that all the time.  But until now, she hadn't made the connection that only our church has the Book of Mormon, and only our church has the authority!  We'll see what happens there.

We made awesome pork adobo last night.  It was so awesome. Elder put in vegetables, I did the meat, we slow cooked it in soy sauce, vinegar, water, salt and sugar.  It was intoxicating.  We were writing in our journals, and thinking "Oh man, I'm dying here!"  We ate it so fast!  It was a good way to end our week.  We had been fasting for Sister Martha, the lady whose husband drove off when Elder Conjelado and I tried to talk to him.  We did at least do a lesson with her this week.  Her desire is still way good.

Also, watermelons are back.  I thought April and May was watermelon season, but maybe watermelons go twice a year here?  So yeah, I ate an entire watermelon by myself.  I did it back porch style, like Sarah and I used to do in Sycamore, IL.  You cannot complain while eating a watermelon.  No, you cannot.

I'm still doing work outs with Elder Workman.  I can do more push-ups now.  Yes, they still suck.  Elder Workman has lost so much weight since he was here in the Philippines.

We had two at church, Sister Johnson and her daughter Ann.  They arrived forty minutes late.  They had left home late, and they almost didn't come, but we texted them and told them to come anyways.  They arrived only two minutes after half of our members arrived.  We then proceeded with sacrament meeting.  That was basically lousy.  The speakers were talking heads, and I was really concerned about what the investigators were getting out of it.  Sister Angie then saved it during Sunday School.  She talked about the Sacrament and the Sabbath Day.  She kind of veered off into her personal views like "you can't watch TV on Sunday" or "you have to wear church clothes the whole day," but for the most part it was super awesome.  She was interactive and taught clearly.

After church we gave a member a blessing, and I talked with Brother John a little bit.  I let the members fellowship our investigators.  They did the best job ever.  It was thirty minutes of talking after church, and now this week's FHE is at the Johnson's house.  We were walking on air the rest of the day.

Elder Workman and I are getting along really well.  Our nightly jams aren’t that often, but we've been doing other stuff. We even took turns reading Jesus the Christ, and last night I helped him write a mission article.  It's weird, but I'm better at grammar than him?!

It's raining pretty hard right now, and the computer shop is like steamy.  We had plans to go see waterfalls today, but that seems less likely now.  We'll see.

I love you all so much. I miss you, but not too bad.

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