Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Holy Ghost was poured out

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Bugasong, Panay Island, Philippines

This week has been great.  We’ve been having a lot of fun, and it’s all going great.  We’ve for sure seen some miracles.  Just last night, we met a guy named Rolin and his mother.  The mother is a former investigator, and told us how much she loves the church.  We talked with them for like 15 minutes, and we hardly did any talking at all. His mom is now a single parent, and explained that she wants him to be part of our church because she knows that he needs the good influence in his life.  He says he wants to be a missionary just like Elder Montecer and I, and asked what he needs to do!  We explained it’s kind of a long process.

We also had another investigator read until 2 Nephi in between one visit and the next.  I may have already told you about that, but it was awesome.

This week we ate lunch at a resort that a member owns.  She fed us well and we enjoyed it.  Before we ate, we sang karaoke.  It was a bunch of fun.  Karaoke is big here in the Philippines.  I sang “Blowin’ in the wind” and “one love/people get ready.”

This week broke my personal record, and the record for the area.  Elder Montecer and I are doing great! I feel like a few weeks back Heavenly Father led our tracting.  Now a ton of those people we found are progressing and doing very well.  We have a great schedule, and very few appointments are falling through; and if they do, we find something else great to do within a few minutes (visit a less-active, tract a house nearby, and other things like that.)  It’s crazy!  Through our tracting efforts, we are finding less-actives and part member families.

You know how on the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost was poured out onto the apostles?  Well, I feel like that’s been happening to Elder Montecer and me.  Not like we are walking on pure bliss and stuff, but things are going well.  I’ve worked hard my entire mission, but now the work is just exploding!

We had a few people at church.  One person we needed to come didn’t, so that’s a bummer, but some others we didn’t expect did.

One of my favorite investigator here is J.  Her husband died a few years back, and she is a single parent.  I think she is part Ati, but I don’t know for sure.  Anyway, she’s pretty poor, but is one of the happiest people I’ve met here in Bugasong.  Remember the story about two women who were listening to us, and one said she was just listening to be nice but wasn’t interested, then the other llady told us “I don’t know about her, but I’m interested, my family needs this.”  That lady is J.  Her mom is the one who said that she was just being nice.

Anyway, we teach there twice each week, and we teach the whole family.  It’s great.  We never get through much of a lesson, but the spirit is felt and the kids love it and are included.  I love this family because they have it pretty rough, but all pitch in and help.  The oldest kid cooks, and they all clean and work selling veggies in the local market, they all wash their own clothes, etc.  They make it work.  It’s tough, they are busy, but they make ends meet.  Usually, if a family is in a situation as tough as theirs, they’ll say that they don’t have time to listen because they need to put food on the table.  Sister J is different.  She recognizes the spiritual needs of her kids.  She gathers them for us.  After the lessons, she thanks us for the visit wholeheartedly.  It’s just makes me feel great.  Then she waits with us by the road until we can catch a ride.  She has a billion things to do.  I’ve told her that she doesn’t need to wait with us, but she insists on doing so.  The other night I talked with her while waiting.  She told me about the adjustments her family made after the father died.  She wasn’t trying to complain or express how hard she has it - she was just simply telling me about how her family has pulled together.  Man, it just about moved me to tears.  My hat’s off to her.

Sister J and us
I was a little hesitant to invite her to church because I know she is super busy, and it would cost a lot for her family to go.  The spirit told me to go ahead and do it, but it didn’t feel right during the lesson, so I didn’t do it.  After the prayer the spirit gave me the go ahead, and as I shook her hand to leave, I mentioned it to her.  She said “yes” flat out.  I was a little surprised.  I explained a little about church and then that was that.

On Sunday she showed up. She had ridden a bicycle maybe about 10 km. That was great.

Church was great.  I played organ, and we had great speakers.  It’s weird in the Philippines.  The adult speakers do kind of bad, but the youth speakers tear it up.  We had youth speakers this week.

We have a lot of members way out in the bukid.  It’s darn near impossible for them to come to church.  Plus, one of them has son who can’t walk, and one is blind.  Every once in a while there is Sacrament meeting out there in the barangay nursery.  Elder Montecer, the Branch's second counselor, and I conducted the meeting.  The attendance was low because they hadn’t let the people know it was happening.  The people that attended were only the people that we could round up.  I was the sole speaker.  I felt like Joseph Smith, no podium, just teaching to humble people in a not-church.  It was great to have a meeting out there. I could tell those people were happy to have the sacrament.

This week we found a blind less-active member.  I didn’t get to talk to her much, but hope to in the coming week.

We also contacted an old less-active member.  She is bed ridden and doesn’t make much sense when she talks, but it was great to visit her.  She had picture of missionaries from back in the sixties.  Back when they didn’t even have black name tags!

I wrote a song this week. I had about 30 minutes before we had to go back out and work.  I decided to play the guitar for a second.  A song was there when I sat down.  It was pretty cool.

baby snake
We had a baby snake in our house.  Elder Gregerson and I flushed it down the drain.  The other two missionaries wanted to kill it, but we didn’t.

We have an awesome 21-year-old investigator.  He had a bunch of questions about vocab in the introduction of the Book of Mormon.  He wrote down all the words he didn’t understand, then found the answers for himself in the back of the Book of Mormon.  We were way impressed.

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