Sweatin’ it up in the Philippines!

Done with my first transfer in the Philippines! Which also means I’m half way done with my training. So what usually happens with training, is you’re with your trainer for two transfers, and then you get a follow up trainer and stay in the same area. So I will most likely be in Naga for a total of 4 and a half months which means I have about 3 months left. But that is totally just the norm and you can never know what will happen. So Sister Simbol and I are still together and I’m staying here but… Sister Horst is now done with her training so she gets a follow up trainer. Sister Bersola is getting transferred and training again so she’ll have to lead a new area and train! (Usually with transfers they try to keep one missionary in the same area so that at least one missionary knows the area. When you’re the one that’s been there already, they say that you’re leading the area which means I’ll have to lead the area when my follow up trainer comes most likely.) So anyways, we get a new I guess roommate? Not sure what to call her but that’ll be exciting. Sister Simbol and I made notes and breakfast for the sisters this morning since Sister Bersola is leaving.

So this week… not as much to report on as last week but it was good! Probably the most exciting news is about Sxxx and a new investigator Kxxx. (And yes mom, most people go by only their first names. So I’m still Sister Taylor cuz I’m a missionary but almost everyone they call by their first names, except for like the Bishop and I think most of the time during Sacrament meeting they say either the last or first and last name. Idk, I just know Sister Simbol and I call most people by the first name with sister or brother before.) Anyways, so Sister Sxxx… had some more great lessons with her this week and she’s progressing! But since her baptismal date is so close, Sister Simbol and I realized yesterday that we have a ton of teaching to do before June 22. So we figured we can fit everything in about 9 lessons before then, but 7 have to be within two weeks before her interview. So we talked to her yesterday and told her the deal with having to teach her so much and to prepare her and she was just like “okay”. Sweet! I was afraid she might want to try to move her date but she was fine with just being taught more. So this week we’re planning her teaching her Tuesday through Friday because that works best for her. Everyday! So hopefully she will continue to progress and be prepared for her baptismal date.

Sister Kxxx is a new nanny for a family in the ward. She came to church two weeks ago and we asked if we could talk to her about teaching her but the family wanted to talk to her about it first. So this last week, we went to talk to the family about going with us for a different teaching appointment, and they said they couldn’t come but they said we could teach Kristine! So we taught a great lesson, she came to church yesterday and we taught her again last night. She is so cute and already feels everything is true. Soooo…. yesterday I invited her to be baptized and she accepted! She is 17 though so she will have to get permission from her family and she’s a little worried about that. Hopefully hopefully she will have no problems there though. But yesterday she was already asking about when we’d be leaving the area and she was already sad that I’ll probably be transferred in Septemberish. Sweet!

Mxxx family is still doing great. They didn’t come to church yesterday though so we’ll have to follow up with that. But we’re planning on doing an FHE with them tonight so that’ll be fun.

Mxxx and Gxxx… very interesting. So the grandma, Gxxx, has (we’re pretty sure) been lying to us about Sister Mxxx’s roundabouts. So haven’t been able to teach Mxxx again, but we did teach kind of Gxxx and like 5 younger girls again. Mxxx has already told us she wants to be taught but the grandma seems pretty against it. So not sure how we’re going to be able to teach her but hopefully we can get something worked out!

Dxxx… I probably got too excited too fast with her haha. We’ve tried to see her several times this week and she’s always gone or busy. She texted us about helping her get a job and we told her we couldn’t help with that but then we started doing some teaching through texting haha. I really hope we’ll be able to teach her again but so far, we haven’t had a second lesson.

Sister Mxxx is still on track for baptism. Good! Sister Jxxx… I don’t think I’ve mentioned her but she is awesome. Oh she’s the one who gave me a shirt! So anyways she is so sweet but she has some issues with getting baptized. She almost got baptized in December but because of this problem, she wasn’t able to. So the Philippines is the ONLY country in the world that doesn’t allow divorce. Which obviously we want families to stay together, but this has created some issues with people getting baptized. You can’t get divorced but you can get what’s called an enrollment which costs lots of money and then you can’t get married again. So I’m not going to go into details with Sister Jxxx, but she has to be interviewed by the mission president before baptism. She’s totally fine and ready for baptism, but this has caused problems. Anyways, she has a new date for July 22 (her birthday) and she is really striving to be fully prepared by then.

This week we taught 28 lessons! The standard of excellence is 30 so we are close. But…. our member present lessons were really low so we’re going to try to work on that. Hard to get members present but it really does make a difference. The Exxx family has a huge role as to why Sxxx has been progressing so fast. We had 6 investigators come to church:) (and remember, we only have half of the ward.) Not many less active members came but we had some good lessons with some of the families so we’re praying for a better Sunday next week!

Not too many stories this week but things are good:) I did want to talk about the Book of Mormon though. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has been strengthened so much on my mission and I’m sure it will continue to be strengthened. It is so amazing that the Book of Mormon has such a powerful role in converting so many people, in so many different places and at so many different times. It was true in the 1800s and it is true today. It affects lives in the United States and it definitely affects lives in the Philippines. It converts new converts to the gospel, and it provides a strengthening converting power to those who were already born into the church. I know that through very sincere and faithful prayer, anyone can know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, that Jesus Christ is the Christ and that His gospel has been restored again on the earth. I know that our Heavenly Father, yet so powerful, wants to hear from each of us individually and that He loves us more than we can understand. The Church is true!

Mahal Kita!

Sister Taylor

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