Alright so last week I talked about how the biggest challenge Sister Gerrard and I had faced so far was the ward… Well now I feel like it really has just switched! So I guess word got back to Bishop that the ward mission leader made us cry (I’m a tough sister missionary, I promise!) So anyways Tuesday Bishop Silos texted us and wanted to know if we could go over to his house for dinner and to talk about the work (we were a little nervous just cuz we didn’t know what to expect.) Well anyways he first asked us how our day was and how the work was so we talked about that for a bit, but then he just straight up asked what happened last Sunday. So we explained the whole thing (I guess to just sum it up, Sister Gerrard and I were trying to be on top of things for Sister Joy’s baptism and so we sent the ward mission leader a text in English cuz he can speak English and he felt that it wasn’t respectful because it was started with “so” and so kind of just a communication error and he was mad about other things that weren’t really a big deal). Bishop just listened and then told us we really didn’t do anything wrong and that he would talk to him to figure things out. But Bishop was just great because after that he said that he had full trust in us and he said he could feel the Spirit in our companionship. He actually had a similar situation on his mission where he didn’t have a follow up trainer, became senior comp his third transfer, had an American from his same batch and he felt like he was learning a language too because he was used to speaking Bicol but where he was serving it was pure Tagalog so it was almost exactly the same! So anyways, he just really showed how supportive he is and he is really excited for us. He also told us he only invites good missionaries over for dinner so that’s a good sign ;).
So yesterday a new ward mission leader was called! We had a meeting after church with him, Bishop and all the ward missionaries (Bishop just called some new ones but they’re all guys so he’s still trying to get a sister called for us). But it was super great! The new WML is super excited to get the work moving and since our goal is 17 convert baptisms from July 2013 to June 2014, there’s a lot of work to do but he is ready to take it on! (The 17 was set by Sister Simbol and me with the Zone leaders in our ward… the highest ever in Naga 2nd ward has been 15 a few years ago but they’re really trying to push to reach the goal!) So on August 10, they’re planning this “One Day Mission” where the members will go out and work with us (not exactly sure how it’ll work yet but it should be good!) Then on August 11 they’re planning on a fireside that is focused on members preparing friends and families as referrals for the missionaries. So great! So I’m super excited to work even harder and really help the work move forward in this area:)
And it really is moving forward because we have another baptism next Monday! And we should have a couple more in the month of August so yeahhhh I’m just super happy. Sister Cxxx is getting baptized next Monday. Her mother is a member and before her mother passed away, she asked Cxxx to investigate the church. It took her a few years to do it but eventually she started listening to the missionaries. (I think just right before I came.) So while Sister Simbol and I taught her, she really became fully converted through her prayer and reading. She reads everything she can too, she’s probably read more church material than I have! Once she felt that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon was true, it has been smooth sailing and she is just so converted and set on the gospel. She thinks it’s pretty incredible that missionaries can go all the way across the world, learn a new language and culture and then teach the gospel. She’s great!
So Wednesday was Pioneer Day! In celebration, Sister Gerrard and I decided to walk and walk and walk and walk and walk….. we got punted 10 times!!! But amazingly after a hard day of punts, we still felt okay at the end of the day and we actually found a couple potential investigators. Then we went a bought ice cream at the end of the day to really celebrate ;).
Sister Joy’s baptism went great! After waiting for about two years to be baptized, she was extremely happy and the Spirit was strong. Now Sister Gerrard and I are going to start teaching her boyfriend, Pxxx, over Skype! He is working abroad so we got permission to teach over Skype so we’ll see how that goes.
Gxxx came to church again! Our lessons have been alright so hopefully we’ll have some better lessons this week. His wife, Jxxx, still doesn’t seem very interested (or is just super shy) so we’ve also gotta work on her. Fxxx is progressing like crazy. I think he might be a bishop or something someday. His baptismal date is August 17 and because we still have about 6 lessons left to teach him, he’s going to try to fit us in Tuesday and Thursday on top of the usual Sunday lesson so he can still be baptized by then. He is crazy busy so it’s a big sacrifice on his part!
The language is COMING!! So exciting because I really have felt so much more confident with Tagalog in this companionship. And Sister Gerrard is progressing too! So yes, two brand new Americans can teach each other Tagalog (we do ask a lot of language questions to members and Sister Viola). But last Sunday I was talking to a member of a different ward who was visiting and he served a mission in the Philippines with lots of Americans so he knows what it’s like learning a language. He said it sounded like I had been out for year! So I totally don’t think so cuz I’ve heard missionaries that have been out that long and I’m not even close but that was super nice for him to say!
I don’t have a lot else this week and I’ve gotta hurry and email other people but I’m still loving it and I can’t believe I already only have a year left! Time goes so fast!
P.S. Sister Reeder told us to pray for no mice and rats so we’ve been doing that. Added prayers would be great so please pray for no mice! And also for my investigators:) Thanks!
So my new companion…. Is Sister Gerrard! An American! Of course I knew I would have some American companions so that isn’t too crazy. The real crazy thing though is that she is FROM MY SAME BATCH! Which means we went into the MTC the same time, we have been the Philippines for the same amout of time and we both are not yet fluent at Tagalog!!! Haha so at transfer announcements on Tuesday, my new companionship, and then another companionship of two foreign elders from my same batch as well (Elder West and Elder Hausia), are like the crazy ‘can they really do this’ companionships. President asked me how long I’ve been in the Philippines and how my Tagalog is in front of everyone to which I responded “2 1/2 months and Ayos lang!” (Just great!) I’m the senior companion and am leading the area. Oh my goodness! I was so shocked. But this week has been so incredible because I have felt so much strength from Heavenly Father as I’ve had to lead pretty much everything; OYMs (open your mouth), directions, planning, talking with leaders and with the Bishop, figuring out baptismal details (yes we have a baptism TODAY!) and leading in every single lesson. Of course Sister Simbol getting sick wasn’t a good thing, but I think that really prepared me for this companionship because I am pretty much on my own with a lot of things.
Sister Gerrard is awesome and it’s actually her birthday today! She’s from Henderson, Nevada, 20 years old today, has 6 siblings, went to BYUI before her mission and she’s pretty fun. She’s been struggling a bit with the language but that means I can really help push her to learn. So yes, I have to speak a whole lot of Tagalog now.
So our biggest struggle so far hasn’t actually been the language (I still don’t understand everything but we’ve been able to get by and we’ve been teaching! obviously), but it has unfortunately been the trust from the members in the ward. I think the Bishop thinks and feels that we can do it, but mostly probably because yesterday we went to his house to discuss names that we weren’t sure if they were less active or if they had moved, and we just straight up told him that we’re willing to do whatever he needs and asked who he needed us to visit. So that is good. But already we’ve had three pretty big instances with members showing that they don’t trust us to do this work. Pretty hard having the members feel that way! And of course not all of them do, but the worst was our ward mission leader. But after leaving our meeting crying yesterday, Sister Gerrard and I felt pretty bad for some of the things he had said to us. But Sister Gerrard taught me a pretty good lesson about being the bigger person and forgiving others even if we’re not totally in the wrong. So we both have decided to really try not to let this distract us, and that has given us more motivation to work hard and show those ward members that even if we can’t speak the language very well, we have been called of God and we are still very capable of moving the work forward with the Lord’s help.
I really know this is true because of an incredible miracle that has happened over the past few days. So I’m not sure if I ever mentioned the beginning of this story so I’ll just start from the beginning just in case. So probably about a month ago, a padyak driver (I’m pretty sure that’s how it’s spelled but I’m pretty sure you could Google a picture) drove up to Sister Simbol and me wanting to give us a free ride. He insisted so we got in but still were planning on paying him. Anyways he told us about how he had to work every day so that he could barely have enough money for food and school for all 7 of his kids. So of course Sister Simbol shared how the gospel can help. We got his contact information and referred him to the Elders in a different ward because he wasn’t in our area. Well I think the Elders had a hard time finding his home so he never was contacted. Well Saturday, Sister Gerrard and I were walking and we saw him! I didn’t totally understand everything he was saying but it seemed like he wanted to give us a free ride again. Well as he was riding, he told us that he had moved to a new house. Then when I told him to turn to go to a less active members house, he didn’t turn and kept going straight. I was kind of confused but then I realized that he had moved into our area and he was taking us to his house! We were a little worried just because he was a man and he wasn’t going where we wanted haha, but I asked if his wife and children were home and he said yes. So he took us to his humble home and we taught him and his family the whole first lesson by candle light. We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon and to pray and I just said they were welcome to come to church the next day. Well the sister doesn’t seem to have as much of a desire now, but the brother has seemed interested the whole time. So because I knew he had a desire to go to church, which is sometimes the hardest thing to get people to have, I knew that Heavenly Father could provide a way for him to go to church. So Saturday and Sunday I prayed really hard that he would be able to go (we’re lucky if a new investigator goes to church after like 3 or 4 visits sometimes). Well Ward Conference started yesterday and he wasn’t there. I wasn’t thinking about it too much though because I had to be the backup pianist again (I did terrible because they were Hymns I hardly know and I was nervous with the Stake President being there and everything!) Well after the sacrament, I looked back and Brother Gilbert was there in a Denver, Colorado Nuggets shirt with one of his daughters. It was a miracle! He seemed a little nervous and uncomfortable, but he ended up staying for all three meetings and he met some people in the ward. I was so happy! Of course I’ve been trying to not get too excited because the second visit is always the real test, but I feel like this family with 7 kids is such a miracle.
President Reeder asked all of us missionaries at transfer announcements to not only pray to be able to find those people prepared, but that they will be able to find us. Sister Gerrard and I have been doing that. I testify that miracles do happen and that the Lord is in the very details of His work. I am not yet fluent at Tagalog, I may sometimes feel like just some little white American girl lost in the Philippines (well I am 😉 ) and I am still learning to be a missionary, but I have been called to this area, Sister Gerrard has been called as my new companion and I know that I can do whatever the Lord asks of me as His missionary.
Alright now for some other random things that happened this week… Mice have been coming up through the drain in our apartment! We finally figured out how they’ve been getting in. Sister Gerrard and I have set companionship goals for this transfer so we are going to work our hardest! Sister Willard is Sister Viola’s new companion. She’s an American (so yes three American sisters in my apartment… weird!), her parents are Mission Presidents (well dad but yeah) in Bolivia, she’s from Arizona and she seems super sweet. I’ve been trying to help her adjust cuz she just started her training and just got here. So in my district, we have 2 elder companionships that are in training, Sister Gerrard and I and the zone leaders. Pretty much the whole mission is getting “younger and younger” because so many more missionaries are coming in than those that are going out. The work is hastening! But there is a very good chance I could be training next transfer. Sister Donna came to church yesterday and we taught her again (Allan had work but said he would have come if he didn’t have work). Brother Francis… oh my goodness so after every lesson he always asked where he can read next for a reading assignment. So yesterday I thought it would just be good if he just started reading at the beginning. Well then he told me that he had already started and is already in 2 Nephi! Crazy! Sooooo many great things have been happening even if it is still challenging. Sister Joy has had July 22 for her baptismal date for a long time (her birthday!) but we haven’t been planning too much for it just because she had to pass an interview with President Reeder. Well last Monday night, she had her interview with President and she passed! Sister Simbol and I were actually able to go in for part of the interview which was neat. President Reeder is so incredible. Anyways so we’ve been trying to get baptismal details figured out so hopefully it starts on time today at 4 pm!
Well sorry for another incredibly long email but family… this Gospel is true and some of the things that have been happening are proof! I love you all but most of all I love our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. One of my goals is to work purely off of motivation for my love for Jesus Christ and for the people (stole that from the missionary broadcast). I hope you all have a great week!
So this first picture is of Jaycee standing on two chairs using a mop to try to prop the door open, hoping that the rat will run outside.
Then after chasing the rat outside, they found a mouse in an upstairs bag. She looks pretty happy for what she’s just gone through!
And then this is a picture of Jaycee with the new mission president “Mom” Sister Reeder. They had to get a picture since they are dressed like twins. Jaycee’s shirt is a lot brighter yellow but still. . .
No but seriously… Rats! So we’ve had mice in our apartment ever since I got here which has become totally normal. But lately things have gotten way worse. First of all the mice aren’t afraid anymore to run out when we’re home and every single morning we wake up to mouse poop on the kitchen table, desk and if any food is left out (which includes double bagged bread) the mice have gotten into it. The other morning I started cooking “toad in a whole” for breakfast and I had already given Sister Simbol hers before I realized I had been cooking with mouse poop in the pan! But even all this has been bearable and I’ve still been fine. But Saturday night was crazy. So when we got home, the Sisters told us there was a mouse or rat or something under the sink. So I got on two chairs to walk around with, and using an umbrella I opened the cabinet and sure enough there was this huge RAT! So of course it ran out and hid behind our table (yes… I was screaming the whole time.) Well then the two Americans, Sister Horst and I braved the rat while the other Filipino sisters laughed and took pictures. Still walking on chairs, we propped open the door with a mop, moved the table and our gas stove thing, poked around trying to find it cuz it was missing and then when it started running around again I think our yelling got it to find the door and go outside. Haha it was so scary and so hilarious at the same. I think I might tell Sister Reeder and see what she says. It does say in the handbook that we can’t be living in any dangerous living conditions so… we’ll see ;).
Anyways back to missionary work. Well first of all Sister Simbol is better! She was in the hospital until Wednesday. So Tuesday and Wednesday Sister Horst and I worked both areas. The two Americans are out! It was so fun and we totally were able to do it (I think our companions were a little worried but we did it!). We actually met this guy from England and we had a whole conversation with him in English, weird and hard to do now haha. But he’s been living in the Philippines for 10 years because he owns a couple of businesses here. He said it took him 4 years to learn Tagalog! I reeeeally wanted to start talking to him in Tagalog to see how it really was though because even the way he said “Tagalog” sounded super accenty haha. But he was pretty nice, shocked that we actually like it here, but said we could go back and visit him! Unfortunately he isn’t in my area so not sure if I’ll ever talk to him again.
Sister Horst had me try chicken intestines! Funny cuz the first pretty crazy food I had was with an American but it actually wasn’t that bad! I want to slowly work my way up with the barbecued chicken parts until I can eat a chicken head. That’ll be sweet.
Oh and Wednesday when the doctor’s said Sister Simbol could go, I texted Sister Reeder and she hopped in the car as fast as she could and drove over. She just got her license for here in the Philippines and with no stop signs, stop lights, yield signs or anything, it is so fun to be in the car with her driving. But anyways she took us to Macdol (McDonald’s) for lunch as a celebration. And we taught her to say “salamat” which was fun. Love the Reeder’s so much!
Thursday Sister Viola and I worked together which was good. It actually turned out to be great practice for me because I had to lead when we were in my area because the other sisters didn’t know where to go and didn’t know the people and their situations like I do.
Friday Sister Simbol was able to work! We didn’t teach too much because she still was feeling weak. Saturday we went to a baptism for the other sisters which was amazing. Their investigator has been investigating for a year but she is so converted now. She texted the sisters a couple weeks ago one morning saying that she now knew the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. She really was converted through the Spirit and she was so extremely happy to be baptized. I was the backup pianist which has become a normal thing now, but it was hard because I was around the corner from everyone so I couldn’t see anyone and could hardly hear so I was playing “blind” haha. Then around 8:30 we got a text for…. transfer announcements!!! Sister Horst is getting transferred and Sister Simbol is getting transferred! Sister Viola is training which means I won’t be the newest missionary in the apartment! But there’s a good chance it will be a Filipina. And for me…. I most likely will have a follow up trainer but I have no idea who. The assistants to the president told me that she has the letter “A” in her name. That helped a lot 😉 and they were probably kidding. So tomorrow Sister Viola and I will go to the office to meet our new companions. I’m nervous but pretty excited. It seems that when I have to lead the area I have so much more confidence and my teaching improves so hopefully that stays true with getting a new companion. And now my companionship study will be only one hour instead of two! I didn’t mind the two hour study but I’m just excited to have more proselyting time. Lots to do since we lost a lot of time working with Sister Simbol being sick.
Yesterday we taught Brother Francis again who is still doing awesome. He even enrolled in Institute this week! And a total miracle happened yesterday. I don’t think I’ve mentioned our investigator Sister Donna before, but we’ve taught her around 4 times, well now 5. It’s funny because her husband isn’t a member, but his whole family (I think he has 9 siblings and his mother) are all converts except for him. So Sister Donna was taught by missionaries in the past but after she moved, the new missionaries didn’t continue or something but she stopped taking the lessons. So our lessons with her have been going well and she has told us she wants to get baptized, but she hasn’t been reading the Book of Mormon or going to church, and she has been super worried about her husband being against it because he has been against it in the past. Well yesterday she came with her husband and two kids to church!! It was crazy! He had never been before even though all of his family are all members (oh but not all are active so we’ve gotta work on that too.) Well anyways they stayed the whole time and I asked them if we could teach them later that night. Brother Allan told us yes around 6 which shocked one of his sisters who we told later. So anyways, we had planned to teach baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost to Donna because that’s where we were with the lessons but we weren’t sure because Allan was there. Well since Donna finally read! We decided to still stick to the lesson since her reading assignment was about baptism and things. It was pretty good and Brother Allan had lots of questions! He seemed really interested in the Priesthood and he thought it was pretty cool that “if” he got baptized, he would be able to receive the Priesthood. He also told us that before he hadn’t been interested because he didn’t want to give up certain things but now that he has a family, he’s a lot more serious and he actually wants to listen to us! Based on how his family has been reacting, it seems like this is a total miracle because he’s been so against it in the past. I’m soooo happy I’m not getting transferred yet because such great things are happening in my area!
Well I think that’s the longest email I’ve written but so much happened this week! Hopefully I’m not getting too boring and that my stories all make sense. Email me and write letters too cuz those are fun to get:) New companion tomorrow! Missionary work is the best!
So I forgot to post a picture of her peanut butter picture. She sais she is going to miss peanut butter and banana after her mission. I don’t think she will miss them for the first few months she is home because I will be too busy cooking all of her favorite meals, but maybe when she gets back to college, she will have to have this for old times sake!
So here is a picture of her district when they were supposed to do an Activity Day for their p-day, but instead visited Jaycee’s companion, Sister Simbol, in the hospital.
Alright so don’t freak out because of the title because I am totally fine and perfectly healthy (I have gotten a couple colds but that I was a while ago). Haha but yes the hospital adventures have definitely been the biggest thing for this week… my companion, Sister Simbol, is sick! She has Dengue Fever. So Wednesday afternoon her body started getting really achy and then she got a fever. Thursday she was definitely too sick to work so she just slept while I studied, cleaned and tried to stay busy downstairs. Friday morning she woke up feeling a little bit better so we decided to still go to the big multi-zone meeting to meet the new mission president! President and Sister Reeder are AMAZING!!! Oh my goodness I love them sooooo much already. They’re from Perry, Utah, have 3 daughters and 1 son and I think 3 or 4 grandkids with 1 or 2 on the way. They both have such strong testimonies of the gospel and are incredible people but so humble. Well anyways so after the meeting, Sister Simbol had gotten the worst she’s ever been and so President & Sister Reeder took us to the hospital. So since the Reeder’s are so new and I don’t have too much experience being the ER, we kind of had no idea what to do and we ended up spending 4 hours at the hospital. Luckily this happened at the end of my training though cuz now I know enough Tagalog to get by and I could actually communicate enough with the doctors and nurses. So they ended up telling us that she needed to rest, drink lots of water and they told us to continue have her taking this fever medicine. They gave us the choice to have her hospitalized or to just go home. We figured we’d be fine giving her water and letting her rest at home so we decided to just go back to the apartment. Our apartment was the first missionary apartment that President and Sister Reeder saw. Sister Reeder was so cute and told President that she wishes she could just gather up all the sisters and have them live in the mission home. I think the mice kind of scared her haha. So much to adjust to when you get here.
Well anyways so Friday night Sister Simbol threw up and then she kept throwing up in the morning so after a while we decided to have her hospitalized. It sounds like it would have been easy to decide all this but it is hard when you know nothing about Dengue and can’t totally communicate with the doctors who obviously want her hospitalized even if they’re just giving her fluids. Well luckily there is this American doctor, a member, who lives in Manila and I guess he helps answer lots of medical questions for mission president wives here in the Philippines. So I would text Sister Reeder, she’d text him, then he’d text her back and then she would text me back. So after lots of texting back and forth, we decided that since she couldn’t keep fluids down, she really should stay at the hospital. So luckily the sisters (Sister Horst and Viola) have been great in helping Sister Simbol and me out. And actually President told us that right now we can kind of work like a four-some companionship haha. So since Sister Simbol and I hadn’t been able to teach since Wednesday, Sister Viola and I went out Saturday night and taught two lessons which went good! Then for Sunday, the sisters went to church in the morning and then Sister Horst and I went to my ward in the afternoon while Sister Viola stayed with Sister Simbol. Then we taught Brother Fxxx after church which was sweet! Sister Horst is just one transfer ahead of me so we’re both pretty new but we were totally able to teach and it was a great lesson. Pretty fun being two Americans out in the world. Brother Fxxx though is doing amazing and even though he’s going through lots, he already has such a strong testimony of the scriptures, prayer and of the gospel.
Then I spent another night in the hospital and for district activity, the elders all came to the hospital to visit Sister Simbol! So that was nice. As of right now, Sister Simbol is still in the hospital with no fever and recovering but she probably won’t be released for another couple of days or so because they need to keep an eye on her blood platelet count or something like that. So… obviously we haven’t been able to work as much but the main focus for the past couple of days has been to just get Sister Simbol better.
But I’ve been lucky cuz I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with the Reeder’s which has been so fun! And then extra lucky to have such great sisters in our same apartment that are willing to help out so much. And if you’re worried about me getting sick, don’t! Cuz you can only get it through mosquitoes and since I’ve been here, I still have never gotten a mosquito bite (I’m still sour!). I guess I probably could still get sick but hopefully the chances aren’t too high.
So that has been most of my week but some other random things, Sister Simbol said that two different nights she heard me talking in my sleep in Tagalog!!! Sweet! One time I was actually teaching a lesson and then another time I was just asking someone what their name was… Tagalog is so easy, I can even do it in my sleep! Haha. But still not fluent obviously ;).
So I think a while ago I told you about a missionary from China that was coming to my mission. Well he’s been here for 6 days and he’s actually in my district! My district leader Elder Paz is training him. He knows some English and not very much Tagalog but he so happy to be here and is working hard!
So before Sister Simbol got sick, on Tuesday we had a great day and we were able to teach 7 lessons in one day which is the most we’ve ever done! I guess that helped make up for the lack of lessons later on in the week haha. So yes kind of a different week but it still has been good! Obviously not too great for Sister Simbol so please keep her in your prayers. I gave the guy who sweeps our floor at the hospital a Restoration pamphlet so I’m still trying my best to be a missionary! It’s been weird though having to do weekly planning and daily planning by myself and kind of not knowing if I’m going to be able to go out and work. We’re kind of just taking it one day at a time but I think the other sisters will keep switching out so I can get out every once in a while and teach some of our investigators too. But it’s all good and I’m still extremely happy to be serving!
I love you guys and remember our Heavenly Father loves us. He has given us so much and yet he still is willing to continue to bless us and help us. Remember to always ask for His help. And remember, through our faith, miracles are brought to pass. Moroni 7 is one of my favorite chapters on faith so read that for those that are struggling!
Totally random but I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned my peanut butter addiction yet! So you can buy this homemade peanut butter here that is AMAZING! It is so sweet and really runny and most american missionaries eat it like candy haha. So most of my diet is rice with whatever we can find to go with it, and peanut butter with what I can find to go with that: crackers, bread, bananas, chocolate cookies yep just anything with peanut butter. And many times just plain peanut butter. I keep telling myself it’s healthy because of the protein and healthy fats but I’m not sure if my proportions are very healthy since that is probably about half of my diet haha.
So anyways… this week! Wow, super up and down. Wednesday was AWESOME because we got to do exchanges. The leader coordinating sister (or whatever the term is), Sister Carrasca, came Tuesday morning with her companion Sister Gerrard and did exchanges with Sister Horst and Viola Tuesday and then with us on Wednesday. So that was my first time leading and I lead everything. The teaching, where we were going and what to do so it was sweet. But I felt so confident all day and I was able to really teach by the Spirit so it was great! Well then Thursday and Friday, I reeeeally struggled for some reason. I lost most confidence and I felt like I could hardly teach anything and I felt like my Tagalog was just gone. Well then on Saturday during my personal study, I read in D&C 42:14 which says, “And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.” I definitely felt like I couldn’t teach which probably meant I was not teaching by the Spirit. So definitely a humbling experience because I realized that I really do need the Lord all the time and that I need to teach by the power of the Spirit or else I can’t speak first of all, and I can’t teach to the hearts of those we teach. Luckily our lesson we taught yesterday went lots better. We taught Brother Fxxx again and a quick update on him, he is doing awesome! I wish we could teach him more frequently but he’s so busy with school and things that we will probably only teach him once a week. But he actually read his reading assignment in the Book of Mormon (not super common for an investigator to do only after the first lesson) and he’s been praying! And not just praying a little, he set a goal for himself to pray every morning and every night. Wow! We’re really praying though that his parents’ hearts will be softened because right now it seems that they’re pretty against him getting baptized even though he’s 21. So he could still get baptized but it would be a lot better if they were okay with it. Especially for here in the Philippines, family is so important that most the time you don’t want to do something that would upset your parents.
So anyways Thursday wasn’t too terrible because Thursday morning we had district meeting, last interviews with President Bliesner and we said goodbye to President and Sister Bliesner! They flew out this morning. So sad! We’ll miss them a ton but we’re super excited for President and Sister Reeder. I saw President Reeder yesterday but wasn’t able to actually meet him so I’ll meet him this Thursday. But I talked to Sister Reeder a little bit and she is the cutest! So Utah and so sweet haha.
Oh Wednesday we had a brown out for almost the whole entire day! Luckily it rained in the afternoon but before that it was so stinkin hot with no fans on in the apartment. So Wednesday night was the first lesson I’ve taught by candle light and it wasn’t because they didn’t have electricity, it was because there was no power haha. But it came back on in the middle of the lesson so luckily we had power when we got home. There are less active members that don’t have power but we just don’t teach them at night because most the time they feel embarrassed to have to use candles.
Saturday was the best weather day ever. In the morning we got a text from the Zone Leaders saying that there was a tropical storm warning! I was excited but a little nervous cuz I wasn’t sure how strong it was supposed to be. They said that in the afternoon it was supposed to get really windy and that we were supposed to go home when it got windy. Well it rained for most of the day, got a little windy, but it totally wasn’t something we couldn’t handle, so Sister Simbol and I ended up still working till 9 haha. But it was so nice because with the rain and wind combined, I am proud to say that I didn’t sweat for the entire day. First time since I’ve been in the Philippines! And I think I almost got a little cold at night so I slept with my fan on 1 instead of 3 and with a sheet. So funny how hot the weather is here. But you know it’s hot when Filipinos start complaining and saying that the Philippines is too hot which happened Tuesday.
Yesterday was great of course because of teaching Brother Francis, but also because we got to teach primary with the Elders AND we were finally able to watch the missionary broadcast! That was seriously so neat. I am so ready to go and work harder this week. We really need to work harder on coordinating the work with the ward so hopefully that got the ward members excited about missionary work too. A few things I really liked: Neil L. Andersen said, “Our work begins on our knees.” Relating back to the scripture I quoted earlier, we can receive the Spirit through a prayer of faith. I really have been trying to strengthen my prayers and to pray with more faith. Russell M. Nelson said, “The most effective missionaries work by love.” And lots of them talked about being motivated by love for Christ and for others. I loved all the neat videos and seeing so many missionaries fill the BYU Marriott center! Oh and sweet cuz I know one of the elders that was in the Oklahoma video. His name is Cameron Byrd and he was FHE dad with me, first semester at BYU haha.
Well anyways family and friends, remember for every sad there is a glad! (Thanks mom haha). This church is true!