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!