So the miracle this week was getting 19 new investigators! Yeahhh… 17 of them are ages 10 to 18. But still!!! We’re not really sure what’s going to happen with them because none of their parents are members and so getting the support needed to actually be baptized will be quite difficult. But our plan this week is to try to start teaching the parents if we can. So we found them because we were looking for a less active 16 or so year old boy. Well we talked to his mom and he doesn’t live there or something but she said that we could teach the ‘kids’. I wasn’t really sure what she meant but I think it was just an excuse for her to get out of us teaching her. Well anyways, kids kept walking up and so we asked if they wanted to hear our message and they said yes so we set up an appointment.
Well Wednesday we went and there were about 11 kids there that all wanted to listen. So… we started teaching lesson 1 about the Restoration. They seemed pretty interested and actually had some pretty good questions that showed they were understanding it pretty well. They have a lot of religious background and have been taught lots of different things so we were kind of clearing up some things for them. After the lesson they kept asking tons of questions about us. They loved my water bottle with my family picture and most of the boys have a crush on Claire (they’re too young for Sid and Mikelle) and there is this one girl that seriously has a crush on Jacob haha. She thought it was so cool he plays tennis ;).
Well they wanted us to go back the next day so Thursday we taught them again. We decided to watch the Restoration video so they really got the importance of Joseph Smith and things. Sadly it was English cuz we couldn’t find the remote but the Spirit was there and that’s all that matters. So Friday night, we went back again and they were just still super excited! They had all decided to make name tags to help Sister Prakash and I learn all their names. They all have a Book of Mormon and most of them have actually been reading it! Some new ones snuck in on Friday and some weren’t able to go so we started taking ‘role’ to keep track of which lessons everyone has been taught. But they all just love listening and learning about the gospel! We invited them to be baptized and some want to and others aren’t sure. One asked if that meant he would be a Mormon and we told him and yes and he said, “but I’m Catholic!” Haha so hopefully as we teach them they’ll really understand the importance of baptism and really hopefully their parents will be okay with it! Pray for miracles to happen because they’re all such great kids. And remember, Joseph Smith was only 14 years old when Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. These kids have faith and they want to do what is right.
We also had interviews on Tuesday so it was super fun to see President and Sister Reeder. Love them so much.
Random note but since I left Naga there’s been 4 convert baptisms! The ward goal is 17 convert baptisms from July 2013 to July 2014 and everyone thought that was so high when we first set it. But faith is being exercised and it really seems like that is so achievable. Hopefully the work will continue to move forward there.
Here in Tigaon… the work is also moving forward because we just found out last night that the ward is SPLITTING! I was just thinking yesterday during church how the priesthood here is sooooo low (the old young men’s president is leaving for a mission cuz he’s only 19 so they just called the new one who I’m pretty sure is only 17 or 18 years old.) And we don’t have a ward mission leader or ward missionaries and sometimes the elders have to bless the sacrament BUT I think this is going to be great. This might be the push that all the less actives need to come to church. Of course my role as a missionary is super important as we can really help in trying to reactive members so lots of work to do! There over 800 names of members in Tigaon and so it’s been approved by the First Presidency to split the ward. The zone leaders will go to Tigaon 2 and go to church in the afternoon, and us and the other 2 elders will be Tigaon 1 in the morning.
Sister Porcia sadly though is going to be in the other ward. She is the relief society president and has been a huge help to us sisters. Yesterday she went out to work with us (even though it was her birthday) and we taught Victoria for the second time. Victoria asked Sister Porcia why she decided to become Mormon (she was Catholic before) and she bore a strong testimony of the fullness the Restored Gospel. She also told a few stories about some of the trials they faced right before they got baptized. Sister Porcia was a young mother with young kids and for about a week they didn’t have food. But they continued to pray, read the scriptures and even sing Hymns during this hard week. She said that although her little kids were hungry, they didn’t cry or complain. And after that they were blessed with lots of food that they were able to sell to get money to buy food for themselves. Amazing! So Sister Victoria I think really felt the Spirit and although she said no to being baptized right now, she seems very committed to read the Book of Mormon and to find out for herself if it is true. She also loved the concept of Eternal Families so yep I’m super excited for her.
Well there goes another long email but another great week! Thanks for those who do read my emails even if they’re forever long. Thanks for the prays that go my way. Prayer and faith are powerful and remember that Heavenly Father works according to our faith. I really try to remember that through me, Heavenly Father can work miracles. And they’ve been happening! Love being a missionary because I get to share the best message in the world. That Jesus Christ lives, and because of Him and His Restored Gospel, we can return to live with our loving Heavenly Father again, even as Eternal Families.
The top is Tagalog and the bottom is Bicol, so you can see how different they are. So she is really learning two languages!