Dear Weekly Readers ;)Kamusta na kamo tanan? It's been a good week in the Philippines again. We're just battling the rain every day, typhoons, storms, rain, dogs, crazy people, less actives, angry members, no power sometimes, Bacolod trips, trainings, getting to the mountain in a rain storm just to do sacrament, having 8 investigators at sacrament, trying to do our best given all circumstances, and I'm wasted tired and just want to sleep. But, it's not like my bed is that comfortable anyway, haha, so no real point in doing that. I can sleep when I get home. This week President training was really good. He talked about how God is preparing all the people to receive the message. Not just some people. Why would God only prepare "some" of the people? Why wouldn't He prepare all of them. It made sense after I thought about it for awhile. I just then wonder why everybody doesn't accept the message if they're being prepared. I guess that everybody has their agency. We've still had a pretty good week. I guess you saw the pictures on President's facebook and the video of us teaching. If... you even understood it. haha.
Tuesday and Wednesday we worked super hard because we knew that we were going to be gone on Thursday and then half of Friday. Tuesday we left as early as we could, and we were just totally wet by 2pm. I was just miserable, but we just continued on the work. I love it though. Nothing better than showing up to their house (investigator), you're totally wet and they're like, you still came even though it's pouring rain. Then I just tell them, "that's how much we love you." They just laugh, but it's true. I've honestly just grown to love some people here. I know they're all children of our Heavenly Father, but it's just weird. I guess nobody could understand unless you've experienced it. You can have tons of trials and things, but when I visit people, I just feel like, everything will just be good, work out, and that these people love me back too ;) It's funny, the Filipinos are just great people. Even with the messed up traditions that they have. It's still cool. We met a school teacher who's just finishing up college and she seems super interested in our message and we spoke some English together. She's the one hiding in the back in that picture that I sent. Wearing blue I think. She was way cool, not shy at all, asked questions during the lesson and everything. I hope our follow up visits are good. We've got another investigator that supposed to be baptized in the coming week, but she just won't come to church now. I think there's a little bit missing in the "upstairs" if you know what I mean. Whenever we ask questions she'll start talking about the answer for about 3 seconds, then it ends up with her husband just fell over a rock the other day and her daughter is doing good in school, and they want to go somewhere in a couple days to go do something, it's just really weird. I don't enjoy it, just no spirit because she takes it away! Oh well, just something we'll work on I suppose. She hasn't come to church the past 3 weeks though. Every time we ask where she was it's just weird different reasons that make no sense whatsoever.
Wednesday we were punted up in the mountain in Tampalon, however, we found a cool new family that we started teaching. Not married however, so that's a bummer!!!!! Always happens! It's pretty rough. We found a pentecostal investigator and I don't know much about them actually. I've never taught one, nor studied their doctrine like the other churches. We taught the dad on Wednesday then went back and taught his daughter on Saturday. She's a baptist! We were like... so why are you different from your dad. She said, "Well they're pretty much the same". That just goes to show you how much they know about their religions or at least about those 2 religions. Of what I DO know, they're not similar... at all. Her brother in law is a pastor of the pentecostal church, when we gave her the Book of Mormon, she like, "I'm going to read this to the pastor". We said, "Go AHEAD". So, we'll see what happens.
Our 2 days in Bacolod were really nice. The ZL's have a truck and they next to us, so we just rode with them. It was free because he somehow clowned someone into filling it up at the office. haha. So that was a plus. Elder De Vera (Wilsteads companion when they were AP's) he goes home in 2 weeks. He's our ZL with Elder Parry (from Lehi). They're way cool. We listened to Bruce R. McConkie talks on the way up. I don't know how much to actually take as doctrine that the church supports or if like, everything he says is true. Because I've heard quite a few things he has said been contradicted by another apostle or something. So I don't know. Same thing with Mormon Doctrine, the preface says that it's according to the things that he's studied and according to what he's learned. But his talks are still really good. We got to eat some food and do a little shopping. That night we had our training and I already told you about that. Hope you really like our video ;)haha. Not prepared for that at all.
|Elder Merciales & Ellis|
Friday and Saturday the rain just continues. I love it! Washing my pants every night isn't my favorite, but it's alright, just the sacrifice we've got to make ;) Saturday we found another awesome family! They're a born again family, I think the mom is the only active one though. We met them on Wednesday though, just while walking by. We walk by again on Saturday to go to a different family that we were planning on visiting, then the dad calls out to us! ELDERS! So we go and teach his family! The have 4 kids, married, their daughter is a college student, so we met her because she was visiting, but usually she's not there I guess. We gave her a Book of Mormon to take with her back to her boarding house. We'll give them family one when we go back on Wednesday or Thursday. We've found some good people up there.
Sunday I was the one who went up to do the special sacrament. Nobody from the bishopric came with us, just me and Brother Whenie the Recent Convert. There's one other priest up there in this group. So when we got there, I was like, who's presiding? Turns out... I would be I guess. I conducted, passed the sacrament, blessed the sacrament, chorister of the music, and presided. Weird huh? Only once in a life that happens I guess! Right when we finished sacrament there was a wind/rain storm. We couldn't leave the house! For 2 hours! And then we had to get back down the mountain and back to the church for a fireside. I was a speaker about the Book of Mormon. I think it was really good and they liked it. We were doing it for Recent Converts and for Investigators, but none of our investigators came, only Recent Converts and other members. It's okay I guess though, it was mission accomplished. Then we just went and worked a little bit after that and it was fun ;) Loving the Philippines!
Love you guys! Hope y'all have a great week! I'm going to kick it here for 9 more weeks ;) Halong kamo pirme!Love,