Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 3, 2013

We went to Isdaan today...so all of these pictures are from there!

It’s basically this huge floating restaurant in the middle of all of these big statues and ponds full of fish.

 Giant monkeys and Buddhas!
 There's no way I would ever show this much affection to this guy in real life. (Also, my hair is weird...it is kind of short in the back and falls into my eyes in the front if I don't comb it over.

 Nice view of the place
 Comp Shot! Elder Dela Paz and I.
One of the ponds full of fish. 
 Huge frog that one of the elders found in the fish ponds.
 Giant buffalo head.
Angry birds! How cool is that?

Kumusta po sa akin pinagmamahal na pamilya!

We have a baptism!!!!!! Haha. I know missionary work isn’t just about baptism, but it is still exciting. Sister Anita has come to church twice now, and is reading the Book of Mormon every day (she’s about halfway through Mosiah now). One of the sisters in Sunday school asked her when her baptismal goal date was (she didn’t have an exact date at this point…she wanted to decide for herself after she read the Book of Mormon) and she said, “Next week.” She is really excited, but we have to move it two weeks forward so she can go to church one more time first. It has been a blessing to teach her...she has been prepared by the Lord and has such a strong desire to know the truth. She says that she hasn’t been able to sleep at night because she is thinking about the church so much, and she says that she knows she is ready. I just hope nothing happens to change that (our last ‘golden’ investigator is hiding from us now).

Oh, I didn’t transfer. I’m still in Cuyapo, haha. I’m happy about it though, because it means I will be here for Sister Anita’s baptism. I’m not ready to leave all of these amazing people that I’ve met. We had a really good talk with the branch president yesterday about home teachers and helped him organize the six active priesthood holders into home teaching companionships with some of the youth. We are hoping that this will help us have more success in the branch. There are so many less actives that need the help of the members. We visited a less active the other day for the first time…we ‘tao po-ed’ their house about 10 times but they didn’t answer, so I walked up the front of their tindahan (little store attached to their house) and shouted ‘pabili po!’ (I want to buy something) and they come outside right away. They were shocked to see us, and when we asked them why they stopped coming to church, they told us that it was because the missionaries that had baptized them had left. “Mabait naman sila! (They were just the nicest missionaries)” is what they told us. Hopefully we can help them gain an actual testimony and help them want to return to church.

That’s one thing that I’ve learned about the work here…it is important to focus on baptizing people but it is even more important to prepare them and help them gain a sure testimony. There are so many ‘missionary converts’ here and a lot of them are almost impossible to reach. A lot of them that lived out in the country would come in for church every Sunday and the missionaries would pay for their transportation. As soon as the missionaries left, these people became inactive. I’ve learned that there is a difference between teaching people and helping people become converted, and I’ve made it a goal to convert people and help them feel the spirit rather than just teaching them. Part of being converted is making sacrifices in order to do what the Lord would have us do, and we shouldn’t take that aspect of things away from people.

I will probably be here until the end of March, and then I’ll be headed off to area #2.
This last week has been pretty good. We’ve probably ‘Tao po-ed’ almost every house in Cuyapo, and we’ve been able to find of lot of new people to teach. A few of them are middle-class material, but one of them is a town official, so we’re excited about that. I’ve also decided that I like talking to Filipinos more than Caucasians, haha. I’m done trying to talk to white people here…most of them have been rude or just slammed their doors in our faces. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to talk to people in other parts of the world, haha.

Today we went to Isdaan, and my camera was working this time. I sent a bunch of pictures to you. It’s basically this huge floating restaurant in the middle of all of these big statues and ponds full of fish. We went there to take pictures as a zone this morning.

I also got the package that you sent! Thank you! The food is delicious and I loved all of the drawings that Jianna and Jameson and Jarom did. I forgot about St. Patricks day, haha. I don’t think that they celebrate it here. I have given away most of the candy, and I am rationing out the trail mix and jerky so it will last a couple of weeks. It’s nice to get a break from rice once in a while, haha. 
That’s all I really have for this week.



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