Things are going pretty good this week, but the work has been somewhat difficult because everybody is still out in the bukid harvesting rice. We've been circling the same town day after day and trying to find new investigators and everyone seems to be busy or doesn't want to see us. It was getting really tough the other day as we were walking. We had been punted all day and hadn't had a single appointment. It seemed like every person that we tried to talk to was busy or invented an excuse not to talk to us. I had a woman tell me not to come to close to her because she was afraid that I would give an Usog (evil spirit that causes colds and fevers) to her baby. That was a new one, haha.
Anyways, we were walking and were feeling really discouraged, and then my companion told me that we needed to pray. I was so frustrated with that day that the thought had not occurred to me, and we stopped in the streets and said a prayer that would find someone. We walked for probably another ten minutes, and as we passed an Elementary School a man came out and introduced himself to us. He explained that he was a teacher and had just moved from another town. He and his whole family had been baptized into the church six years ago and he held the Melchezidek priesthood. It was just so amazing that our prayer was answered so fast, and we are so happy that we found that brother because we need 6 or so priesthood holders to establish a branch out in our area. It just shows me that even though people may be busy or choose to reject the message, the Lord will still prepare ways for his work to move on.
That was the highlight experience of my week, but we had another really good one as we paid a visit to Brother Richard, the group leader in our ward. We had been having a hard day because of contention that the members were having and had felt that we needed to go to his house to talk with him. As we showed up, he told us of some problems that he had been having with heart palpitations and that he hadn't been able to work for three days. He was anxiously waiting for some test results to come back from the hospital and was really worried that it was serious. He asked us to give him a blessing, which I managed to give in Tagalog (This was the first time I have given a blessing in straight Tagalog) and then after the blessing we talked about the problems in the group and then we left. The next day we received a text message from Brother Richard saying that he was feeling great and that the problem was gone, and that he had received the test results back and the only problem was a vitamin deficiency in his blood that could be easily fixed by multivitamins. It was a really simple experience but it strengthened my testimony of the priesthood. We are really lucky to have Bro. Richard...he is very diligent in his calling as group leader and does all that he can to strengthen the members in our area. We have a lot of plans with him to get the members out there more united and active. It's amazing what a huge difference good leaders can make in an area.
There are a lot of good things happening right now but it has been difficult. We have been having a lot of trouble finding new investigators the ones we do have haven't been progressing. We extended baptismal goal dates to two people last week and both were turned down. The one investigator isn't sure yet, but I think the other one is hiding from us. Sayang (too bad). Our Mission President told us to focus on the area around the members, which is in Bertese, a small group of cement houses beside the highway. There are probably 60 people that live there and about 30 are members...we've been working with them to baptize their friends and family, and we have quite a few people there that want to be baptized (five or six). We just have to wait for harvest season to be over (it's almost done) because none of them are ever home right now.
On a more humorous note, my companion got into a big debate the other day with this Catholic who had a son who is a preacher. I really don't like debating with people, but the Catholic man started it. Before I could do anything else my companion had his bible out and was using it to answer every question this guy had, emphasizing the importance of priesthood and authority. The man got a little bit smug and then told us that Peter was the one who passed down the authority and became the first Santo-Papa (Pope). Elder Soberano just looked up at him and asked him to provide a verse in the bible where it says that Peter became a "Santo-Papa" and then the debate was over. He had nothing. I felt kind of bad that my companion had just destroyed him so I bore my testimony and invited him to learn more about the restoration. He didn't want to listen to any more, but we have a return appointment with his daughter next Sunday. My companion is super super good with the bible and the scriptures...but it's hard sometimes for him to miss out on a good debate. He'll never start one though, which I'm thankful for.
Well, that's my week in a about a nutshell. We've been reporting all day (this week is transfers and we're probably getting a new housemate) and we're going to run and get some groceries now. I sure love you guys and I am also really excited for mothers day. I will let you know what the dealio is with that when they tell us.
I love you guys,
The Church is true.