Monday, June 24, 2013

June 16, 2013

I've had a really cool week...Planting season just started right now, so all of the men are out in the fields all day everyday, which has been kind of a challenge, but other than that there have been a lot of really great things happen this week. We haven't been able to get a hold of a lot of our investigators because of the rice harvest, but we've had some good finding opportunities. We were walking through a larger town on Wednesday in our area called Santo Domingo, and we passed by a little section of road that had a dead end, we felt impressed to turn back and walk down it. There were maybe five or six houses on that patch of road, and only one person outside - a woman sitting on her porch. We started to talk to her and she excitedly invited us to sit down. As we got to know her, we found out that she has some family that are members (from another town) and has always been curious about the church. We shared the message of the Restoration with her and got a return appointment for Friday. When we returned we shared about the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it, pray about it and be baptized. To our surprise, she accepted a goal date for July 13th and even came to church yesterday! The members did an amazing job of fellow-shipping her and took her to all of the classes. We are really excited. The whole experience just really helped me realize how much the Lord prepares people to hear the Gospel, and that we always need to listen for the promptings. The feeling I felt wasn't a big powerful feeling or impression - it was almost just a thought to go back and turn right, but after we found that sister I realized that it was an impression from the spirit. 
I actually still haven't got the package...I was hoping it would be here on Thursday at Trainers and Trainees meeting but not yet. Sometimes it takes a while. It'll probably be here next week or so (either that or there are some really happy FIlipino customs agents enjoying some Canadian snacks right now, haha). 

It was super nice of Elder Monroe to get me a cake (he's my housemate though, not my companion). He bought it for about 350 pesos at Butterland, a little bakeshop next to the 7-11 here. It was delicious. 

We have another baptism coming up this weekend, so I'll be sure to smile a lot. All of the baptismal pictures that we have get put on a big board that President and Sister Martino are going to send to the Prophet, so I'll try to look really good for him, haha. 

That family we've been teaching (the Fege Family) is doing good...I'm not sure if they are more interested in the gospel or interested with hanging out with us, but we've really been focusing on them gaining a testimony and on Saturday we challenged them all to be baptized. To my absolute surprise, the Mom accepted right away (from the beginning she seemed totally against it), but she said that they needed time before they could pick a date. I think they are really worried about what their extended family (especially their Catholic aunt who pays for their kid's schooling) will think. The Dad seemed a little more unsure, but agreed with what his wife said. Before we left, Andylyn (the oldest daughter) told us that their whole family will be baptized if we can help the Dad gain a desire to be baptized. She also told us that she wants to become a missionary someday :)
They are such an amazing family and I know they are ready for the gospel - they are already so close as a family (unlike most FIlipino families, where the Dad is never around or spends time with his family) and they are the nicest people. The mom was excited when she told us that Brother Fege had stopped drinking and smoking...we haven't even taught him the Word of Wisdom yet, but he read the pamphlet that we gave to Andylyn and is now living it! The mom said that she has never seen him change like that and has started saying things like, "If we become Mormon..." or "If we join your church...". I know the Lord is really working with he family to soften her heart, and the lessons we have with them are always powerful and spiritual. I hope and pray more than anything that we can help them gain their own testimonies. 

Those were the best parts of my week. We had another interesting experience as we were finding people - a Born Again lady told us a story about something that happened to her while she was in the hospital having an operation. I guess she was in a coma or something for three days, and said while that happened she went to another place and met a woman (she thought the woman was "Momma Mary") who told her that she was in Paraiso (Paradise). She said that it was a wonderful place, and that she was told that she was allowed to see it so that she could tell people on earth to serve god. She saw some other people there, but wasn't allowed to talk with them, and when she asked about her family members that had passed away, she was told that they were in another place. She also said that everyone there was about 24 or twenty five years old, and that she was about that age too while she was there (she is actually about 55 or so here). It was a little odd, but interesting because a lot of the things she said (except the 'Momma Mary" thing actually matched our doctrine of Spirit Paradise). As a Born Again she understood the place to be heaven, but I thought it was interesting that the woman she saw described it as 'Paradise'. We have a return appoint to go teach her and I think we'll talk about the Plan of Salvation. 

Well, that's about all for this week. It was a good one though and I'm excited for the weeks to come. I love this area. 

Love Jared. 

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