Monday, July 29, 2013

July 21, 2013

 Elder Magno and Mia (Sister Cherry's daughter)
 Coconut tree!

Pineapple. They cut them like that to get rid of all of the spiky parts.  
 Rambutan! They are these cool spiky fruit things that taste a lot like Lychee
 Elder Magno and I with our chicken.

 Fried Chicken! Yeah, I cooked that. :D
 A light rain storm. 
 Some fun I had with the sunset and my camera. 

Dear Family,
I'm terribly sorry about last week...word's cannot describe how peeved I was when the power went out. That's cool that you guys have a new missionary...they always seem to have a special spirit with's more apparent how much the spirit really helps them because they often struggle a little bit. I've really noticed a big difference in the work as I've been training Elder Magno. Most of my previous companions were really funny and joked around a lot, but Elder Magno is super devoted and serious about the work. We've seen some amazing changes in this area as we've worked. He is on his 11th week of the 12 week program, so it's been his turn to lead the area by himself. He's doing a fantastic job. 

We’ve had some adventures this week and a miracle also…we’ve been praying for weeks and have fasted that our 13 investigators with baptismal dates will come to church, but until this week only one or two of them were showing up. Last week we really tried our best to work hard and invite everyone to come to church…and two families showed up! The Feje family and the family of Sister Lyn, another investigator! We were so surprised when Sister Lyn’s whole family came, because her husband never seems to want to sit down for the lessons with his wife (he is a super nice guy, but he always seems to have an excuse). It was such a pleasant shock to see him sit down with his family, and an even bigger shock when he told us that they will all be coming to church again next week! Both families had a good experience. We also had a lot of other investigators come, making 11 in total that showed up. We were pretty excited. It really shows how mch the Lord answers prayers as we do our best to make things happen.

The Feje family is doing amazing. Brother Feje is finally back from Cavite (Manila) so we’ve been able to sit down and teach them all again. They told us that they love having us over because they feel close as a family, and that when we leave there’s something ‘different’ about how they feel. We taught the Law of Chastity yesterday and it went great. The only problem is that they aren’t ready for a baptismal date yet. I’m sure that they will be though in the near future. They are such an amazing family and I love teaching them.

Sister Cherry Carrenio is also doing great…her sister (who is actually a member) visits her every weekend so now they will be going to church together. We challenged her (again) to be baptized on Aug 17, but she isn’t so sure about it. She really wants to be baptized but also says that she wants to be ready first. I’m glad that she is being honest, and we are just praying and teaching her the best that we can to help her be ready. She has been through a lot in her life and I know that the Church will be such a blessing in her life.

And Katrina, the girl that is Jianna’s age – this week we challenged her and her mom to be baptized and they accepted! Katrina has been coming to church and even going to seminary, but we really feel that we want her mom to be ready too so that they can both be baptized and stay active. It was funny, because this was the second time that we’d tried to extend the invitation…the first time, as we were sharing 3 Nephi 11 with her, one of her kids came in and started being a terror and we weren’t able to finish the invitation. THIS time, haha, as we were extending it, this other lady that had been listening just randomly broke out into this 29 minute (it was actually that long) monologue about how our church meetings are 6 hours long and how she was trapped in one of them because nobody is allowed to leave once they have signed the attendance book and entered the building (she was talking about the Iglesia Ni Cristo…yes…that is actually what happens in that church sometimes...I have all sorts of stories about them. She confused us with them). Anyways, after trying 11 times unsuccessfully to interupt this lady’s story, she finally ran out of words and we were somehow able to push through and extend the invitation, which was thankfully accepted. Missionary work is so hard. Haha.

I also experienced my first tropical storm. Elder Magno and I were walking down the highway…it was really sunny, but a few raindrops had just started to come down. We definitely weren’t expecting a storm. We had a few appointments which were about 25 minutes away that we were walking to, but as we walked we felt like we should visit the Feje family on the way. We had just got to their house and were sitting on the porch when this crazy wind just came out of no where and the rain picked up. The rain was like someone had taken a bucket and dumped it out in the sky. We ran inside…the roof of the house was shaking and branches were flying off of trees outside. Their whole yard became a lake within ten minutes. Elder Magno looked terrified (he has some bad memories from really bad storms as a child), and when I asked him how strong he thought the storm was, he told me that it was just a little one (Signal 1). When it reaches signal 3 or 4 people are literally lifted off the ground and houses are destroyed. It was insane. I was just grateful for the prompting we’d received to drop by the Feje’s house. The storm only lasted for ½ hour or so.

I also found something new and delicious this week…pineapple and salt. There are tons of fresh pineapples for sale in the markets right now and I buy at least one big one a week. If you sprinkle a little salt on it, it tastes like 80x better.

It sounds like you guys are doing great, although the weather sounds insane over there right now. That is cool about your dream Dad. I've been realizing more and more how important it is to be prepared, and I'm glad that we are prepared as a family and that the ward is also getting prepared. I’ve had a lot of weird dreams too in the mission. I woke up one night at 2 and wrote one down in my journal. When I woke up I couldn’t remember it. It was really odd…I was standing in the street surrounded by lots of people I know. They were all showing me microchips that they had received in their arms and telling me that I should get one. I didn’t get one. Weird. I wrote it all down.

I also had a dream this week that the mission president called me and told me that I am transferring to Guimba zone. I guess I’ll see next week, haha. I’m a little bit excited to be transferred but mostly I don’t want to leave. There has been so much progress in this area since I first got here and it would be wonderful to get to baptize some of these families that we’ve been teaching. I am happy though, even if I do get transferred, that I got to be a part of the seed planting in this area. I know that whoever takes my place will have a really good harvest. I fell like this area and the two companions that I’ve had here have taught me so much that I needed to know to be a better missionary. I feel ready for whichever area the Lord wants to send me to.

I love you all and I’m thinking of you often. I’m so grateful to be a missionary and to have a solid family at home supporting me.

Love Jared.

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