Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 30, 2013

Hey Everyone,
I had a pretty big adventure this week...the Doctor here in Angeles diagnosed me with Rheumatic Fever and was telling me that I would need to get a deep injection in the buttocks every 21 days for at least six months. Needless to say, Sister Martino didn't like the idea of that at all (neither did I) so she sent me to Manila for a few days to get looked at. They have a place there right beside the MTC and the Temple called the MRC and I stayed there for a couple nights. They have a couple assigned there to help the missionaries and it turns out that they are from Edmonton! Elder and Sister Wood. It was good to be with some fellow Canadians. Also, the cook there is actually Elder Magno's (my trainee and one of my favorite companions) aunt, so we had some good talks too. Anyways, after a lot of embarrassing tests and ultrasounds and stuff they couldn't find any trace of Rheumatic Fever. The doctor at the MRC told me that I probably have a virus or something, but that I'll be able to keep working. 
The trip did have an upside though...I got to do a session in the temple. The Manila temple is pretty small, but it is absolutely gorgeous inside. I also loved the new temple presentation. I got to wear a barong in there (it's a traditional Filipino formal shirt with cool patterns on it) which was also neat. 
I got to meet a few elders from some of the other missions that dropped by the MRC. There was one poor guy in there who was finished his mission, but couldn't go home. He was from Isabella, a part of the northern Philippines. He had some sort of hemorrhaging disorder where he needed a blood transfusion every week and he bleeds from like everywhere. They don't want to send him home because his family doesn't have money for his treatment and he'd only last a week at the most. They say that he's starting to get better though, which is good. I saw an elder from one of the other districts in the MTC too. He's in the Quezon City Mission. 
Aside from all of my healthcare adventures this week, it was a pretty good week. Since sister Lenny has been baptized, we've really been trying to find new investigators. It's been pretty tough...people are so busy here and the ones that aren't are hardcore in other religions and either want to debate or just laugh at us or tell us to go 'mission the other people.' We went back to a lot of the return appointments we set just to find the grandfather or grandmother there telling us, "We were born Catholics and we will die Catholics." We knocked on one door the other day and a man came out and told us he wasn't interested because he is 'Born Again.' He asked us if we were Jehovah's Witnesses, and when we said no he seemed to lighten up a bit. He told us, "If you aren't Jehovah's Witnesses or Catholics, it means you are Born Again's just like us. Our beliefs are all the same." We tried to tell him a few times that, although we believe in many of the same things, there are a lot of things in our message that can help him gain more understanding. I tried to ask him about prophets and stuff, but he wouldn't listen. I just want to say sometimes, "OUR RELIGIONS ARE NOT THE SAME. IF ONLY YOU KNEW HOW MUCH YOUR POTENTIAL IS!!!" But we aren't really supposed to get agitated, haha. 
It's been hard finding here...but don't get me wrong - the people are so amazing and so friendly. We've found some really humble people that are ready to hear the gospel. We just hope that they'll be able to progress. The poorer people have the most amazing faith and are so humble, but sometimes it's hard to help them progress and stay active. We are going to start focusing more in the poorer areas here though and pray to have success. We're also going to go through the ward directory and try to find more less actives and part member families. I think I've realized here more than my other areas just how important members are. I've noticed that when the members have referrals and are involved in the work, things go well. All of the successes we've had here have come because of members. Have you guys been able to get involved with the missionary work lately? I know you are all doing so much to help out the ward and family history and youth already, but I invite you all to go work with the Elders. Give them less actives or investigators to visit and then go with them! They will cherish you forever! haha. 
Good News! I forgot to tell you all earlier, but I got a phone call from the AP's a while back and I guess six of the people we taught in my last area have been baptized. They are all in the pictures I sent a while back. Sister Beth, Sister Lyn Laos and her two older boys Hiron and Harry, and Sister Imelda and her daughter Katrina - the one that is Jianna's age. I was so super happy when I heard they were baptized. That area has grown so much now and they have a meetinghouse. I think they might put some Sisters in that area in the near future which will probably help the area a whole lot more. I was so excited to hear how much the church is progressing there. 
We are also probably moving into a new apartment this week...one that isn't 100 years old and full of cockroaches, haha. I'm sure that will help me feel a lot better. I will keep doing my best to stay positive and work hard and I'm sure this bug will pass. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and fasting for me. I've really felt strength to continue this last week even though I haven't been feeling the best. 

I love you guys. 
Have an awesome week :)
Love JAred. 

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