Monday, February 24, 2014

February 17, 2014

Dear Family,

I was just at the Ukay-Ukay and I bought two new ties for P100. Ukay-Ukay's are like second hand stores with all of the stuff coming from other countries. The one here gets it's stuff from Hong Kong, so there is some pretty cool stuff. I also bought 8 classical piano CD's there. I buy a lot of ties when they have them...I only have a couple of the original ties that I brought. I give a lot of them to the members. 

This week has been okay. It's been hard with some of our investigators, but that's just how it goes sometimes. Alcohol and smoking are such a huge problem here. It's the hardest thing for a lot of people to give up. Our part is just to be patient and continue to show love to them. Also, Sister Devera didn't come to church this week. We invited her but she just said that she wouldn't come. We told her that her kids won't be able to be baptized and her family will miss out on the blessings of the temple one day if she chooses not to come, but she just said, "It's okay. As long as my kids go to church I'm happy. Even if they aren't baptized." We can't really force anyone to do anything, but it's so hard for me when people seem to be making progress and then they just stop for no reason. 

On the flip side though, Manuel, one of our investigators, has been progressing really well. He is dating one of the active members in the ward and has been coming to church for a while. He works in Tarlac all week and then comes here for the weekends. We taught him about the Book of Mormon last week and invited him to pray about it. We were both kind of surprised when, in the closing prayer, he asked the Lord to reveal the truth of the Book of Mormon to him as he studies it. After the prayer he wiped a few tears away from his eyes and looked at us and said, "I don't know why I'm crying." Love it when that happens. He is going to keep reading and praying to get ready to be baptized in the first week of March. 

We weren't able to visit with Jobert too much this week, but we left him a Book of Mormon with a list of different verses from the Bible and the BOM about the Apostasiya, Restoration, and Prophets. As well as an invitation to pray about it. He is currently being proselyted to the Iglesia ni Cristo, but wants to know more about the Book of Mormon before he makes a final decision. The Iglesia take a really cynical, philosophical view of the Bible (their main doctrines are that Jesus is not a god, and that they are his church...the only Church that will be saved. They believe that God is a spirit, that the sacrament is not necessary, nor the law of the Sabbath. They also claim that their founder is the angel ascending from the east that is mentioned in the 7th chapter of Revelations). We've had to answer some pretty hard questions, haha. I really hope and pray that he will seriously read the Book of Mormon and PRAY about it. There is no other way to be absolutely sure about anything in life. We have to ask God and have it revealed to us by the Spirit of Truth. We'll see what this week brings. 

There are so many less actives's getting really stressful. We are teaching a brother who is a member but joined the Iglesia...his wife used to be a member and so he was baptized there before they were married. We are really after him in a way because he holds the priesthood. Not many men here do. His wife told us that she wants to join the church...she saw a picture of the temple and wants to get married there because it 'looks so beautiful there'. We just hope that we can help Brother find his testimony again. We are also teaching several families...usually just the kids will face us...who were baptized years ago and have all become less-active. Sometimes, I wonder how these people were even baptized because they have almost no idea at times about the church. I think I mentioned last week that I have decided to not baptize anyone if they have not received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. Many have gone less-active because of lack of friends or because it is easier to just be Catholic, or because of lack of support from their families. A lot of the times it's because they work on Sundays. Some of the biggest joys on my mission have been when these great members have found their way back to the church...but it's also the most stressful thing in the world sometimes trying to teach them. 

I love reading your emails today. Things are going pretty well. The work is true and the Lord loves us. Stay strong and keep looking for missionary opportunities. 

I love you guys.


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