Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 24, 2014 Spiders that eat cockroaches

 There are tons of these spiders in our house here. They do get rid of cockroaches though...
  Last Tuesday was a Fiesta (like a holiday) in Barangay Aguso, and we ate lunch at Sister Lori's house. The dishes you see there are fried chicken, caldereta (goat), minatamis na baboy (sweetened pork), lumpia shanghai, and a huge grilled tuna (SO GOOD). The little oranges are to put on the tuna with soy sauce, and I don't know what a few of the other dishes are called.  We ate a lot. 
Not the stuff you buy in a can...
 New Camera...it's green. It was on sale and they had no other colours. 
 The Elders (Left to right - Elder Olsen, Me, Elder Leduna [my super cool companion], Elder Mosquera, Elder Christenson, Elder Antoni) 
Baptism! This was on the same day as Jameson's baptism. Michelle and Marilou are the two girls kind of in the middle (the short ones, but not the little kid with her mom). The APs had a baptism and so did the elders from ward 2 in our district so we just had a combined service. It was an incredible day.  I don't know all the people being baptised by name, but I've met them all and interviewed some of them. They all have amazing stories. 



Dear Family,
First off – congratulations to Jameson! It sounds like you had a wonderful baptism! I really wish I could have been there. BUT, we had a baptism too on the same day. Michelle and Marilou got baptized along with a mother and her young daughter from the AP’s area. Michelle and Marilou are Sister and Brother Ombac’s sisters. (Michelle is Bro. Ombac’s sister in law). Brother Ombac is a returned less active who is amazing (he was baptized when he was a little kid and then became less active when his family became inactive). Right after he returned, he helped his wife to get baptized, and now he is helping his siblings to be taught and baptized. He has the priesthood now and is preparing his family to enter the temple next year when his wife has been a member for a year. The work has seen enormous success in their area because of him.

I can’t believe how tall and lanky Jameson and Jarom are. AND JAMESON HAS A GECKO! We have lots of geckos in our house but they aren’t quite as cool as the one he has. I definitely approve of the gecko more than the dog, haha. 

This week has been really good. Our mission is trying to hit the standard of excellence for baptisms this month (245 baptisms) and it’s been really stressful to try and keep up with the goals that we’ve set as a zone. This week we had 11 baptisms in the zone. 6 of them were in our district and we had a combined service for all of them, which was wonderful. My favorite part of baptisms is when the new member gets up and bears their testimony; it is the best feeling to see how happy they are and all of the changes that they’ve made in order to take that step. The wards here have been great with welcoming these new converts and strengthening them.

We’ve really been focusing on finding this week because we want to build up our investigator pool. We were knocking on doors around our neighborhood the other morning and we found a cool new investigator. Her name is Sister Ricafort. We had walked onto a street and started with the first house we saw…the dad came out of the door, jumped like he saw a ghost when he saw us, yelled, “We’re busy!” in English and bolted inside. Not the best first try of the day. We decided to go right across the street to the next house, and a nice nanay answered the door and let us in. It turns out her mother is an active member in the ward – she lives a few houses away. She immediately invited us in. It turns out she is lonely because her husband works all over the Philippines as a medical worker. She just sits at home with her grandchildren and is very interested in anything to do with religion. We had a great first lesson and when we committed her to pray about Joseph Smith she said, “Of course! Why not?” We are hoping to get her mother involved in some of the lessons.

We have also had several experiences this week where we’ve been guided to people who are waiting for the gospel. It’s hard to explain how it works. You just kind of feel like you need to go to a certain house and then all of a sudden someone comes out wanting to listen, or you meet somebody that has been taught before, or find a new less active who is ready to listen again. We had the craziest experience the other day – we were proselyting  and we walked past this house with a bird cage on the front. As we passed by, the bird called out to us. (they have these crazy birds here that can speak…they mimic whatever you say as soon as your back is turned). Of course, you don’t just pass opportunities up to talk with cool birds, so we turned back and started talking with it. After about thirty seconds a woman (the owner of the bird) came out. I was afraid that she was going to say that they were Iglecia and not to talk to their bird, but as we introduced ourselves to her we found out that she is a member of the church who hasn’t been to church for three years. We met her daughter also who is seriously physically handicapped and needs a wheelchair. We were able to share a message with them and invite them to church. The ward will probably be able to help them get a wheelchair. After we left, we said thank you to the bird on the way out.

I am out of time again but I just want you to know that I love you all and I’m thinking of you. The gospel is true. We are so blessed to be a part of it.

Love,

Jared.


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