Interviews in Dap-Dap. It was getting dark so I didn't get to take a really good picture of the mountains. This is probably the most beautiful area I've seen in my whole mission.
I took my companion to the temple :) haha.
Some funny kids...we are teaching the little girl's (I forgot her name) older sister,
Jenna. The little boy's name is Manuel. They are the children of some less active members. Their grandma takes some of them to church with her every week.
Blessings of living in the city.
This week was quite fantastic. It started out with a very stressful Monday full of reports but it just got better from there on. We had our Mission Leadership Council and the topic for this month is Grace…which I am super excited about. So many churches believe that grace is the way we are saved but don’t really understand that grace isn’t just an automatic guarantee to heaven, but the opportunity that God gave to us, his imperfect children, to go through the process to become exalted. It is also the enabling power of the atonement that strengthens us in this life. Great topic.
Our big focus is still on finding, so we did a lot of that this week. Our ward has been doing great with all of its goals for the year as far as baptisms are concerned. There has been at least two a month for the last 3 months and our goal is to do our part to keep the two a month thing going. We were a little bit worried about next month because we didn’t have many progressing investigators left, but the Lord opened up a lot of opportunities this week. Yesterday a couple of YSA age sisters asked if they could work with us, so we got a couple of Priesthood holders to work too so that they could come. We worked out in Aguso, which has a huge dried-up riverbed with tons of little ramshackle houses built alongside it. It is a really poor area but there are some amazing members that live out there. It all started with Brother Ombac, when he became active and received the priesthood. His wife and two of their siblings were baptized and now that area is just growing. We are teaching another one of his sisters, Charmaine, who is progressing really fast and is just awesome. We also had been given a referral in the same area who we’ve visited a few times…her name is Sister Anna. We are teaching her and her daughter Angenette. Sister Anna has been a member of a lot of religions and is very confused and questioning about them. Angenette is very very very shy. She hardly will say a word in the lessons. During our splits yesterday I guess one of the sisters who worked with Elder Leduna’s group over there was able to relate to them super well and they both opened up and accepted an invitation to be baptized!
That’s not all though…we’ve been teaching a family (the Landingin Family)…all of their children are members, but the parents haven’t been baptized yet. They have been taught for over two years now I think. We’ve been able to visit them a few times but nothing super great had happened until yesterday. They believe that the church is true and even have testimonies of the Book of Mormon, but their extended family that supports them is super against them being baptized. We have been thinking and praying for a long time about what we could share to help them strengthen their faith and make that next step, and we decided to share Mark 10 with them about the rich young ruler. We compared his choice with the choice of the apostles in following Christ and giving up everything and then read the promise in verses 29-30. The best part, though, was when one of the sisters who worked with us shared the experience that her family had when they had just joined the church. Their grandparents were completely against it and were very angry when they found out that this sister’s mother had been baptized. She testified and shared all of the blessings that her family has received through the Gospel and how, eventually, her grandparents accepted the fact that they had become members of the church. It was one of the best lessons I’ve been in. The mother and father accepted a baptismal date in May. I really hope and pray that they will be able to have the courage to take this step.
Sisters out there, you need to go on missions. I don't think either of those investigators would have opened up to us so fast if those sisters hadn't been there. You can do things that no Elder is capable of.
We had an appointment yesterday also with a couple of younger guys from the Iglecia ni Cristo…one of them was a leader. I really admire the faith of many of the members there, but it is so hard for them to find faith to ASK GOD and expand the knowledge that they have. I feel like I am teaching Zoramites or Pharisees sometimes. They were really nice though. Two of them ended up leaving for Sunday Service, and we taught the third one, JR, for a while. The Iglecia denies the divinity of Christ, and we believe that it is one of the most important doctrines, so we decided to start off with teaching about the Godhead. We read Genesis 1:26 with him (notice the ‘us’) and compared it with Hebrews 1:2 and some verses about Christ in Col 1. We have another appointment this week…I am a little nervous though because I am 95% sure that one of their ministers will be there. I would rather not get pulled into a debate. On the other hand, it could be a really great teaching opportunity. I guess we’ll see.
Something funny this week…little kids. Little kids are always funny here, and there are tons in Tarlac because there are tons of people. Parents use scare tactics a lot here to control their kids, so it isn’t uncommon to hear things like, “Stop crying, or I’ll give you to the Mormon’s,” or, “That white guy is a doctor. He’ll take you with him if you don’t quiet down.” As a result, most little kids who aren’t members are terrified of us. Some other funny ones, “Go get on your pants (little boys hate wearing pants for some reason here) or the Elder’s will get out their scissors,”
“Mumu iyan! (That’s a ghost…referring to me and my whiteness)” Also, almost all babies here are scared of me. I don’t know why. I’ll just look at them and they’ll start screaming. It’s hilarious.
That’s about all I have time for this week. I love you guys! The church is true!
- Elder Hubbard.