September 29, 2015
So I have been a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for 3 months now and let’s just say that the past week has been the longest/ most difficult week so far.
Each week Elder N. and I do what they call "your first twelve weeks". This includes learning the lessons and making the new missionary lead discussions, lead in planning, use the phone etc. Well what I have noticed as well is that each week also has new lessons to learn that aren't from the twelve weeks. This week’s lesson that I (and Elder N.) had to learn is on dealing with a kauban (companion). As far as the details of what our "disagreements" have been I will try to keep them to a minimum. I have learned so much about the importance of patience and turning the other cheek. I have fully come to be aware of the comments that can be made to get a point across as well as fully intended to insult and upset others. As I have come to see these things in action the thing that has helped me a TON is to just hold my tongue. To be completely honest, I do not like to hold my tongue. It makes me feel passive and like a push over. But we learn in the scriptures that those who do not have the spirit of contention are far more blessed than those who do have that evil spirit. I was quite amazed at myself (not to boast) when a question was shot at me yesterday intended to justify and to insult me and the first thing I did was wait. Not answering right away allowed time for me to think about the situation and to think of a more reasonable approach that will calm things down. As we finished our discussion last night we were able to finish on good terms and hopefully things will change for the weeks to come.
Currently, I am still in Toboso for another 6 weeks. Another transfer and then afterwards I may be shipped off elsewhere on literally a days notice. On Tuesday nights every 6 weeks we receive transfer calls stating that in the morning we need to pack and head to our new area to meet a new kauban. Things are going great here BTW!
So where to begin with the stories?!? As of right now (night time in America) there should be a full blood moon! I saw the bright red moon here last night and might I say it was cool kaayo! The next full blood moon will be in 2033! (I know this because I sinned and paid attention to the news at a members house). It honestly looked pretty dang cool!
This past week was Family Week. We woke at 4 a.m. to get to Escelante by 6 for a stake wide gathering in which we played lots of games, had a minor parade through the streets, and ate loads of food! It was a good time and the stake president and bishops were all glad that us 30 something missionaries were there. These three kids followed me everywhere and always clung onto me – haha! It was quite adorable but at the same time it restricted me in my associations with others.
So remember that story I shared about the crazy weird lady who wrote me a love note on the bus? SHE'S BACK! We ran into her yesterday! She chased us down this long empty road stating that she was just going for a jog (in a dress). We got on a motor cab and she still chased us! The twist to it all is that her bana (husband) showed up... He was really MAD! MAD KAAYO! He threw rocks at her, tried to punch her, and told her off like no other! I feel bad for her but at the same time I myself would be very mad if my wife was flirting with every white guy she saw and showed absolutely no fidelity in our marriage. This guy stalked me and Elder N. as well. As soon as we stopped he began to demand money for his cigarettes (I thought we were being mugged!). We were like "No! That is bad for you and we can't give you money to begin with". He was very persistent but so were we. I was bit scared haha but all ended well.
The investigators here are very interesting. Um yeah... So we have one who is 15 and claims that her Catholic priest opened her third eye and she now sees ghosts. I asked if she saw the Holy Ghost but she said no :( I have nothing further to say about this "belief" in seeing the dead.
Sister Mika is going to be baptized in two Saturdays on the 10th! I am so excited for her cuz we have been working with her 3-4 days a week for the past 6 weeks and she is now ripe!
Sister Victoria, when we entered her house, asked for baptism on the 10th as well! Big heart breaker though because she had just came back from a smoke before we came, which pushes baptism back another 4 weeks, If you drink alcohol, smoke a cigarette, miss church, do anything contrary to what we teach your baptism gets pushed back one month. Sad! I could see the hurt in her eyes when we had to tell her the truth. I sure hope she has enough faith to keep her strong in the next month.
We went to Brother Ernesto's last night. I just want to grunt, not towards him but towards everyone's attitude towards him a few weeks ago. He told us not to return and that he will stick with his religion and we asked him one last time to pray. I was then told by several people who I work with that we should just let him be. We should follow up once more about the prayer but take him off of the main burner. I didn't want to give up on him. Well he came to church 4 times in the past 5 weeks including the past two Sundays. He demonstrated a huge leap of faith last Sunday when he asked for a PRIESTHOOD BLESSING! Even members don't ask for those often and yet a man who everyone says won't accept us asked for one! Maayo Kaayo! Last night he told us that he is now understanding the apostasy and he asked us for a baptismal date! Don't give up on people when you think they are too hardened to hear your message.
The people here are great and I wish I could share more stories about the cool peeps here.
So this week I finished the Book of Mormon for my first time since leaving on my mission. You honestly cannot prove it wrong. Those who strive to prove it false are being lead by Satan himself to do so. I stand firm in my testimony that this book is true, and through it we can receive salvation!
All is well here in the Philippines, still hot and the bugs are still big!
I wish the best for you all and I miss you all back at home (or if you are currently on a mission and receive my emails Richards and Simmons).