It has been a beautiful week. The only reason it has been so beautiful is because of the pure amazing missionary work that has happened, and the love that we have been able to feel from Heavenly Father. That’s it. Simple as that! So, I will tell you about this beauty.
A typical home in the Philippines
At the beginning of this week I learned a really valuable lesson. Well, I should say that the Spirit taught me a very valuable lesson. We were out in our far area again and we had a fellowshipper with us from the relief society.We went to find a lady and end up finding this man, her relative. He was nice, and we asked if we could share with him and he was fine with it. He just made it clear to us that he was Baptist. He had respect for us though, and of course we had the same. We began to give him an overview of Lesson 1. So for me, I have had this tendency to kind of raise my voice and talk really loud when I know I am right and I need to win an argument or something. Some of you probably have noticed that about me haha. Anyways, towards the end of the lesson I invited this man to accept a Book of Mormon, and he said no. I think I was talking in a normal tone of voice or maybe a louder tone. Then, our fellowshipper began testifying and was talking so loud and going into really deep things that weren’t super necessary for a first visit, let alone a man who is a leader in the Baptist church. AFter she got done with her thing she invited him again to accept the Book of Mormon, he said no. A calmness came over me after that and the Spirit told me, a loud voice is not going to get this guy to accept a Book of Mormon, but a gentle and eloquent voice with a simple testimony. I grabbed the Book of Mormon from my companion and held it in my hands and bore the most simple and calm testimony I ever have about the Book of Mormon. I told him that it will bless his life. It will change his life. And then I asked him, Brother will you take this Book of Mormon and read it? And he nodded his head, and said yeah. I will. The Spirit was really strong. It was a miracle! My testimony was strengthened so much. Heavenly Father really does work through his missionaries. Probably the coolest thing about being a missionary. But lesson learned for me that the Spirit is not loud. It doesn’t scream. It is not felt when you are raising your voice, or trying to persuade someone with force. But it is felt in the most simple ways, and the most simple words. Seriously amazing.
As I said last week, we have been praying for families to teach. There hasn’t really been any full families! Just individuals. This week we found 3 families. THREE! Do you understand how rare that is? So a family consists of at least a mother and father. One of them is the Bumanglag family. They are from far away in Sarrat. In fact, all of the families are from Sarrat! Even more of a blessing. Bumanglag family is amazing. They are so receptive. Our goal for them is to create a better atmosphere for them to feel the Spirit because whenever we teach it is always really loud outside and the kids are crazy. The mom and dad didn’t go to church this week because they had something to do, but they brought all of their kids. Keep in mind that we just found them last week. It is pretty sweet that they are already starting to come. We want to extend a baptismal date to them this week. The next family is the Gabriel family. We seriously just found them on Saturday morning. Taught the mom and the dad with their daughter. They were so kind. As a missionary there is kind of a feeling you get when you teach certain people where you can tell if there is a connection with them and if they are really interested. I felt that way with them. Aaaaaand…… what do you know…. They came to church on Sunday. We met them one day, they came to church the next. The only problem was that the dad wasn’t there. And it was cause he went somewhere, but said he would go next week. This is like the biggest miracle in the world. We are so excited to keep teaching them!!! It made it a great and happy and stressful Sunday! But totally worth it. Our testimony of fasting also grew. Heavenly Father is so mindful of us.The attendance at church was 157. Which is the highest it has been since I got here. It was out of this world!
One of the photos is of an old Nanay named Maxima that we found. She is 78 and had a stroke, so it is hard for her to walk. She told us to come into her house and we sang some hymns and shared a message with her, and gave her a Book of Mormon. She asked us if there is a fee for it. Because a lot of other missionaries from other religions charge money for the things they give out. But we told her no nanay of course not! This is God’s work, there is no fee! She told us that when she can walk, she will come to church. She is a remarkable woman. We are praying and praying that she will be able to walk again so that she can receive the blessings of the gospel.
We went on exchanges this week again. Haha they are always a lot of fun. Sister Shrack and I were together. And it was the first time that there have been 2 american sisters together in this area. It was hilarious! We taught this less-active guy who only speaks english and ilocano. So of course, we spoke english to him. It was about the Word of Wisdom. So I had to explain to one of filipino sisters that us foreigners didn’t get trained on how to preach the gospel in english. Haha we were only taught in Tagalog! So when we teach in english, yeah there are times it is good and spiritual, but others where it is just awkward! Only because we don’t know the right wording and stuff. Plus after speaking a different language for a long time, you lose your vocabulary. (which I apologize if I use words wrong in my emails). So in this lesson with the less active, sister shrack and I were just a mess with the language. Especially when you have never taught the Word of Wisdom in english. Like one of the phrases that came out of my mouth was “We have to obey the word of wisdom or our bodies will break.” I looked at sister shrack like what in the world am I saying? Haha because in tagalog, that is the direct translation to english, and it makes sense here, but not in english. Such a struggle. We laughed so hard. It was an enjoyable day. 🙂
Things are going great here. As you can see. I am ready for another week in the office of the Lord!
Sister Wood’s sweet companion working on her ingrown toenail. Court’s foot is as big as Sister Servancia’s leg. haha
A letter and 7-11 wrapper from her brother Stetson who is serving in Edmonton Canada. It’s safe to say that all the employees at the 7-11 in Kaysville knew Stetson and Courtnee. They were in there almost daily buying their usual Coke slurpees and steak and jack taquito’s.