The Manila Mainland Missionaries
Magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat! (Good afternoon to you all!)
—— This has been a most Amazing week!
On Tuesday one of our investigators named Alvin brought four of his friends to the church to be taught! He’s really awesome and is already wanting to share the gospel with his friends. We started the lesson with Brother Nick as our member companion and we ended up having 3 more before the lesson was over. People just kept passing by and seeing us teaching and then they just joined in! First was our ward mission leader Brother Lorenzo. Then a recent convert from the University ward named Aries. Last was a teacher from the institute building by the Church named Ryan. They helped us in the lesson and they did some really awesome fellow-shipping afterwards. Two of Alvin’s friends have actually come back to the Institute building for activities since then!
On Wednesday we had a lesson with the Urbano Family again. I’m not sure if I told you guys about what happened with them. Their mother said that they weren’t going to “hear from our group” anymore because they had been “enlightened” by the Pope’s visit (that’s what she texted us). We were pretty sad at first but we actually ran into them one time and were able to ask for just one more lesson. When we taught them that time the mother was still at work so we just taught the grandmother and the kids and got another return appointment. This time was that return appointment and it went really well. I know that Sister Marlita (the mother) really felt the spirit as we taught about families and how this gospel would really bless theirs. Elder Lumanta also really helped by doing some magic for the kids (He really does have a way with people, even more than other Filipinos.) We really saw how the Spirit can soften hearts and Sister Marlita said that we could come back on Saturday.
On Thursday we had another PNR (Philippines National Railway) experience when we had to travel to Buendia to put thumbprints on visa forms. We went and did that but the really memorable part was the ride home. We had to wait about 30 minutes for the next train and decided to do some OYMing in the station. Elder Lumanta and I met a group of 5 construction workers on their way home from a job and they were really funny! We gave them pamphlets with our number and explained a little about the Restoration. They were really nice guys and Elder Lumanta got to speak some Bisaya with one of them. When the train finally came we were waiting right next to those guys. The doors opened and I honestly thought that we weren’t going to fit! There were so many people packed in there! We dove into the mix and the construction workers were right behind us. One of them shouted “Kailangan namin makauwi!” (we need to get home!) like a battle cry and we crammed in the train somehow while busting up laughing. It was a good time.
On Saturday we had our return appointment with the Urbano Family. We thought it might not happen because we had no companion to go with us. We went to the church where there was a farewell for Sister Castro in our ward (she’s serving in the Naga mission.) We saw brother Causo there and were able to have him come with us to the lesson. The lesson went amazing and Sister Marlita said in english at the end of the lesson, “okay I promise” when we invited her to church. The best part is that she came and brought her 3 daughters with her yesterday!
Yesterday was a pretty great Sunday as far as they go. Like I said we saw the Urbano family there along with Brother Ralf who’s Sister in Law is a member in the ward while his brother is working abroad. We had a good lesson with Brother Ralf after church but the best part of the day came later after our studies. We went to an appointment and on the way back passed by the house of one of Sister Erlinda. We wouldn’t be able to go in and teach her at that time because we didn’t have a companion, but we thought we would just see how she was. I had a feeling after we left her door to go to the church. I didn’t know why because we had a male investigator that we could have tried to visit then but I decided to follow the prompting. Just as we arrived at the church, the Alejo Family (some recent converts) were just leaving. Sister Alejo is the fellowshipper of Sister Erlinda. She and her husband came with us right then to teach Sister Erlinda. She wasn’t expecting us to come back and was smoking when we got there. She quickly threw down the cigarette when she saw us so I was the only one that saw it. I was going to say something as we started the lesson but felt like I should just wait. After we had the opening prayer Sister Erlinda opened up to us about how she is still struggling with the Word of Wisdom, but she also shared that she has a great desire to quit so that she can become clean for her baptism. It was a great lesson and Brother Alejo was able to share his experience about overcoming problems with the Word of Wisdom before his baptism. It was a great help to Sister Erlinda and she is now committed to live the Word of Wisdom from today on. I absolutely know that it was what Heavenly Father had planned!! – I know that the best choices we can make are those that bring us closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. One of the “best” choices that we can make is also to help others come unto Christ. By doing so, our testimonies grow along with theirs.
To close this email I just want to say that I know that this is the Lord’s work. Sometimes I feel disappointed when things don’t go perfectly here, but I feel Heavenly Father’s love for me and it helps me to be positive and just push forward. I know that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us more than we can even imagine. They want all of us to experience the blessings that they have. We can return to live with them as eternal families through living the Everlasting Gospel. It’s this hope that drives me through hardships and trials. I know that no matter what happens here, success or not, Heavenly Father loves me and is happy that I am here serving. I know that this mission will shape me into who I am supposed to become. I’m thankful for all of the experiences, good or bad, because I know that it’s exactly what our Heavenly Father wants me to experience. I know that He loves all of us and knows exactly what we need. I love all of you guys so much and I hope that your week is amazing!
Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat po kayo!