Hello my dearest family!
This has been a normal week full of hard work, brown outs, lots of rain, and miracles, always miracles.
A few experiences that we had:
1. my companion is fearless. She killed a rat by hitting it over and over with her shoe... while I was on top of my desk.
2. I ate chicken intestines... again. I've gotten pretty used to the food here; fish heads, chicken fat, balut, that's all fine, but I still can't get over the intestines... so weird.
3. yesterday at church we had a powerful Sunday school lesson. It was gospel principles and there were probably around 20 investigators in attendance. We were watching Finding Faith in Christ. It was amazing until, all of a sudden, a brown out. Everyone was sweating and the teacher was scrambling trying to find ways to fill the time. I was praying so hard that the power would come on and I didn't understand why it wasn't. Finally I just said, "Thy will be done." At that moment one lady stood up and bore a powerful testimony of Christ and how he has helped her in her life. The spirit was so strong and I realized that our investigators needed to hear that.
4. Yesterday was also fast and Testimony meeting... the power was out so that means no power. which also means no microphone... nobody could hear anything President was saying as he started his opening announcements. Incredibly, just as they were about the bless a baby the power came back on. Coincidence? I think not (: Fast and Testimony meeting was incredible. Member after member stood and bore powerful testimony that Jesus is the Christ and this is his church. It was so incredible that it went over 30 minutes because they couldn't stop the heaps of people that wanted to share.
5. Have you ever tried sitting on the back of a tricycle in the pouring rain and then arriving to your meeting like you just stepped out of the shower? Welcome to the Philippines(: you just haven't experienced pouring rain until you've experienced a baguio in the Philippines.
The area is doing pretty amazing here, everyone around can see how much it has started to progress and the incredible investigators that have been coming out of the wood works! Members have gotten really excited about the work and many people are preparing for baptism. There are a lot of factors that go into this: Hard work, obedience, quality teaching, but I do have to say that there is one thing I have noticed to be causing this work to hasten: Family History. I have been working very close to the senior couple, the Pettingills, here on the mission. They're my secret weapon (; haha. Friends and Family across the world I would like to share a secret. If you want to see the work hasten and the baptisms increase, make family history a priority. People here in the Philippines didn't focus on their ancestors temple work, but once we started our work started to explode. The reason? These people in the spirit world have waited hundreds and hundreds of years and once they realize they have a chance, they will do everything to see that their name is found. These people started to see that the missionaries in Claveria are looking for their names, and just as Malachi prophesied, "The hearts of the children will turn to their fathers." Their hearts are definitely turning. People are stopping us on the street, begging us to teach them, Members are referring their friends, people are all of a sudden interested in what the "Mormons" have to say. When we ask why, they say "I don't know we just want to know more about your church." Or "we just felt we should." That feeling isn't just coming out of nowhere it is coming from those on the other side. When prophets and apostles have told us that we have help from the other side, they were not kidding. This work is real and the people that have passed need our help just as much as those that are sill on the earth. Please, if you haven't yet, do your family history work. And for my friends on missions, get your recent converts, members, and even investigators involved in family history. These people will bless your life in more ways than you can imagine.
I am grateful everyday that I am a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I love this gospel and I know it is true!
I hope you all have an amazing week!