Sending some birthday love from the Philippines! Happy Birthday, Daddy!
With Sister Dewan and Melonie, a less active member, who bought us fried bananas
selfie with Sister Dewan in our hot apartment
matching outfits with Sister Dewan
So this week we had zone conference!! It was so great. And one of the parts that touched me the most was a song an Elder sang called "I Know Him".
Those words automatically take me to the movie Elf!! That's like my favorite movie, and in one of the scenes, he is in a mall and they announce that Santa is coming-and he freaks out. Like he starts screaming and jumping up and down and gets so excited and then he tells the person next to him "I know him!"
Haha, it may sound kinda funny but sometimes I feel a little bit like Elf. I am in a huge city with brand new things all around me, I'm wearing funny clothes, but instead of trying to get everyone to believe in Santa, I'm trying to get everyone to believe in Jesus Christ.
I think one of the reasons Elf was so persistent and successful and helping others to believe in Santa was because he KNEW him. He even exclaimed to others "I know him!"
So, as a missionary, that's the question I am asking myself, "Do I know Jesus Christ?" Well this morning in personal study I was looking up the word "know" in the Index and found some really awesome scriptures about what it takes to know Jesus Christ.
1 John 2:3 "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."
1 John 4:7-8 "Beloved, let us love on another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
So from the scriptures, we learn that the way to know our Savior Jesus Christ is to keep His commandments and to love others around us. I am SO grateful for this opportunity to come to know my Savior. I truly do know Him. I love Him. I know that as I come to know Him better, I can help others to know him too. (:
I know that God is so aware of us. No matter how bad things seem to be, He always loves us and is looking out for us. I feel that every day.. whether I am praying that we can find a taxi quickly, or whether we are looking for a new investigator. He knows us perfectly and is always waiting to bless us. Now the task is for us to know him.
Okay, so here are the answers to all of your questions....
1. There is no Wal Mart in Makati! I don't think they have Wal Mart in the Philippines... We do most of our shopping at the Market on the side of the road cause its the cheapest.
2. Our apartment is on the 4th floor! There are guards that guard it and its really small and hot, but really safe and relatively nice apparently. (We sprayed for cockroaches today so hopefully that's better soon...)
3.We get fed GREAT meals! Tonight we have FHE (Family Home Evening) at our bishop's house and I'm sure it will be something good. Usually just the usual filipino stuff like rice and ulam, but its still way good. Last week the 2nd counselor in the bishopric got us Chow King take out! (That's a fast food place here.)
4. I am spending more money here..... I am hoping that that stops soon. Things were just really crazy with driving around in taxis and going to Subway and Wendy's. But I think I'll be back on the budget this month. And we get reimbursed too for the taxi's to the MRC (Missionary Recovery Center - health clinic for missionaries) so that will be good... I also got a letter from Kathryn!! Yay!! Oh yeah... when you send money, if you could make sure it is new money. For some reason they won't transfer it to pesos if it is old. Idk.
5. We have AWESOME investigators!! RR is an 18 year old whose family is all members, some active some not, but his baptismal date is set for this month! Pray for him that his friends won't take him down the wrong path before then... We also are working with the Berdin family who came to church!! Ahhhh, so awesome! We are working with Margie, who's husband is a member, and her daughter Angel. They are too sweet and their baptism is scheduled for April! This week we are going to be focusing a lot on finding new investigators (: But from what it seems like, here in Makati it's way easier for people to come to church! YAYYY!!!!! We also are working with less active members: Reggie, Melonie, and the Corales family. So you can keep them all in your prayers (: Reggie came to church yesterday too!!
6. I saw my first live rat the other day... oh my gosh. so sick. It was HUGE. I don't even want to know how many of those there are around here.
7. It can take us a really long time to get into our area depending on the traffic. We live in Mandaluyong, and our area is in Makati. (I think we live here because Sister Dewan needs to live with the Sister Training Leaders, because there are apartments in Makati...) but it takes about 30 minutes with light traffic, which is 3 jeepneys and a walk over the bridge (: Sometimes we have to take buses and taxis too. You would not BELIEVE how many people they can fit on a bus around here! hahaha.
I think that answers all of your questions! I'd say the hardest part about my companion's struggles is that I feel really alone in the work. I teach 90% of the lesson, and do the planning and OYMing and carry the stress by myself. It can be kind of overwhelming... kinda like how I felt at the beginning of training. But, I know how much I am growing and I am learning SO much! Especially how to rely on the Lord (:
I'm so happy for everyone getting into BYU!!! YAY!!! They're gonna love it (: Tell them that they need to live in Helaman.
We have a basketball court at our new apartment that we work out on every morning. Any good work out ideas? I fell this week on the concrete and scraped up my knees pretty good, so I haven't been able to do anything on my knees. Hahaha, which is kinda hard because we kneel to pray like 12 times a day
I'm praying for Nathan's knee!! Also, I got a letter from Sister Alred and our primary!! They're the sweetest (: If anyone ever tells you they got a letter from me let me know, because sometimes I send things and never know if they actually get there.
I love you all tons and tons!! Have a great week!!