This is liezel and michelle and camille! It was her birthday last week so she invited us over for a small party (: Liezel is the mom.
This is the Ocsin family!!! Oh, we love them so much (:
This is the Doloroso family! We are praying that they will be baptized on the 5th!! We are SOOO excited for them.
The twins are Dwight and Dwayne..aka my bffs.
This week was definitely a test for Sister Lagrimas and I. It rained and it rained and it rained!! And-its not going to stop raining because its rainy season! I love rainy season because its not so hot, and I actually get to sleep with a sheet (: But, its also pretty rough sometimes because even though its raining, we still go out and work every day. Its different than last rainy season on Palwan, because it floods. Our area floods pretty bad.. But we do our best to work around it. In one part of our area this week, the floods were up to people's wastes!! And this wasn't even a bad typhoon like will be coming as the months go on.
There are mangos here!! I am suprised I haven't told you about them.. I am borderline obsessed. Its not mango season anymore, but we still buy them all the time. Ah, they are so good. Did they have mangos in Paraguay? My favorite dessert is Mango float.
My shoes are doing good! I only wear my nice brown shoes to church or zone conference, etc. We wear rubber shoes every day. You really have to because it rains so much. I just got a new pair of rubber shoes before I transferred.
Even though we are thankful for the rain, it was a test this week because with the rain, we experienced a lot of rejection. Its really crazy! In my whole year here in the Philippines, I have experienced so little rejection. And usually, when people reject us they just are nice and lie and say things like "we are busy" or "I am about to go somewhere". This hurts a lot less than, "Ayaw namin." Which literally translates to "We don't want that." Hahaha, but for some reason, our test this week was to see what we would do when rejection came with the rain! So, what did we do? We just kept going! We just walked around in the rain, soaking wet, OYMing people and going to everyone we could think of to listen to our message.
And, we were blessed. We saw miracles happen, and we ended up seeing the rewards of our efforts. We have been working with the Arias family and Doloroso family to prepare them for baptism. Sister Lagrimas is probably about to get transferred, so we have been trying so hard to get them ready before she leaves. In order for the Doloroso to be qualified for baptism on the 5th, they HAD to come to church yesterday- and guess what?! They came! They were out of town and sick, and so we weren't able to see them hardly at all this week, but our efforts came through and they made it. Sister Liezel (Arias) also lived the Word of Wisdom another week this week so she is so close too!! We are praying for 5 baptisms on the 5th...the Doloroso family (Yvonne and Apple) and the Arias family (Liezel, Michelle, and Camille.)
Another miracle that happened for me this week happened during sacrament meeting yesterday. As missionaries, sometimes sacrament meeting can be one of the most stressful hours of the week. We are always rushing around picking up investigators before sacrament meeting, and then when we get there we are greeting everyone, talking with the members, and sometimes attending meetings with the bishop. Then, especially here in the Philippines, after sacrament starts, we hold our breath and pray and pray and watch the doors to see what investigators will come in late. I'm sure its funny to watch us as we turn excitedly every time the door opens. Haha, but yesterday Sister Lagrimas and I set the goal to have a spiritual sacrament meeting. We wanted to try to focus more on the Atonement and the Savior and feel the strength that we need. As we began to sing the sacrament hymn, "I stand all Amazed" I thought to myself, "Doloroso isn't here yet. They have to come today." I then said a little prayer, and tried to focus on the words. As we closed the first verse, I saw Dwight and Dwayne out the window running in the parking lot towards the doors! The joy was so real. I then was able to really ponder about the meaning of the sacrament. As I passed the bread and the water to the investigator sitting next to me, I thought about what a privilege it is to get to share the blessings of the atonement with others. That is really what I am doing. And even though some days are hard, some days are stressful, and sometimes sacrament meeting isn't as spiritual and calm as it is when I am not a missionary- I love it. I am SO thankful to be doing this work. I am literally handing the body and blood of the Savior to others. We read in Doctrine & Covenants (scripture) that it is in the ordinances of the gospel.. like baptism, sacrament, and the temple, that the power of godliness is manifest. I am the luckiest to get to help people experience that power as we help them partake of the blessings of the ordinances of the gospel.
I love you all so much! I love being a missionary! Have a great week!