Hello from Las Pinas! It has been another really great week, and I am just so blessed to be in this area. It is almost like a suburb of Manila. No tall buildings, but still lots of people around to talk too. There's more grass and trees and even some neighborhood goats (: Yesterday we found out that all of the water for Las Pinas is getting shut off this week! So we filled up all of our buckets and are looking forward to bucket baths this week. Actually since coming here, I've actually found it preferable to a shower because the water is so cold.
The work is going really well. This week we worked with the Doloroso family! They are the family with Dwight and Dwayne. Sister Apple is soo progressing, and we had some powerful lessons with her this week. Her husband is a member, and so she has been coming to church and taking the lessons with us, but really just been searching to know for herself. When we taught her about the Book of Mormon on Friday, she told us that she is starting to feel something different when she reads. She says that every day she is excited to read another chapter, and that she is starting to recognize what we mean we we talk about feeling the truth through the spirit. She and her daughter, Yvonne, are preparing to be interviewed in a couple of weeks!! Their family will be SO blessed by the gospel, and I am already dreaming of the day they are all sealed.
We also had a cool experience this week with the Ocsin family. They are probably my favorite. They save up money every week just so they can get transportation to church. The missionaries have been working with their family for awhile now, and this week we went visiting teaching with Sister Ocsin for the first time! It was so much fun! It was powerful to watch Sister Ocsin teach and testify and get to know the less active sister she was visiting. When they shared stories to eachother, it just reminded me of the importance of home and visiting teaching. I love getting to be a missionary and just helping people embrace every part of the gospel!!
A super funny thing that happened this week was when we were teaching Brother Efren. He is another one of my favorite investigators. He gets up early every Sunday and rides his bike to church. Haha, have I ever told you about how Filipinos seriously LOVE kareoke? Haha, well this week we went to Brother Efren's house and were going to watch the restoration DVD with him. But before we start every lesson, we sing first. So we were like, "Before we watch the DVD, is it okay if we sing first?" Then, Efren gets up and leaves the room and comes back with his microphone to connect to the kareoke machine! He goes "kakanta muna tayo?" Or "We'll sing first?" Oh man, it was so hilarious. He is also making great progress with the word of wisdom! Keep him in your prayers.
For me, this week was a great week but also provided opportunities for me to learn and grow. Sometimes for me, the routine of missionary work gets hard. Every day at 6:30 AM, we wake up and pray. Then at 8 oclock, personal study... At 12 oclock we leave the house and start proselyting. The schedule goes on and on and continues to repeat itself, and to be honest, sometimes I just think I might go crazy! At home, I loved not having every minute planned, and just sleeping when I felt tired. But, one morning in personal study I realized that that is just going to be a part of life. Even though I won't be a missionary forever and have to live on this schedule, there for sure will be things that I do not feel like doing. Sometimes, we don't want to read our scriptures, or maybe go to church. But I think it is in those times, that Heavenly Father just cares that we keep on trying, that we keep doing what's right, even when we don't feel like it. There will always be light and happiness waiting ahead, if we just hold on to what we know. I have for sure seen that in the mission field. I may not skip down every hot street, or hop out of bed every morning full of sunshine, but because I keep doing those things and keep doing my best, I am showing Heavenly Father that I love him. Just keep swimming! Sometimes, that's all that Heavenly Father wants from us.
I know that God lives. I know that He is our loving Father. He is real, and He is involved in the details of our lives. Even though we may not always feel it, He is always there. Step by step, day by day, it is the choices that we make that we lead us back to Him one day.
I love you! I hope you have a great week! Keep praying for the Doloroso family, Efren, Liezel, Camille, Michelle, and the Ocsin family!!