Wow what an amazing week!!
This truly has been a highlight of my mission. The three sisters of the family we were teaching were baptized and confirmed as the newest members of Burnham 1st ward, Baguio stake :) There hasn't been a more beautiful site than them all in white! They have been so excited and we didn't have to move their baptism date at all! Usually you set a goal date in the first or second lesson, but then move it because they fall through with church or commitments but these sisters have truly hungered and searched for the word of God. Reading their scriptures every day, helping their family have family payer, walking to church every Sunday, attending service projects and youth activities, everything! They even have expressed interest in serving missions and are so excited to be able to go to the temple. Their mom was unbelievably touched by their change and testimonies and she is solid for baptismal date later in June! Hopefully the whole family will be able to be baptized and in one year be able to be sealed! This work is so amazing as a missionary. You always hear that "Mormons have a different light about them" but it is hard to tell when you grew up in the church. Now I have seen that light grow in someone and I could never deny that this gospel is true. That is works a mighty change in a persons heart if they let it. Experiences like these are what makes all the hard long days worth it! I didn't expect this to happen this early in my mission, especially because I am so inexperienced as a missionary. I feel so unqualified to teach and convert someone but their conversion has nothing to do with me. I am simply a mouthpiece for the lord. I am his feet to walk the streets, his hands to knock on doors, and his heart to love these people. They are the ones that decided to truly accept the gospel and the Lord is showering them with his love and blessings. I am so grateful to be a missionary!!
You know you're in the Philippines when...
Someone telling you you're fat is not rude at all, just an observation! It can often be a compliment too. For example, saying "Mataba ka dito" (You are fat here) while looking at a picture of someone is definitely a compliment. The same goes for saying payat (skinny), pangit (ugly), maganda (beautiful), or kung may bundok ka (if you have a mountain, meaning zit) hahahaha Just blunt observations! I love the Philippines.
Missionaries can Laugh too...
One really funny experience this week was we were teaching a younger investigator about the Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We told him Jesus was our older brother. He got a really confused look on his face and said "Pero hindi siya lumabas sa tiyan ni Mama!" (He didn't come out o mom's stomach) hahahahah so back tracked and explained that Heavenly father was all of our father but he was confused again and exclaimed "Tatay ko si Jun!" (My dad is Jun!!) Hahaha so yeah we are going to have to really personalize his lessons :) My companion and I and his mom were crying we laughed so hard!
Tagalog Word of the Day...
"Wala" means none and you usually say it while waving you had back and forth. You can also express "wala" by just doing the hand motion.
I really like the scripture in Ether 12:27 (at least I think that is the scripture) Where Moroni expresses his fear of his weakness in writing. This is so ironic because even though he feels unqualified or inadequate, I am now using his words in Moroni 10 to convert our investigators in the Philippines. And his writings have already inspired, taught, and converted millions around the world!! I also know that many prophets, including Moses, and Joseph Smith shared their fear of their inadequacies being too great to fill their calling. Brothers and Sisters where would we be without the works of these men? Where would we be if they had given up or shrunk from their calling, thinking they were not qualified? I am forever grateful that these men had enough trust and faith in the Lord to strengthen their weaknesses and make them tools for his work. I know that this feeling is not foreign to me as a foreigner in this county, to this language, to these people. There are definitely times where Satan speaks to me and makes me wonder if I can. I use the example of these men to build my faith and lose myself, allowing the Lord to shape me into what he needs me to be.
I know sometimes our callings the Lord gives us or what we are expected to do and be as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can sometimes feel overwhelming. DO NOT LET YOUSELF THINK THAT YOU CAN'T. We are commanded to magnify all our calling and I know that the Lord will fill the gaps of our shortcomings if we try. In D&C 4 it says to him that has desires to serve god, he is qualified for the work. I believe this with all my heart. I challenge you to trust in the Lord a little more and try a little harder to really strive to fill whatever the Lord has asked you to do at this time in your life. Because we all have a part in God's work :)