Sister Julia's Family (the Abenojars) and the Ortega family also baptized their son
JULIA GOT BAPTIZED!!! Honestly her testimony was the sweetest thing- she talked about how she used to hide from the missionaries (that got a laugh because the bishop testified too about that) but something changed with the sisters came and she was thankful for all she has learned and "sisikapin ko na magtiis hanggang wakas" she will strive to endure to the end. Man I love that girl. The miracle of the gospel is definitely a real thing. *PS Sister Swainston and I sang for the baptism and the bishop said he loved it so much he wants us to come sing at his funeral. Thanks bishop :)
Brother Ransen came to the baptism and LOVED it. He is 16 years old too, I can see how the Lord really has chosen strong youth for this generation. We felt so bad because he asked for his personal Book of Mormon on Sunday cause he was so excited and....we forgot it...minus 5 points for Sister Walters.
BUT we had a good reason haha- we left pretty early for church to go pick up cute Villanueva couple for church and when we got there Tatay (dad) was already getting ready! He woke up at 5:30 to feed the chickens and everything so he could come to church with his wife. He said he felt so happy and wasn't bored in any of the classes. Slam dunk.
Sister Matenga is going home (The sister I sang Sunshine in my Soul with)
We got to teach an old Italian dude who is the boss of one of our recent convert family. That was an interesting lesson of broken English. Hopefully some Spanish will come back so we get reach him better in the next lesson. He's a great guy.
We had exchanges with Balaoan sisters- Balaoan is the most far out white sisters are allowed to go and yeah it's a little creepy at night. Sister Brown killed a rat that snuck around during evaluations while I stood on a chair and screamed in the most dignified way. Then the next day I helped Sister Matenga clean for 10 STRAIGHT HOURS for "One Day Repentence". Their house was pretty nasty and I figured I could just chastise when I came to check it OR "let the master be the servant" so I stayed and we cleaned that place DOWN. I might have broken my foot while tearing apart some rotten wood but hey it's okay because that place is a temple now.
Also after like 10 trips to the hospital we finally got a doctor who not only knows a lot about feet but randomly LOVES the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Nice. No wonder he is a good doctor. Anyways he diagnosed my comp's foot with Neuroma and she is on some meds that make her funny and dizzy and we are advised to work only 4 hours a day..BUT she has the best attitude and we are determined that even with half the time a normal missionary gets we are still going to keep this area on fire with baptisms.
The ortega's were so cute and took us out to some pizza after the baptism
Missionaries Laugh too:
Sister Brown taught me how to not be annoyed or feel uncomfortable when men call out to us all the time...one yelled out "hey sexiiess" (okay side note- that is a very very common word here and it has no inappropriate connotation they use it to mean like fit or in shape- they didn't understand why I was so shocked to first time I heard it) and Sister Brown just blows this big rasberry at them like kids do in kindergarten with their tongues sticking out. I laughed so. hard.
You Know You're in the Philippines When:
You ride a jeepney with a couple live chickens. No big deal.
I can't remember where this scripture is anymore but there is one in 3rd Nephi where the people prayed for the Holy Ghost because "this [was] the gift they most desired." This week I have been SO grateful for the power and gift of the Holy Ghost. The power because that is what converts our investigators and tells them this is the true plan of God for them. The gift because this is the best and most beautiful way the Lord has provided us to be able to endure to the end and return to live in His presence. The Holy Ghost, combined with our faith to follow it and our worthiness to obtain it, is our only way to salvation in the life to come. I know as a missionary I could do nothing without it and it is the true teacher not me. My favorite question is asking the investigator how they feel and without fail we are able to testify that that warm, light, happy feeling inside is their Heavenly Father speaking to them through his divinely designated messenger. I encourage you to take note of the times in your life when you feel the Holy Ghost the most and when it seems to drift away. Keep those first times and activities in your life and the latter..faithfully let go of. Any activity that does not bring us in line with the companionship of the Holy Ghost is not worth our time in this short life as we prepare to meet God.
I love you all and am really feeling your prayers out here in Bacnotan. I love this place. I love this mission. I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
PS SHOUT OUT TO MY MAGANDANG MAMA WHO IS 50 AND ROCKIN IT. She is my inspiration and my strength. All are lucky to meet her. Please tell her how amazing she is on January 17, 2017. And any other day you feel like it :)