Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 2, 2017

Yeah so I dont really know what happened but all of a sudden our area just got super awesome. Well I guess I do know what happened, we worked super hard the past 2 weeks. So this week we worked very hard to help our investigators feel the spirit of the lessons and give them the best chance to be able to choose the right and come to church. Right now we have 21 baptismal dates extended to our investigators with more coming this week. Some of my favorite investigators that we are teaching is the Buenaflor Family, Brother Alfredo (he is the guy with the tattoo and all the cigarette boxes) The Fernin Family. Well honestly I love all of them and we have quite a few so I will just talk about some of them. So Brother Alfredo has to have one of the hardest lives ever. His wife has stage 4 colon cancer, and she is not doing well, and he he is constantly up all night on the computer trying to make money to keep them a float. That doesnt sound that bad when I type it but just seeing him and his family its pretty hard. BUT they are still super happy and it is pretty inspiring. He really wants to be baptized but he has like all of the obstacles in his life right now to keep him from being baptized such as the law of chastity and the word of wisdom.  But this past week we taught him both of those lessons and we made sure we had members present to provide him support. He has been to church 3 times now and he is doing his best. He actually is not married to his "wife" but they have been together for 17 years. So we really want to help them get married so they can have a chance of being sealed but honestly his wife is in very, very bad condition. One night we went over to share and she was just on the couch crying from the pain she was experiencing so we gave her a priesthood blessing. But Alfredo just keeps pushing forward and is doing his best to learn and get rid of his smoking problem. Look at all those cartons that is just from 1 month... so it is a pretty big problem but he is determined to get rid of it.

Elder Slade and I found this family about 2 weeks ago. The Fernin Family. They consist of a mother and a father 2 daughters and one daughter in law. We just walked up to their gate and they let us in to teach so we have been teaching them the past 2 weeks and they have been making some good progress. They are like most normal Filipinos. They are Catholic but dont really read the bible, and go to church sometimes. So they are learning a lot and are starting to kind of realize that maybe their really is a better way that God has prepared for His children, the restored church. We had a pretty intense lesson last saturday night. We had planned to continue our lesson in the Plan of Salvation but upon following up their reading of the Book of Mormon and asking god if it is true we kind of saw that they didint quite understand the whole point of us being there and our church. So we very clearly taught them again about the restoration and focused on the Priesthood. Then finally it hit them on what they really had to do. They had to read the BoM, pray and ask God, then go to church. So we strongly committed them to attend church the next day.

We also have this part member family that we are teaching the Arellano family. They are all members recently baptized in another mission except for the mom. SO we miraculously ran into them a few weeks ago and we had been teaching them and they are awesome but we were sad to hear that they went back to their home town for a few days and they wouldnt be able to come to church here.

We were pretty disappointed about how last week turned out at church so we worked really hard this last week and knelt in prayer as a companionship on Saturday night and prayed that God would help prepare the way and help our investigators make the right choice. Then the next day we just went forward with faith that things would work out. So we got to the meeting house (picture below) at about 8:30 and waited for our investigators. None were there yet so we went around the corner to see if our investigator Elsa was going to come and she said she would run a little late so we went upstairs and we saw that the Buenaflor Family was there (yes!) We were happy, then we were so shocked to look to the left and see the whole Arellano family!!! We were so happy to see them there, they came home early. Then we had another part member come in brother Rey. And then a little late Alfredo came! But the most exciting was when we were about half way through sacrament meeting we got a text from the Fernin family saying that they were coming!!! WOHOO! They texted us saying they were downstairs and we went down there brought them up and they attended gospel essentials class and our combined relief society and EQ. Jack pot. Heavenly father really helped us out. It was so great. We ended up with 11 investigators at church. So God really does care about each and everyone one of his children. He works miracles daily.

More miracles:

Remember the lady we met last week that had the dream of two men visiting her home with a message? Well yeah we have been teaching her Gina and her son Lance. They are so fun to teach. Sister Gina is on chapter 11 now of 1nephi and she is really loving it. We taught them about where we come from last night and we we taught about Adam and Eve they were so surprised about how clear the BoM describes their story. It helped me to remember that we really need the BoM to fully get what God really means about things. I feel blessed.

So last Saturday we had a few hours to find in the heat of the afternoon, we knocked a lot of doors and didint seem to find too much success but we know how it goes so we just kept going. Then I saw this lady come out of her house while Elder Slade and I were talking to this lady and I just waved at her and she waved back. So Elder Slade kept talking to this lady but it wasnt really going anywhere so I walked over to the other lady I saw and we started talking and she is like "Wanna come in?" So Elder Slade went in to teach. Her name was Anna and she mentioned that her mom died last year so we taught about the PoS and it was a great lesson. We actually found out that whe was taught by missionaries two years ago and they had not gone back to her. So we set a return date and we went back yesterday, then her whole family was there! Her, her husband, and her 3 daughters. The husband was so thrilled to see us because he didint know where the other missionaries had gone, but they were soooo dang nice! Anna and her husband have been reading the BoM and they are already on page 160, then they invited us over again on saturday to have have lunch and teach again. They are sooo prepared. The Manalang family.

So there you have my week, it was awesome. I am officially in my last transfer of my misison, 6 weeks left. Time to kick it into gear. Love you all:)

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