Dear Family,Every week gets better. I am really getting into the swing of it and I am so happy where i am at. Of course I miss you all so much but I am in the right place doing the right thing at the right time. And think about how much greater our adventures afterwards will be because of what I am doing now. Anyways, Missionary work is a grind but I'm loving it. I wish I could tell you everything that happens in a week but I just don't have enough time so I will just tell you the best stories from my week.
I am learning to work with the members. I really like them, and enjoy being with them and working with them, it's just if I had to choose a team responsible for saving the world or doing something else that is really important I wouldn't choose them. I can't wait till I can speak the language well enough to really connect with people(everyone speaks Tagolog pretty much because it's the national language but there's something about being able to speak the native dialect). Everyone, especially in the ward speaks some english (some better than others) but they shouldn't have to for me.
One of the hardest things to get used to has been people flaking on appointments and not keeping commitments. The hard part about his area is it is a devout Catholic center and there is a big cathedral in the middle. I know they will feel the spirit if they will keep the commitments but they have to act and teaching them in a way that will inspire them to want to feel the spirit is tough. I'm learning to love the answer "no." I'd rather someone say "no" and then keep working with them then have someone say "yes" and not follow through.
I have two stories, one about a less active and the other is one of those stories that every missionary dreams of having. It is seriously like a story you would read in chapter 9 of preach my gospel.
So the less active. If any of us were under the perception that this was a high baptizing mission, kind of. It used to be at least but the people weren't becoming converted I guess and so now there are tons of less actives. The ward membership is about 400 and average sacrament meeting attendance is 140. So as missionaries we are supposed to spend half our time teaching investigators and the other half teaching less actives.Sorry for the tangent but our less active hasn't been to church for 15 years, we started visiting him two weeks ago and he has started coming back. The ward members asked us how we did it. We didn't. The spirit is so strong when we visit him. I think his heart was just a little hard and he needed to know someone cared and be reassured of the power of faith. He has trouble seeing and so he can't really read the Book of Mormon. We have had some really good lessons about faith and revelation. Our last visit we talked about the parable of the lost sheep. When ever we are lost, the Lord will go out of his way to rescue us. It was then I realized why the picture of Christ holding the sheep on the cover of the "Restoration" pamphlet was so significant.
The next story is about Brother L. While we were finding Saturday, we were walking down the street talking to people when both of us stopped for no reason really and to our right in a little ways was this house. My companion and I looked at each other and we both knew we needed to go to that house. So we go and at this house was Brother L. You know how when we pray for the missionaries, we pray that they may be led to those who have been searching for the gospel? This was the answer to both Brother L.'s prayers and our prayers. We taught him the restoration and he tells us about how he was inches away from going atheist a couple months ago, because he was going through some rough times but he prayed and asked God if he was there and if he was to help him. To send him the truth. So here we are a couple months later and he acknowledged us as an answer to that prayer. When we talked about Joseph Smith being an honest seeker of truth he said he felt like he also was an honest seeker of truth. And then he proceeded to tell us that this was so weird. He wants to get baptized if he feels that it's true and he wants us to teach his family also. This was the highlight of my week. The Lord indeed answers our prayers to be led to those who have been searching for truth. My description doesn't do justice to how amazing this experience was.