Maayong Bisan unsa nga imong oras karon,
You would never actually say that but the grammar is correct I think... The other day this guy asked us where we slept and it wasn't even weird. Different culture for sure. It is quite normal to ask people where they are going or where they are coming from just as a conversations starter. Some times when people ask "Asa man kamo?" (where are you going?) or "Asa Gikan 'mo?" Instead of saying "gikan sa Bogasong" (From Bogasong--a neighborhood in Libagon) or "Sa among balay" (To Our house) I will say "Gikan sa langit" (from heaven) or "Sa paglakaw kami sa dagat" (We are going to walk on the ocean.) Some get a kick out of it and others just look confused but sometimes it's a good conversation starter and that's just what we want.
We had five investigators at Church on Sunday! The Lord is helping us so much with the work here. We taught one new investigator this week. He is so excited about the Gospel and his eyes were locked on both of us as we taught. We are excited to see him progress. Him and one of our other sister investigators are friends, of what nature I'm not really sure. I have yet to figure out how dating works here. We teach them together and they are both progressing well. We are just really trying to get the sister to pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. She is about 22 years old and is a single mom. She has the cutest little 7 month old baby and I can't help but think of Hailey every time I see her.
This past week we were headed to teach one of their less-actives and the less-active we were looking for wasn't home but we found an opportunity to teach some members of their family who weren't members. We started teaching the lesson and just did the normal routine with Lesson 1 when a couple from "Iglesia Ni Cristo" showed up. I think they followed us into the appointment so they could invite us to their little Bible study. So we invited them to join and so they sat down and listened. I don't know a ton about them but did my best to speak by the spirit and we testified of the truthfulness of this Gospel. They weren't contentious which was good but they weren't really receptive either. They squirmed when I testified on doctrine where we are very different pertaining to the potential that all of us have to be saved.
Later on in the week after exchanges we ended up in a discussion with a Born Again Pastor from Washington who lives here now. That was rough, wow. He tried to feed us a bunch of Anti-mormon stuff, but we just testified and went on our way. The reason he ended up in our discussion was because he had told a recent convert and one of our investigators that what we were teaching wasn't true and we asked him to stop. We also felt impressed to stop by. That Anti-mormon stuff is toxic and I can see how it could really get to someone if their testimony wasn't strong. Anyways, we pray for him and maybe someday he will end up as Zeezrom who ended up being a missionary.
We have two sets of missionaries here now. They are hilarious and I love having them here. They make our Castle seem a little more normal. That place was really too big for two people. I will send you pictures I promise I just keep running out of time. The missionaries are flowing back in at a constant rate. It is so amazing having our mission back. I have no idea when I'll actually get to see everyone but It's good to hear that they are coming back. It's really just a matter of finding places for us all to live. It will be an exciting couple transfers as far as that goes. Hopefully, this means I will stay here in Libagon for a while and by a while I mean long enough to learn the language. I love this area and my companion impresses me more every day. Sometimes he just takes us around and introduces us to his friends and we set up appointments to teach.
I have been studying in the New Testament and I am in Mark right now. I love the repeated theme that Jesus presents of understanding and opening our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Understanding is a process which requires faith which leads to my studies in Alma 32. Even if we only have a desire to believe we only need to let that desire work in us. President Holland counsels us to hold true to things we do know. I know this Church is True. I know that no unhallowed hand can stop this work from progressing. I love you all and I love hearing from you. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey.
Love Elder Ethan Lowe
3 Nephi 5:13