Monday, September 19, 2016

Makin Progress

Wow this week flew by!

Well the work here in Tondo continues. We got quite a bit done this week and we are seeing some investigatiors starting to act in faith more. This week we focused on how we as missionaries are just their guides, it's truly up to them to decide to accept the gospel or not. They have to do their part to find out for themselves. So more investigators kept their commitments this week and we now know who is truly interested. One of them is named Bernadith, a single mom with four kids. Their house is literally 8 ft by 6 ft, and I can't stand up straight in it. We haven't seen her for about two weeks but we finally found her Saturday. She has already read through Mormon and is about to start Mosiah! Racquel is another single mom who has a big family, and also lives in a house about that same size. They must literally be shoulder to shoulder on the ground when they sleep at night. Super crazy. But her family came to church yesterday and are progressing towards being baptized! We had 10 investigators show up to church yesterday which was really exciting. Elder Cibuco and I were super happy the Lord gave them a desire to go to church and we're thankful He put them in our path.

My Tagalog is getting slightly better haha. There are days where I feel like I've gotten worse since the mtc, but I'm sure it's progressing more than I realize. I'm truly learning to be humble and patient here for the first few months especially. My companion is super awesome though and helps me any way he can. I continue to start the conversations with everyone we meet and I'm talking quite a bit in the lessons now. We are still getting along great. One thing we both like is walking really fast. You can get so much more done if you keep up a quick pace haha! So that's kinda our thing, we just haul around the streets of Tondo preaching the gospel. He's been such a solid example of a hard worker. He's from a little providence in the Philippines and lived a super different life than I did. He had no electricity in his house and only went to three years of school because he had to work in construction to help his family. And he hasn't even had Mcdonalds before! Or pizza! Crazy haha. I'm really thankful I have him as my "Tatay" and I'm sure he will be one of my favorite comps on my mission.

So there are tons of basketball hoops randomly scattered on the streets and there are always guys or kids playing on them. Haha every time we pass by one they all stop and tell me to take a shot. Most of the time we are in a hurry so I tell them next time, but 6 times I've had time to take a shot. And guess what, I'm 6/6 now!! Ha i'm not even good at basketball but the spirit just puts them in for me I guess! It's been super funny to me and hopefully I can keep this hot streak alive, but I'm sure I'll be humbled with an airball before I know it. But it's just hilarious because tons of people are always watching and freak out when it goes in.

The funeral for Tatay Fransisco went well. I had to play the piano on a little keyboard that was on a rocky table. Also, there was nowhere to put the hymn book so that was like on my lap. It was super tough but I got through the songs. All the talks at the funeral were focused on the Plan of Salvation. The members here truly rely a ton in God's plan, because it's almost all they have. Super good examples.
Well one scripture I liked this week is a pretty simple one, D&C 108:7 "Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings." I just think too often we look for the negatives in life or the negatives in those around us. I've been trying to keep my thoughts on the positive things and to really look for the good in people. We talk to everyone here, no matter what they look like or their situation, because we realize that they all have so much potential. We met one of our current investigators, Prodin, on the street as he was smoking. He's got tons of tattoos but honestly he's one of our nicest investigators and one of our most interested right now! God loves all of His children the same. I just challenge you all to strengthen those around you, don't tear them down! It will make a big difference in your day and also in the days of those around you.

Well hope you have a good week. I think I'm going to go get my haircut which costs equivanant to about $.70 cents in America now. Take care!

Love Elder Reber 
The Elders at the Church

Thumbs up- apparently a favorite pose for Park

This is an Ice Candy- Closest thing he can find to ice cream. Great 12 peso investment.
Love seeing this guy in action!

Cutest kids at the church

Parkers rubber shoes. He says you can feel every pebble as you walk but some day are just too wet for regular shoes.

Parker loves a good sunset. He really missed seeing them during his time at the MTC. So glad he has them to enjoy once again.

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