Monday, September 26, 2016

Sacrament Talk

Magandang umaga po friends and fam,

Well things are still pretty good over here. It was a hot week and I could barely walk by the end of each day haha. Going around for 8ish hours with no AC is still something I'm trying to figure out! Might take the next two years for sure. We had a productive week here and worked really hard. Roosters continue to wake me up at 5:30, not sure how a little animal like that can be soo loud. It just blows my mind, especially early in the morning. 

Alright I'll try to update you on a few investigators. Danni Santos is our "golden investigator" right now and continues to progress. He loves reading the Book of Mormon and was actually reading when we looked inside his house! What a good sight. He has lots of questions and great insights about everything. He's really prepared. The main problem is he hasn't been to church yet. He always has something on Sunday but he said he will be able to go more starting next week. Katherine is another we've been teaching since I've been here. She always has super deep questions but we've normally been able to answer our best. Her faith has grown a lot and continues to progress for her baptism. She lives with Nanay Fransisco and is currently going to college. All of the others are progressing pretty well, we had to drop quite a few this week but we are still really busy with lessons.

I think the highlight of the week was finding the Monaco family. The dad let us in and they have four kids. The first lessons was on Wednesday and it was just the parents. The father immediately told us he wanted to change his life and help his family be happier. Right there within 5 minutes of being in their house he promised us he was never going to drink again. It was awesome. Sure enough on Saturday we returned and he hadn't had one drink, and this time they had two of their little kids with them to listen. The six of us could barely squeeze into their house, the dad is a tricycle driver and I'm pretty sure he sleeps in his bike cart at night because there's no way there's room for the six of them to sleep. Their house is also a store to try to make any extra money they can. We gave them two Book of Mormons and it was so cool to see how happy they were to hear the message. When we gave the two books, the 10 year old kid reached into their huge pile of stuff and pulled out a little New Testament. And I was like hey that's awesome, nice job! As we left, the kid tried to give it to me. He was like "For you, for you!" Obviously I wouldn't take it, but I just couldn't believe how nice he was. Hopefully this family will continue to listen and apply what we teach. I know this gospel will change their life. I'm soo grateful for what it has done for my awesome fam.

We have a few awesome members that have been really helping a lot with the work lately. First off, bishop went with us two nights last week so we could teach lessons with a third male. If there's not another male over 18 in the room we can't teach, which is a problem at times. But Bishop Altre has come to the rescue twice and is awesome. Brother Alfred is a recent convert and is 21. He is currently preparing for his mission and usually comes around with us most of the days. He's been a huge help and I can't believe he is willing to work so much with us. There's no way I'd do that before my mission all day long, he's been such a stud. Joshua is 15 and a recent convert as well. He's the only member in his family and has come a few times to help teach after school. He has a very strong testimony and always testifies in our lessons. Nanay Elizabeth is a super funny grandma who has been coming with us for a few appointments too! She is really awesome and helps the investigators feel more welcome. This past week I've learned how important a ward can be in helping missionary work. 

Well the day finally came, I gave a 12 minute talk in sacrament. Mostly Tagalog but of course just a little English here and there haha. It was definitely hard but the gift of tongues was clutch. I prayed quite a bit that I'd be able to speak alright, and my companion said he understood basically everything. I talked about missionary work and music. For missionary work I focused on Alma 13:24 which talks about how the Lord along with angels is preparing people here on earth for the message. It's been super crazy to see how the Lord works in just the short time I've been here. There are tons of small miracles every day, and I probably don't even realize most of them. I'm so thankful for the Holy Ghost, without it we wouldn't have an investigator right now haha. For the music part of my talk I just talked about how music invites the spirit. I talked about how we can learn so much from the hymn book, something I've never really noticed before my mission. I was always playing the piano haha so I didn't focus on the words too much. But here in the mission we actually start each lesson by singing a hymn so my singing skills are improving quickly. Or not really but oh well, anyways I read the words for How Firm a Foundation, one of my favorites, in verse 3. I challenge you all to start paying attention to the words in hymns!

Well that's about all. Elder Lambert and I have started a tradition of eating spaghetti once a week. Super good idea of his. I'll probably keep it goin the rest of my mission if I can find the resources. He's been awesome to have in the bahay, I'm hoping he stays in the area another transfer haha. I got a pretty bad sore throat this week which was kinda a pain. It was hard to talk especially Friday. I think it's from the crazy pollution here but it's getting a little better as of today. Have a good week everyone!

Mahal ko po kayo

Elder Reber

Parker claims he really is a chef now. This looks like one of the weekly spaghetti nights.

Apparently another chef moment

Elder Reber and Elder Cibuco

Elder Reber and Elder Lambert

Elder Pnugau and Elder Reber

At the church. Park mentioned that this is the biggest piece of grass he has seen. He told us to go walk through the grass barefoot for him! Love the reminder of the little things we take for granted.

I love that Park always sends sunset pics. He really is enjoying the simple things in life!

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