Monday, September 12, 2016

Zone Conference and Nanay Fransisco

Kamusta fam and friends,

So last P day we got to play basketball at the church. We paid a guy to take us over there on his little motorcycle with a side car attached to the side. After we got there he left but suddenly returned with like 10 of his friends all with tons of tattoos to play us missionaries in a game! Haha it was so funny because they just came haulin into the church parkinglot blasting classic Filipino rap music. But we played them and got wrecked pretty bad (half court game of course haha) I played center and felt like Yao Ming which was pretty solid haha.

So this week I had my first Zone Conference! We woke up at 5:30 and took the train over to Makati. The train experience was easily one of the craziest things I've ever seen! Literally I have never seen so many people pile into one place before. Every time the train stopped, people would just be fighting to get into the train and literally people were helping push each other so they could fit. It was sooo uncomfortable and I couldn't even move because people were pushed up against me like I can't explain. I was by the wall so every bump we hit on the track hundreds of pounds of force would push up against me as everyone swayed towards me. Haha it was seriously the funniest thing ever. Looking into the window from outside you just see peoples faces pushed up against the windows like the movies.

But Zone Conference was super awesome. It was focused around Alma 5 which I would really recommend reading. There are soo many good scriptures in that chapter. One verse I like is in verse 27, it talks about if you were to die today, would you be ready to meet God? It's so important to live the gospel at all times and constantly do our best to improve. Many of us talk about the gospel and the commandments but we don't really act. Without God we are less than the dust of the earth, so we need to do our best to always serve Him, commit to His will, and forget ourselves. I know that the Lord's hand is stretched out for all of us, but we need to do our part to reach for him as well. I know he will accept all of us and we can all return to Him through applying the Atonement every day in our lives. I love verse 16 which says: "I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?" I can't imagine the feeling of meeting God and knowing that we did our absolute best here on Earth. I hope that I can improve every day and forget myself more and more as the mission continues.

We continue to help prepare our investigators for baptism and full activity in the church. Many of them are scheduled for the last week of October. I'm hoping that they can keep a strong desire to move forward. Sometimes they forget how important our message really is no matter how well we can teach. Yesterday at church a lot of people didn't show so it was kinda disappointing. But anyways one of my favorites is Renee. He has two kids and a wife but his wife refuses to listen as of now. They live in a super tiny room because he was having a hard time finding a job. But we taught him about prayer and he prayed for his family and actually got an awesome new job a few days later! He now works at a breakfast place over in Quezon and absolutely loves it! He is so proud of it and tries to show us pics of the food over there haha. He is just so thankful for his "many, many blessings" and is so nice. Another family is the Sabado family. It's a young couple with two kids who have been having problems in their relationship lately. But the gospel is really helping them soften their hearts and become happier each time we see them. And one more is Danni Santos and his wife. They're super Catholic but have been really interested in our church. They read over the pamphlets like crazy and we gave them a Book of Mormon last time. I like them because they have lots of good questions and know a lot about religion. Hopefully all of these people and our others will continue to progress!

So Saturday morning Elder Cibuco and I were in language study when we suddenly got a call from bishop saying to run over to the Fansisco house to give a blessing. The Nanay and Tatay of this family are members but their kids don't really like church. But the blessing was for Tatay Fransisco, who is 74 and has been at bedrest for about a year now. He is literally skin and bones and can no longer eat or drink- so we were giving him a blessing as he was getting ready to pass on. It was probably one of the strongest moments of feeling the spirit so far in my mish, the bishop gave a great blessing and it justs makes me super thankful for the Plan of Salvation. We had been visiting that family a ton to teach their kids so I have gotten closer to that family.

Nanay Fransisco is always embarrassed because her kids don't really want to accept the message and always just sit silently as we ask them questions and teach them. So earlier this week she said we could go over there for dinner Saturday because she wants to show her thanks for us. When her husband was about to pass away that morning I assumed we wouldn't go there for dinner, but sure enough she texted us that afternoon and reminded us dinner was on her. We showed up and she and to our surprise she grabbed her little purse and took us to one of the fanciest Filipino restaurants in Tondo. She ordered the food for us to make sure we got alot. We had tons of rice, chicken, octopus, soda, etc and it was soo good. It was so hard for me to eat in front of her because she refused to eat anything and just wanted to show us her thankfulness for us! But the whole time I was just in shock! Here she is taking the missionaries out to dinner while her husband was home about to pass away. How awesome is that?? I'll never forget her great example of love and service. Super Christlike. Her husband died Sunday morning but they're sure he's having tons of fun up in heaven haha.

Well I'm lovin the mish. Ever since zone conference I've loved it even more. It really inspired me to love the people and forget myself. Solid spiritual recharge. Hope all is good in the states! I made some world famous pancakes the other morning and they were super pro. We didn't have syrup but I'm quite the chef and can work with any ingredients. Right mom? Hope you all have a good week!

Love Elder Reber

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