Sunday, November 6, 2016

Elder Reber the Piano Teacher

Hello Everyone,

Hope you had a good week! It was awesome here in Tondo. My training ends in like 9 days which is insane. I'm pretty anxious to see who my new companion is and stuff. Elder Cibuco has been pretty awesome and will be missed. I've learned alot from him and I know I needed to have him as a companion. Awesome eld.

We had two investigators pass their baptismal interviews and will be baptized this Saturday! Reyan is 8 years old and is from a part member family. We've taught her basically since I've been here so that will be good. The other is DANNI SANTOS! haha i love that guy. We talked to him about baptism again and he said he wanted to wait until next year. I promised him he was ready and that he can continue to show his faith through being baptized. He agreed and knew it was time. He says he knows without a doubt that everything is true. Elder Lambert interviewed him and said he's never seen anyone so ready to be baptized. Apparently Danni Santos has let in many missionaries from other churches and when he opened the door to us he just let us in because he thought it would be fun to have the foreigner in the bahay haha. But he said "I felt something different and I wanted them back." His whole experience has been a huge testimony builder for me. His faith is so awesome, whenever we give him a commitment he always says "I wont try, I will!" I'm glad we were blessed to meet him after a long day of rejection and watch him progress. The Book of Mormon is true and soo important in conversion that's all I can say. His wife is super supportive but has been Catholic her whole life. She's slowly gaining interest though and hopefully he can help her be converted. She normally listens to us and apparently Danni shares insights with her about the BOM all the time.

Elder Cibuco taught me a few phrases in Cebuano so I've tried it on a few OYM's. We met 6 kids in high school and I spoke 4 languages to them by the time we left! Haha funny things like that just keep things rollin and help people know we Mormons aren't weird. I've also learned that sharing a simple testimony as soon as possible is always powerful. We are thinking of better ways to get into houses and to share the message, just line upon line we become a little better every day.

President Ostler sent an email to all the missionaries a few weeks ago that was pretty cool. He talked about him going into his first mission years ago and how he thought he would be a great, powerful, awesome companion. He quickly realized that his testimony wasn't as strong as he thought, he couldn't teach as well as he thought he could, and he wasn't as fearless as he was expecting to be. I kinda felt the same coming into this mission, I thought I could come in and be pretty good at all of it. I quickly learned things are alot easier said than done. I'm just not a perfect missionary haha. Quickly humbled and realized there's alot I can do to improve. He reminded us that God can use all of us, even if we aren't perfect in all aspects. He knows us and knows how to use us for His work. Same goes to life too, I'm grateful for God's love and plan for me. He gives us weaknesses so we can be humble and grow. If we didn't have weaknesses or life here on earth wouldn't have much of a purpose. So I thought it was a cool reminder for us to forgive ourselves, be patient, and continue to improve each day of our lives.

Soo yes the day has come, I'm now the official piano teacher of Tondo. Bishop Altre asked me to help teach because his daughter is the only one who can play in the whole ward and she will be leaving on a mission sometime soon. We had a pretty good turnout on Saturday, I'll try to send pics from Elder Lambert's camera. It was just two hours and Elder Lambert came to help translate anything I couldn't quite explain completely. Haha it went alright though, new experience but I taught them some good basic things about music and stuff. Everyone was super excited and happy to learn. We're hoping to get referrals out of it in the future and hopefully have some people be able to play a few simplified hymns.

Here in Tondo there are tons and tons of little restaurants everywhere. Most of them just sell "silog" which is rice, egg, and an "ulam" of your choice. But anyways Elder Lambert and I went and ate at one and it was hilarious how nervous/excited the workers were to have two Americanos eating at their place. They were literally all gathering every few seconds and just talking about us. We acted like we knew no Tagalog so they just kinda said whatever they wanted. we understood lots of what they said tho haha. As we got our food I could see out of the corner of my eye like 6 workers looking through the window to their little kitchen to watch us take the first bite. Haha it's fun having stuff like that happen every day here. Whenever I go with Elder Cibuco to a new area there will be literally 30 kids gathered around me before I know it. Ha good times here in Tondo!

Have a good week! We are working hard here and I'm finding lots of joy in the work. Definitely not always easy but staying positive is something I try my best with. A scripture I kinda like for the week is 3 Nephi 13:19-21. Real happiness only comes from focusing on things that are eternal, or of the Celestial kingdom. I'm realizing really fast out here that submitting to God's will, always being obedient, and focusing on these eternal truths is the best way for someone to be happy here on earth as well as the next life. Make sure your heart is set and focused on the right things! Treasure things that will last.

Love you all! Elder Reber
You can see part of Parkers music lesson on the whiteboard :)

Love to see this boy's smile

Elder Lambert and Elder Reber
Glad Elder Lambert is sharing some of his pics so we have some to post!!

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