Monday, November 28, 2016

Sister Fatima's Wedding and Baptism

Magandang Umaga!

This week really flew by! Time is super weird on the mission honestly haha. The days are starting to go by faster and faster. This week lots happened so I'll just get right into things!

So as I said last week, the past month or so things started slowing down in our area with Elder Cibuco, like how many lessons we were teaching, how many progressing investigators we had, etc. We couldn't really figure out why and we seemed to hit a low point with my new companion as I tried to lead the area haha. Basically tons of our investigators we thought had potential started "hiding" from us and we had to do lots of finding the last two weeks. This week we didn't have a "third lalaki" much at all so it was hard to be able to teach lots of people. If we don't have a third male over 18 we can't be in their house.. so things get tricky because the dad's are often working or not around anymore. Two days in a row we worked from 12 to 9 and everyone we planned the night before didn't end up getting taught. And also all appointments we had fell through as well haha. So we spent tons of time again knocking on doors (you don't knock here technically, you say tao po), which my companion says most missionaries say is scary, including him, so not many do it. Most missionaries apparently just talk to people on the street and don't go door to door. I don't know why he gets nervous though because he literally always knows what to say and does a good job haha. But anyways in my mind the chances of getting into a house when they're already in their house is alot higher than if they're chillin out on the streets, so door to door is the way to go. Wednesday we were having a hard time finding people who would let us teach, even when it was just a ten minute overview. BUT we had the classic mission experience. It was like 100 degrees, nobody would listen, things were a little hard, but we just kept it goin anyways haha. We were talking about how sometimes God wants to see how hard we'll work, He needs to test our dilligence at times. We then turned onto a new street and I told my companion, "Elder we're getting a lesson on this street right here no matter what." We went to every little house where people were and introduced the gospel. Sometimes we actually end up teaching them for 5 minutes or more from outside, just giving them an overview, but not getting actual lessons. Sure enough by the end of the street we had 6 new investigators- it was sick! It was a cool experience for me, we know people are ready for the message we just need to always be finding and ready to open our mouth and talk.

Things are going super well with my new companion. He's got about 6 months left on his mission and decided he wants to get really good at English because it will help give him many opportunities after his mission. My mission president told me in my last interview that my Filipino companions learning English is more important than my Tagalog. So since then I've been pretty strict with my comps as far as helping them and making them speak more. Super hard language by the way haha. Plus I'm realizing that the way I worded things before my mission and the dumb "lingo" i used with friends basically makes no sense technically haha! But anyways he's super awesome! He always speaks English to me and I speak full Tagalog to him. We ask each other tons of questions about our languages and correct each other if grammer or accent is wrong. I noticed alot of progress over this past week as a result. He is just a super genuine, funny and nice companion, always praising me and always patient with others. He knows his weaknesses but doesn't let them worry him too much. This week I started understanding his Tagalog accent a ton more so I wasn't as lost in lessons and trying to talk to him on the streets. Good week with him, he's teaching me tons and it will be a good transfer or two with him!

The wedding and baptism of sister gloria fattima herrera went well on Saturday! She has been waiting and preparing for that day for two years and it was super cool to be a part of it. She had tons of family and friends there to support them. And of course, her husband rocked my tie haha! Her husband is super funny, when they were pronounced married he turned around and gave a huge fist pump to all of us. The whole service went smoothly which was good because us missionaries basically planned and organized the whole thing haha. Organizing activities and services in the church is actually harder than I realized before my mission. It makes me super thankful for the cool camps, activities, etc I got to be apart of before growing up in Utah. Trying to create a baptism program and making calls to find speakers was definately a new experience for me, and I'm learning alot of good random stuff out here.

This week in personal study I read Ether 12:6 which says we receive an answer AFTER a trial of our faith. This is something I've heard my whole life but I thought about it a little extra this week. I've realized the importance of being exactly obedient as a missionary. We as missionaries have many weaknesses, stresses, etc and we really do need the spirit as much as possible. I've learned there's a lot of opportunities to take the "easier way" in the mission, but those who learn to do things they don't like, and find joy while doing so, are the super successful people here on earth. We recieve blessings of obedience after we take that first step, even if it's hard. If I'm not willing to work hard now on the mission, why would I suddenly be willing to work hard in college or later on in life? We can't just change over a course of a day, it takes time. I'm realizing making good habits is super important for us while here on earth. If we have a habit to get out the door on time as a missionary, or read the Book of Mormon every day, it becomes easier over time. If we're always loving, it will slowly over time become our nature and we'll be nice without even realizing it. I'm learning that we truly become what we hear, see, think, and do. I challenge ya guys to take a step back often and reevaluate how you're doing. For me during nightly prayer and sacrament meeting is where I try my best to take a step back. And of course the best place is the temple haha. But yanno, just keep that in mind, remember to use your free agency the best you can so you can become a better person every day.

That's about all I've got haha. It was a good week honestly. A new favorite thing is to give the Law of Chastity pamphlet to the many gays/trans people who come to talk to us haha. The commandments we're asked to keep are really for our happiness and for us to reach our full potential, not to hold us back. One other awesome thing was Danni Santos went and did baptisms for the dead! He said he had a really good experience so that was super cool to hear. Many great experiences here that make me know without a doubt this is where I should be and all of this is true. I'm thankful for all of you and your support and good examples. Have a great week!

Love Elder Reber :)

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