Monday, January 9, 2017

Santos seems to be the lucky name

Hello everyone,

Fast week here! We made lots of progress in our area this week, especially with less actives and recent converts. We had 9 less actives at church which is the most I've had on my mission this far! We're thankful that God is helping these people remember how great the gospel is and why it's so important for them! We're just His instruments and He will do what He needs if we're always obedient and doin our best. 

Tuesday we had a cool experience. We were finding over in an area but didn't have a third lalaki so had a hard time teaching lessons. We were right by Alfred's house, the 20 year old member who works with us basically every day. So we decided to see if he was there since he didn't answer our text. Alfred is the only member of his fam, was baptized last year, and is preparing to serve a mission. He's an awesome example to me, like I've said before I'm impressed he's willing to work with us as much as he does. He's probably one of the shyest people I've ever met but he's super nice! We got there and found out he was just sleeping but he said he could work with us after he got dressed and stuff. As we waited we talked to his mom for awhile, about why we're on missions and how it has helped us in our lives as well as the people we serve. She started asking a few questions and before I knew it we had sung a hymn, said a prayer, and were starting to teach the Plan of Salvation. It was a cool lesson and my companion was able to share his sweet life story how he's the only member of his family, how he had a deadly disease earlier in life, how a typhoon hit his home, etc. Super awesome and powerful. This whole time Alfred was upstairs I think because he was nervous we were sharing to his mom! Haha i would be too tho. But he walked down the stairs just in time to watch us extend a baptism invitation to his mom and to hear his mom say yes! It was literally perfect timing. She wasn't at church Sunday however but we're going to return to try and teach her again tomorrow.

Our other investigators keep progressing towards baptism. Our main investigators as of now are Rovie Perez and Rose Marie Santos, Danny's wife. They're both strong and it's cool to see the spirit testify the truthfulness. As a missionary sometimes not every lesson is exactly perfect haha, I'm glad that God can help them understand and feel the truth through us missionaries, even with our many mistakes and weaknesses. Rovie actually was referred to us after one of her friends from school had the courage to share the gospel to her. Even though she's the only one in her fam interested her faith is strong. It just reminds me to always share the gospel, even in small ways. We don't need to give someone a perfect sermon in order to convert them, we can share the gospel simply and from the heart. We just need to pray for courage that we'll act on those promptings to help others learn the truth! Sometimes, like Uchtdorf said in conf, we forget how great the gospel really is. After having something for a long time we tend to take it for granted whether it be a phone, family, the gospel, literally anything. So hopefully we will always remember why the gospel is so important for us and count our blessings. That's the happy way to live life haha.

One other progressing family right now is the Santos family. This is a different Santos family than Danny and Rose Marie (Santos seems to be the lucky name.) Their names are Vincent and April, they're in their late twenties, and they have a super nice little boy. We've been teaching them for awhile and they're SO NICE. They try to feed us every time we go there haha and they can't believe we've left our homes for two years to serve haha. Vincent is in JACOB in the Book of Mormon already and reads all of the pamphlets we give him. April is a member of Iglesia ni Cristo so hasn't quite accepted everything yet, although she likes to listen and asks difficult questions at times haha. But anyways they said they'd be at church but couldn't make it yesterday. We had an appointment last night at 7 and got bishop to come with us! We showed up and Vincent was out front chuggin some beer and smokin a nice cig with some friends! Haha he was soo embarrassed but immediately said "pasok!" which means we can enter their home. Sure enough the next lesson for them was Word of Wisdom and we had a great lesson. Bishop always goes off when he's with us and knows exactly what to say it's awesome. We were able to talk about the other Santos family and how they were able to overcome all of the things we're commanded to avoid. God doesn't give us trials we can't overcome. They both committed to live it and to try their best to change. They understood the blessings that can come from living it. If they're at church this week i'll try to get a pic with them!

Went on exchanges with Elder Panugao on Thursday. He cracks me up haha. He literally thinks he's Kobe Bryant. I'm not a fan so I've given him crap about it since we both got here in Tondo. Every morning for exercise he does the exact same stretching routine as Kobe it's super funny! Basically all he says in english is "wow! super great!" "wow! super clean" "give me money give me money!" Their area has been struggling but we were able to find some new investigators. We also found a less active he didn't know was in their area who hasn't been to church for over 15 years. He told us of all the trials in his life and we were able to share about why we have trials here in life- a pretty common subject for us here in 
the Philippines.

I'm happy to be here in the mish. Times are good and I really enjoy this area. We had a solid piano lesson Saturday and got 3 new investigators off of it. Two of them actually went to church the next day! I taught gospel principles yesterday and of course we happened to have a full class haha. Also earlier this week I looked in the mirror and noticed my right shoulder is literally two inches lower than my left shoulder from holding my bag all day every day! Ha crap I'm starting to shift back and forth so hopefully it will even out again. 

Glad to be a missionary! Couldn't be doing anything better in life right now. Mahal ko po kayo!

Elder Reber
Elder Jervoso and Elder Reber

Elder Jervoso, Elder Reber and Elder Sumaoang

This mall looks so festive- wish I knew the story behind it :)

Fun Decorations

I feel like Parker is overlooking City Creek-guess not

We love Mera and her darling girls. She is so good to the missionaries!

I love all of the color they have in their homes. Such a happy picture!

So grateful for those that are surrounding my favorite Elder with support and love!
Park will always love a good sunset!

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