Another good week! Remember that less active we found last Sunday night? We were able to teach her and her husband three times this week! They’re 21 and 20 and super nice. AJ, the less active, has been looking for the church here but has been a little nervous to return. Her husband Christian has really good questions about why there are so many religions and how he can know if Joseph Smith is really a true prophet. He’s been confused his whole life why so many religions claim to be true.
Saturday night I think was the lesson that stood out the most to me with them. AJ was talking about how she wishes she could be baptized again haha! She was wondering if God would still accept her. Her whole life as a member she didn’t really understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ and his love and grace for her. It was such a cool experience to help her realize that she could be forgiven from ALL things. We shared one of my favorite scriptures with her. It’s in 3 Nephi 9:13-14. It says, “O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.” We went on to talk about the sacrament as well and how we can basically be “baptized” every week. I’ve learned a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ on my mission. He is waiting for us to come unto Him. His arm is always extended no matter where we’re at in our lives! I’ve always kinda wondered if I’m doing enough or if He is happy with how I’m doin here on earth. I know that He wants us to return to Him and He’s on our side. He knows us individually and hopes we will accept His gift and become more like Him. In the next life I feel He will be asking us to come live with Him rather than strictly pointing out all the things we didn’t do right. If we do our part and learn to love living the gospel then we will become a person who will be comfortable living with Him, rather than wanting to run away!
We had another dinner at the Pimentel home. We got there right as they were ending their call with their son Elder Pimentel so it was fun to meet him real quick! They’re the family who feeds you until you want to die. Every time I took a sip of juice she would take my cup and fill it back to the brim haha! I literally couldn’t walk after it was a miracle I got to our next appointment without throwin up.
We’ve had some CRAZY oym’s this week. The mission office is right here in the city but our area is on the outskirts in the “squatters.” It’s not quite like Tondo though haha. That place is the best! But since we’re both white we just walk around and have a blast trying to get into people’s houses. We call it “white power.” A few weeks ago we stopped by a tindahan to buy some fruit soda. Every missionary here in the Manila buys fruit soda because they’re all over the place here. Plus it’s dang delish. Everyone also knows that a fruit soda is 8 pesos. We went to a new spot and the little nanay said it “pitong peso na lang, kasi pogi kayo!” She gave us points for being handsome and only made us pay 7 pesos! We gave her a pamphlet and she started reading! Now we stop by every once in a while and grab a quick fruit soda and save a peso every time! We want to teach her but she always says she’s busy running her store. Oh well. I think one of these days our funny friendship of fruit soda may lead to some lessons. Another story is we met a tatay the other day and he started singing a sweet song to us haha. He was drunk. He then asked Elder Webster if he would give him a kiss and Elder Webster said nope. I was making fun of Elder Webster for awhile after that haha.
Eric Encarnacion is doin really good! We taught to good lessons to him this week although he’s still a little scared to go to church. He knows it’s what he needs to do and he said to just not give up on him. He’s been reading a ton in pamphlets and the Book of Mormon! We asked him how his reading in the lesson 3 pamphlet was and he said “scary!!” I asked him if he thinks it’s from God and he said “of course!” The spirit has testified to him a lot now that all of this is true- he’s just a little scared to show his faith. Mainly he doesn’t want to give up drinking yet. But we’ve been able to help him read the Book of Mormon and APPLY it to his life rather than just reading to learn more about religious history. It was super cool because he said “I tried to apply the things I read to my life this time!” I asked, “well what did you do?” At first he was embarrassed to tell us but then he finally said after laughing “I pretend that I’m Nephi.” We were like “that’s so cool!!” We were able to talk about how he can be more like Nephi. Nephi was blessed because he was always obedient. No matter how hard it might’ve been, he still chose the harder right. We talked about how he always was blessed after he showed his faith. How he was able to get the plates, how the liahona would work for him, how he got food for his family by making another bow, and how he even built a huge boat! He couldn’t have done these things without God. Most of his family was murmuring and they weren’t able to do the things Nephi did. He said, “wow I’m being a lot like Laman and Lemuel, I complain too much and I’m afraid to show my faith!” I’m thankful for the example of Nephi. I think that was the first time in my life too that his example hit me really strong. I decided I was going to be more like him too. Because of Eric, I’ve been realizing I myself need to apply examples in the Book of Mormon in my life. It was a cool lesson!
P day Elder Webster and I spent the whole day doing family history. Our mission has a zone conference coming up centered on it so we all have to fill out our My Family booklets the best we can. It was super fun! I printed out tons of pictures of my fam and of my ancestors and I just really felt thankful the whole time. I’m thankful for what my ancestors sacrificed. Lots of them didn’t see the blessings of their work but I definitely am in my own good life. I invite all of you to find a story about an ancestor this week! As I read, it made me feel like I can do tough things and see miracles just like people I’m related to did!