Monday, December 1, 2014

A harder week, but a blessed one, too, as Bien is baptized!

Dear All-

Well, Monday and Tuesday I felt like I just made one mistake after another!  P-day was fine, except that I forgot to get some numbers and I left a sheet at the house that I needed , so we were in the internet café for a really long time!  And we had an activity in the morning and my neck got super sunburned.  In the evening though we taught the Solis family again and JR really wants to give up smoking, so we made a plan to help him!  They are SO awesome!  After that we taught Dustin, a recent convert, and his 2 year old sister is the funniest ever!  We were teaching and I said, “…Makagkapasak sa kocharian ng Diyos.” Then Alexa piped up, “Diyos? Wala naming Diyos eh!” Which translates to: “…enter the kingdom of God.”  “God?  There is no God!”  I was dying laughing!  Anyway, Tuesday I had a moment in the morning while we were finding.  We found this grandma and her two grandchildren who were like elementary age.  I thought, “They probably aren’t going to get this.  Should we bother teaching them?”  Then I thought how they are my spiritual brothers and sisters and they deserve to hear a message.  So we taught a simple lesson about how the gospel blesses families.  If anything we planted a good seed.  (Note:  I found out that their mom works in the Middle East and that their dad is in prison..)  In the afternoon the mistakes continued as I left my name tag at the house *face palm*, so we had to go back and get that after the first lesson.  I also forgot to tell the other elders that a certain lunch appointment was cancelled, so they showed up to a member’s house expecting food and there wasn’t any.  Awkward.  But the work was good!  Analyn Ruiz seems to be softening up now as we shared about the Book of Mormon. We taught Jared, as well as Sister Roby, whose progress is slow as she has a million questions but she said she might come to church this Sunday!  And we visited the Solis family again and they are so awesome!  They’re reading the Book of Mormon.  JR is cutting back on cigarettes and they want to be baptized so bad!  Earlier during district meeting I made a mistake and said that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Gethsemane, not the Garden of Eden.  NICE.  But it was ok, because afterwards everyone brought food and we had a Filipino Thanksgiving dinner!  I had exchanges with Elder Gementiza, which was a lot of fun!  And we had some good work in the afternoon.

Thursday was a rainy day in Palayan!  It was not just rainy as in wet, but as in it was a darker day.  We did meet this one less active who just got back from Manila who really opened up to us, so that was good!  But yeah, after that it was difficult.  We found out that Bien and his family are most likely moving to a part of Aurora where there is no church and no missionaries.  We found out that our golden couple, JR and Mariaris, aren’t legally married yet and that they can’t get married until February, so they can’t get baptized until then either.  And when we went over there for an 8:00 pm appointment JR was drinking with all of his friends….that was hard.  We did have a nice family feed us dinner that night, so that helped!  Friday was going ok.  We taught the dad of a less active member who was into the lesson!  New investigator.  We taught Jared, our goal for Dec. 27th, then Mariel, whose papers for marriage we’re hopefully going to get worked out on Monday.  After that lesson, my anak was not feeling good, so we went home and he rested.  And I got some good stuff done!  I finished Jesus the Christ, did some laundry, wrote a letter for my Christmas package to the fam, and cooked a whole bunch of Litson Manok [roasted chicken], mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy (Thanks, Mom!), hot dogs, watermelon, soda and some other stuff that I’ve forgotten already, but man, it was delicious!  And in true Thanksgiving style we all ate too much! 
Thanksgiving feast with the kabahays!

Saturday was good!  We taught Bien, then had a really good lesson with his mom, Dahlia!  We taught Mia Bautista, whose real concern finally came out as she didn’t see why she needed to pray to know because she believes all you need is faith to be saved, so why does it matter if the Book of Mormon is true or not?  We told her we would make a good lesson plan and come back on Tuesday, to which she agreed.  We taught Dustin and a couple of his friends and then took them to get some snacks because Dustin read every day and prayed every day, and that was the deal!  We taught Mariaris the law of chastity and she took it really well and committed to be baptized in February. 

Sunday was hard in that only Bien and his mom came to church.  We also had a lunch appointment, but when we got there the food wasn’t ready and so we didn’t get out of there until 3:30.  Only 3 people showed up to a fireside we put on, so we just cancelled it, and we taught a couple of lessons.  Then I really wasn’t feeling well:  dizzy, headaches, and exhaustion, so we came home and I was asleep before 7… BUT  Bienjamin Moga Pascued was baptized on Sunday, so what else really matters?  He’s the coolest little teenager and he was so pumped!  He said he felt hot, even though the water was cold. 
Bien's baptism!
What a blessing.  It’s incredible how fast people forget the blessings of the Lord when little, minor inconveniences blind our view.  We always have to be grateful for all of God’s blessings or else Satan’s distractions will consume us!  I know this work is true and I’m just so lucky to be a part of it!

-Elder Christensen

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