Magandang hapon po Family! Maligayang Kaarawan Herbert!
I'm super grateful to be able to report to you guys every week because I haven't written in my journal in almost a month... At least I'll have something in the future to remind me of the great things that happened on my mission. I'm excited to tell you guys about the past two weeks!
The biggest highlight from 2 weeks ago was my splits with Elder Searancke, my Zone Leader from New Zealand. He said he ran into an Elder Meyers from Hawai`i once! I happily told him that he's been one of my best friends since childhood days. Our splits was super fun and I learned so many things from Elder Searancke. The first thing that stood out came while we were on our way to their area. We took a jeepney there and on the way a man and his little daughter, probably like 6, got on. I saw the way that Elder looked at the girl. It was as if he knew her for a long time, and was just so happy to see that she was happy. Before him I've never seen someone show such love for someone they don't even know. Since then I've been trying to truly see people the way that Heavenly Father sees them, seeing them not for what they are now, but for what they could become through the gospel and Atonement of Jesus Christ. Another thing that stood out to me was how crazy humble he is. I won't share everything for his sake, but I learned a lot from his example. Pride is a real thing. It was cool to see someone who has so much to brag about, but doesn't. Needless to say it was a great day of learning and the Spirit was felt all day. I also learned to listen more and not think so much about what to say.
Last week we had splits with the Mabini elders. I worked in Mabini with Elder Idorot while his companion worked in Gamu with Elder Marquez. I had a great day with Elder Idorot as well and got to know him better. He knows exactly why he's here in the field and has a strong desire to be obedient and do his best. I was super proud of Elder Marquez when he told me about his experience with the splits. He stood his ground when his companion suggested that they do something not allowed. I know I can trust Elder Marquez with this area and his new companion once I go. This week we enter our last transfer, which means that by Thursday we'll officially be the oldest missionaries in the mission! Crazy.
One highlight is we got philly cheese steak sandwiches yesterday. So good holy smokes. We actually have one American in our Branch who was a professional cook once. He feeds the missionaries every zone conference. I miss sandwiches so big that your mouth seems small.
As for our investigators, none came to church yesterday. It's a little hard because we have so many who are so willing to listen and say that they want to be with their families forever and receive salvation, but almost none act upon our commitments. We still have high hopes for many of them though. This morning we visited this small group of girls for our third lesson. Last time we taught about praying, especially as families, since they wanted to know more about how they can help their families. There are 4 of them and 3 have parents who are either split up or in jeopardy of separating. Two was happy to report that they've been praying together since that lesson! Not yet as a whole family, but working on it. They even said they're willing to change and do whatever it takes to follow Christ once they know for themselves that this message is true.
Elder Marquez and I had a pretty cool experience last night as well. Our curfew on Sunday nights is 7. We spent a really long time with a less-active family yesterday just trying to build a relationship with them since this was our first time meeting them and the first impression is so important. We tried to find out why they stopped going to church and spent a lot of time talking with George, one of the sons, about the gospel and how he as a Priesthood holder is needed at church. Once we left it was almost 7 already so we we decided to just visit an investigator family and set a schedule with them before returning home. On our way Elder Marquez remembered that they wouldn't be home around that time. Right there we noticed a dirt road to our right and decided to just contact one or 2 houses before heading home. I had a strong feeling though, and I told Elder, that the first house we hit will let us in. After some walking we found the first house to be huge and super intimidating haha. We almost walked past (typically people in big houses like that won't even talk to us), but I figured, "If not now, probably never" or like I used to say, "ah, just charge um". We walked down their small hill and tao po'd. Some people saw us and hid and the dog was going wild. We got a little discouraged and almost turned around after a minute or 2, when finally the mother came out and invited us into their terrace. We got to talk with her for a bit and it turns out she loves Mormons and sees how the church has blessed the lives of some of her family members! We set an appointment with her this coming Wednesday. She's interested to know what makes us different and how it made her uncle so happy. We're praying hard for her and are excited to see her again.
Alright that's it though. I love you guys! It was super good to see you guys. Thanks for the pictures and videos U'i! Ingat po kayo lagi :)
Mahal ko po kayo,