I'm so excited to write you this week! I've got so much to tell you!!!!!
We were really busy this week- either with lessons or meetings. We had 4 week check up, (can you believe I've already been here for a month?) which was really insightful. President Peterson helped me to realize that it's okay to not be perfect. It's okay to feel unprepared and scared out of your mind! Just don't stay that way. :)
We taught Lola again. She is so amazing. She prays each night to know if it's true. Seriously, each night! And she's 84! She's reading and coming to church each week- I'm so happy for her. And this week, I saw a light start to grow in her countenance. She seems brighter and happier. It's so beautiful. I love seeing that light! Haha, as we were teaching her about Joseph Smith, we showed her a picture of him. She studied it for a few seconds and then said, "Hmmm, Pogi siya." (Po-gee Shaw) It means "He's cute!" And then she chuckled this 84 year old, toothless chuckle. It was so, so funny! My companion and I have been laughing about it all week.
Speaking of teaching about Joseph Smith, last week I asked my companion, "When we teach that Joseph Smith goes into a 'grove of trees', do you think they picture palm trees or what it actually looks like?" We got our answer this week. As we were teaching our twelve year old, we asked her, recapping, "What did Joseph Smith do?" She answered, "He went to the jungle and prayed!" Haha, yes. Yes he did.
I tried a new fruit this week. I can't remember what it's called, unfortunately. It's green and spiky- maybe you could look it up. It's about the size of a papaya. ( Not Jack fruit) Anyway, it straight-up tastes like laffy-taffys- but natural laffy-taffys. It even has laffy-taffy texture! It's weird, but strangely addicting and delicious!
We ate with the Bishop again this week. He took us out to eat at this fancy bamboo hut restaurant the night before Fast Sunday. It was so, so good! I love Filipino Food! I ate pigs feet. Yum, yum. ;) I love our Bishop! He's so great! We actually ate at several people's houses this week. We are so lucky to live in a ward that loves to feed us! And that they are all such good cooks!
As we were walking this week, I stepped into an ant hill by accident. It was the worst! I had about 30 ants crawling all over me- biting me everywhere. As if people didn't stare at us already, now everyone can watch the white american hoping on one foot and throwing shoes and socks off the other. I still have bite marks. It looks like a rash all over again.
Okay, I saved the best for last.
We have had this secret investigator for three weeks- One we weren't even allowed to write home about. Until now. Here's why.
He is married to a member, his children are members, and all his family (uncles, aunts, parents, brothers sisters) are members. They have been waiting for him to be baptized so they can be sealed together, all at once. Up until now, he always joked about baptism but never was serious. His family has been praying, waiting for forty years to all be sealed together. He's actually ready for baptism. He obeys all the commandments and even attends church. He's an "Active- non member".
Anyway, the lot fell to us to teach him. We were SOOO nervous. To make it worse, he brother bore testimony in church that we were going to his house and maybe we could change his heart. Talk about pressure!!! We prayed all week long that we would be inspired to teach what he needed. We felt that we shouldn't teach baptism for the first lesson, (he understands the doctrine well enough to be taught like a member), and instead teach faith. When we got there, he was really excited for some reason. We were trying to bring a reverent, quiet spirit in- but it was difficult. I could feel excitement and I could understand why. (Now I really think that it was several of his ancestors, excited for what was about to take place.)
We started the lesson and asked him what faith meant for him in his life. He answered and then before we could get anywhere else, he went off about why he wasn't baptized. We tried to bring it back for about 7 minutes! I could feel our lesson getting farther and farther away from us! We asked another question and then suddenly, he was off on a tandem again! His tandem ended with, "So, when can I be baptized?" His immediate family had no idea that he was willing, or ready. They jumped up and the happiness that flooded the room was indescribable! His wife, tears in her eyes, started immediately planning out when his baptism would be. She even planned out when we could teach the lessons, while he sat back smiling, looking smug. It would have probably been really funny to us too, but we were trying to get our jaws back off the floor. He had just committed HIMSELF to baptism. Um, ano?
He put us under solemn secret to not tell ANYONE about it. So for three weeks we've been teaching him in secret. Finally, this Saturday he had his interview and it was announced on Sunday. His family is filled with ineffable joy. They kept asking that day, "Are you sure that he's not joking, Bishop?" But he's not. His mother started crying as soon as it was announced.
I couldn't believe the spirit I felt that day.I started crying for them! Seriously, to see their happiness- at last they can be together in the church, at last they can all be sealed together as family- forever. It was such a testimony to me that this work is true.
And further more, I learned that this is Heavenly Father's work. It isn't ours. We literally did nothing but sit back with our mouths hanging open. It was the prayers of his family, for forty years. Prayers will always be answered, no matter how long you wait.
Well, I've got to go now! Love you all!