My dear family,
No need to worry, all is well here in Barra, Philippines! The storm that was supposed to be a super typhoon was the slowest storm ever to landfall, (probably not actually, just exaggerating) and so by the time it reached us, it had died down so much, that it was basically no more than a strong rain storm. It took 4 days to finally hit and meanwhile we experienced really strong wind, but nothing more.When it did hit, it lasted for over 24 hours, (again slow storm), but we are okay! As far as I know, there was no damage, but we haven't gone to our area yet to check on the members. They were all evacuated from their homes because of the storm and brought to the chapel to be safe. Poor things, they were there for at least 2 days. Can you imagine being stuck in the church building for 2 days? With little kids running around? And no soft chairs or anything? Anyway, I think they are well on their way home now. They are up against the ocean and so I'm expecting that they will have had some flooding and maybe some minor damage, but we hope and pray that nothing beyond that.
Because of the storm though, we were unable to go out and work for 4 days straight. Dang! I was so sick of staying indoors! I just wanted to go out and teach some people the gospel! I finished my Book of Mormon and got clear to I Nephi 20 again, read 1 chapter of Preach my Gospel in Tagalog... and an entire Liahona all in just one day. Yep, there is a reason we are called to labor as missionaries. Staying at home is so boring! :) Okay, so it really wasn't that bad. But I'm more than a little excited to go out and work this week!
I did get your package this week! I was so, so excited to Elderberry Jam and the chocolates. My apartment mates and I have already eaten one bag! (But I think that's because we had nothing else to do...) I also loved all the cute window art crafts, they are so cute! And I'm so ecstatic to teach everyone how to play don't eat the snowman. We are going to use it in FHE one of these days. I will hopefully send off the last of my christmas package today, if all goes well and I find everything alright. :) It might not get to you until after Christmas though, sorry!
I am so grateful for all the prayers and fasting in behalf of the people here. I have really thought of how amazing it is that the storm hit on fast as a companionship we have been praying hard that our less actives will open their hearts and receive us. (All of them refuse to be taught and ignore us when we come) When we fasted this week, we fasted specifically for the less actives,that they might open their hearts. We fasted in particular too for the husband of one of the less actives, who is not a member and will not let us even come in through the gate if he's home. , after our 30 minute sacrament meeting (because of the on coming storm we only had church long enough to take sacrament and it was canceled in Barra so we went to the stake center,) we went to Barra to warn our investigators that they could move to the chapel if needed. While there, we passed by this less active's home and we both felt prompted to stop and speak to them. To my surprise, the husband actually invited us in. His wife seemed so happy to see us and told us that she would be going to the church with her husband and children. As soon as she said that, I realized that this would be such a great opportunity for him to meet and speak with members and see the light that this church has to offer him. I could see the hand of God was in this and was so amazed at the small and simple ways that he accomplishes his work. and that it hit us so slowly. I know that Heavenly Father really heard the prayers of his people in that time before the storm and caused it to decrease before hitting our mission. We even saw some miracles because of the storm. Of Course, the biggest one was that the storm really broke down before hitting us. Another one was that
Our investigator has the same problem with her husband and he also went to the church. I'm excited to see if their hearts were opened at all in that time. We have been praying hard.
Well, it's time to go. I love you all!
Thanks again for your prayers. A miracle was truly brought about through the strength of prayer and fasting this week.
With all my love,