Monday, October 18, 2010

No Complaints.

Dear Family,
This past week has been AWESOME! There were so many great things that happened that I won't have time to touch on but I'll do my best. And hey, I'm finally starting to really love it here; imagine that!
Anyway, first just a funny experience. So my companion and I were sitting in Burger King the other day and he just started screaming and pointing at the TV screen. Remember that day a few years back that they filmed a bunch of people at the Burger King right next to our house and made a commercial out of it? Well they showed it here! All the way in the Philippines!
Wednesday was a really special day for us. We got to hear from a general authority in the church named Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy. It was amazing that he could be here in the Philippines and talk to all the missionaries. It was also way amazing to be able to get to see all the missionaries in the mission in one place. I got to see all my good friends from the MTC and reunite with everyone so that was awesome. It's nice to hear their stories and know that they're going through the same things I'm going through as well.
The rest of the week was really a treat. The people we are teaching are really awesome and I love them a lot. One in particular that I'd like to talk about is Sister Jess Ampher. She's a squatter and lives (have I talked about her before?) a really rough life. She loves hearing from us though and enjoys our company. Her faith is really strong, and she's really inspiring to me. She does her best in being able to read the Book of Mormon but has a hard time because her vision isn't very strong and they can't afford glasses. I wish I could help but the most we can do is just share with them what the gospel has to offer.
Saturday we took one of our younger ones, Maria, to the temple with her mom. Their from Ilocos Norte too and love talking to me in Ilocano. This little girl is really something. First, she's special to me because she was the first lesson that I have ever taught and I will also have the privilege of being able to baptize her this coming Saturday. Her whole family is LDS but none of them go to church. And as a ten year old, she finds a way to pay for public transportation and make it to church every Sunday because she can feel the difference it makes in her life. Every time we show up to teach her she is so excited and always says, "I prayed so hard for you to come today and you did!" She loved the temple and it's beauty and was so happy to be there.
We also have had great opportunities to do service the past couple days. We were able to help a ward clean the chapel the other day and helped Sister Jen prepare food for members of the ward yesterday. It was hard work but man, is it awesome to be able to cook Filipino food! Yesterday was also the Primary (kids up to age 11 I think) program in church. They sang a bunch of songs and gave short speeches that brought the whole congregation to tears. I love the kids, they're strong and will be the change the Philippines need in the future.
This past week, I've been learning the true blessings of obedience. Sometimes the people around me are very heavily, selectively obedient and it's easy to see that in the way they carry themselves. There are so many blessings and safety brought with being obedient though and not convincing myself that I'm the exception to a rule. I've found that my days run so much better when I'm up on time, to bed on time, and doing everything right in between.
Well, I don't have many more crazy stories this week but I'm sure I will next week. I feel like this email has been kind of boring so I'll try to spice things up next week. As for now, I'm loving it here and the Tagalog is coming along really well! I wouldn't call it fluent yet but I can carry a good conversation now which is awesome. Anyway, hope all is well. Until next week!