Monday, January 27, 2014

The Book of Mormon changes hearts!

Dear Family,
Kumusta na kamo? Maayo gid ako! I have the BEST experience to share with all of you today! But first...
So, once upon a time, Sister Winward finally got frustrated about her area. I never thought it would happen. I've really been trying to have patience and endure, because (gani) missionary work is supposed to be challenging. But we just haven't seen much progress for the last while. So, after being punted all of Monday evening, I was just so frustrated with things. But, of course, I didn't give up. I kept having faith. Prayed really hard. Trusted in the Lord. And just hoped that things would get better, if not now than in the future.
And then, on Wednesday, we went back to teach Cheryan  for the third time. We gave her an Aklat ni Mormon the first time we taught her, then the second time she hadn't read because she forgot, so we emphasized that it was really important for her to read it. So then! On Wednesday, we followed up on her reading in the Book Of Mormon, and she had read ALL THE WAY TO JACOB in like a week!!!! 146 pages.WHAT???!!!!! It was awesome! I almost couldn't even talk, I was so shocked and so happy. She is totally golden! She told us how she felt like she related to Nephi because she had a good family and her life didn't really go how she had planned because she had to drop out of her Social Work course. And then we challenged her to go to church and to be baptized and she totally accepted. No excuses. It's definitely not us doing this. It is all the Spirit and the Book of Mormon. So she came to church, was really well fellowshipped, and then the RS lesson was about fellowshipping, so she was super included. It was great. During Sacrament, I gave her some papers for her 4-year-old daughter to draw on, and she started taking notes. She's so studious. I love her so much! The Book of Mormon is a key to conversion. Read it. It WILL change your life.
One of our other investigators, Shirley (the one that talks a lot), is so cute. I'm pretty sure she's gonna be a future YW president or something. She is always fussing over us. She doesn't want us to get attacked by dogs or tired from walking in the sun, so they always give us a ride in their tricycle. She scolds us frequently for walking all the way to her house from the highway. It's not even far. "Just text me when you get off the jeep and we'll come pick you up!" haha. I figured out that part of why she talks so much is to help her reason things out in her head. So, after we taught about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, she just talked it over again to review and to keep "Propeta Smith" and "Propeta Thomas" straight. She is 52 but she still looks like she's in her 30s. And she only ever finished elementary school. But she is sagad at Tagalog, and she just learns from everyone around her.
We had interviews with President Aquino and a cooking demo with Sister Aquino last Wednesday, too. President Aquino said to make sure I send their love to all of you and thank you for sending me here to serve a mission. (Mom and Dad ARE the best.) One person from each apartment had to cook a meal to demonstrate their cooking skills. (I was calling it the Hunger Games...) The Philippines Area Presidency wants to make sure the missionaries know how to cook and aren't just eating pancit canton (like ramen noodles) and mang inasal (a Filipino bbq restaurant) all the time. Sister R. cooked "Salsa Manok" for our apartment's contribution. Yum. On Saturday, I went Olive Garden style, and made my own version of Eggplant Parmesan. Not bad. We are definitely introducing Sister D. to all kinds of wonderful American recipes.
You know what's funny? I still have moments when I can't even believe I am here. I have to like pinch myself to remind myself that it is not a dream. I really am here, in the Philippines, serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the BEST.
I love you all and I really hope you all have a great week. Remember to have charity for every person you meet. Lift where you stand. Halong pirmi!
Love, Sister Winward

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