Kumusta kamo? I hope everyone is having a great week and looking forward to Pioneer Day! Also, it is Alex's birthday on Wednesday, don't any of you forget! ;) This was an interesting week. All kinds of roller-coaster ups and downs resolving concerns, but in the end, it is all going smoothly. I am so thankful for the testimonies our investigators are cultivating with the power of the Holy Ghost.
Once upon a time, Elder Ortiz told us that Josie's daughter told him that Josie is not married. I dunno if I mentioned that one last week. But we asked her about it, and she said that, yes, they are. So we thought that concern was not a concern at all. Sister Viliami didn't really believe her though, and we wanted to investigate further, without hurting Josie's feelings (we DON'T want to make to mistake of having her baptized if she's not married yet, obviously), and Heavenly Father gave us a tender mercy. We were walking on our way to teach Robilyn, when we saw Josie's husband, Jun. We said "hello" and kept walking, then were like "duh" why don't we just ask him if they are married. He very confidently said nope, they are not. They're too poor. So that's that. We went to Josie's later that day, and before we walked up we made a little game plan and prayed for the Spirit to guide our words so we can help Josie understand. The thing about Josie is she is really childlike. She really is progressing very well, but it isn't really out of a testimony of the gospel yet. Right now she's one of those, what you call, "missionary converts." We need people converted to Christ and His gospel, not to missionaries who became their best friends. We kind of suspect that she bends the truth sometimes so she can have our love and praise. So we had to explain that to her--we'll love her no matter what, but she's gotta work out her marriage. She got right on her homework to get it worked out. She and her husband are going to borrow money from her brother for the papers. We'll keep working on her testimony, then she will be ready for baptism with an enduring conversion. !
Elna is doing great. We finished up all the lessons with her and she passed her Baptismal Interview (of course). Elder Gan, our district leader, said he felt like he was the one being taught. As her baptism is growing closer, she is definitely experiencing some adversity. Her husband was fine with her being baptized up until about a week ago. Now he is all annoyed. Probably because we have been over at their house like every day for daily contact with Elna, and to finish up her lessons. He won't come in the house if we are there. Elna told us he just needs some time to cool off. Satan is getting inside his head. She has such great faith. She knows this too shall pass, and one day, even if it takes years, Brother Robert will be converted to the true gospel of Jesus Christ as well. The branch members are so supportive of her. They are excited. July 26!
Robilyn is also doing so great. This week has been hard for her because of her reactions to quitting coffee. She wishes we could move her baptismal date sooner. But she came to all 3 hours of church yesterday, and was feeling fine. She opened up to us about her family background the other night. She has a lot of heart ache. But she is being healed by our Heavenly Father's love. I am so proud of her.!
Some good news about all the many marriages: President Villavert and President Gindap should be receiving their Licenses to Marry by mid-August. Woohoo! Free wedding ceremonies!
We found Margie, Rogie, and Andrea a few weeks ago. They came to church for the third time yesterday. Rogie shared with us that every since he started reading the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon, he is addicted. He can't get enough. Now we just need that to rub off on Margie, because she never ever reads anything. She is a social butterfly...which kind of gets in the way with her progress a little bit. haha. Rogie really likes the priesthood. We've had to explain that it ain't so easy to just get the priesthood. They've got some LOC to work out, so he was really bummed when we explained that Andrea will have to go first for baptism. Margie and he are gonna have a complicated time, but they will hopefully get married at some point in the near future. Or something... Oh boy. haha.
On Friday, we had interviews with President Aquino. He is always encouraging us to be Excellent, Rock Missionaries. He is a very humble and wise leader. I am glad he is leading this mission to achieve great things. It is great to be a missionary in the Philippines Iloilo Mission! ILOveILOve!
Fire and Water.......https://www.lds.org/media-, it was so crazy... we were at Gaisano in the morning to buy ingredients for the apple crisp we made for our 4th meeting at the Sessions last night. The store wouldn't open for about 45 minutes, so we had to wait. We were sitting on a planter OYMing a lady, when all of a sudden we heard a series of loud electric noises, and a huge fire started on the electric wires not so far from us. Every one ran out of the building screaming, so terrified. Sister Viliami and I just walked away with the lady. It reminded me a lot of the Mormon Message "Men's Hearts Shall Fail Them." (
library/video/2011-11-020- mens-hearts-shall-fail-them? lang=eng ) We knew we'd be fine, but everyone else was so scared. We were safe, and the firefighters came quickly. None of the mall burned, just a tree nearby. (Don't worry, Mom.) The good thing is...we got to OYM a bunch of ladies and testify of the Plan of Salvation afterward. :) Yes!
As for the Water part, we drink our purified water out of these heavy blue jugs (like 5 gallon size maybe). When we got home from worknight, one of them had broken open, and there was water spilled all over the kitchen. haha. Mission life is full of surprises.
Like I mentioned, we had another meeting at the Sessions' last night. We invited some of the leaders of San Jose, I was so proud of President Gindap. He shared that in all his years of being a member, the first time he ever visited someone else was when the STLs took him to visit a less active family not too long ago. We are continuing to help the leaders here learn how to minister to the people in their stewardship. Some people get sick of having missionaries come to visit. But the power of a member, or even better the Bishop or another leader themselves visiting, is incomparable. They don't even have to say much...just the fact that a leader took the time to pay a visit can make all the difference. That is what made the difference for Elder Sessions when he was inactive. And that is why so many less actives are coming back now. This is only the beginning! I love working with the leaders here.
Well, time's up. I love you all and I hope you all have a great day. Never forget to ask Heavenly Father what He would have you do to help another today. Charity is really a powerful tool in opening hearts to the gospel and in healing broken relationships. Have a great week!
Love, Sister Winward
Love, Sister Winward