Magandang Hapon po!
Thanksgiving here was just about as awesome as Thanksgiving can get in the Philippines. We went to lunch at McDo, and even splurged for a cake! Pretty close to the traditional Thanksgiving meal if you ask me. Sounds like a fantastic time was had by all back on the home front. Must have been a rare sight to see with everyone together for a couple days (except me, of course). Pretty weird to think that pretty soon, I'll be joining you on all of those activities! Which reminds me, Pres. Carlos just informed us that due to the recent surge in missionaries, all missions in the Philippines will be having to change the transfer days 2-3 weeks earlier. That means that whether I like it or not, I will be sent home about 2-3 weeks earlier. I'm sure Mom will be really upset about that. Don't worry mom, if you want, you can petition to have me gone longer! Haha. I'm not really not sure what to do when I get home anyways while waiting for school to start, but I guess that gives me more time to make up for lost time in the mountains and on horseback rides. Kind of weird that I only get to miss one 4th of July on the mission. Haha. It will definitely be weird not being a missionary anymore. Good thing I don't have to think about that for another 7 months! Insane how fast time has/is flying by. By the time I get home, my 2 little nieces are going to be talking and throwing fits at me.
It's already time to start thinking about Christmas skype call! I'll let you decide what is best for you-me skyping on your Christmas eve, or your Christmas. Doesn't really matter to me, just whatever time works best for the most people! It would be nice to see everyone for at least a minute or 2 if possible.
This coming Saturday we will have 2 baptisms. They are baptisms as a result of reactivating an inactive family, 2 little girl siblings aged 9 and 11. They are super cute and have been really engaged in applying whatever commitments we leave behind. Their mom said the 9 year old is the one to get up early on Sunday morning and wake everyone else up so that they can have time to get ready for church and make the 30 tricy ride. They read their scriptures and any assignments we leave them everyday, and are even good about reminding the family to have family scripture study and prayer before going to bed. :) Sometimes it amazes me to see how much "ahead" little children can be compared to adults when it comes to spirituality stuff. I suppose that can be a piece of evidence that we all really do come from a loving Heavenly Father and how perfect heaven must be. Then as time goes on, we tend to get molded by the worldly temptations and ever decreasing standards.
As we were spending one of our days tracting last week, we were inspired to walk down a little pathway that opened up into a family compound. After calming down a pack of guard dogs, we kind of just stood there waiting to see who would talk to us first, not knowing who else to talk to. Then one lady came out and insisted that we follow her to her house so we could talk. She mentioned how there have been several different religions/missionaries by their place before, but her and her family have never had time to actively participate in any of them. That is a really common excuse, so we just proceeded to the usual routine of sharing some simple information about families and the Restoration and tried to set up a return appointment of when her husband would be home. She said that he is a tricy driver (which is never good news because that means he is busy all day every day except for one day a week), and that even on his day off he is busy with a part time job. We mentioned how hard working he was, and she went and got her baby boy that was maybe 6 months old. As soon as I saw the baby, I recognized the blue baby look. His skin was whiter than mine (obviously unusual for a Filipino), and had blue fingernails and lips. She said the doctors told her that he has 2 holes in his heart, and it was a miracle he is even alive because he was flat lined for several minutes after being born. The reason her husband is busting his butt off working is that so they can afford a surgery only obtainable in Manila. It makes my heart cringe to see people in such situations, not being able to afford necessary medical care. The typical tricy driver maybe earns about 200 pesos (about 5 dollars) in one day. The spirit of the contact obviously changed to a more serious level, and we left her our testimonies that no matter what happens, God loves her and her family and they can all be together again. How grateful I am for such a simple knowledge that too few people know.
Maraming Salamat po for all of your support and being awesome.
Mahal ko kayo,
The following was taken from Sister Shaner's blog.
|Elder Nay and Elder Lasay sitting on their new front porch.|
Before I continue in this vein, I will tell you of our new record...FOUR APARTMENTS FOUND AND CONTRACTED ON BEFORE TUESDAY OF THIS PAST WEEK...FOUR IN FOUR DAYS!!! Everything is not finalized on all of them yet but we feel confident that there will be some moving going on in the future with a few companionships. Most of you are aware of the increase in the number of missionaries applying for service to the Lord and He knows there has to be some place to put these young Elders and Sisters. We have seen His hand in our apartment efforts the past month and this past week set a new record. The Zone Leaders in Tuguegarao South Zone have been searching for MONTHS for an apartment in their proselyting area. They were successful in finding one for their newest set of missionaries but were not finding anything for themselves UNTIL last Sunday. Now for those of you who have been followers of this blog, you might remember Elder Nay. He served with us in Mallig and we became well acquainted with him at that time. Currently he is one of the Zone Leaders I was speaking of and I have to tell you-this young man has faith!
Last Sunday he and his companion Elder Lasay decided they were going to get serious about an apartment so they decided to ask the Lords help and walk through their area, knocking on doors and asking people. As they walked, they visited with the different people, adults and children, who were outside and lo and behold! They came upon an apartment. They called the number on the posted sign, waited for the landlady to come over and looked at the house-it is a darling house and will be just PERFECT for these two patient young Elders. We are not finalized but we all have faith that in the next 24-48 hours it will be a done deal. The apartment they are currently in is a 20-30 minute commute from the area where they work and by moving, they will be able to work into the evenings and save at least an hour each day in commute time. I am proud of their faith and know they will be rewarded.