Magandang Hapon po!
Kamusta na kayo?!
Maganda pa rin dito sa Lamut! I am happy I am assigned to the more mountainous area of the mission because it really does feel fresher and not as scorching hot. The scenery everywhere is a good switch from the flat rice and cornfields everywhere. The rain and lightning storms have been pretty relentless the last week and of course that means plenty of brown outs. The ones in the middle of the night are fun because I wake up hot and kicking all the sheets off.
We also have a rat problem in our apartment, which has been fun trying to catch them. I had my first encounter the night I got here and the first time I looked in the bathroom I saw a big fat rat staring back at me. I was almost able to stomp on it as it was running away, but he was too good. Sometimes when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I can hear them running away before I can turn the lights on. We ordered a rat trap from the mission home and it was hard to even set it because the springs on it are so strong, but they have still managed to set it off in the middle of the night without facing the rath of the rat trap. The battle continues.
We had a wonderful week as much faith was tested and we spent most of our time looking avidly for new investigators. At first, we had one of "those days" as a missionary in that seemingly everyone we talked to and every house we tao po'ed was not interested. Everybody was always "too busy" to meet us and told us "next time na lang", and some people just looked at us with disgust and waved us away without even saying a word. Because I have had days similar to this before and am not a person to take things personally, rather than ask the inevitable questions of "Why me? What did I do to deserve a day like this? Why won't people just open their hard hearts and let us help them?". I just felt bad for all the people that rejected us and know that in order to enjoy the good days, you need to have bad days too. We have been focusing on only tracting people with cars and nicer houses, and it turns out that what Elder Nielsen (area presidency) taught about is true-you get what you go for! At the beginning of the week, we had really no investigators. After pushing through a few hard days and realizing that we needed some extra help some above, we decided to try fasting and more earnest prayer that people would soften their hearts to talk to us and we would be guided to finding the people that are being prepared. During our first day at work after fasting, we texted someone that Elder Sogari had met in a jeepney several weeks back to see if we could schedule a time to visit. He later called and asked if we could come over that day. He told us where we needed to go to find a tricy, and we went off to find his house in a really far away barangay that we had never been to. After riding about 7 kilometers on a rough dirt road and crossing several bridges and asking people to point us in the right direction, we arrived at this Tatay's house, where he was more than anxious to talk to us about who we really were and what we had to share. We were able to share a lesson with him and some of his relatives close by and answer many of their questions. He is fairly familiar with the Bible and has strong faith in Jesus Christ, but one of the concerns he brought up after inviting him to church was that he didn't have to go to church to show his faith as long as he just said a prayer at home, because he argued that "church" means people, not going to a building. I told him he was right in that it is up to us to live our lives like Jesus did, but reminded him of the Sacrament that Christ had instructed us to do "in remembrance of him". He then said he would most likely be able to try going to church on Sunday because he had to make the trip down to Solano anyways.
We also started teaching 2 house maids of one of the members here, and even though they are still shy and don't know much about the Gospel, they committed to attending the baptism and confirmation of the son of their employer/member who just turned 8 and attending church on Sunday. We were also able to teach the boyfriend of a member from Bayombong, and he is really receptive too and committed to going to church on Sunday as well, as long as we picked him up. When Sunday came, we were very happy to see that our 4 new investigators that we had only taught once were all at church! It kept us rather busy trying to make sure everybody had someone to sit by and talk to and getting them to Sunday school classes. It was a terrific way to end the week.
It has been fun with Elder Sogari and I am still getting used to being with a companion that doesn't know Tagalog because all of my companions have been Filipino, except for my trainer. He is really funny and reminds me of that one black guy in Rush Hour haha.
Salamat po sa inyong lahat at patuloy lang kayo maging matatag at masaya!
Mahal ko kayo,