Thursday, March 6, 2014

Teka lang

Magandang hapon to everyone!
    Alright so I am not sure why I keep wanting to rearrange the way that I write my emails but here it comes. A new outline. Since I find myself having less and less time to write this general email, I decided the best way to express it all is in moments. I will have my "magandang moment" maganda means beautiful or in the Philippines they pretty much use it to describe anything positive. So something great that happened this week. Then my "sayang moment" sayang meaning dang it or shucks so something unfortunate that happened this week. And lastly the "nakakatawa moment" nakakatawa means funny so like a giggle moment that most likely has to do with something that would only happen in the Philippines :) gotta put those in. Oh and also since I am running out of ideas for subjects for my email, I'm just going to put one of the many new words I learn in the week. Teka lang is a substitute for sandali lang which means just a second, or hold on.
    Okay! So the magandang moment for this week: Sister Galera and I have been a little bummed about the number of our investigators and their lack of progression. We have thought that it might be time to start dropping some of them. Like Manuel. Someone who I have been visiting since my first day here almost 3 times a week. Before, he was coming to church pero now he doesn't come to church, is back to drinking coffee, and really just sees our visits as bible study and nothing more. So we were very sad when we told him that unless he was willing to take some actions, that we would have to stop visiting him. And he said he thinks that is best. It's so strange to do that to someone who we have been growing to love and care for and putting so much efffort into. Also, it seems terrible to give up on one of God's children like that. But we also have to put into consideration the fact that God is preparing SPECIFIC souls for our message at this time. Not everyone is ready yet. And through lots of prayer we really felt it was right.
    Anyway getting to the maganda part haha. So in efforts of finding new investigators, I felt prompted to look in our "Former Investigator" tab of our binder. We have like 30 names in there and so we looked through the first bit and made plans to visit them this coming week. This was on Thursday during weekly planning. That same night, we just so happened to come in contact with one of the names in there that we just ignored because he is just a 10 year old boy. But we were strongly encouraged to come back and teach him some time. Also, that night we were in a lesson with the Aguila family, a mediyo less active family in our ward and their non member daughter Jenny and her boyfriend David came in, sat down, and told us that they want to be married and baptized. They both were former investigators but were dropped because Jenny seemed to hate the missionaries and is usually angry and drunk, screaming at people in the streets in Ilokano so I don't understand. The whole Aguila family has been baptized except for Jenny because matigas ang ulo niya (what her mom says to describe her which pretty much means she is so stubborn) We were so shocked when they told us what they desired, I don't think I was able to hide my surprise as much as I hoped to. My jaw literally dropped and all we could really say was "Okay, you sit there and we can tell you how you can be married and baptized." haha. This experience has taught me a ton. Mostly that we have no idea what God is planning for us in this life. Brother and Sister Aguila were in tears by the end of our lesson because they have been waiting years for Jenny to be willing to listen to the missionaries. And I have also learned that there is so much power in prayer. Prayer is one of the simplest commandments for us to follow so sometimes we forget how much power there is. But we are literally communicating with our Father in Heaven which means that a whole lot can come from one little prayer. I am so grateful for the gift of prayer and I recommend that we all use this gift to the best of our advantage.
    Sige, so the Sayang moment for this week is pretty much that we haven't met with Jeff now for 2 weeks :( the last time we saw him was when he accepted to be baptized on March 29 and then he hasn't responded to any texts and each time we go to his house it's all locked up as if he is out of town. Also, Hesa didn't come to church this week which means that we will probably have to reset her baptismal date that was supposed to be March 15. Definitely big bummers but we know that as long as we do what we can to have the Lord with us in our work, no effort will be wasted and everything will be accomplished in His time.
     Last but not least, our nakakatawa moment. This happened a while ago but I forgot to share it. We were in the middle of a serious lesson with Nardz. By the way Nardz is doing great. Coming to church every week, lessons with him are super spiritual and we can see him converting right before our eyes. So anyway we are in Ruth's home and this lesson was about the law of chastity and about keeping God's commandments and we are talking to him and some music starts playing outside. Nardz puts his hand up and is like "sorry sister's just a second" and goes up and looks out the window. Then he's like "oh, it's just a funeral. I thought it was the ice cream man." What the? haha oh Nardz. There's never a dull moment with him. It was unfortunate because we all just started laughing during a spiritual lesson, but this says a couple of things. You can never take yourself too seriously, especially in the Philippines. Also, when there is a funeral here, it usually consists of a truck with huge speakers and a singer in the bed of the trunk singing some sad songs with a keyboard player at the front of a long line of cars (if the person has wealthy friends and family) but more commonly the truck is at the front of a massive herd of people walking in the street carrying umbrellas as they walk to the place where the funeral will be held. Not to be confused with the sound of the ice cream man. Which in the Philippines the ice cream man usually rings a bell and yells ice cream rather than playing music.
    But anyway. That is all for this week. I love you all a ton. I am so happy to still be here in San Juan after transfers this week. We have a new sister in our house. Sister Gaddy is gone to La Trinidad, where Sister Tanner is. And Sister Paduga is in our house. So yes I am the only foreigner but it's alright. Sister Paduga is quite the character and I'm excited to share more about her next week. I have to go now :( but things are great here and I learn something each day about how I can improve myself as a missionary and as a daughter of God. I hope everyone has a great week and take care until next week!
Mahal ko kayong lahat,
Sister Sawada

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