This has been quite the pday. We had our zone activity this morning and then ate a delicious lunch and then got right to the hospital because I need to get a chest x-ray to turn in 6-8 weeks before I am scheduled to go home. It's just for the mission to make sure that I am all healthy before they send me back to my family haha. It should have been a real quick process but for some reason the guy at the counter forgot to give the envelope with my name on it to the main doctor so we ended up waiting for over an hour! Once we finally piped up and asked why I hadn't gotten xrayed yet, they realized they still had my paperwork with them. We were so bummed haha but now we are here emailing and all has worked out :) my mind is just a little scrambled.
But this has been a really great week! My email will just be mostly an update on the area.
Nadine: We visited her multiple times this week and every lesson is so great as usual. We feel the spirit so strong and she never looks away from us as we are teaching. She really believes it so much and she wants her family to be sealed. On Friday, we went to visit her and her dad was home! Her parents both have work in Baguio so we haven't met them yet. But he was there! We were so excited and I told myself "we are gonna teach their family today!" But as soon as we sat down, I turned to ask him to join us and he was gone! I went outside and asked him to join but he made the typical excuse of "may pupuntahan ako" which literally means "I have somewhere to be" but actually means "I am not interested sisters" :( We were so sad! We were so convinced he was going to join us. But we won't give up so easily. We still taught Nadine and it was a wonderful lesson once again. But we also made a little mistake because when we invited Nadine to come to church that Sunday, she said to text her on Saturday night. But we forgot to! :( So she didn't come to church. But we hope to do more next week so that she can come.
Rolly: We taught Rolly only once this week but it was a really good lesson where we helped him to see how faith means that we are willing to act, before we see the benefit from the action, or ultimately before we see the blessing from our obedience. Rolly continues to want to be baptized. He truly feels the difference from this gospel and all of the others. He has a great testimony of the restoration and although he isn't reading ever day, he continues to read from the Book of Mormon! In our lesson we helped him to realize that the main things holding him back from baptism are his cigarette addiction and the fact that he hasn't yet come to church. Even having 4 kids who are members of this church for over 30 years, Rolly has never yet attended a sacrament service. He told us his job is what was keeping him from coming to church but we helped him to see that it may take a leap of faith, but God will make it possible for him to come to church that Sunday.
You can imagine the look on our faces when his daughter MaryAnne came into our gospel principles class and said "Sisters nandito si tatay ko" or "Sisters, my father is here!" Brother Rolly came to church! We haven't gotten to really ask him yet how he liked it, we will ask when we visit him this week. But I saw his eyes tearing up multiple times during our classes. I think he was wondering why it took him so long to finally join his daughter in coming to church. He has so many friends already at church. When he walked into the sacrament hall, they were all waving him down to sit next to him he couldn't decide who to go to haha. I don't know if I mentioned this before but he is very well known in the area and almost every member who knows him has told us that we should just give up on him. He would never come to church. But he came!
Colas: So this week we were close to handing Colas off to the Elders. Sounds kind of rude I guess when you phrase it that way haha. But sometimes when we feel that it would be more effective to have other missionaries within the branch or ward boundaries teach your investigator, we can "hand them off" so to speak. We were sad to hear that Colas had drunk again and last Sunday was the third Sunday in a row that he hadn't come to church. We were frustrated and sad. We thought that Elder Cinco and Elder Harris might be more effective teachers for Colas. But when we asked Colas if he would be okay with it, he really didn't want them to teach him. We thought at first he just wanted to have Sisters teaching him haha. But the more we talked to him about it the more that we felt and realized that we had spent over 2 months now building a relationship of trust with Colas and with each lesson, he gets more and more adjusted to the way that we teach, and throwing in new missionaries may not be the best for him. It is so different dealing with him than any other investigator. Even though he looks like almost an adult, his mind and actions are like a child.
In our lesson with him, we told him and if he wants us to keep teaching him, he needs to realize the reason that we are there. We told him that there is a reason we ask him to live the word of wisdom and to come to church. And if he doesn't do the things that we commit him to do, then there is not much more we can do as missionaries, and we would have to stop teaching him. We also now use a notebook in our lessons with him. We write down the things that we teach, and even some of the answers and comments that he gives during the lesson. Then we tell him to study the things that we wrote and report on it next lesson. We have seen great improvement now in Colas. And this week he came to church!
The title of my email is ang lakas ng pananampalataya or the strength of faith. When applied correctly, faith is more powerful than any words that we can share as missionaries. There is a reason it is the first principle of this gospel. I know that these great things would not be happening if it weren't for the faith of Nadine, Rolly, Colas and all of the other great people in this area. The faith that Sister Mortell and I have also plays a big role in the progress of their lives and we keep working on strengthening our faith. I wish I could share more but this is all I have time to share for now. I love you all! Jaclyn Happy Birthday on Tuesday! Love you so much! Thank you again for all of the wonderful birthday messages this week and for the family predictions can't wait to read them :) I love you guys so so much. Have a great week.