Monday, February 2, 2015

Magpakabusog sa mga Salita ni Cristo

Happy February!
    Wow what a long title this week! Haha it means "feast upon the words of Christ". I am pretty sure it was last week that I sent such a lonnng email so this week I spent most of my time emailing some other smaller emails to other people so sorry this email may be a little shorter. But it was another great week in Bauang! You may be wondering who my new companion is. Her name is Sister Concepcion. She is from Pasay which is near Manila but she was born and raised in Cauayan Isabella which is in the Cauayan mission which is right by the Baguio mission. She speaks Ilokano fluently! Woohoo! She is my first companion to speak Ilokano fluently and it makes work soo much fun haha. As missionaries we are taught to "Teach for Understanding" meaning to do all that we can to be sure that those we are teaching, really understand what we are saying. In some cases, now that my companion is a native Ilokano, it means speaking Ilokano in the lessons! Of course I stick with mostly Tagalog but I love the way that people's faces light up when we speak their mother tongue (that may have sounded way cheesy but that is what they call Ilokano here, their "mother tongue" haha) 
    So an update on the work!
Rolly: Came to church! Continues to have such a strong desire to be baptized. And this week mentioned that it would be beautiful to have the baptism at the beach. And we agreed! So hopefully that will be able to be worked out! We are just not sure if he has been able to cut off his cigarette smoking completely. If he hasn't yet, we will have to plan his baptism for some time in March instead of the planned February 25.
Colas: We found out the reason Colas didn't come to church last week was because he has a crush and so he was hanging out at her house and didn't want to come to church...haha oh man Colas. But he also came this week! So that's an improvement. It is really such a struggle getting him to realize the seriousness of this gospel. But his desire to be baptized is there and his understanding really does improve with each week.
MA and the Mendozas: Didn't come to church :( with MA, we are contemplating not visiting her for a while. She is so great in the lessons but her family seems to be less and less friendly to us and we don't want to cause any family conflicts. The Mendozas just struggle with choosing between working or coming to church. We are way bummed they must have chosen work this week. But in the lessons they continue to grow in their faith and understanding of this gospel.
     The reason the title for this week is Feast Upon the Words of Christ is because yesterday we got to attend the Costales Family Compound FHE haha. Sounds so official right? There is a compound of homes near the church and almost all of the families living there are members. Including the branch president, President Baterina. President Baterina had some great advice in his closing remarks of our FHE. He mentioned that in our new Philippines Area Goals, the center is still scripture study. He shared about when Elder Bednar visited his mission in Cebu, he spoke to the missionaries and said something along the lines of, "When you missionaries go home, 90% of you will go less active, IF you do not continue to study the scriptures like you are doing now." Within each family, our scripture studies are so vital. This is where we receive our strength. This is where we can gain a truly solid testimony that will not be shaken no matter what trials and temptations hit us. If each family took the time and effort to study and understand the scriptures, then each branch and ward would have so much more strength. Which strength would go to each stake, mission, and reach to the worldwide church that we are members of. As President Baterina shared these ideas, I felt guilty for the times that I was too lazy, or complaining about our family scripture study time. I am so grateful that our family continued to study together no matter how much we complained because now I can testify to other families that I teach of the blessings that can come from truly feasting upon the words of Christ. And they truly will show unto us all the things that we should do.
   Okay I am all out of time :( I hope these thoughts will help you all throughout the week. I love you sooo much! Until next week :)
- Sister Sawada

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