Sunday, January 24, 2016

#SaPilipinas: Tender Mercies

Us Sisters were going to Waltermart to go grocery shopping one PDay.

When we go to any store here, they check your bags and sort of pat you down a little--yah, it's a tad bit strange, but that's Philippines for you.

Anyway! We're all used to doing this, so immediately we had our bags opened and held out for the security man to check. We also stood in a straight line and one by one that man checked us Sisters. 

The funny thing was what he was saying as he checked each of us:

"Okay...thank you ma', you're clear..." Stuff like that. 

He then happened to look up at my companion behind me and noticed her nametag and said, "OH. Jesus Christ? Okay, clear..." Haha! We were all busting out laughing. 

That, ladies and gentleman, is the benefit of wearing Christ's name on your heart<3


Grabeee, it's been a pretty busy and trying two weeks. Sorry I wasn't able to write last week, time flies so fast! So I'm gonna try catch up with this week. 

I really wanted to touch upon some of the "little miracles" or as I call "Tender Mercies of the Lord". 

First: Update on some of our Investigators!!

Leo actually had to go in for surgery this past week and is again not able to come to church. I don't know if I'll still be here in this area to see him baptized. But I have faith he will someday. That man has changed SO MUCH! I hope his recovery comes quick and goes well. 

Corazon/Catherine/& Tatay Adeng-
So we've been able to teach this older woman (60 plus) for a couple weeks now and she's progressed a ton! We found her through just "OYM"ing (Open Your Mouth) and now she is one of our "Golden Investigators". We were also able to teach some of her family and friends, so that's great too! Anyways, remember I told you about that drunk man we encountered? The funny one? Yah, that's her husband. He's great though. I thought I'd be scared of drunk men here, but they're actually pretty HILARIOUS #MissionProbs(; Anyways, he's actually really sweet to us. He's been present in almost every appointment we've had there and we know he's listening. The first time we came there, he was nice, but he told us how disinterested he is in anything religious. But he does believe in God. His choice. But little by little, he's been commenting on stuff we teach to his wife and daughter and I could see he actually really does like us coming. One night we were over there teaching and as we entered their home, we saw him with his cigarette in hand and a fresh new alcoholic beverage (I don't know what kind). When he saw us, he stopping his drinking and just sat there to listen to our message. We knew he didn't want to get super drunk and wasted in front of us, so he stopped out of respect. We taught the lesson of the Plan of Salvation and he actually responded really positively. He told us he's the type of person when he hears something he doesn't agree with or believe, he could be really rude and say something--but with us he doesn't. We were then about to leave until he stopped us and told us he wanted to buy something for us to eat and drink. We started to kindly reject his offer, but then Sis Corazon said to us, "When Tatay Adeng offers to buy something for you--YOU TAKE IT. He never does this for ANYONE. He must really like you two." My kasama and I were giddy with excitement. Hopefully one day we can help him really be interested in changing his life for the better. He's such a sweet man. 

We also have another investigator we teach. She's 18 years old and this time we were actually able to teach a ton of her family. It took a while to even get the lesson started cause they later found out (through my rough Tagalog) that I am NOT Filipina...but American. And when this happens, it just isn't good. Her brother and her mom just started HOUNDING me with so many questions. They even wanted me to speak in English to them to hear my accent. Haha, it was fun. The girl then told us how she LOVES speaking to us because she doesn't have a lot of "girl" friends since her boyfriend moved. She's one of my fave investigators(: So sweet!

It was pretty dark by the time we finished our lesson with them and we started to head home. We're actually suppose to get out of this area by 6 pm because it's very dangerous..but we came out of that appointment a bit late. So we started to walk to the place where we wait for the trikes. It was a bit scary, but we knew nothing bad would happen to us. We waited and waited for what felt like an eternity. We called trikes over (like how you would call a taxi over) and one by one they rejected us because our home was far away. Some even tried to charge us a lot more than was needed. My kasama and I were getting frustrated by now. I remember saying a little prayer in my heart asking Heavenly Father to help us get home safely--and since this is a mission, of course a way was provided. A trike driver came to us and said he could take us for the correct amount. We thanked him a lot and he was very kind to us. Wow, the Lord really is looking out for us(: When we got home, we passed by this little tindahan (shop) that's outside that we always get food from and the women gave us food to eat for the late night. We were so thankful, for we didn't have any food for that night--and she gave it for FREE! They really like us and love when we come and buy from them to talk to us(: #TenderMercy.

We have this other investigator we found from a referral from our Branch President. I think we've taught her the longest out of everyone so far. She is pregnant, but golden. She has many questions about life and how to better hers with her family. She comes from a broken home and was able to really open up this past week in telling us everything and her feelings. She told us of her desires to make sure her family that she has doesn't turn out like how she had to grow up. Her and her husband are not married though. We're trying to get them married but their family has this suspicion that you can't have a wedding and a funeral at the same time of year. Her husband (Ed)'s father just passed away a couple months ago. Anyways, we have been trying to get her to church for MONTHS now--but it's been hard because #Preggs and she babysits her Sister In Laws child everyday. But yesterday (Sunday) for the first time, she was able to come to church. My Kasama and i were so excited to see her and appreciated her efforts to come to church. She told us also that she knew she had to get baptized. She wants to so badly! Again, tender mercies(:

Though these past few weeks haven't been even close to easy, they have been very rewarding indeed(: I know that through each experience I have here in the mission is a blessing, and oh how grateful I am for these blessing. What a great time to be a Missionary! To serve such wonderful people. To see the things I see, and do the things I do--what can I say more?(:

Oh, and I love you soooo much Watts family. You are in my thoughts, prayers, and HEART always<3 Love you so much!!!

Kitakits, at mahal kita palagi(;


Love, Sis Alapa

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