Sunday, April 17, 2016

#SaPilipinasBound: First Birthday Cake

Wow...WHAT A WEEK, but what a GREAT week as well!!!>.<

Haha, the other day we were teaching one of our investigators outside of her home and as we were talking, a little boy (probably 10 or 11 years old) was dressed with a T-Shirt and Basketball short...and HIGH HEELS!!! I was dying laughing and he smiled at us. Ahhh, Philippines<3


I really love this week.

Really great things are happening in an area where I was starting to feel hopeless in. But the Lord is mindful of each of us as we wait on Him with PATIENCE and FAITH...that all will be okay, if we keep trying. #blessed.

We had our Zone Meeting early on in the week so where we were able to learn all different things  about being a better missionary from our fellow zone mates! Love my Zone. They're so awesome. Loved what one of our Zone Leaders taught about "Self-Evaluating Ourselves". Are we progressing as a missionary, "comfortable", or nothing at all.

We were also able to have interviews with Pres Tye! It was awesome. I feel so blessed to have a great President that is leading us missionaries here in Cavite in the right path. His wife is so sweet too! Love her and her treats that she bakes for us every time we meet! He talked to each one of us about two conference talks: one from Pres Thomas S. Monson about "Choices" and the other one by Elder. Jeffrey R. Holland about trying. I truly loved his counsel to each one of us personally. To be more exactly obedient in all things because He wants us to.

We had a miracle with one of our Less Active families. One of them is actually our Recent Convert that we just baptized about a month ago and her sister had just been reactivated. They're both so shy, but they took our challenge to start going to the YW activities. As they start participating in these activities, they started getting closer to the youth of the Ward and were learning so many things about the gospel. We always checked back on them to hear about their experience. I loved watching their expressions in the way they told us every detail of their experiences. It was also sort of cool to watch the way these girls' lives changed.  From the first time I got here, it was like they didn't care about any of those things--going to church, getting baptized, going to YW...but now? The sister that was reactivated told us she now has a desire to serve a mission AND be sealed in the temple for all time and eternity. They are even excited to do Baptisms for the Dead and enter into the temple for the very first time! They love this experience. One of the sisters cried one time to us as she was telling us about her family and how she wishes they all had the same desire as she did to be sealed in the temple. We are continuing to encourage these two daughters of a loving Heavenly Father as they are realized their own divine light and potential.

Our District Leader challenged us for this week to focus a lot on our Progressing Investigators.

We went and visited Emenia and Allan (the young "Golden) couple) and started reviewing some of the lessons we've taught them since they are done with the lessons. It has been a while because brother always had work, but we were able to arrange our schedule in a way we are now able to teach them together. We talked about the importance of The Restoration and asked them to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God.  Brother Allan told us he didn't want to pray, or have to pray...because he knew what we told him is true. He told us that he knows Joseph Smith was a true prophet called of God. AHHHH!!!! I was freaking out in the inside, but calm and collective on the outside, haha! We asked him why he felt this way and he told us that he just feels it, he has no doubt, but believes. My heart was jumping for joy at the sound of his response. These are the sweetest words to a missionaries' ears! We asked his wife to say the closing prayer and usually she is so hesitant and always says 'Next time, next time', but we insisted and she was ready. She gave such a heart-felt prayer, pleading with our Heavenly Father for a way, any way, to get her and Allan married. She started to cry. She asked Heavenly Father to help them to complete all the requirements that are needed for baptism so they can have their family enter the temple to be sealed for all time and eternity. She gave her heart to Him that day. We all could feel the spirit so strongly. Brother turned to her and promised her he will work hard to get the money they needed for that cenomar (marriage license).

We knew Brother Allan's birthday was coming up soon (that Sunday) and we asked him what he wanted for his birthday and immediately he said, "the Cenomar".

Sister Gabalfin and I made it a goal that day to find the cheapest cenomar we could find for this couple. Another fellow sister told us about a really cheap cenomar online, 450 pesos! It would be for each of them. I got the heaviest impression that I knew they couldn't afford both, but at least 1. I don't know if this is okay, but I secretly made the plan to pay for the other cenomar with out telling them. It's only $9, so I didn't mind.

Sunday came, Brother Allan's birthday, and we were at church and guess who was there? Brother Allan! He came by himself because sister was feeling sick because she so pregnant now with their second child. We expressed to him how happy we were to see him at church on his Birthday. He told us how he miss coming to church and he wished he could stay for the whole three hours, but he had to get ready for work. We understood. Sister Gabs and I had actually bought cake and ice cream for him the night before and were praying for some way to get it to him before his work.

Usually every Sunday we have a meeting with all the missionaries and leaders of our ward to discuss our work for the week, but for some reason--for the first time ever--the meeting was CANCELLED!! Sis Gabs and I were so happy, so we rushed home to get the cake and ice cream to make it to Emenia and Allan's home. We ran to their house and Brother Allan was STILL THERE!!!! We couldn't believe we had made it there before he went to work. They were eating the food Emenia had prepared for his birthday and we joined in with them.

We showed him the cake that said "Happy Birthday Brother Allan" on it and had a candle too. He opened the cake and just stared at it in awe. He then looked up to us and said that this was the first time in his life to have a cake on his birthday. He was fighting back the tears as he told us this and was looking at us with gratitude-filled eyes. We took many pics with him and the cake and the ice cream. He just couldn't believe it. We all ate together and sang happy birthday.  Little did they know,  the cake wasn't  the biggest surprise we had for them.

While they were eating and continuing to express thanks to us and the Lord, we told them that we had found a cenomar (marriage license) for 450 pesos...and nothing more. They kept looking down and I told them, 450 pesos for the both of them, not each. Sisters face looked up so quickly to us in disbelief and said, "REALLY??" We both smiled back and told her, "Yes, it's only 450 pesos for both your cenomars". She looked at Allan wide-eyed and Allan told her, "but what about your Ultra Sound? That's 600 pesos I've been trying to save.." and she told him, "We can do that next time". They both looked at us and we told them how we're going to do everything and all they have to pay is 450 pesos. They started to express even more gratitude and all the miracles in their life. They filled out the info for the cenomar and just kept smiling and laughing and almost crying the whole time. Brother was a bit late for his work but then looked to us and said, "There are no words I can say or express but Thank You sisters. The Lord is so good to me." Even Sis Emenia could not stop thanking us. These two are so excited to finally be getting married and we are so happy for them!!

The last story is about that "golden" investigator, Alex Yee.

We had seen him a couple of times through out the week and he just told us that he was planning to come to church that Sunday. We didn't really think anything of it because he always says that, but hadn't been able to show up. We had only taught him that one time and then he got really busy with life. So Sister Gabs and I were more focused on some other investigators and had planned to pick them up that morning for church. That Sunday morning came and we went to pick these people up but they full on rejected us and said they can't come with us! We were so disheartened, discouraged, and hurt because they had promised us and we walked so far just to pick them up. In my mind I immediately thought, "Today is gonna be a bad day...".

We got to the chapel, and right in the entrance we could see Brother Alex! Sis Gabs and I squealed for joy as we saw him and ran up to him. We were shocked that he actually came, and he was happy to be there. It was his very first time in an LDS church. The members were so welcoming and the people that talked that day NAILED IT. Ohh, I was so happy!

Then it was time for the Investigator Class. The topic was about Judgement Day, those who will be saved and those who won't. It was really deep for people that were new and Alex finally raised his hand, a bit frustrated with the topic. He asked if it was only Mormons that were going to be saved? And what about other people? Catholics, Muslims? Will they be saved too? I was sitting next to the AP, Eld Flitton and I turned to him and said that we had only taught Bro Alex one time and that he doesn't know anything about the Restoration of the church or why we have so many religions here on earth. Elder Flitton than told Bro Alex that we'll separate ourselves from the class to go teach him one on one. So me, Sis Gabs, and the two Elders went to a different room to more clearly explain to Bro Alex what the basics of the church are. Long story short, the lesson was AMAZING! The spirit was so strong and we all taught him with such power, but with such love. His questions were sincere and he really had a desire to know the truth and how he could be saved. How to help him family and all that sort of stuff. We answered all of his questions and ended the lesson with powerful testimonies!

We then invited him to say the closing prayer and ask Heavenly Father for guidance and direction. He said yes. Man. When he prayed, he prayed with his WHOLE HEART!! He prayed with such spirit he started to cry. Me and Sister Gabs couldn't hold our tears and cried too as he prayed, pleading for forgiveness and direction in his life. When he ended his prayer he expressed his deepest gratitude for us missionaries in taking time just for him to answer his questions of the soul. He LOVED coming to church and loves the feeling of peace and happiness that is strong and present there.

So many things and miracles happened this week, I wish I had time to write them all--but I think these were my High Lights!

Seeing the change in people, to me, is the best thing about being a Missionary. To see, first hand, how people are when we first met them to the people they become when they hear the sweet sound of the Gospel Truths. THIS is why I love being a Missionary.

I love you all! Thanks for all the support(:

Love, Sis Alapa

Oh! Totally got to see one of my class mates for Junior High whose family is from Cavite, Milan Perez. Freaked out because, what are the odds?? So cool. 

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