I've been super reflective-y this whole week as the days are drawing closer to me going home...I'm literally gonna miss this place so much. This is my home...
But I also had my WORST REJECTION EVER the other week that also make me a bit excited as well...a bit though...(; Hehe.
We were having a District Attack (where one whole District just proselytes in one area) to help the other sister's that were having a bit of a rough time finding New Investigators. Yah, I know why now...-__-...Jokelang...kind off, haha!
We were proselyting in a more "richer" area that day and tried to go talk to some people which wasn't going too well to be honest. They weren't afraid to shut us down, but we're used to it.
But then after trying to talk to two men on the side of the street, they immediately shut us down from the beginning and told us to go talk to a man that was just a bit more down the road, so we did. When we approached this man we just said, "Kumusta po!" (How are you) and he immediately sounded so irritated. He turned to us and asked us who do we go around trying to chase the Catholic people into joining our church and how bad we were for doing that. And then all of a sudden he got up and came straight to us and said, "Hey, come to the Catholic church! Seriously! You guys try! That's what you guys are doing to people...trying to get them to come to your church..."and so on and so forth. I cried only a little bit. He wouldn't leave us alone though...ganun talaga ang buhay di ba? Lol. It's okay. Over it(;
Well, howz it everyone?!
Other than that happening, this week was pretty good!
So the other week we were able to go with Nanay Gloria and her grandchild, Ryan (who is also preparing to go on a Mission and is so close to us) to visit Bro Orlando. It was such a great experience and super spiritual. They both shared their testimonies with Brother and Brother did as well. He gave a beautiful testimony in which he talked about HOLDING ON--even when times are hard--JUST HOLD ON! Loved it.
Who would have known that very thing is what he would be needing for this past week....
My companion and I have noticed that's it's just been smooth sailing with Bro Orlando--he reads the BOM daily (more like hourly...haha) and is on Helaman now (it's taken him only 3 weeks to get here), he comes to church (sick or not...one legged or not...he'll be there) and he prays with the depths of his heart and soul which is one of the most amazing things to hear and see every time (he never forgets to bless the missionaries and our beloved Prophet, who he so loves). It's just been an AMAZING experience being able to be this man's Missionary.
But the adversary wouldn't let us off that easy...before the blessing must come the trial of FAITH.
We were teaching him last week and he was talking about how he was having the worst pains from this HUGE boil on his back that is a bit infected, but he never let it show on his face. Just his little description of it prompted us to offer if he wanted a Priesthood blessing. Without even thinking trice, he accepted. The Elders came right away and gave him a blessing.
The next day we find out that Brother Orlando was rushed to the hospital around 2 am because he just couldn't bare the pain anymore. He traveled so far and was sent back the next day to a hospital a bit closer here to Dasma.
We didn't find all this out until Sunday when our Member that usually picks Bro up every Sunday found that out from one of his family members. We were devastated and I guess weren't too shocked that something like this had to happen right before the week he was to be baptized.
The day we found out about his condition, we went straight to the hospital because it is really close to where we live. It's a really beautiful hospital and we rushed up to see how he was doing.
When we got there, he was sleeping. It was so sad seeing his laying there so pail and just engulfed with a bunch of tubes poking in and out of his sleeping body. His wife was there and updated us on his condition. She told us he almost died. He barely made it and that his diabetes is really bad because he hasn't taken his insulin for so long and is experiencing the after-affects of not doing that. It's too expensive for them to buy that's why. We watched him lay there, both feeling teary eyed as we watch this always happy man being overcome by the unavoidable challenges of life.
He woke up all of a sudden and a little smile crossed his face. He was so happy to see us. His wife left us to talk with him and he just weakly told us everything that happened. I remember his telling us that he was really ready to let go and be taken up...but then a thought crossed his mind. He remembered he hadn't been baptized! So he prayed with all the fervency of his heart pleading to Heavenly Father to not take him up yet because has not been baptized! He then looked me straight in the eye and said, "Sis, I am ready. I am so ready to be baptized. I don't want to wait anymore..." We told him that he was so ready as well.
I then was able to sing to him "I Feel My Savior's Love" in the little "curtain room" that we were in. It was a bit noisy, but when I started, it was almost as if the spirit just swept over the whole room and it was just us there. The spirit was so strong, but I tried not to cry as I sang for him. As I sang, I watched as he sat back in his bed, a tear rolled out his eye, and he smiled as he listened. I couldn't look at him. The words rang so true to me as I sang each part though:
He knows I will follow him, give all my life to him...I feel my Savior's love, the love he freely gives me<3
After I finished, he looked up at us and told us when we came in, it's like he was in Heaven. We love this man so much.
A couple days later we visited him again to see how he was doing because we knew his Baptism Interview would be soon. We wanted to check if he'd be up for it and he said: I'm ready. Instead of waiting another day, we had the interview THAT DAY. We called the District Leader and explained our situation, and he came right away. We were a bit nervous, but then as we looked at him and he helped us fill out his BCR...he told us that he felt calm, and that he was not nervous. We told him that it would be an Americano interviewing him...then he said he was a bit nervous...but then we told him that the Americano speaks Tagalog and he sighed in relief, haha!
After the interview, our District Leader (Eld. Tedrow...mom, the Elder you told me to look for that is related to the Whites, yah, he's in my District now) told us that it was probably one of the most spirit-filled interviews he's ever had. He told us how Orlando bore testimony to him about Joseph Smith and how he knows that he was a Prophet of God, he bore a firm testimony of the truthfulness of the BOM and bore testimony of the stories from it as well, and also bore beautiful testimony about repentance...and so on(: It was so wonderful and Sis San Pascual and I were just OVERJOYED and SO HAPPY!!!
And last but not least, yesterday we went to visit Bro to check if he would be able to make it for his Baptism this Saturday and he gave us a resounding...YES! So pumped. We had two members with us, the other sisters in our ward and another family come to visit him. There were so many of us there last night and we all just sat around brother listening to him talk about his little adventure, but he brought up again the thing about HOLDING ON! And that's what he's been doing. We all sang to him, "Where can I turn for Peace?" and he just prayed the whole time. Super spiritual moment for all of us.
He will be baptized this Saturday. This should be good(:
It's moments like this that beat out stories like Trump Being President or whatever HOT TOPIC of the world. BRO ORLANDO IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!>.<
Well, I just love it here. Can I not come home yet? I wouldn't mind(:
I love you all. That's never changed, but I hope one day for you to meet my other family here!!!
Please start learning you're Tagalog for when that day does come for you all to meet *wink wink*
Kapayapaan sa labas!!!!>.<
Love, Sis Alapa