Family- I mean Pamily,
(This is the funniest part of Visaya for me. Sometimes they use the English word interchangeably, especially if it's latin derived. but you have to say it in a Filipino accent or they can't understand. Like if you want to buy ice water, you can't just say that, you have to say iccce waterrr, with the emphasis on the e. It's lovely. But English with a Filipino accent is sometimes the best mode of communication- if someone's from the city, they don't understand half of what I say in Visaya because I learned it in really old regions. I love life)
Actually, continuing that thought, I love life. I've been struck every day this week with how much I love being a missionary. It's the coolest experience. I get to hike around in the rice fields and beaches and nipa huts of the Philippines or ride tricycles and jeepneys and act like Jesus Christ would want me to act, and see miracles everyday. Nobody here believes that we're not given a salary, and it's my favorite thing to explain my job. Someone yesterday told us that we had our crowns waiting in heaven, and that made sense to her, but it can't even be about that. We are beggars who love to serve our Father. I was reading 2 Nephi 7 this morning and was struck by our inability to redeem ourselves- we're a bunch of worthless coupons and expired gift certificates until we are put into the hands of the designated Master Redeemer, and then suddenly, we're a treasure trove of infinity bills.
This week has been chock full of miracles. For times sake, here's the sample:
1- Last week, in visiting an investigator for the first time, a woman peeked in the window and says, I"m a member. What?? Okay, join us!! But then she left and we didn't get a name or anything., we were in the neighborhood again, so we wanted to look for her- a little girl comes up to me, says "Are you looking for Aunty Lolita who's Mormon?" UM, YES.
We went to her house, with Nanay Capuyan and we found out that her whole family was taught and almost baptized and she used to work with missionaries, and she's having a hard life, and she misses the church. Last year, her 1.5 year old son died. She couldn't even say that without this look of despair.
I sometimes forget how lucky we are to have knowledge. We were able to talk to her about the true plan of God, and when I told her that her son was without sin, she lit up through the tears. That's something that I learned inschool in primary- and I have hope. And I internalized that truth in Sibonga with our funeral for Precy. But I forget how many are searching. Pray for Lolita okay?
2- We met someone from Sibonga, right next to the home of our recent convert and progressing investigator- Jeramae is very devoted to her church at home, but she's so open to truth. She has faith in that same plan of God, even though she has very little idea about it. These people will teach me more than I ever teach them.
3- Last night, we taught a member family as part of our Hastening the Work program and I kind of just got things more. We all need each other in this Zion. Also, the strength of the Priesthood is incredible.
Also, on Wednesday, we played tennis! That was my first time holding a racket in 10 months and I convinced my district that this would be a great idea. We went to these beat down tennis courts behind the chruch and nicely borrowed rackets from little children and then they all gathered around to watch, plus another 30 or 40 people, while we played around the world and mostly made fools of ourselves. They were all very willing to go get the ball for us :) The Lord made life for the enjoying. Letting myself laugh has been the secret to missionary work in the Philippines. So little Dodong sitting by the net becomes another laugh in this beautiful place.
I love you all! I can see your infinity bill worth and I'm grateful for the promises of eternity. Eyes of faith!
This is Sis. B- assigned in Balamban 2- mostly I just enjoyed the picture and the very strange colliding of worlds
Here's what happens when you try to play tennis in the Philippines