Siaton is a marvelous place. I'm at the wonderful point in an area where the people are starting to recognize me, and I know every place, and then you still find new ones!
Thank you so much for your prayers for those wonderful people!
Cheryl has been utmost in my thoughts recently. She is a sweet 18 year old away from her family going to college. She's some how related to Nanay Marciana so she lives with them. This week is semester break, and they get new schedules next week which I pray will not conflict with going to church. Cheryl has grown so much. She used to be very much like any 18 year old. I think she wasn't quite sure that there was a God. (She's about 4 foot 10 and a little bit like a teddy bear. She looks a little worried all the time, but if you smile at her, she beams back.) But this week, when I asked her if she knows that God loves her, she says. "Of course Sister!"
Why can you say that Cheryl?
"Because I felt his love when I prayed with the missionaries and when I read the Book of Mormon."
She's this wonderfully innocent deep thinking spirit and I know she has a role to help Siaton. She's committed to a baptismal date that we've set without knowing her second semester classes, but we know that she's going to make it. She has such a strong new testimony.
General Conference was a miracle. In previous years, Siaton has had to go all the way to Dumaguete for conference, an hour away and enough money to make it a barrier. This year, for the first time, we had conference right here in Siaton chapel! And it'll still take some adjusting, but on Sunday morning, we had even higher than a normal church attendance! They tried so hard to understand the English broadcast and some of the dear sisters sat glued to the TV. Saturday morning was a little bit of a different gathering. We set up the whole sacrament hall with chairs, and we even waited 5 minutes, but it was just the 4 missionaries of Siaton watching the prophets counsel the whole world. But I think I felt more strongly there than I did in 5-C or in a large stake center in Talisay that this church is led by God. God isn't grand and big and flashy usually. Granted there are pillars of fire and the Lazaruses raised from the dead and I believe in those. But I also believe in a smile of growing belief, a tear that we don't understand, a word written on paper in answer to a question. Truth is truth.
Bebe Rose also came! The Davis family is a wonderful less active family we work with and they are coming back. Their son Eman came back from working in Mindanao and he is so strong! He brought Bebe Rose with him and their cute fat little baby. A week ago, she wanted nothing to do with the church, on Sunday, she came in Sunday best and smiled the whole time and we're setting a baptismal date tonight. They need to get married, and then I can see them strengthening Siaton for years to come.
If you could pray that the branch will be inspired by the Branch Home evening on Saturday, that would be well appreciated!
I'm doing great- the scriptures answer my questions, Heavenly Father and my beloved companion listen to my silly concerns. No coconuts fell on our heads in the storm! I use my sky blue rechargeable flashlight and read the Book of Mormon with people every night. Israel is becoming more united everyday. That all makes me incredibly happy.
I love you all!