Monday, March 11, 2013
this is gonna be a long one so hopefully its not too boring but THERES JUST SO MUCH TO TELL!
first off, i loved all the pictures from the funeral. its so good to see bekah! tell her hi!!
i wish i could have been at the funeral. it sounds like it was a real bittersweet day. so fun to hear from everyone. i just copy and paste all the letters and print them off and read them over and over all week before i go to bed. so lucky to have such good strong fun letters from everyone.
i wish so bad i could just tape a video recorder on my forehead and just record one day here so you guys could see this place! it seriously is a different world. i thought living in ecuador would have made the culture shock easy but i kid you not this is somethin else.
im just so mad cause i had a million funny stories to tell this week and sitting here right now i cant remember any of them. but the most ridiculous things that just make me laugh allllll day long. whether its crazy old ladies always asking me to meet their sons and make them white grandchildren or being surrounded by groups of like 20-30 kids after school all saying oy sister call me maybe?! or always being in constant danger...walking is a challenge here. 1. you have to look down at the ground to make sure you dont fall in any potholes or random things of cement on the street to trip over. 2. have to look eye level constantly to make sure you can say hi to everyone around you but also that youre not running into people or about to be run over by a tricycle/jeepney/motorcycle/bicyclist. 3. have to look up to make sure malicious dogs on tops of roofs arent about to jump and bite off your head. its so fun. really it is.
buttttt something cool that happened two nights ago, we were at an investigators house and we always teach her outside in her ally way because she sells these rice cake things. so while we were teaching her..someone "rich" pulled up in a truck and came to buy some. she got up and was preparing his order and he asked her who we were. she told him we were mormon missionaries. we invited him to come over and talk to us. we learned that he is atoy sicat..running for mayor. pretty high up here. he asked us if we could help him understand christianity. we said we could. he asked a few more questions we gave him a pamphlet and book of mormon with our number on it. the next day he told us he had questions and wanted us to come over. so we went to one of his staff's house. we sat in the backyard answering his questions with about 20 men listening in. he had some reallly interesting and different views about things, kinda liked debating. but we were patient and im excited to see what happens with it. could be a bigggg influence here. especially seeing that our mission goal right now is to focus on bringing in the priesthood. (especially wealthy priesthood..because a lot of the problem is that the less actives in our neighborhood cant afford transportation to church. so if they have cars, theyll be able to get there make it strong and then help out others in getting to church)
second cool story, i now know why i got the tall genes and rachel didnt. i was walking through the grocery market last week and some girl started coming up and talking to me...i had no idea so got my companion. turns out she had been investigating the church the past couple months but just moved and wasnt able to find the church or other missionaries but was so happy that she looked up and saw the freaky tall white girl over the shelf and turned out that i was a missionary. she is AWESOME. shes 20 and trying to find a job that wont make her work on sunday. but shes really nervous cause she needs to get a job asap in order to help her little sister move in with her and take care of the baby her sister is about to have. ive never met anyone more ready or anyone who loves the gospel more than her. her favorite part about the church is "enduring to the end"..which is usually everyones least favorite part. but she says that she already understands thats the most important part is keeping our covenants and commandments because she wants to be with her mom who died again someday. she is so focused and totallly has the eternal perspective already. she is so strong and loves learning anything she can about our church.
other favorite part of the week was our family night! it was SO good. we had new investigators and a less active family over at a members home with some other members in the ward. our lesson was on enduring to the end. and then i was in charge of the games so we played pop pop pop. it was seriously the funniest thing ive ever seen. people here can make anything fun. like we were all just on the floor crying laughing. it was so gooood. and then after i went to go help with the dishes and all the women were so surprised a white girl knew how to wash dishes. its actually quite annoying that they think i cant even do some simple chores..but hopefully i can help them break that stereotype.
okay and the most PINAKApart of the week. this is actually really special and sweet experience to me, so i hope i can explain it the best that i can. on friday we were planning to go to one of our investigators family. the mom is a die hard catholic and believes in the whole traditions of her parents and youre born catholic and you die catholic kind of thing. her and her husband have 5 girls..4-17 years old. they all want to come to church but she wont let them. the husband is interested but doesnt really speak up over his wife. anyways weve been having good lessons with them but they just dont progress or anything because the mom wont let them. but i looove this family. and wanted to finally get somewhere with them. in our companion study that morning me and my companion read the conference talk from pres monson about seeing people as they can become. said a missionary once described his experiences when he would go teach people that he would picture them all as a family in white and said picturing them that way helped him focus and bear his testimony the way they needed to hear. we decided to make that our goal. we then spent the next hour and a half going over every lesson trying to think of any topic that we felt we should teach them tonight. we could not decide on anything, so after a prayer we finally just felt like just go and see what happens. we sat in their home and just started following up asking how their reading and praying was going. the one daughter christine who never ever talks said well i prayed to know if your church is true and i felt like light and happy and i know its true. the mom and some sisters kinda snapped at her trying to figure out what what are you talking about and she just said like basda i just felt something okay. and then we just kinda let them take the lesson and somehow we ended up on the topic of baptism. and then thats kinda when i looked around the room and just pictured each of them at the church in their white baptismal clothes. my heart started pounding deeper than it ever has and i just was shaking from head to toe. my companion looked at me and i opened my mouth and bore the most powerful testimony ive ever said in my whole life. i never have said anything in my life with such assurity and such conviction. i have never felt the spirit so strong in my whole life. and i have never known or said anything that powerfully before. i told them that i was sorry i didnt speak tagalog but that i knew that this church was true. and that i wouldnt be there in there family room that day if it wasnt true. i just wouldnt. and that there was nothing in this world that would bless them and make them happier as a family. and that someday we were going to see God again. and how it is so important that we get ready for that. and that he loves us so much and he has not left us alone..hes given us the gospel and it can make us so happy. those werent the exact words but the jjist of what i said. i looked at my companion and knew she felt the same thing i did, she was shaking and then as we sat there for a moment she finally asked this family to be baptized. and then they said no. people have told us no before and we just kinda move on from there but this night was different and i think i had a mosiah 28:3 moment. i was devastated. and i started crying. i could not stand the thought that they had just rejected the one thing that would help them the most in their lives because their hearts we so hard. we got a little bold with them saying that the reason we were so sad is that shes defending a church she knows nothing about and wont even pray to ask god if its true. she wont even ask god. so we got down and prayed and she asked. we sat in quiet for a while and then she said they were going to talk as a family about if they thought they needed a change in their family. but that change was really hard.
it didnt end how we wanted to...but we felt good about it afterwards. so were really excited to see what happens this week.
anyways i think those are our main stories this week. i love being a missionary. i love the philippines. the work is frustrating but its just because satan is so real. but something else real that is going to happen is the second coming. we will someday be in front of God. and he will read from our book of life. and that is something ive learned is a REAL real event that is going to happen someday. and THIS LIFE is the only opportunity we have to prepare for that day. the only way that we can is by keeping his all commandment and covenants all the time. not just when its convenient for us or when its not too hard. and i just wish more people knew it here because it would fix every single one of their problems. WE ARE SO BLESSED ITS UNREAL. dont forget that. the gospel is applicable for everyone.
i miss you all and hope everything is good at home!
sorry this letter is boring..ill try and remember my good stories for next week!
slash ill write more of you back next week!!!! we ran outta time...but thats another story.
i love you!
xoxo sister tingey