This week I really learned patience. Patience with other missionaries, patience with our investigators, patience with the language, and mostly patience with myself. I can't learn and do everything all at once, all I can do is my best and the Lord will make up for the rest. As far as Tagalog, it is far more important to have the spirit than to get all your ng, ang, na, ba, and po's right. The scripture that got me through the week was "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Sometimes a mission can feel like it is never going to end and you feel like you are going to be here forever (somedays that is a happy thought, somedays not so much), but if we are patient we can make it through each day and each stride and at some point we will look back and wonder how we ever made it to where we are. I also know from this week that happiness is a choice. Despite our circumstances we can choose to put a smile on our face and see the good. Despite the stress and pressure of the week, I chose to be patient and happy and even though some days pushed me to my limit, I made it through and still managed to keep a smile! This week during some down time due to my companion being sick I did two things- 1. Made a list of all the things I am thankful for on the mission and before the mission. It made me realize how much I really do have to be thankful for and how happy my life is compared to so many others. Many of those things were trials and things I have learned from them. It helped me realize trials are SUCH a blessing and so good for our lives, we just have to endure through them and do our best to stay positive. 2. I read many of the letters I received from the MTC and here in the Philippines and realized how amazing of a support system I have. Even though I miss all the people that wrote the letters, I feel so blessed to have so many people that care for me and will be there when I come home!
So we had a lot of really good lessons this week! We were finally able to reach Julie about marriage (our investigator who comes to church every week for 4 years, but can't be baptized because she isn't married). She said she really wants to be married and understands why it is important and we decided on December and planned everything from who will take care of food, ceremony, and of course I made her pick colors! She was so excited it was so cute!
So then John, he told us he knows that the Word of Wisdom is true and he has been trying his best to live it. Coffee has been his problem, but he said he has cut back a lot and will keep trying! Pero, he really wasn't understanding baptism and the priesthood authority that our church has. We taught him about baptism again and he said he had a lot to think about and that he would pray again to know if this was the ONLY true church.
Then Estrella- I feel so bad for her! She wants to become a member of the church so bad, but her husband is so against it. We brought 2 of the Sisters from relief society with us and they were able to really touch her and help her in a way that us youngsters can't. I hope Tatay's heart will soften!
So we went to visit Angelica and Martin again, but only Angelica was there- but it was such a powerful lesson and the spirit was so strong! We taught about the Book of Mormon. When I bore my testimony, I'm not sure I even knew my testimony was that strong about the Book of Mormon. I was full on crying and I told her I wanted her to know this book was true because it would change her life. She said she wants to know too. She told us that she is confused. She thought she knew which church was true, but now she is confused and doesn't know. That is a good thing for us missionaries! Now she will have to make a choice!
So we have been teaching Gino almost every other day to be ready for his baptism. He gets distracted too easy so we have to teach just a little each time. I think it is hilarious how distracted he is. haha. Typical 9 year old. My companion doesn't think its so funny.
This week we kept going to appointments and they would fall through so we did a good amount of tracting in the neighborhood close to our church. We actually were able to find a lot of awesome people! A couple from Japan that we will teach in English! I'm excited about that! I love seeing people's faces when they look out and see a white girl standing at their gate yelling "Tao po!"
So for the sad news...Ella May's boyfriend said we can't teach her anymore. She said she was so sad and so sorry, but that she will keep reading the Book of Mormon and praying. I will miss her a lot! Pero, there is a happy side! She said she is moving to Manila away from her Uncle/boyfriend! YAY! We will try to refer her to the missionaries there!
So a total Rita moment this week that made me laugh. So we are at the mall for district lunch on Thursday and there is a store full of Teddy Bears and all the Sisters in my district (all Filipina) were dying- saying sooo cute and that they wanted one. hahahaha. I was laughing so hard. Rita would have loved that store. It made me realize that I truly am in Asia haha.