A fat hello coming from Majayjay, Laguna!!!!!! This week has been a week to remember! Awesome investigators, awesome experiences, awesome food (still rice and ulam actually...nothing special there:/), and rain...lots of it. This week was definitely a fun week...
I think everything started on tuesday when I went on splits with my zone leaders-Elder Monnett. He is an american whiter than a freshly bleached sheet so, needless to say, we kind of stuck out. It was definitely different going to our appointments with another American-especially because everyone thought that we dont speak tagalog. We went tracting, got a few contacts, then went to our appointments. I think that is where our week really started to pick up.
A while back we were referred to this nanay named Ada, and her husband, Arthur. They are a middle aged couple in their 50s. When we first started teaching them I immediately felt at home because they are the most humble people on the earth and they always have their grandchildren over at their house. Nanay Ada followed our teachings to the tee and has read every thing we have given her a couple times over. Elder Monnett and I went to her as our last appointment Tuesday night. We arrived and Ada greeted us in her normal matter-like any grandmother would do to people the age of her children. We went in and waited for her to finish something she was doing before we started. Arthur didnt join us because he wasnt feeling well (which eventually lead to what happened a few days ago which ill explain in a minute) so we told him to rest and continued with our lesson. We had left her the introduction of the Book of Mormon and committed her to read it-and returned to her having read the introduction, the testimony of the 3 and 8 witnesses, the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and First Nephi up until chapter 9. Elder Monnett and I just kind of looked at each other speechless. She was told us that she felt different when she read the book of mormon, but she didnt quite understand where the book of mormon came from, or why the world needed Joseph Smith so we told her that we were going to review the restoration again. We told her to pay attention to those feelings as we taught here and see if they were the same. She agreed and we continued with the lesson. We went over how Christ established his church and why it disappeared off the face of the planet after the death of Him and his apostles and why the Lord restored his church through the Prophet Joseph Smith. After we got done testifying about the truthfulness of our message, she told us "you know elders, I have been from church to church all my life and they all teach the same thing, but there is something different about your teachings. Almost as if everyone else has something...missing and you dont find out that there was something missing until you listen to what you are teaching. There is something different. There is something different about this book (picking up the book of mormon)." It was definitely a cool lesson. We invited her to say the closing prayer and she said one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard. Amongst other things was "please, Lord, bless these two young missionaries who deem it fit to bring me this new truth about your gospel. Lead them to thy children who need this wonderful message..." I couldnt have prayed better myself! Unfortunately, being people we are "subject to the weaknesses of the flesh." Arthur had a stroke a couple days ago and Ada spent the last 4 days with him in a hospital in Manila. We dont know the extent of it yet, we do know that he has mild speech impairment and that he has a hard time walking (although that is pretty much how every stroke goes) so we are just going to wait and see how it goes.
We have this investigator named Alona. She is 22, has a kid, and is one of the coolest people I have ever met. We used to teach her while she was working, but her husband recently got really really sick so she had to move-hence we had to stop teaching her. Well, we felt that there was something different about her so we decided to find out where she moved (which, conveniently, is right next to our...inactive...ward missionary leader!!), went to her house, and resumed teaching. We dropped by a few days ago, set a return appointment, and went on our way. We returned to her a few days later (mind you, this is about a week and a half after after she moved. Before she had moved she hadnt read a single page of the Book of Mormon) only to be hurried into her house and sat down. She sat down and we started small talk with her, and one of the questions that we asked was "how is your reading in the book of mormon." Her answer almost startled me. She pulled out this Book of Mormon and was like "yea, im actually in Jacob chapter 5" I thought I had misunderstood her and that she really meant 1 nephi so I asked her to show us and she opened up her book of mormon and sure enough, there she was at Jacob chapter 5. I almost wanted to say "well, congratulations Alona, you are farther in the book of mormon as a non-member than I got in the first 10 1/2 years of my membership." She came to church yesterday and had a blast. Sometimes I feel as if I should just go door to door, knock, leave a book of mormon, then go to the next house. The book of mormon does all the missionary work-its that powerful. I just speak tagalog in a funny American accent and explain why we shouldnt drink coffee:/
That is pretty much it for this week. Nothing special, just progressing investigators and cool missionary stuff:D Hope you are all doing really really well. I have been talking with other elders about the return and apparently there 5 of us that are going to rock USU (me, gardiner, sanders, bernard, and davis)...and hansen (who is too cool for USU and has decided to go to BYU instead) so trunkyness (although I still have a year) is starting to set in haha! Love you all and hope you all are doing well.
ps-sorry this email is LAME. Dont have a bagillion years to type like I usually do:/
pss-after 12 months of working on it, I have finally perfected 2 of my favorite recipes ever!!! Every american that comes to the Philippines go beserk for these 2 things. They are absolutely mouth-watering. Ill cook them when I get back!!!!