25 November 2013
I am so lucky and happy to be able to email you this week. I am not in my area so I don’t know if I will be able to email next week but hopefully we will have power. Life here in the Philippines is great. Things are getting better and the days are full of service in the daytime with studies at night. We study at night because it gets dark by six and no one has power, so it is really dark and we have to go home. My apartment was able to get power this past week with some brown outs from time to time because it is next to the capitol building, but it turns out that we have to move this week to a different apartment so I am not sure if we will have power. I don’t have a lot of time but I want to share a few stories with you of what I have experienced.
For the past two Sundays the benches in the sacrament building are FULL of people. It is such an amazing sight. So many less actives are coming back to church and I have been able to find some more part-member families because of it. In our gospel principle class there have been over 30 people! This past Sunday, we had 5 investigators come. One of them is a husband of a part-member family and he has been working with the priesthood rebuilding member’s houses even though he isn’t a member AND his house is completely gone. He has 3 kids and isn’t able to work because he is a fisherman and there are no fish right now in the waters, so he is out helping others rebuild their homes. It is amazing. His name is Brother Bullos. Hopefully we can get him baptized within the next month.
One of the less active members is Sister Rosie Bacus. We visited her and she shared with us that she came back to church because when she saw Sister Newton and me come to her house after the typhoon to check up on her and hearing that we walked all the way to her house in the rain she decided to come back. She said that she always knew that the church was true but was too shy to come back after being gone for so long. But after she saw our “sacrifice” she decided it was time for her to come back.
It is hard to explain everything that I see because it is very sad but it is getting better. Homes are starting to get rebuilt and we have been delivering a lot of food to families as well. There have been quite a few rainy days that slow some things down and it has been flooding some areas (it even entered our apartment) but everything is well. It is getting better, and it is so humbling to see everything that is happening.
This has been a great part of my mission and I have truly seen the hand of the Lord in my life and in the life of the people here. This typhoon has done a lot of good, so many people have been going to church and it is amazing. I hope they will continue to keep on coming to church and continue to remember Heavenly Father and realize the blessing they have received. I know that the gospel blesses families and as members of the church we truly come together as one and help each other. Many less actives have been richly blessed from the typhoon because the church is helping and giving them so much.
I love you all so much and it was great to read you emails. Sorry for not writing that much but I just want you to know that I love you and that everything is good here. Things are getting so much better. The gospel is true. I know it.