well here we are again. sitting in the computer shop is great because.... its air conditioned ha masarap. theres 9 other missionaries right next to me all writing home. some on you tube ha and some writing letters to president. just thought id add that little thought.
saturday and sunday were probably the greatest and most stressful days here so far. the greatest because well we baptised 3 families and got to watch a recent convert baptise his son and bless the sacrament for the first time. and the most stressful well youll find out from the story.
it all started about two weeks ago. as the baptismal date was getting closer we figured we better figure out if theres gonna be eenough baptismal clothes. we asked bishop and he said your in charge of that so good luck basically ha. so then when we found the baptismal clothes they had.... all but 3 of them were broken the zippers wouldnt zip up. and the ones that werent were probably made specially fit for goliath. they must have forgotten that giants died out way back in old testimony times. so we had a problem. we started texting around all the different elders to see if we could borrow some and we found a re accuring problem that everyone is kulang (lacking) in the baptismal clothes department. so finally the ramon elders (theyre about 30 minutes away from us) said they have a whole bunch we can use. and we didnt have any time do go and get them until saturday morning the day of the baptism. we got there and we found another problem. they also thought that giants were still being baptised lately ha all the clothes were huge! and the ones that were usable were dirty. so we just said well well figure out what were going to do later whether these short pilipinos are going to just wear these huge clothes or what....
so we got back from ramon did a whole bunch of stupid paperwork for their baptismal records and then went out to remind the members to show up later. this is when it got stressful. ali alis wedding was scheduled for 5:30. when 545 came rolling around and they still werent there we started to get worried and then when 600 hit and everyones asking where the couple is, and were asking where the quan are they,,, as well as the other couple that is supposed to be baptised.... but then finally ali ali's showed up. their wedding started probably about 625 and went until 700. ( it was supposed to be about 10 minutes ha ha) but we had another problem. deguzemans still werent there. you can imagine that when its about 715 and they were supposed to be there at 530 our hearts were sinkin pretty fast and then they finally called and said they just barely got out of a meeting at work. so i told them to get their butts moving and get here asap. ( siempre i said it nicely ) we started ggetting everyone suited up, and well they were huge but they worked. then sister ali ali ha shes super short and there was only on e that would fit her. problem was the zipper didnt work. so.... we improvised. she clipped it closed using those clip things for stacks of papers. were about to start and finally the deguzemans show up! by now its almost 800 ha (it was suposed to start at 600, did i mention that ) but the miracle happened they all showed up!
after they were all baptised it was time for their testimonies. and well probably the greatest thing ive ever seen. every one of them had their own testimony that it was all true. they all found out in their own way but it was all just a complete miracle. i wanna share a little bit of what sister deguzeman shared with us.
she said five years ago she remembers she started praying that got would give her a way that her family would have time for each other on sundays to go to church and be together. she said that he was always out of town with work monday through saturday and then sundays he would go out drinking with friends. she said she just wanted to go to church as a family so bad but didnt know how it would ever happen. she said one day she came come from work and her husband said two americanos came to the house earlier., 2 elder yata ( maybe ) and she said that she knew it was mormons and they were gonna try to get her to come to their church.( she must have had some sort of knowledge about elders before ) and she said that at first she didnt want to listen and it was really hard for her to open her heart to any of it. she didnt want to go to their church because her whole life she was catholic. ( which is very understandable now that ive been out here ) but after time she said she started to pray slow at first that maybe what they are saying coulbe be true just a possibility at first that maybe it could be true... remember that in alma 32 we learn that if you would just try the experiment on the words and plant the seed,.... so thats what she did. she planted a tiny seed of faith in her heart. then she said that after time and more prayers she started to be more open to it. she said it was so hard for her to open the book of mormon. because of course her whole life it was the bible only. but because she had planted the seed it started to grow, her testimony started to grow. her heart began to change. and being the missionary on the other side of this witnessing this all from begining to end and then hearing her side of it and then all the background story of a prayer of faith 5 years ago, was just man something else. but anyways she said that she knows for herself its all true and just bore a simple testimony of truth.
this same change of heart i got to witness on the other investigators also. so as you can imagine it was a pretty special night. then sunday morning came and it was time for their comfirmation. 800 church starts. 825 church really started and still no paz family. so as you can guess anxiety ulit! it was time to get them confirmed and they were confirming brother ali ali and giving him the gift of the holy ghost. then..... paz fimally showed up. all and all they are members now, washed through the atoning blood of christ and have a new start.
later that night when asking them how they feel what was their experience. every one of them told of a similar experience. happy, like something ive never felt before, like i was floating in the sky, brother deguzeman was tryiong to describe how he felt while he was being confirmed and couldnt find the words.. finally he just said the hair on my arms was standing up and i just was ..... and again no words. common these. i prayed many nights that god would bless them with the spirit to know that what theyre doing is right. and everyone of them were blessed with exactly that.
the moral of this story, that god does answer prays. somrtimes it take 5 years like with sister deguzeman or 3 years like it did with my parents praying for me. or the fervant prayer of a missionary trying to help people accept the gospel. but he amswers them. always.
it was a great week. lots of other things happened but i figure that will about due until next week. now its right back to worrying about all those that promised but didnt end up coming to church and have been canceling appointments and well the never-ending struggle to try to teach these people how to be happy. sa inyo lahat alam ko na ang mga bagay na ito ay totoo. sinabi ni Joseph Smith na and aklat ni mormon, ang pinakatumpak aklat sa buong mundo at isang tao ay lumalapit sa dios sapamamagitan ng mga tuntunin sa loob kaysa sa mga ibang aklat sa buong mundo. alam ko talaga na totoo iyan, napansin ko sa mga buhay ng mga tao noon saturday at sunday na kung bubuksan mo ang inyong puso sa ebanghelyo na ito, magiging bago kayo talaga at alam ko talaga na ito ay totoo. nagpapasalamat ako para kay JESUCRISTO at para sa kanyang pagbabayad-sala. siya and aking pagasa at tagaplagligtas. sundin ninyo ang kanyang ebanghelyo at ipinapangako ko sa inyo lahat na magkakaroon kayo ng kapayapan at kalagayahan sa buhay kahit ano ang nangyayari sa inyo. itan ang layunin niya, habbang may mga pagsubok tayo, tutulungan niya tayo KUNG mananampalataya tayo sa kanya. mahal tayo ng dios at nagpapasalamat ako para sa pagkakataon na ito, na ibahagi ang mga salita niya sa mga tao dito sa pilipinas.
there just a little tagalag for ya. good luck figurin out what it means ha. mahal ko kayong lahat, at ingat hanggang sa susunod na lingo! ( take care until next wee) elder landeen