i got a new companion today. brother chua went home and im going to miss him a lot, he was one of my favorite companions and i really enjoyed my time with him. he will enter the mtc on july 21 for his mission in olongapo philippines. mom sorry your package got here after he went home., he might come and visit the area again this week for a baptism so i will probably see him again this week. \
and now since brother chua went home i go t a new companion. his name is elder hawlader. elder hawlader is 1 of only 43 members in his whole COUNTRY, and the first missionary ever to serve, he is from Bangladesh. this is his first area here in cabagan and it is crazy all the things ive learned about his country! 99 percent of bangladesh is muslim and there are no missionaries there because the government wont allow the church to send missionaries there. but the embassador at the us embasy is a member and it seems like hes done some missionary work there since he was the one who baptised elder hawlader. we are going to be very busy this week because we have a baptism this saturday july 7. one investigator sister imie vinarao. i just wanna talk about her for a little bit now.
we met imie because of her mother in law. when i first came to cabagan we had a list of 15 families that are in active or less active, and one of these families is the vinarao family in a place called baculod, san pablo. the father is a member but he works in manila and he would be active if it wasnt for his work. there is also the mother who is a member and at this time she was in active, and then they have i think 8 kids, none of them are members but none of them are at home they are all either in manila or other parts of the philippines. we started sharing with nanay ( the mother ) and we did that for about two weeks and then one day we went there and she wasnt there but there was a girl there. shes 22 years old and her name is imie. she is the wife of one of their many sons. so the daughter in law of the 2 inactive members. and so we decided to try sharing to her. to make a long story short she turned out to be a pretty golden investigator, she had tried going to a whole bunch of different churches when she was in high school but never found one that she thought was right. an even longer story shorter,,, she got a very strong testimony of joseph smith, i think i shared her experience with you in one of my old emails,,, and she has made the changes in her life and is a new person and is someone really ready for baptism. nanay ( the mother in law ) has come from inactivity to comeing to church every week, and the other day she shared how happy she is that shes come back to church and was able to help her daughter in law to accept the gospel. man the work here is hard now that were focused on less actives its seemed to have platoud ( i dono how to spell that ) because everyone is just being stubborn and has all sorts of reasons of why they dont NEED to come to church. from theyre not worthy to be lds, to god understand them because theyre poor, to offended at the members, and millions more. im just glad that once in a while god gives you some success and peoples lives are touched. we are working with a lot of people. and we teach all day and we stress all day especially lately but now all i know is 2 lives are changed, one brought BACK into the light, and one stepping out of the darkness into the light. and thats why im here. i love you all and the evidence keeps adding up every day. the church is true. it is. lifes a big crap shoot of problems ha but the gospels true and when you live it the problems dont bother you so much.
one thing ive learned so far from the philippines and now from my new companion from bangladesh is that we are very blessed in america. very very blessed. elder hawlader was very impressed with the things in our house. like the toaster oven, the gas stove, the shower head and sink with running water, the fridge, and other NORMAL things to us, all of which he was not blessed with in his country. he grew up in a land of violence where its normal to watch people be murdered in front of you and noone will say anything because if you do they will also kill you, and where if you are christian you cant do somethings that the muslims can because you are the very small minority. and where if you try to share your testimony with the wrong person you could find youself dead because it happens to be a muslim that hates christians. and where its normal to see hundreds or in his words numberless people sleeping just on the side of the road eating out of the trash can. arent we blessed in america? even here in the philippines man some people have hard lives. anyways a love you all and remember that lifes hard, but gods there. remember him.
mahal ko kayo... elder landeen