hello family thanks for the happy birthday wishes. we went to banaue today and i got s couple pretty cool panoramic pictures ill attatch to this email. i love the whole culture of bartering for the things you buy. if i dont want to pay what they ask i totally dont have to i can work them down lower and well its like a fun game ha. it was nice going on a activity but im gonna be honst next week im just going to have a normal p day where i clean email wash clothes and get caught up on writing letters to people i worked with in past areas. those seem to be the most fulfilling p days.
ive been really enjoying this area i know ive said that a lot but ill say it again, we are having a lot of great experiences. one is witht he gerenia family. i talked about them a little bit but this week sister seemed to really start investigating. we watched joseph smith the prophet of the restoration. talked about the book of mormon.. she has question after question and theyre all good questions sometimes here its hard to know if people are listening because theyre just so nice of becuse your white and they like having a white person at their house or if they are really interested. a great sign is if they are actually asking questions and she is asking a lot. its weird ha i get excited when investigators dont accept things all at once. like when we teach about joseph smith a lot of times people just say yeah hes a true prophet but they didnt even think about it they just believed you. but when they say well i need time to see if thats true.. thats when i get excited because that means they are actually listening and thinking about what we are teaching them. i think one of the hardest thing about being on a mission here is people just accept you into your house are really nice listen intently... even will let you come again and again and then just wont keep commitments and you find out weeks later they werent actually they just were too shy to tell you no... or they have something they always say... masama ne tanggihan ang mga salita ng dios... ( its bad to reject the word of god ) so its engrained in their culture they have to accept you in listen to you give you a marienda (snack) but the thing mission is they arent interested in what your saying pala.
we had a pretty cool experience with one of our less active families. they came to church last week and then when we went to their house on friday the mother nimfa was very upset because one day while she was gone her next door neighbors ( her mother and father in law ) had gone to their house and told their kids a whole bunch of bad things about the church and told them they are catholic and they cant join the mormon church so she basically told us for now dont come back because they are having too many family problems. we gave her a priesthood blessing before we left and then did a special fast for their family. we were very greatful when we came to church on that sunday and they were the first ones sitting inside the chapel. we came to find out after the priesthood blessing she went to sleep feeling at peace about everything ( when we left her house she was crying ) and then on the saturday she was visited by the branch president and his companion (they are their home teachers) and they were also able to give them emotional and spiritual support. and they all decided they were going to keep coming even though theres a lot of pagsuboks (trials) happening. special fasts are powerful.
ive had oon my mind quite a bit lately christ like attributes. charity love and humility and all that good stuff. i never even considered those kinds of things before here but ive been thinking more and more how they are related to being a diciple of christ. i heard something in a conference talk i was listening to on my i pod about the elder from the tongan islands that they based the movie the other side of heaven from. he said while he was starving on the island and their chances of rescue were getting slimmer and slimmer he realized how much love for others, and our ability to love others was related to our salvation. and i thought about how perfectly christ loves us and how annoyed i get sometimes with other people, no matter if the reason is valid or not. and the whole sermon on the mount... love those that hate you, pray for thouse who despisefully use you... it sank in that that wasnt just philosophy of council... that was a commandment.. something we need to learn how to do in order to be worthy to be saved. i also thought about what joseph smith said about how salvation is lite a latter, and in order to climb a latter you have to take things step by step in order to make it to the top. im still working on the first step as far as loving my enemies it seems ha ha but i thought it would be a good thought to share. im still wworking on it.
anyways happy thanksgiving. love you all. take care.
love elder landeen