hello let me begin by clearing up one thing about the scorpion i was holding in that picture. i dont want you thinking im cooler than i really am ha ha. that is owned by a member here that owns a pet shop here. ive only seen 1 scorpion here other than that on splits in aurora. other than that i havent seen any others. ive seen a couple of snakes, some monkeys, lots of bugs of all shapes sizes and colors, lizards, all sorts of birds, but remember im in the middle of the bukid here in the cauayan mission not on the beaches and resorts ha ha (:
and number 2 we dont get to watch general conference until this saturday. thanks for all the spoiliers ha ha joke. but the satalite broadcast here is a week late (i dont know why probably for translation purposes) but im very excited for conference this weekend.
i just was thinking about a couple that we met this past week. we were walking down the road and this husband and wife well into their 60 's pulled into their little front yard on their motorcycle with a side car (tricycle or this specific style is called a kulokulong) they just got home from selling watermelon, and they had one left over. watermellons here arent as big as they are at home and they arent oblong they are all round. they imediately called us in the eat the watermelon with them (philipino hospitality that ill miss very much calling strangers to come eat your food ha) as we were eating and talking we introduces ourselves and asked them if we could come by some time and share our message with them. they agreed and said... wala naman masama dayan salita ng dios naman iyan. meaning theres nothing wrong with that, your sharing the word of god ha weird to translate. anyways we didnt think all that much about it until we went back to their house a few days later. when we actually started to share tatay opened up right away. he told us about how hes made a lot of mistakes in his life... and shared a lot of them the most tragic of which was an accident in which his shoulder was broken and his son who was riding with him was killed. Im not completely positive but i think he was drunk at that time, and for these many years hes been carrying the weight of his sons death on his shoulders. he said he feels like god is mad at him for what hes done and he cant forgive himself because his son was punished for his own mistakes and sins... he then said that many missionaries from other churches had been to their house, and he always said he has no time or he has work even though it wasnt true, then he said but with you for some reason i just felt like i need to listen to you. he said he doesnt know why because for all the other ones he just denied but for us he just felt to listen.
i was thinking all this time about the joy and hope the gospel brings to peoples lives. imagine the pain of this man... he doesnt know (at this point) that he can be with his son again, or that through the atonement of jesus christ he can be forgiven and healded of all those things weighing him down. and i was grateful for the spirit that apparently was our companion to whisper to him that he should listen these strangers. sometimes we members forget how incredible the gospel is, and how incredible it is that the gospel is true and real. that its not just some belief to help us sleep at night but its the truth and people like this can find meaning and peace through the gospel.
it makes me also think about the parable (once again) of the lost sheep. i mean of the whole world, and the circumstances the lord knows a poor family along the highway purok 5 nueva era san manual isabela philippines. and that at that time that we come across each other god is aware of him and his needs that he touches his heart just enough to help him decide to listen to 2 straangers messages. what a miracle a mission is. what a miracle.
as i was talking with this man i was felt again, the love god has for me. i felt again that i too was once a lost sheep, carried on the shoulders and brought back to the fold and greatful beyond measure that now, i was the one out trying to find the lost sheep. i love the gospel i believe in it i know its true i love my savior im never worthy for his love but always gratefull and striving to do better every day. it really is a miracle all this. all the things that have happened in my life the past few years. and ill forever be grateful for all your help and love.
anyways... thats all my preaching for now. take care until next week.... elder landeen