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Monday, July 18, 2011

Week 38: OYM (Open Your Mouth) Elders

Hello family!

Another great week here for us in the Philippines!

A lot of great things happened this week and we have met some really awesome people, but also some people just aren't quite as ready as we were hoping. We were hoping to have 2 baptisms this Saturday (It will be Elder Balaich's last Saturday in the mission field), but as seemingly always happens when people are close to baptism, here comes trials.

But as far as everything else goes, we had an awesome week finding and teaching and it was really spiritually rewarding.

So first, the problems with the baptisms: Marybeth (18, older sister of recent convert Karen) seemed like everything was looking really solid until Friday when she had like 700 questions about why we don't do all the things Catholics do. We were able to answer them pretty easily, but also she got a new job at the market that requires her to work on Sundays. It also kind of seems like she has been talking to a priest or something. So she told us she wouldn't be able to go to church. We just told her it was important and that if she wanted she could pray about what she needed to do. Sadly she didn't come to church. I think it will come with time, but that's a really big problem if she has to work every Sunday now. She really has a testimony and is a really smart girl and seems like she understands the doctrine, but I guess we are all trying to progress and hopefully her testimony and understanding will come.

Her family is also really cool and nice and they always listen but we can't get them to come to church (except for Karen). I really want them to find happiness. They are close, but not quite there.

Erickson (10) is doing great, but his parents have been kind of sketchy (sending him to church by himself and disappearing and stuff). But I hope they were just having a weird week or something. We haven't been able to teach him everything and we want to focus on getting the parents active before he gets baptized, so we felt it would be best to wait a little bit.

We are having some really great finding and have lots of new investigators. I am really grateful to be in the Philippines and finding/tracting is really pretty easy. We met this really nice (hopefully interested) lady that pretty much OYM'ed us. We were just buying stuff in the palengke the other day and she was like, “What are you doing here, Americans?” We taught her once and the spirit was really strong and she seemed to really like the message.

Also, this young mother we tracted into the other day is doing awesome. We have taught her a couple times and she came to church and really has great questions that are inspired from someone that really wants to know the truth.

I love being a missionary and I learn so much about the gospel and being a priesthood holder and who I need to become every day. I know with all my heart and mind that the gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth today and that we are really, really lucky to know about it and to be able to read the fulness of the gospel in our scriptures whenever we desire.

I also know that the power of the Atonement is real and I have seen it change lives, including my own. I wouldn't want to be any other place in the world right now. I love sharing it with our brothers and sister here in the Philippines.

Also, we went to Banaue earlier. It was pretty cool and really pretty. We bought lots of awesome stuff for really cheap (wood carvings and stuff). One thing that was kind of weird is that we noticed that the people in Banaue aren't very good at Tagalog. They pretty much speak Ifugao (another dialect) and are really not very good English and not that great at Tagalog either. It is kind of funny and weird that you can go 2 or 3 hours in a different direction and everyone speaks a different language.

Alright, love you family! Have a great week! Glad the pioneer trek was great and that you have NCAA 12.



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