First of all, I want to wish Dad, and all of you other great father figures in my life a very happy father's day! I've learned so much on my mission to be thankful for my family, especially my parents and all that they have done for me throughout my life. So thank you so much Dad for always teaching me to choose the right and to live this gospel, I love you!
Well, this was a great week here in Agoo, I feel like I'm starting to see the work hastening here in our little branch! Right now, we have one IBD who's the son of our recent converts, the Gaerlan Family. His name is Erick, and he really wants to change his life around and be baptized. I love people like this. But with every golden investigator, there's always some little problems that come up right when it's getting close to the baptism. One of these was with the Law of Chastity. He doesn't have any serious problems, but here in the Philippines, there are a lot of calenders that have some not so great pictures of women on them, and it's normal for people to have these in their house, but if we really want to live the LOC, we should take them down. So we had taught him this lesson, and for about a week, the posters were still there. So we had a really bold and loving lesson with him about it, and it turned out to be the most beautiful lesson of my entire mission. The spirit was there so strongly, and tears were shed by all of us as we truly felt God's love and His desire for us to follow His commandments. I know it might sound weird to say that, since it was about LoC and normally this can be a very awkward lesson, but it just really showed to me how the spirit can touch our hearts and compel us to change in just a few seconds. As soon as we left, we could hear the posters being torn down. The gospel changes lives people! Erick is progressing really well, just needs a miracle to be able to get off of work for church, pray for him!
This week we also got to watch this special Northern Philippines Broadcast for our stake conference. The Saturday session was focused on missionary work and how the members and missionaries need to work together. We have already seen the results of this as we've received referrals from members, and this week, we're going to focus on teaching them how to share with their friends. Hope the members are ready to do some role plays ha! Then the Sunday session was a broadcast from SLC with Elder Teh, Bishop Davies, Sister McKonkie, and Elder Quentin L. Cook. All of the messages were focused on the blessings of temple sealings and temple work in general. I am so grateful for the blessings of my temple covenants and to live so close to one back home. For those of you who live close to the temple, take advantage of this opportunity to go as often as you can! The people here have to travel at least 6 hours to get to the temple, and most people don't have the money to make the trip. We need these temple and their ordinances, and people are waiting for us to do their work, so go and do it!
Our work here in Agoo is going really well, I've seen the fruits of our faith as we try to find new people to teach. So far, it's all been really old women who can't see to read and need a wheelchair to go to church...but I know that the Lord provides a way for his purposes to be fulfilled. With faith nothing is impossible, I testify of that.
Sorry this email is pretty scattered, but there was just a lot of good things that happened this week. It was also my half way mark last wednesday, crazy to think that I've been here for 9 months, and I'm excited to see what the next 9 months have to bring. I know that I have changed a lot just thinking about where I was back in my training or even the MTC to the point I am now. I still have so much more to learn and I'm excited to see what else the Lord has in store for me. In celebration of hitting my halfway mark, we ate balot again! Ok, worst decision, and it'll be the last time. As you can see from the pictures, I literally ate a baby duck, it probably would have been alive and kicking the next day if I didn't eat it. I took a video too that I think our Branch Presidents son put on facebook, so hopefully ya'll could see it, it took a lot for me to do that ok, and the fact that I flossed some baby duck hairs from my teeth after was a bit scarring! Well I guess now I can say I did it, and I really never want to do it again haha.
Well, I love you all and I'm so grateful for this gospel in my life and hope that you are all taking full advantage of its blessings! Another thing that I learned this week is that obedience is the key, be obedient people, that's the only way we obtain the blessings!