Kumusta pamilya ko!
I hope you are all doing great. I can't believe I'm already writing you all another email. Time is seriously flying. Mid-week it gets kind of slow but by the time I'm sitting here emailing you again I can't believe another week has come and gone. I'm already half-way done with this transfer--WHAT?!
The first and most exciting thing about this week was Mission Tour. We had Elder Echo Hawk-- the newest member of our area presidency-- come and speak to us and it was amazing! He and his wife are both converts to the church so it was especially neat to hear their perspective on missionary work. Elder Echo Hawk shared a lot with us about his experience being called as a new general authority and I was just so overcome with how perfect this church is and that the general authorities are truly men called of God.
After his talk they selected some a apartments to come and check and ours ended up being one of them. Good thing we had left it sparkling clean (well as clean as you can get an apartment in the Philippines haha). It was fun getting to talk with them and President and Sister Sperry one-on-one for a bit. Sister Echo Hawk made the comment about our apartment that its like camping for 18 months haha sometimes I forget that bucket showers and toilets that don't flush aren't normal. All part of the adventure :)
The work this week has been good. We are still working really hard to build up the area and our teaching pool and slowly but surely its happening :) We've got some baptismal dates coming up that hopefully people will keep. I'll let you know as we get closer. One man named Antonino is SO diligent in his studies--as in he takes notes about everything and wants to know ALL the details and asks ALL kinds of questions-- which is awesome and he is coming to church but we still aren't sure if he felt and recognizes the Spirit yet or the truth of what we're saying. We are focusing on that with him this week and hopefully he will be baptized on October 5!
This companionship is really pushing Sister Baile and I haha we are learning how unbelievably important communication is and how impossible this work is and keeping the companionship of the Spirit if we aren't communicating with each other. I'm learning a lot about myself this transfer-- strengths and lots of weaknesses haha. I love seeing God's hand in my life-- teaching me and pushing me to grow constantly. I know He knows me better than I know myself and I am so grateful I have the opportunity each day to help people realize that same thing. That's what we teach everyday, lesson one, God is our loving Heavenly Father and He has a plan for you! Ah this gospel is so true and perfect.
I love you all and pray for you always. Thanks for your examples and love! Ingat kayo palagi!!
Filipino Fun Fact: This one is a little gross--- actually super gross but I'm going to share it anyways--- the men here have absolutely no shame! No matter where you are-- in the middle of a busy street, in a quite neighborhood or looking out the window in a jeepney on the highway-- you will see men peeing (for lack of a gentler term). Almost every wall you will see "Bawal umihi dito" [It's against the rules to pee here] written in spray paint but you will almost always also see a man doing just that against the wall haha its ridiculous. You just learn to always look straight ahead when walking down the street :)
This is the road that we usually take out to get out to our area. Whenever we have rain in turns into an absolute river. This is an awful picture but the other night we got stranded and stuck in a jeepney forever and then gave up and started to try walking. I felt like I was part of some mass exodus. There were tons of people just walking down the street that had also abandoned jeepneys and hords of people who were driving motorcycles that couldn't go anywhere because the water was too high. "Its more fun in the Philippines!" :)
Elder and Sister Echo Hawk
Sister Baile and I in front of the Manila MTC. I love that sister!