So I skyped with you two days ago for the last time...so weird...and we aren't going to talk about that anymore because it freaks me out how fast time is going, however, it was so great to talk with you even if all I could see was shapes and it sounded like you were underwater :) The beauty of skyping in computer shops in the Philippines.
Such a great week. This transfer Sister Loo and I are just really trying to increase our vision/expectations and see what more is possible. This was our first week and it has been such a great experience. We have referrals coming in from about every direction (missionary contact and members) and different members working with us nearly every hour this up coming week. The Pagunsan family is confused now when we try to teach them without a member because we have always had someone with us :) They are so excited for their baptism the first week of June and we finally have their four boys sitting in on the lessons.
Sundays have become my favorite days here in Pangarap because the miracles just seem to come one after another. My favorite this week was most definitely Tatay Panganiban. He is an older man who had a stoke this past December and one half of his body is still for the most part paralyzed. He has been taught by missionaries for years because his wife is a less-active sister and his married daughter is active. However, he never felt ready or worthy to act on anything as well as let go of his addictions. But a lot has changed with the stoke. Sister Loo was able to teach him once on exchanges and then this past week we felt like we should stop-by. As we prepared during companionship study we felt like we should share a lesson on gratitude and commit them to start a gratitude journal as a couple. We didn't mention anything about attending church or even count Tatay as an investigator because he thought it wasn't a possibility with his disabilities. We were wrong... Half-way through sacrament meeting I looked out the door and saw Tatay slowing making his way in with the help of a cane and his wife as well as active daughter. He stayed for all three meeting and couldn't stop smiling. He is an incredible man and I am excited to see what happens next. His daughter just kept saying that this was the first time he has ever been to church before or after the stoke and couldn't stop smiling. She kept saying, "He is going to get baptized." We hope so too :)
During the Sacrament hymn this Sunday was "As Now We Take the Sacrament" and a few lines really hit me and can most adequately describe how I fell now and about my time as the Savior's representative. "Our thoughts are tuned to thee, thou Son of God, who lived for us, then died on Calvary. We contemplate thy lasting grace, Thy boundless charity; to us the gift of life was giv'n for all eternity. As now our minds review the past, We know we must repent; The way to thee is righteousness-- The way thy life was spent. With hands now pledged to do thy work...The blessings of this day will linger in our thankful hearts, and silently we pray for courage to accept thy will, to listen and obey. We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full. We'll walk they chosen way."
I love each of you and most of all the Lord and pray that each of us will continue to walk His "chosen way" for that is where we find true and lasting happiness.
Filipino Fun Fact:
The people here live a very,very simple life. They don't have much (as in hardly anything) but what they do have they take VERY good care of. There is one man we run past every morning on our jog who is always washing his van. It doesn't have a single spot on it. Last month Sister Loo's mom sent her candles for her birthday and we have been using them for birthday's of people we teach. This past week was on of our less-active, Julie's, 17th birthday day. We went over to teach and brought the candles along but forgot to buy a little treat to stick them in. They had prepared us spagetti (a birthday tradition here) and so we asked to close her eyes and give us her bowl of spagetti. She was so confused but we just kept telling her not to open her eyes. When her sister-in-law (our investigator) saw us pull out candles she ran and got a lighter then we stuck the candles in the bowl of spagetti and started singing. When Julie saw broke into the biggest smile and just started crying and laughing. It was such a special moment. It was a bunch of cheap candles melting and tipping over in her spegetti bowl and she couldn't have been happier. After she gather all the candles carefully in her hand, cleaned them and just held on to them. She said she had never had candles on her birthday, never gotten to blow them out and never gotten to make a wish AND they were her favorite color. Don't forget to appreciate the simple things because a lot of people are going without even the simplest of things :)
The chubbiest and cutest little boy in the Philippines.
Our room flooded in a rainstorm and got soaked our desks...which have everything important in them :) On the plus side this is the nicest apartment by far that I have lived in my entire mission.
View out the window as we study...we live in Paradise.