So much has happened this week and the only way to sum up all of my feelings is to say I'm feeling blessed. I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude to my Father in Heaven. He is so good and His plan is perfect. I just stand in awe each day at how it all unfolds. He knows us each so individually and intimately. That is my favorite truth to teach and testify of. I know it will ALL of my heart and I feel His love for the individuals we serve.
On Monday, we had a boodle fight with our zone. So fun! I love living on a tropical island.
On Wednesday, we had a fun service project cleaning up our neighborhood and sweeping the streets. Weekly tradition of service for our zone that I want to keep doing when I get home. Its a blast!
On Saturday, we had one of the best and long awaited days of my mission. So much of our time, prayers and efforts the past two transfers have been centered around the Pagunsan family and Saturday was ALL about them. We meet Butch and Sally that morning at the mission home for Butch's interview with President. We wants so badly to be baptized, take his role as patriarch of their home and be cleansed from past mistakes. Saturday morning took more courage and humility for him than I have ever seen in someone. President was very impressed with Butch, and it was so neat to sit and talk after with everyone while translating the conversation from Tagalog to English. We are now just playing a waiting game for when or if he can be baptized but he is moving forward with so much courage and faith. We then separated from the Pagunsan family for a few hours and met them again that afternoon at the church for Sally and the kid's baptism. It was incredible. Honestly the best I have ever attended during my mission. SO MANY PEOPLE WERE THERE, all in support of this family and their righteous desire. The talks were so thoughtful and meaningful. Bishop baptized them and then prepared a dinner for them with friends in celebration after. It was such a special day!
Sister Lutiva, the active sister who's husband ran from us, also had a daughter, May Sunshine, baptized that day, which only made it more special. We were so hoping that Brother Cesar, their father, would be the one to baptize her as he prepared for baptism himself but he didn't even show to the baptism and he still runs from us. So frustrating! On the plus-side though, his daughters are 100% on our team and try locking him in the house when we come haha.
On Sunday, Sally and the kids were confirmed.... of course they came in late and about gave us a heartache! So many prayers were sent heavenward ha BUT they made it :) and couldn't be more excited. Sally has been waiting for so long! I have been so impressed with Butch's excitement for his family and courage in continuing to come to church since everyone asks why he hasn't been baptized with them. I know this isn't in the church handbook along with a lot of other things here haha but he was given an assignment with another investigator and member as home teachers and was asking all about what his responsibilities would be. They are my favorite people!
On Monday, we taught the greatest 18-year-old named Cindy. We taught her once before and she came to church with some friends on Sunday. She was just asking all the right questions and rubbing her arms as we taught because she said the hair on her arms was standing up. We all felt the Spirit and she has excepted a baptismal date this July. We ended the night at Elias Pagunsan's birthday party. As we cam around the corner to walk up the stairs to their apartment the boys saw us and all started yelling, "The sisters are here! Mom, the sisters are here!" They made so much delicious food, and Butch tried to cook "exotic" for us. I love them so much!
The down side to this week is that another transfer has already come and gone! I can't believe.... I am going into my last transfer. Sister Loo and I will be saying goodbye to each other. President paid us the kindest compliment. He said that he was separating us this transfer because he wanted us to spread all that we had done in this area with the rest of the mission. I will be getting Sister Benesch. I couldn't be more excited. She is the sweetest sister and we have a blast here in Pangarap. We are also getting more sisters in our apartment, including Sister Ayub. I am a little nervous about that, but I am so excited to see her again.
I feel like words really just can't describe how I am feeling, but above all its lots of love and overwhelming gratitude for all we have now, all that's in store for the future and all we have to look forward to in eternity. I love you all!!
Filipino Fun Fact:
The Filipino people are VERY religious. There are so many different denominations here and everyone has their own missionaries and ideas. It makes it all quite and adventure :)
Elias' Birthday. He turned 3!! He told us we are his special guest, as well as his girlfriends :) We are so in love with him.