Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pagod na pero napakasaya parin

Hello all!

So this is going to be one of those emails where I just throw everything out there and hopefully you can decipher it because I am functioning on about half my brain at this point. Sister Loo and I woke up at 4:00 am this morning to travel to the immigration office for finger printing... we are leaving the country and the closer it gets the more scared I get and the more I just want to stay here. I like mission problems dealing with salvation a whole lot more than I like money, jobs, school, etc. :) But its all good. Straight from immigration I met up with Sister Benesch again and we taught a workshop in the "Meet the President" meeting which we will be doing again this Wednesday. It was a lot of fun and we got to teach on our favorite topic-- working with members. We also gave a workshop last week in zone training on gaining perspective which was really neat. Then we had exchanges with the sisters in Camarin, so basically we have just been all over the place. 

Now for the best news, BUTCH PAGUNSAN IS GETTING BAPTIZE!. I don't think I can adequately express how much this means to him, us, the ward, everyone. It has been such a trail of everyone's faith and such an incredible journey with so many miracles every step of the way. On Friday as we were doing our weekly planning when we got a call from President Bertin and the first thing he said was, "Your prayers have been answered." and then he went on to explain that he had received word that Brother Butch may be baptized as soon as possible. Such an incredible day. I know this probably doesn't make a lot of sense since I haven't told you a lot of his story but I will save that for in person because there is no way I can adequately do it through an email. When we got the news, we cried, screamed and jumped up and down and went as soon as possible to their home. They were so excited and we then went on to teach about temples and eternal families. Ah it was an incredible experience and they are already looking forward to being sealed July 2015. This Saturday Butch and his son Ace will be baptized which means their family will all be new members, except for their 3-year-old son, Elias. We joke that every Sunday the Pagunsan's life changes and its so true. This Sunday, Sally got a calling in Relief Society, Andrie got the priesthood, Christian said the prayer in primary and Ace was interviewed for baptism. Then Sunday evening we taught our other part-member family who is working toward baptism and marriage in the Pagunsan's home and it was incredbile to hear them testify of the truthfulness of the gospel and how they overcame different difficulties in searching for the truth. I don't know if this makes any sense but basically this past weekend was the happiest I've ever been, where answered prayers and miracles and the hand of the Lord were seen :)

On another side note, after finishing a service project cutting grass for a member with machettes looking horrible and covered in dirt we went as a district to McDonalds for lunch. As we walked in the doors we all just stopped and stood in shock for a moment. The room was full of white people our age nicely dressed and ordering food. It was the most shocking thing to see, like honest culture shock. We ended up talking with them and they were missionaries from a Christian denomination from America teaching about Christ from school to school. They are all here for 2-5 weeks and it was pretty funny when one of them asked how long we were here for and an elder about to go home answered, "Two years..." It was actually a really impactful experience to be on the other-side of talking to missionaries and wondering what they are doing here and what their motives are. It made me appreciate all the more my calling and every interaction I have with the people here. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to represent my Savior and only hope that I adequately do so. 

I love you all!! Mahal ko kayo. Ingat palagi.

Love always,
Sister Porter

 Service project Filipino style

Breaking the news to the Pagunsan family about the baptism!!

                     Ward garden project to grow and plant food for those in the ward who have very little

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