Rachel's baptism with her friend.
Happy happy day! We had our first baptism on Saturday :) Rachel, who is 12 years old, was baptized! We worked so hard to plan the baptism so that it would be reverent and well-organized. And almost nothing went as we had planned. One speaker didn't show up, the portable piano didn't work, the kids were loud, etc. But it was honestly the most beautiful, spiritual baptism I've ever been to in my life. Maybe it's because it's my first as a missionary, but most likely it's because of the beautiful Spirit that was there. It didn't matter that the kids were running around. It didn't matter that there was mud on the font step. It didn't matter that there were less than 20 people there, including us. What matters is that Rachel was baptized by bishop, who holds the priesthood. What matters is that both her parents were there, beaming, even her less-active dad. And the Spirit was so strong. As we waited for them to change after the baptism, we sang Families Can be Together Forever. My eyes were wet and my throat was tight because I thought back to my very first night here in the Philippines. We had gone to Rachel's house to teach her, but she wasn't there, so we taught her mom, Julie. We talked about eternal families, and although I couldn't understand everything she said, I saw something in Sister Julie's eyes that I recognized- the love of a mother for her family. It's the same thing I've seen in my own mother's eyes countless countless times. She cried because having an eternal family seemed impossible to her, because of her husband and sons' alcohol habits. She started coming back to church with Rachel after that, and little by little, regained her testimony. As we sang at Rachel's baptism, I looked at Sister Julie with her newly baptized daughter and her husband by her side. I thought of my own family and how blessed I am to have parents that raised me in the gospel and who were sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. I couldn't sing because of the tightness in my throat, but my heart was full of the words, "Families can be together forever through Heavenly Father's plan. I always want to be with my own family and the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can." I am so grateful for the temple ordinances that allow families to be together for eternity. I am so grateful to be a missionary and have the opportunity to see families' lives change because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. :)
Rachel's family and friend with me and Sister Gallego.
Our other investigators are struggling, struggling mostly to come to church. They have strong testimonies, but a really hard time coming to church. They can't get baptized unless they come to church!! We've had to push all of our baptismal dates back again. We are praying for them and doing everything we can to help them! We have some very promising new investigators though! Our main problem is not finding people to teach- everyone is interested! Our problem is finding the elect- those who have been prepared and will keep their commitments. There is so much work to do! Some days we are almost literally running from appointment to appointment! The Lord truly is hastening His work! :)
Yesterday our Gospel Principles teacher was out of town, so Sister Fronk and I got to teach Gospel Principles class in Tagalog for a whole classroom of investigators! It was a pretty overwhelming task for me, but I prayed so hard and I could feel Heavenly Father helping me so much. Through pictures on the board and our limited Tagalog, I hope we the investigators felt the Spirit and have somewhat of an understanding of the 3 kingdoms of glory and the judgment day. :)
We had a couple of visitors to our house this week! A flying cockroach and a 3-inch spider. Both of which were in OUR BEDROOM. They were both promptly killed by brave Sister Flores. She's the best!
I love you all!
-Sister Gus :)
All the sisters from Lingayen, Alaminos, Dagupan zones at our sisters meeting on Wednesday! I love these sisters!!
The picture is of me with my first SALAD in 5 weeks! It was the most delicious salad I've ever eaten. I didn't realize how much I'd been craving lettuce!! It's at a mall in Dagupan where we had our sisters meeting.
Yes, there is MacDo's here!
Yes, there is MacDo's here!