My beautiful area by the sea!
We had a very busy and full week. We were so blessed to find 16 new investigators and teach almost 40 lessons. It's easy to find people to teach here. It's hard to find the elected souls that will be baptized and remain active.
This week we had some interesting encounters with missionaries of other faiths (There are a TON of them here!). We met a man from the Iglesia ni Cristo who gave us a not so brief history of the INC in the Philippines and refused to take our pamphlet we offered him. We also met a lady who is a missionary for the Born Agains and gave us another not so brief spiel. The Filipinos sure keep things interesting!
This week I was amazed at how much love I feel for the people here. Over and over again when we were teaching this week, I was surprised by the overwhelming love I felt for these people On Wednesday we were trying to contact a referral at Aplaya. We were at the referral's house talking to her sister in law, Jobelle and trying to figure out where the referral is living. Jobelle asked us why we wanted her sister in law. When we told her that we were missionaries and wanted to share a message with her about Jesus Christ, she asked if she could listen instead. (um, yes!!). We taught Jobelle and came to find out that she was a former investigator from the elders before our area was whitewashed (the sisters got put in) more than six months ago! When she was telling us that, I remembered that only her last name is in the area book and we hadn't been able to find her. I was filled with love for this 21-year old sister with the most adorable little one year old girl. As we sat on wooden benches outside her bamboo house on stilts, I also was filled with the realization that the Shepherd will not let any of His precious lambs get lost, even if the previous elders were not the best area book updaters. So we found one of His lost lambs, Jobelle, because He has a plan for each one of His precious children.
Yesterday we had one of the most spiritual sacrament meetings I've ever been to. Testimony after testimony filled the room with the Spirit. I felt like I was being compelled by the love that was about to burst inside me. I had to get up and tell them how much I admire their sacrifices as the faithful saints of the Lingayen 2nd ward. There are many many wives whose husbands are inactive or not members who faithfully bring their kids to church all by themselves. There are youth who wake up at 4:00 or earlier in order to cook their rice and then bike, walk, or tryke to the church for 6:00am seminary. There are youth who are preparing to serve missions who are working whatever jobs they can find and are saving every peso they earn in order to serve. I love the Lingayen 2nd ward so much and I truly feel like they are becoming my family here :)
I have an I <3 SG keychain on my bag that a member gave us from their trip to Singapore! It reminds me that I love my mom, brother, the Super Gustafson family and my trainer,
Sister G :) and this is my planner cover that I made!
Quote of the week: Sister Va'enuku, while praying over our lunch: "Please bless this food to strengthen our testimonies..." That was not our most reverent prayer after that slipped out! Heavenly Father understands, though, right?
I love you all so much! Enjoy your cold weather- it's way hot here!
Sister Mckenna Gustafson
with Sister Fronk