Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Masaya pa rin (Still Happy)

 This is Katrina our 14 year old investigator with her sister and grandmother.

Hello all!

We had another great week, despite some cockroaches and colonies of ants who decided to invade our apartment this week. Permotox spray sure comes in handy!

Last week, we taught a brother Sebrig as he was sitting on his little bamboo chicken coop outside his house. His pigs and cows and chickens and dogs were in the yard. Sister V was asking him how he feels when he has a problem or a trial in his life and he enthusiastically responded that he has no problems in his life, saying that everything is great and happy all the time. He started talking about how important the gospel is to him and was waving his hands in the air and talking about going to heaven. At the end of the lesson, our member present, Bro Zacharias, said dryly, "You know Brother Sebrig, the next time the missionaries come to teach you, you shouldn't drink so much. It's a much better experience when you're sober." He was DRUNK the whole time! Next time we'll make sure to go back when he's not so "happy" haha...

We've had a lot or opportunities for giving service lately. Last week we helped the Figuracion family from our ward pull nails out of old boards for an extension they're building on their little house. We also helped a lady we didn't even know, Sister Jennifer, with her work- washing bottle caps that she will sell for 20 pesos ($.45) per five hundred caps. We squatted by the big tubs of bleach water and used old toothbrushes and scrubbed all the old catsup and fishsauce off the bottle caps while we talked to Jennifer. I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to serve my brothers and sisters all the time. There is no greater work!! 

This week we were teaching a lesson to Sister Shine, a 21 year old mother of two kids (their names are Prince and Princess btw, not uncommon names here!) After we finished the lesson, Princess sneezed and had stuff all over her face. Since Shine's arms were full with squirmy, fussy little Prince, I offered to wipe her face with some tissues I had in my bag. Her face was all messy from dirt and some sticky candy she had been eating, so I cleaned her up. There was another little boy, probably two or three years old who was just staring at me with his big dark eyes. He wanted his dirty face cleaned too! So I cleaned up his face too. It was so cute. I love these little Filipino babies soo much. I just want to hold them and hug them and tell them that Heavenly Father loves them so much too. I just want them to know that even though they may only have rice and the occasional fish to eat, that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them so much. But alas, I cannot hug all of them and it's against the rules to hold them, so I will just have to be satisfied with wiping their adorable little faces whenever I get a chance.

Sister Marlene is so excited for her baptism on February 22nd and we are too! She is so ready. It's been a really long time in coming- she's been an investigator for about 9 months- but we truly feel like this is her time to be baptized. The light of the gospel just radiates from her face when she talks about the things she's learning from her Book of Mormon reading. We reviewed about tithing this week and when I asked her if she would follow the law of tithing, she emphatically said, "Yes, of course! It's so important!". Even though her husband doesn't have work right now and she has 5 little mouths to feed, she knows that tithing is a commandment and that Heavenly Father will provide for her needs as she is obedient. She has so much faith!

We taught the Castillo family how to hold family prayer this week. Sister Castillo leaves in a few weeks to go to Malaysia for the next two years to work as house help. She is leaving her three young kids and her husband and everything she knows in order to provide money for her family. It breaks my heart to see this happy, loving family separated, but they are so grateful for the opportunity. The Spirit filled their tiny home and my heart as I testified about the blessings of comfort, closeness, and peace that have come to my family because of our daily family prayers. We knelt down on their concrete floor and Brother Castillo offered their first family prayer. Even though they will be separated by many miles in a few short weeks, I know their family will be blessed and strengthened through the miles because I know my family feels the same way right now. I am so grateful for righteous parents who have always led our family in prayer and scripture study. I love my family so much!!

That's all for this week!


Sister Mckenna Gustafson 

 This is the market in our area. I love how colorful it is!

  This is how four sisters from three different countries relieve stress on a Sunday night after a long week of work - self timer pictures! Like my pants? You can't say no to crazy pants for 85 pesos! ($1.89)

 I got a Valentine package!

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