Summer is in full swing here in the Philippines. School gets out this week and the heat is oppressive. Sister Baluyot and I are making it through with baby powder, electric fans, umbrellas in the sun, and ice cream whenever we get the chance :)
We had a super busy week! There are fewer hours in the day than souls we need to visit and meet! We had our district meeting on Tuesday, a trizone conference in Dagupan and exchanges all day Wednesday, weekly planning on Thursday, and a Branch missionary fireside on Friday. It was a great week though and I've learned so much this week :)
On Friday as promised we went to the Canlas Family's house for a surprise birthday lunch for Sister Canlas. We brought pancit (Filipino noodles) for them and sang to Sister C. She cried as we told her how much we love her and taught about the peace that comes from keeping the commandments. After we ate the pancit, I was trying to clean up. I say 'trying' because washing dishes is really difficult without soap and only a scrap of a shirt for a dish rag. It's also difficult to sweep pancit off of a concrete floor with only a bundle of twigs tied together with a piece of rubber. I have always taken basic cleaning supplies for granted, but will no longer!
Our Branch missionary fireside turned out great! Even though it started at standard Filipino time of an hour and a half late, we had a pretty good turn out of about 40 members :) We had 3 different rooms: one for the RMs in the branch to talk about their mission experiences, one about the importance of eternal families, and one room where we presented about how the branch members can get involved in doing missionary work in their branch. We ended up getting a lot of referrals and a lot of appointments to visit members and help them prepare their referrals. The branch is very on board in doing missionary work and it's great to have their support! :)
Yesterday at church, I was sitting in Relief Society (we have RS first here, not sure why) feeling kind of sorry for myself that none of our investigators came to church and that we wouldn't be able to extend any baptismal dates again this week. When all of the sudden, President Cayado (our branch president) stuck his head in the door and motioned for Sister Baluyot and I to come out in the hall. When we did we saw one of our investigators, Brother Arcenio standing there, looking a little lost and confused. He was wearing a shiny silky grey shirt that matched his grey hair. We escorted him to Elders Quorum and introduced him to some of the other men in the ward. As we went back to RS, my self pity was gone. How great shall be your joy if you bring even one soul to church!
Then, as we were sitting in Gospel Principles, in walked Sister Divina and her 10 year old daughter! Her husband was a referral from some of the elders in our zone and when we went, he was at work, so we taught her instead. It turns out that her family was taught by missionaries more than 40 years ago and she still remembers the Book of Mormon they gave them! Anyway, we've only taught her twice, but she came to church!! Hopefully she wasn't too confused by the Restoration lesson we had in GP, as she walked in at the end, but we can fix that when we teach her that later in the week. We are seeing progress in this area and it is so exciting!! :)
I love you all!
Sister Gustafson :)