Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Thursday, March 20, 2014

We Baptize, We Retain, We Reactivate, We Marry People 3/17/14

March 17th, 2014
Metro Manila: Pamplona District, Paranaque West East Zone

(Note from Matthew's mom:
Today I posted five blog updates for Matthew's blog.  The first post is the "Starting Over--In Manila; Feb. 3rd & 16th."  I recommend you scroll down and start with that post so you'll understand his story better.)


Ok, I included the last part of the Manila mission motto and modified it a bit just because this describes my experience.

On the 29th, we're going to have a baptism of Cesan Dela Cruz. But before that, we're going to get her married. And our next baptism, Arlyn Ceran, is in the same situation. That'll be on April 12th, hopefully, if everything goes as planned. We constantly have to go over the Law of Chastity and help people understand that when they are cohabitating, they're sinning. It's hard to teach this because we know how easily offended Filipinos can be.

I think I want to dedicate an entire paragraph to this, because it has become more and more apparent to me as time has gone on. I’ve learned that you must not raise your voice to a Filipino for a second, or they will get offended. You can't reject the food they give you, or they think "Oh, this Americanos too good for me, ah?" But, seriously it's actually practically impossible to tell if you really do offend them, because they won't acknowledge it or anything. On the flipside, I can imagine a Filipinio coming to America and saying how easily Americans get offended. It's also just common nature for them to say "Oh, my goodness--you're getting fat! You probably should go on a diet." What's worse is when it comes to the language. When a lesson is over, they love going over how you did in the language. I.E. how *YOU*  did-- if they thought it was understandable. And they are blunt. blunt. blunt.  

But they're also so nice! We have a good new investigator, Sister Chi Ann. We taught her yesterday, and she said she would come to church this Sunday before we even got the chance to ask her! Ladies and gentleman, that's what I love to hear! We taught a good lesson, and we got a good new investigator who went to church last Sunday without us noticing her!

We have a sweet new chapel, where I got to lead my first district meeting. I gave a little lesson on being obedient and how we're "instruments" of the Lord. I talked about the new piano that's coming to BYU, and how important it is to have great instruments, especially when the Spirit of God is the one using us! I made four bullet points, or "strings" in the lesson.

1. Be exactly obedient.
2. Sound understanding. (get it? Sound? Music?)
3. Charity and love.
4. Testimony.

I chose these bullet points because I feel missionaries need to be worthy conduits, or instruments of the spirit!

That's all for today,

Elder Thurber

PS Sorry, my camera isn't registering on this computer right now, so no pictures this week.

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