Dear Everybody, and Hunter, David, and Jared,
We taught Noah at a member's house on Thursday and set up the baptismal interview for Saturday. He didn't show up at the office like he said, so we headed directly to his house, where, thankfully, he agreed to be interviewed! He passed, and now his baptism is happening this Saturday.
Elder Thurber - Philippines Manila Mission
Thorbear, Salve, and Marietta
I wouldn't give myself a good rating on comletely describing my missionary experience in my blog entries. They've been mostly about the most interesting parts of my mission, but not necessarily about my average day-to-day walk. So my blog entries seem to be about things that are relatively unrealistic, albeit exciting, at least to me. Maybe I'm writing this blog entry so you don't get the complete wrong idea about what a mission here is like. We experience very mundane and repetitive things as missionaries, like following-up with investigators on reading the scriptures, attending church, etc. But most of the glamour comes because there's grit—
Like this week: It was hot, and we were out of the office, preaching the gospel in our area, Palanan. We had a few copes of The Book of Mormon returned to us from people no longer interested. Some people said there wasn't any difference between our religion and theirs, so they said we were wasting their time. A few decided to just simply hide. Yes, Filipinos are very nice people, but it's something about the gospel that they don't get yet.
So why bother? Those experiences are so common in every missionary's life. I've found comfort in PMG. It says "when you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself." Being out on a mission for a while has brought me to the point that I treasure any opportunity to share the gospel because it strengthens my own testimony—and—maybe they'll just accept it.
It's people like these that are on the road to conversion that make me smile:
- Last Sunday a Danish man in his 20's came to church named Thorbear. He only came for "moral support" for his Filipina member girlfriend, but he loved what he saw in church, and will be coming back every week with her. We had a good conversation about the origin of his name and my own. I remember him asking, "So you have many people from different countries?" To which I responded, "Yeah, he's from Brazil and doesn't speak English. That family's from Japan. I think they're Korean. He's from Ghana. There are a few families from Utah, and there is a couple that just moved in from New Zealand."
- Salve is Jerome's mom. She came to church for the first time last Sunday to support him. Jerome passed his interview on Saturday, but his mom was a little concerned he wasn't ready. Before church started, Bishop Espi told us he wouldn't let Jerome get baptized. After sacrament, he talked to Salve, then brought us in. He said he would allow Jerome be baptized on the 16th of May if she would come to church every Sunday.
- Saturday, we looked for members we hadn't met. We were looking for a family at a particular address when we met a different lady named Marietta, who's an endowed member who always bears her testimony to people. We hadn’t seen her at church because she just arrived. She used to live in Virginia Beach, and now has a new non-member husband, who we will be teaching.
|This is a written commitment we gave to Alexander, who hadn't been attending church.|
He came to church this Sunday.
|Alexander is on the left, along with some of his family, who are members.|
|This is another reason I love being a missionary: |
Family Home Evening at member's houses.
That's all I'd like to share today. I am thankful I can be part of this work, where people really change.
Mon 4/13/2015 2:41 AM
Araw-araw, Araw-araw, Araw-araw
Jerome's baptism is coming up on the 25th! He cracks me up! This week we've actually had enough time to teach him some of the lessons. He's going to be turning twelve two days before his actual baptism. The problem is he loves Primary too much and wants to stay there!
We're striving to teach his mom, Salve, who has been taught before. The problem is Jerome’s sister Sheila planned to bear hear testimony on the 5th (which wasn't GC for us) and didn't want her mom to hear her testimony, so she told her mom not to go, even though we tried our best to commit her to come to church. She’ll hopefully at least come to Jerome's baptism on the 25th.
That's all I have this week!
Mon 4/6/2015 12:43 AM
Due to Sister Hiatt's sickness, the Hiatts have been staying here in Manila, and will leave on the 15th. President Hiatt is the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency, and they have been in Palawan for a while now. We're in interview season yet again (there's 2 this week), and so they're teaching the classes, not us. We're just the hall monitors.
During the interviews, and also during MLC, we discussed in depth the importance of budgeting. Many people really struggle with budgeting! So now we're accounting for how much money each missionary has and their emergency fund (which should be 3000 pesos). Missionaries now receive 8000 pesos of support each month. At the end of March, many missionaries were eating out of their 72 hr kits because they used all their support and emergency fund. Sad, right? Well, some missionaries are already down to 3000 pesos in support for this month of April. In comparison, other missionaries have budgeted wisely, and get to enjoy a life free of financial stress! Self-discipline really pays off.
Here are some other random cool parts of the week:
|Some cool views from Makati.|
We're looking down on the Buendia office from a neighboring building.
|Paul Groome and his family.|
We finally got to teach Paul Groome! We went 30 minutes north of Buendia Chapel and taught his family.
Three boys came to church yesterday in the fourth ward. There was one from Taiwan, but has been here for 10 years and speaks Tagalog. They were making a report on the differences between Mormonism and Catholicism. They asked questions about the degrees of glory, purgatory, the cross, etc. I think they were blown away with how different it was.
|Our wonderful district at the Northrup's apartment|
where we watched Big Hero 6.
The Jensens, a Canadian family in the 4th ward, fed us a Jewish-inspired Easter dinner, which consisted of lamb and unleavened bread, among other things I haven't eaten in forever.
|Before our Easter dinner, we realized we needed more companionship pictures.|
Elder Thurber - Philippines Manila Mission