Well hello everyone! What a week this turned out to be. Not a lot happened during the middle of the week, except for a lot of punted appointments, but we did have some pretty good lessons. When we get punted, a lot of the time we’ll do is look for new less actives from the ward directory. It's a good excuse to go street contacting, because both of us are pretty new in the area, so we don't know everyone or where they live, so once we make a contact and that person tells us where to go, we introduce ourselves and tell them about our message. Most of them are not interested, but that's okay. We receive all sorts of random directions when we ask people where a certain person lives, but that just gives us more excuses to share our message until we finally locate the less active we are looking for. One morning, we were street contacting some guys who were in a big garage sacking up some rice. Elder Batingal reached into his bag to give one of them an Articles of Faith card when he grabbed the house key with it and fell out of his hands and into a tiny hole in the sidewalk. Luckily, the guys were nice enough to help us get it back by bending long pieces of grass into hooks and fishing them out. So that was a memorable experience. We finally made contact with a less active named Fidel. He’s a pretty cool Tatay who was baptized back in the 1990's and had all of these old Church books and stuff that he was most likely not reading. We've been focusing a lot on the Book of Mormon with less actives. If they were reading it, then the other reasons for leaving the Church would never happen (i.e. offended, live far away from church, gossip, tithing, Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, etc.). The Book of Mormon changes people and makes people stronger. Like me for instance. I'm still doing Sister Martino's challenge of Finding Christ in the Book of Mormon, and I'm loving it. I just finished the Isaiah chapters yesterday, so now I'm on 2 Nephi 25. Yay. We think it's been making an impact on the people we teach, if they choose to read it. Most people who do not read the Book of Mormon use the excuse of being “too busy.” Too busy to read just one verse?! Elder Batingal and I sometimes get discouraged when people lie to us and make up silly excuses. We wish they would just tell us they are not interested instead of wasting our time. But, we just keep plugging along. We are here to serve and share our testimonies of Jesus Christ. Some will listen, some will not. It is like the Parable of the Sower. We sow seeds of Christ, recognizing that some seeds will fall on good ground and sprout. Others will fall on hard ground and will not.
|Jordan is all smiles as he receives letters and packages!!|
We did have success this week though, watching General Conference this weekend with two of our investigators, Mak-Mak and Jovani. More details on that later. We went to Tarlac first on Saturday morning to watch the General Priesthood Session. There was a brownout in the city, so there was no power in the building. Luckily, they had a gas-powered generator that we were able to use to watch the broadcast. The only bad thing was that it was really hot because there was no air-conditioning and the generator ran out of the gas halfway through the session. They put more gas in and we were able to watch the rest of the session. (Awesome session by the way.) I depicted the theme as courage and being valiant to act. Awesome, awesome stuff. We then went to the Cortado's house and watched the Saturday Morning Session with Mak-Mak and Jovani. Mak-Mak didn't have a testimony or a knowledge yet that President Monson is a prophet, so we made sure that he watched General Conference. Jovani didn't understand anything any of the speakers said, but that awesome nine year old kid told us that he felt the Spirit as President Monson spoke. Poor Jovani. His baptism was supposed to be next week, but his father won't let him be baptized yet, although he does allow him to attend church and be taught. His Mom is a less active member who agreed, but both parents have to agree in order for him to be baptized. He still reads the Book of Mormon and is happy, so that's good. Anyway, Mak-Mak also felt the spirit and understood everything that was said, and loved General Conference so much that he wanted to watch the next session (which I haven't seen yet), but we had to work. The next day, we went back to Tarlac for the Sunday Sessions at which Mak-Mak attended. We had power (and A/C), so everyone was comfortable in the room. We sat in the very front row of the chapel to avoid all the chit-chat and crying children in the back rows so that we could focus and feel the Spirit. I was amazed how many people attended. The entire stake center was full. I guess I'm joining the band wagon, but I have to agree that Elder Holland's talk was my favorite. Never in my life had I related the story of Peter and the Apostles like that before. That gave me such a deeper meaning of the account of the Savior’s admonition to Peter (and us all): Feed my sheep. I also enjoyed Elder David A. Bednar about the lamps of our testimony and the oil of our conversion. The Apostles can explain doctrine so profoundly that it gives so much more meaning and ideas. They are truly inspired of God. I left my notes at home, so I can't go into detail with all of the talks, but be it known that I felt the Spirit greatly this weekend.
|Jordan and a host of other missionaries with Sister Martino|
Mak-Mak was interviewed at the end of the session by the Zone Leaders for baptism. He passed, so hopefully nothing bad happens as we are planning for his baptism this Saturday. After the Afternoon Session, we were hanging out and then all of the sudden the screen turned into the BYU vs. Oregon State game. However, they only had it on for a few seconds before they shut it off. (Darn.) BYU was losing anyway, and I guess they did lose. (Darn again.) I'm going to guess before I read Dad's email that they should've destroyed them. (Am I right?) Aren't they playing Notre Dame or Georgia Tech soon? Well, on the bright side, I guess I'm not missing much this year. (Ha.) I guess that'll just get me more focused on the work (until basketball season starts, haha - jk).
Well, I hope that you guys are safe and having fun over there. We're already halfway through the transfer! I'll hit my one month mark here on Saturday :o! Mahal ko kayo! Ingat!
Elder Jordan "General Conference Fanatic" Royal