Hey Family! Sorry I'm writing this so late. I just finished with all of the monthly reporting for our area and the district, along with my weekly letter to President Martino. It seems like a lot, but the zone leaders actually have to do several hours of reporting each week and a bunch of other stuff. Anyway, as you can probably tell, we had a bumpy start to our week but things got a lot better by the end. We had a ton of punted appointments this week (no call/no show), but I felt much happier this week and felt the Spirit more consistently regardless of the negative events. We had a lot of good happen and I tried to focus on all that.
|Jordan with his companion and the ward missionaries who served with them this week|
We received a referral from the bishop to teach his neighbor. She's 15 and I guess we occasionally say hi to her as we walk by during the evenings, but I did not really recognize her. She was really interested to hear from us. The main question she said she wanted answered was whether Jesus Christ was really literally resurrected. We told her we would teach her all about that during our later lessons, but we invited her to pray to God about our message and ask Him to reveal truth to her. We promised that if she would do so, she would absolutely have answers to all her questions, and know for herself whether the things we teach her are true (including the Atonement, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus Christ). We have a similar investigator like her named Silvia, who is also 15, and they actually attend the same church together. We've been teaching Silvia’s brother, Mark, for a long time. In fact, Mark was my first lesson in this area. We learned this week that Mark moved to Manila and is going abroad to work in another country. That was a bummer, but Silvia is awesome. She joined in one night as we were teaching Mark about the gospel of Jesus Christ (i.e. faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) and she became interest to learn more. Silvia is really smart about the gospel, because she's super active in her own church. She developed a desire to learn more and said she knew that the things we taught them are true. We invited Silvia to read the Book of Mormon with Mark and to pray about it, asking Heavenly Father to reveal truth to her. She told us yesterday that she prayed to God asking for a sign if the Book of Mormon was true. She said in her prayer that if a Kaliglig (farm tractor) drove by her house then that meant that the Book of Mormon's true, but if none drove by, it's not. So she said immediately after her prayer a kaliglig drove by her house, so she took that as a sign that the Book of Mormon's true. (That is NOT the way Heavenly Father generally reveals truth to us, and we did not teach her to ask for signs other than to seek for answers through the peaceful feelings that come through the Comforter or Holy Ghost.) When we went to teach Silvia yesterday, I realized that she hadn't been taught about the restoration yet, so we taught her all about the Great Apostasy and the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Spirit was really powerful and she later told us at the end of the lesson that she was confused because she, like Joseph Smith, did not know exactly which church which was true now. I just smiled and said, "Well, I guess you're in the same situation that Joseph Smith was in. You now know what you need to do." She accepted our invitation to pray about Joseph Smith and the answer to his prayer about truth that resulted in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth in its fulness (as it was during the Savior’s ministry). We are excited to follow up with Silvia later this week.
|Homemade Orange Julius is a rare treat|
We actually worked with the ward missionaries yesterday for the first time since I've been here. We went on splits and had a lot of fun while teaching some very spiritual lessons. I taught the lesson with Silvia yesterday with only the ward missionaries. I wasn't really super close with the members here initially, but I am now so much closer with them. The members I was with said that they noticed that I changed a lot yesterday (as a good thing). There was a kind of bond established - just like that. I really hope I am not transferred in three weeks. I would love to be here for Christmas, because that would be awesome, and we are teaching some great people. The new chapel that has been being renovated for over six months now is practically done, and we should be there this Sunday or next Sunday. I want to go to church there at least once before I get transferred. It's really nice and big. I'm also going to finish Sister Martino's "Finding Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon" activity by the end of the transfer, so this will be my third time completing the Book of Mormon on my mission. As Elder L. Tom Perry stated: "It's a great book!"
|Jordan, wielding the Sword of Truth (when he should probably be taking out the trash)|
President Martino attended our District Meeting on Wednesday with a phone-call notice the night before, so I was worrying why (and thought I might be in trouble - ha), but it was actually awesome that he attended. We had a great meeting with him. He answered a lot of our questions of how to help our investigators out and stuff, so that was very cool. He's such an inspiring man! We have ZL/DLC again on Wednesday, so that's what I'll be doing on my 14th month mark. (It is hard to believe that I have been serving for 14 months as a missionary. I love it!)
Wow. I can't believe that you guys had Thanksgiving again (without me, too . . . [sniff, sniff]). Thanks for the Thanksgiving Day pictures, Dad. Those were awesome!! Royal and Beckham are HUGE! (Royal is getting fat :P - haha. They are both so cute.) I'll hit my one year mark in the Philippines on the 30th this week [first two months were in the Provo Mission Training Center], so that's a huge accomplishment. I love all of ya'lls over there. ;) Mahal ko kayo. Accomplish great things.
Elder Jordan "isang taon na ako sa Filipinas!" Royal
|Speaking of the Sword of Truth . . . we figured this would be a great opportunity to enclose our favorite pre-mission picture of Jordan|