|Satellite picture of Super Typhoon Utor|
To settle down all you concern . . . yes, we are experiencing a a typhoon, yes, I am fine, and yes, it will be over by tomorrow. So really, no worries. I got Elder Hernandez's cold, though, so that's been a tad less than awesome. It rained like heck yesterday, but we were at an appointment, so we didn't get too wet. The typhoon didn't stop us from playing basketball this morning at the gym, either. It's all pretty much normal here, other than being a little wetter.
|From this it appears that the eye of the storm was just north of Jordan's mission|
|Some areas were hit very hard by the typhoon|
So this week was pretty good. We found a lot of new people to teach, but as all missionaries know, Sunday is make or break day. That's the day where you see the fruits of your labors from the week, when you investigators demonstrate their faith by coming to church. We worked hard, but the fruit wasn't there on Sunday. That is the first time that's happened since I've been in this area. (That is always such a bummer.) So, we will be making a point of going back to our investigators to give them encouragement and see what we can do to help them attend the following Sunday. (I am sure having a typhoon coming through the area did not help.) But, missionary work is not supposed to be easy, so I can't really complain. We will bounce back this week.
Anyway, back to the part about having a lot of people to teach. We met a lot of cool people this week that will hopefully become progressing investigators. We went back for a return appointment for one of our investigators to teach them, but they weren't there, so we just taught his wife (who hid from us the last time we were there). She is pretty “solid” in her religion and said she would never change. I asked her how she came to know how her church was true. She said it was something passed onto her by her parents. I asked her if she wanted to know truth directly from God. She took a while to answer, but she finally said that she would like that. We taught her the Restoration with a very powerful Spirit and asked if she would open her heart to change if she discovered what we are teaching is true. She still said no. Fortunately, we had a local member of the Church present with us who used to be a member of her church. So, we had our member, testify of how he came to know the truth of the Restored Gospel. She felt the Spirit, but she was still sure on she would never leave her religion, even if God told her directly. I will never understand why some people are like that. They feel the Spirit in a powerful, unmistakable way, but then choose to deny it (so they will not have to act upon it). Still, it was good to experience. We all have the wonderful gift of agency and are free to act upon information provided by the Spirit. The Savior never forced anyone to follow Him. He merely taught truth and invited. Some chose to follow Him, others did not, while others chose to crucify Him as many others stood by with apathy (having no idea that the Romans were being used by petty, jealous Jewish rulers to murder the Savior of the world). All we can do is continue to work diligently as instruments of God and invite others to come to Christ.
|Jordan during a recent visit to Cabanatuan, being reunited with friends Arjay, Raquel & E Magno|
We have such a powerfully fantastic message of truth to share with the people here. God lives, He loves us, His Only Begotten Son came into the world, suffered dearly for our sins, died for us on the cross, was resurrected with a glorified immortal body of flesh and bones just like our Heavenly Father, and He has again opened the heavens to man, having restored all the priesthood power and keys to the saving ordinances of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. He has established the fullness of His gospel on the earth, communicates through a living prophet and apostles, to provide words of truth, salvation and unmistakable direction to those who will listen and choose to follow Him. There were few who followed the Savior during His ministry. So, it is not so unusual that few would likewise follow Him today. But, our job as His servants is to do all we can within our power to share that great message of truth to as many who will hear and act upon it. It is a great privilege to serve as a special witness of Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I love Him. I love this work, even though it can be discouraging at times (because we want everyone to know the joy available to them in Christ).
Well, I am glad to hear that everyone is happy and well. It was fun reading about your trip to California and seeing the pictures you sent. Sadly, I do not have any new pictures to send this week. It has just been pretty hectic with all the rain and stuff (which is another way of saying I forgot to bring my camera). I hope that everyone has a great week and that the Lord will bless you in all you do. Love you all very, very much! Ingat!
|This was taken after a service project a couple weeks ago, when the ground was a tad drier|