And my companion also taught me how to gut the fish and cook it then you cut off the heads, put it in a soup and then suck the eyes and brains out of the skull. True story. I feel pretty legit Filipino right now haha We also had the opportunity to participate in a mini MTC for all the perspective missionaries in the stake which was pretty great. It was 2 nights and a morning testimony meeting. They fed us so it was really great cause we couldn't cook at home because lack of water. I played the piano, as missionaries we sung to musical numbers and I gave a talk. They sure like our participation! But the talk was in English because the MTC in the Philippines is all English so it was really good. I talked about how much good they could do in their wards right now just by talking to any of the investigators the missionaries bring or even just paying attention to those who aren't coming to church and reach out in friendship and love. Because if their is one lesson I will take home with me is HOW MUCH MEMBERS ARE NEEDED IN MISSIONARY WORK!!! Seriously, more and more everyday I realize this. Not even just for referrals, but just to help the people the missionaries are teaching feel welcome. And missionaries get transferred every few months but the members will be there forever!-ish. When the members are involved, they are also able to experience the joy the missionaries do when they get baptized and they are 100x more likely to stay active and it's more likely that the people will be converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not just the missionaries. There are literally like 10 people this sister missionary was working with a few transfers ago that got baptized or were progressing and literally stopped everything the second she got transferred. So sad!!! I don't care how many people I baptize as long as make sure they are truly CONVERTED to the church. It's seriously been a big problem of recent converts becoming inactive within a few months and it is so much harder to help them. It was really cool going to conference with questions not about me, but how I can help our investigators individually. We have an investigator named MJ who is gay and he really wants to get baptized. They taught him the Law of Chastity and everything and he is willing to follow it but, the sisters before kept putting it off cause he wouldn't cut his hair. We really didn't know what do because there is no specific scripture saying cut your hair or you can't be baptized. So we were really at a loss of how to help him. When conference was finished, there wasn't any specific talk that addressed his situation, but I realized if the only thing keeping him from getting baptized is his hair, then he isn't truly converted and shouldn't be baptized anyway. I realized that the investigators that are the hardest to teach and with the most obstacles are actually the ones I am most grateful because as we help them forsake the things of their past life and watch them truly change, we will know that they are truly ready to be baptized. Right now we are teaching a 14 year old named Criselda and she is great cause her best friend is a member so she's been to church like 5 times and really wants to baptized but because these things are easy for her, it's hard to tell if she's really converted and if she really has a testimony. When we first started teaching her, we thought great! She'll go to church 4 weeks and teach her then she'll be baptized, this will be a breeze. But We are realizing it is actually going to take a very long time for her and it will be very difficult for us if she is fully converted to the gospel willing to endure to the end. General Conference is awesome and it's amazing how we can receive the questions we need even if the speakers don't specifically mention it. One of the other things I have loved is when people don't come to church and we ask why, they say no money. Then my first thought is just walk! Well, the church probably 3-4 miles away. I think, would I be willing to walk that far week after week to go to church? Ask yourself these questions. I've decided I would because church is that important. If I expect these people to do it, I need to expect the same from me.
I love it here, I'm working hard, we're teaching a lot but we have a long way to go before our investigators are truly converted! But that's okay cause true conversion takes time, but is long lasting. And in order to stay converted, we need to do the basic things everyday. It's a requirement to even be counted as committed to date of baptism that they read the Book of Mormon every single day, are we? I know that even though it seems small and insignificant that if we read the Book of Mormon (even just a verse) every single day, we will be happier and live a more joyful life. I know this because I have done it for the past 2 years and the difference it has made is incredible. By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. As we create these habits in our lives, they will be the anchor we need through our trials.
Gugma, Sister Pike
|Happy Birthday Sister Somera! With Sister Nelson and Sister Karagdag|
|Cutest thing ever. This is a typical street we walk past and there were two little boys riding the pedicab and one hopped off to help push it up the hill.|
|Oh, no big deal, I guy just rode by on a caribou (water buffalo) with a bucket of fish to sell. My companion actually tried to get him to stop so I could ride hahaha she's hilarious. This is not typical. Most of the time we are in the city.|
|So pretty! and green!|
|Our fish head soup. Marasa siya|
|And the fish we cooked with just onions, ginger, garlic and this mix stuff? I love it!|