Barugo Week 22, and the LAST

I'm not sure if we are going to email next monday. I don't really think so. Next monday, we're going to be spending the day with President and Sister Malit. Tuesday morning we're leaving for Manila. And then we'll spend the day in there and at the temple. Wednesday evening we'll be flying from Manila to Hong Kong, and then Hong Kong to LAX. I'll arrive in LAX around 10 pm Wednesday. haha. The same day I left! (Because of the time differences) The longest flight is going to be about 13 hours.

We haven't watched General Conference yet. The broadcast is going to be this Saturday and Sunday, my last weekend in the Philippines!!

One of our branch missionaries, Raymond Cortel received his mission call! The stake president invited him to read his call on the stand during sacrament meeting last week. He got all choked up as he started reading his mission call to Philippines Angeles mission. I remembered over 18 months ago when I felt the same way as I read my mission call to all of my sisters and my roommate at BYU. :) It's a really special moment when you feel the Spirit testify to you that you are
really called of God to go to that mission.

I used to wonder why I was assigned to go into the MTC November 4 instead of the transfer beforehand with Sister Dustin. It was difficult, being a solo sister in the MTC. I used to think: "Wouldn't it have been much easier if Sister Dustin and I were companions in the MTC?" My availability date was available the time that Sister Dustin went into the MTC. Why was I just waiting at home the whole time? Nevertheless, I trusted that
someday I would figure out why. About 1 week after Sister Salando arrived, I shared that thought with her. If I had been with Sister Dustin in the start, I probably would have opted to go home in March with the rest of them instead of extending. In other words, I would not be Sister Salando's trainer. So in my limited understanding of God's super great plan for all of us, maybe this is one reason why I had to be assigned at this specific space of time here.

We had two investigators come to church. One is named Andres Bustillo. I've taught him on and off since I've been here. His family is completely inactive. They say they want to come back to church, but they tell us that they're too busy and they have too many problems. I just want to yell at them: You got all those problems BECAUSE you stopped going to church! Andres is interested and always willing to listen to us, I think his real problem is a fellowshipper. So after several times of trying to get members to go pick him up for church, one branch missionary, Ariel actually went and picked him up. After we had church services on Sunday, Ariel told us: Don't worry, I'll take care of it so he can get baptized. I just smiled at him and said: That's what EVERY MISSIONARY wants to hear! It makes SO much difference when members are willing to be friends and help investigators.

We've been working with MarieGrace, our recent converts' younger sister. She's really cute and she wants to be baptised. We taught her almost everyday this week so that she would be super ready for the baptism interview. We even reviewed the entire interview on Saturday so she would feel ready on Sunday. But after Elder Benaries, our district leader interviewed her, he said she wasn't ready yet because she didn't know about Joseph Smith, Sabbath day, law of Chastity and some other stuff. I told him that we KNEW she knew all of that. I think what really must have happened is she
froze during the interview! haha. She's super shy so the fact that she didn't know Elder Benaires must have affected her a lot. But that's okay. I would feel better too if she waited to get baptized until she was confident enough to be able to answer everything clearly. We'll continue to teach her. Maybe near the end of April she can get baptized. :)

The young men we've been teaching in Banana Island have been in the basketball tournaments in Barugo the last two weeks on Sunday. If Jojo and Mark don't play, they might lose their spot on the team. We told them to "Choose the Right and Sacrifice!" because that's what Jojo would say to us after we sang "Choose the Right" with them and taught them about Sacrifice the first week we taught them. They haven't been able to attend church again since the first time we brought them. But... it's OKAY. These things take time, right? Jojo is always telling us he wants to make a change in his life. Real change takes time doesn't it. I may not see the end result, but it's still possible. I believe in them.

So like I said, this is quite possibly my last email in the mission. YIKES! :D I'm super happy to come home soon. I'm also super happy that I am SO blessed that I can visit the temple once a week. I miss the temple too.

I love you all a lot.

--
~the end~

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I am a LDS sister missionary serving in the Philippines Tacloban area. I made this blog so that I may share my experiences with my friends and loved ones and anyone who may need to hear my story. My sister will be updating this blog with letters that I'll be writing home.