I finally ate Balut this week! If you don't know what it is, google it! It is a delicacy here. We had a Family Home Evening with a less-active member, her non-member husband, and her younger brother who is our investigator. They said, "Sister, we'll have an FHE with you if you eat Balut for us! So I did it!
When we showed up at their house for FHE though, they weren't home, just the investigator was there. So I suggested that we still hold the FHE with him at the chapel with the branch president and his family. It turned out really great because we got to show him the chapel and there was a youth institute class going on, so he got to meet all the youth of our branch. Then we had our family home evening lesson with him and his sister and her family got there just in time for the lesson! It was really great, Sister Fernandez had an object lesson with fire and everything (I would explain the object lesson, but too complicated! It was really cool though!) Then after we closed the lesson, they watched me and filmed me eating Balut.....
And it turns out that Balut is delicious, as long as you don't look at it.
We're really working on finding investigators through the members. Referrals are always the best way to find people interested in the gospel. We give "referral cards" now to every member we meet with and ask them to write the name and address of one person we can go meet and hopefully teach! But we also still continue to focus on strengthening the members, and we are see a lot of success!, fast and testimony meeting, we had 2 investigators come to church and two of the less-active families we've been working closely with attend church!
One of our investigators told us, during the testimony meeting, that he felt so happy, that this was different than how he feels at other churches he's attended. He really felt the Spirit. He said "I want to be up there too, once I have my own testimony." We even saw that he was tearing up a little. My companion and I also went up and bore our testimonies. I have decided that I'm going to bear my testimony in Bisaya every fast and testimony meeting. That's 18 Bisaya testimonies. So far, I've given 4!
I'm really grateful to be in the beginning of my mission: I'm reveling in all the TIME I have left on my mission. I can already tell I'm going to miss this place so much, so I want to make all the most of my time starting from the VERY beginning!
I'm learning so many skills here that I probably won't ever use after my mission. These include:
1. opening cans with a knife
2. chopping wood with a blunt knife
3. cooking Filipino-style sud-an
4. catching butterflies with my hands
5. killing various kinds of bugs
6. hand-washing laundry
7. making keychains out of seashells
8. cleaning bathrooms that don't have proper drainage
9. taking apart and putting together electric fans
10. how to find and buy various delicacies of the Philippines
We taught a member about the Word of Wisdom last week and she said, "Sister's I've been selling cigarettes out of my tindahan, and as I'm listening to your lesson, I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't do that." We really appreciated her humility and honesty!
We spent one day tracting in an area outside of Bogo city and to get there you have to take a little forest path through a thicket of palm trees and these little heart-shaped flowers. It was a BUTTERFLY SANCTUARY, millions of them! So naturally, we caught a few. Then we went and taught a few lessons, all the while holding the butterfly by its wings. It was a good way to meet people because they thought it was so funny. On the way back, Sister Fernandez was like, let's keep them and make bookmarks out of them! So we put them in a spare Book of Mormon I had and shut the book....I felt so bad killing it, with the Book of Mormon even! We caught a third one and I didn't close the book very hard. Then during our next lesson, I opened the BoM to share a scripture, and that third butterfly, still alive, flew out! The person we were teaching was shocked, like the scriptures really are "living scriptures" haha. I love the Philippines.
There's so much more, but for the sake of time, I'll leave it at that. Have a great week everyone!
The privilege to work is a gift.
The power to work is a blessing.
The love of work is success.”
-David O. Mckay