Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pinay Ko!

9 months in, 9 months to go!
Missionary work can be summed up in one simple phrase: "What a responsibility, what an honor!"
This was a great week in Baclayon! Two of our investigators came to church this week, Bernadette and Karla, ages 14 and 16. Sister Smith and I are really on a roll teaching the youth of Baclayon. We have 3 scheduled baptisms this first week of March, but a lot of it depends on if they keep coming to church and a lot of that depends on their parents, so it's hard. But we don't give up! :)
We are teaching one investigator, Rommel, and it turns out he is a famous actor here in the Philippines. Since we have never seen Filipino films, we didn't recognize him! But he said he left the show business because he didn't feel it was the right way to find true purpose in life. Now he is a videographer specializing in studying different religions, so he is really interested in learning about the LDS church and the Book of Mormon. He speaks Tagalog and English though, so we teach him in English! That was my first time teaching in English and it was really, really hard haha!

I walked around all week without an umbrella (unheard of in the Philippines) because I left mine on a dyeepney and as a result I've gotten a lot tanner. I have to admit that swimmer tanlines are a lot cuter than missionary tanlines....haha. Now the Filipinos are all like, "Are you Fil-Am? Are you half Filipino?" And I think of my mom and dad, and I'm like no, they're definitely not Filipino! haha. But in a lot of ways I AM Fil-Am now, haha, at least at heart!
This Sunday we had a special sacrament service for a member, Edith Delphin, who is suffering from breast cancer. I have to say, she is the most amazing woman. Her whole life she has sacrificed for the gospel and as a result of her example, blessed the lives of SO many! She embodies the quote,

 "Our focus should be righteousness not recognition, service, not status. Visibility does not equate to value." -Howard W. Hunter
I love when we sakay a dyeep and I'm all squished in with the Filipino people and they are shy because I'm a foreigner and probably just here on vacation and only speak English. I love asking them a question? Paying a compliment. Something so that I can watch them open up and I can get to know them. After the "why do you know Bisaya?" routine I can direct the conversation to be about our purpose here as missionaries, about Christ, and it usually results in a new investigator or a referral. The people here are so humble and so friendly and missionary work here (though it definitely has its challenges) is a privilege!
There's so much more, but I have to save some things for after I get home.
-Sister Bertoldo

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