Kumusta!!! Well its been a wonderful week in the Philippines. Honestly, every day just gets better and better. I couldn't stop grinning today, just because I was so happy to be where I am. Im so grateful God lead me into this wonderful pathway in my life. I didn't know I could have this much joy. Its a big testimony builder for me, that God knows me so well. He knows I would enjoy being in a place like this that would provide me such great entertainment each day. I love living among these different people, and learning a different way to live life. One thing that I respect about the Philipino people, is they laugh at their misfortunes. When something goes wrong, they think its incredibly funny. They also love plain jokes, similar to the ones on the back of a laffy taffy wrapper. They tell jokes that I told in second grade. I love it.
Well, God has truly blessed me this week. I felt that I could express myself clearly, and the more I really intently try to listen to what people are saying, I can usually understand and put the sentence together. Although I am so grateful for the times when I have no Idea what people are saying, because within those situations, I can be stretched and tried, yet I'll always come out on top, because I'm growing. Like any trial people go through, while enduring through it, whatever your learning is making you a more solid person. Its a beautiful process. God gave us this life for progression, not regression.
Well I would like to share a couple thoughts of mine about this past week. I am so fascinated with the children here. Some are sincerely searching for truth. Last Thursday we went to visit some families living out in the farm area. We walked through the rice fields on top of dikes, my shoes enjoyed the mud bath they received. We taught this Family about Joseph Smith, and how he offered up a humble prayer and received an answer. We told them that God will answer their prayers and they needed to pray to know the truthfulness of our message. Immediately after we said that, two children ran into the house and got out pencils and paper to take notes. I peeked at Rosemary's (who is no older than 6) notes and she was writing herself a reminder to pray to God and she was writing down the steps we were teaching them. My heart was touched by the sweet sincerity of that child, to yearn to know her Father in Heaven. I think its because children have soft hearts so its easier for the holy ghost to whisper to them.
I got the wonderful opportunity to attend the Cebu Temple Dedication this past Sunday. We all piled into the tiny chapel, and I immediately felt like I entered into a meat locker. Since the church is the only place that has air conditioning, they like to take advantage of it. I'm pretty sure it was a crisp 60 degrees in the room. The spirit was so strong it was almost tangible, I think I could have swam in it. Heaven felt so close. While waiting for the presentation to start, they displayed many views of the new Temple. It is absolutely magnificent. It confirmed my goal to marry in the house of the Lord.
Okay, now I want to fill you all in, about the Parale family. Yesterday we went and visited them, while Tatay was finishing up playing chess with a friend, Nanay made us a strange drink (I think chocolate?), and we joked around with Bernadette. Bernadette is only 14, yet she is the beacon in that family. She is continuously reading, and she knows Joseph Smith is a true Prophet. Tatay and Nanay have many concerns yet I have hope for them. We started teaching them about the Law of Chastity. Tatay always has so many questions for us. He wanted to know things such as "Is is a sin to love another than your wife, even though Christ commands us 'to love one another'?" or "What happens if you love another women besides your wife?" Its times like last night that the words of God to the prophet Joseph Smith in D+C 84:85 stating that If you continually treasure up the words of life it shall be given to you in the very moment what ye shall say. Which is interesting because earlier that morning I felt impressed to read the Book of Ephesians. (Which is currently of my favorite books in the new testament!) So then when Tatay was asking me all these questions about marriage, I felt to share with him the 5th chapter in Ephesians with him, how it says that the man and women when married become one flesh. Meaning one in purpose and they should strive to stay together. For some reason, it answered all his questions. I don't think the Parale Family has marital problems, because Tatay has a friend that belongs to the Eglacia ni Cristo church, and I think he feeds Tatay questions to catch a fault in our beliefs. For example, Tatay told us that his friend told him that he shouldn't listen to us, because we don't have the authority to read from the Bible. When he said that, tears filled my eyes and I told Tatay, what a corrupt belief that church has established. I told him that through reading the scriptures I have come to know my Father in Heaven. I told him that one of the first princibles of the fullness of the gospel is to understand the nature of God, and that the First thing Satan wants to attack, is your relationship with God. If that is destroyed, then your pathway becomes hard to understand. I told him the Holy Scriptures will tell you how to return back to God, and God wants all his children to return back to him in safety. Not just select Pastors, the word of God is for everyone of his children, he loves them all equally. I was pretty upset at Satan for establishing such a corrupt Church as the Eglacia ni Cristo. That church was founded by a former member of the LDS church. While in the church the man wrote the apostles and told them that he believed he should be called an apostle. After his request was declined, he decided to create his own church, one where the pastors only read the bible, and they try to find faults with the Book of Mormon. Whats interesting, is that before the man died this past December, he wrote a letter to his family telling them that the true church was the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. How sad it is, that through someones pride, he could lead so many souls into false beliefs. Although throughout all the many questions Tatay asks (mostly from his friend), we always have a perfect answer for him to resolve any hard question. I always pause for a moment before answering any question to listen for the Holy Ghost. There has been so many experiences with Tatays questions where the sharp voice of the spirit tells us how to reply. What a wonderful privelidge I get, to have God tell me through the Holy Ghost what Tatay needs to hear. The wonderful thing about it is, we always come out on top. Each time It confirms to me that I have truly been called of God, to help these people know the truth.
I have so much to say, yet little time (especially today). Im sorry promise to try and write more next time. Much love, take care.