Sunday, January 5, 2014

Week 17 in the Philippines - "a new year"

Wow, it's 2014! CRAZY! A new year and new beginnings. It's so great. We had super high attendance at church yesterday. Aren't New Year's Resolutions so great?:) A member asked our investigator who has a baptismal date on Jan. 18 what her new year resolution is and she said to get baptized into this church! She's the best. Another LA told us that since it's a new year, he's gonna forget being offended and start over by being active in church again. YAY! And this LA family that we've been visiting ever since we arrived, finally all came to church together! It made me soooo happy and they were so cute all sitting together at church. 

I have gained such a testimony of miracles happening all the time this past week. God is so merciful and loving and he answers prayers and helps us accomplish and fulfill our righteous desires. He is leading His work and making sure that His purposes are being fulfilled. I love being a part of it!

The other day we were visiting the moms, the ones that remind me of the Tribe women. They haven't been coming to church or really keeping their commitments, so we were getting kind of frustrated. We were feeling like they just aren't progressing. And then we taught them a lesson and at the end, I asked this one mom to pray for us. We've asked her so many times to pray and she never has. She's kind of like the leader of all of them. And this time she agreed to pray! It was so beautiful! I was so happy her children got to hear her pray out loud and be example to them. Most people are religious here and pray, but often they feel uncomfortable praying out loud. When someone prays out loud for the first time, there's like this added power and it feels like they are coming closer to God in a way. I don't really know how to explain it.

Also, another little miracle has to do with our awesome investigator, Brian. He's dating a member, 19 years old, and the nicest person on the planet. He goes to church every week, but there were some concerns he had about getting baptized. He told us like 2 weeks ago that he proabably wouldn't get baptized for another year or so. awesome. BUT last weekend he went with friends to the YSA conference they had in Cadiz. He told us all about it and how it changed his life. He said he felt this burning in his heart when they had a testimony meeting and they talked about missionary work and did some role playing. He said he felt like that's what he needs to do. He wants so much to serve God and he knows that he needs to serve a mission. His testimony grew and his desire to be baptized grew as well. His grandma's heart has been softened and she's accepting of his decision, which he was worried about. The only person left is his mom. She comes home this week and he's gonna talk to her about his decision, so we're praying that she'll be accepting as well. I'm so happy for Brian and that God is helping him come closer to Him.

Back to Pamela, who is super excited for her up-coming baptism. She's so awesome. Every time we teach her, I feel like she's teaching us, but in her humble awesome way. The other day, we asked her about her reading and she said she read Jacob. I thought we were gonna have to try to explain the allegory to her, but she just proceeded to explin the whole thing to us! She also came to the Christmas party this week and brought all the kids with her that we've been teaching in her neighborhood. She's so sweet. Also, she went and visited a LA member who lives near her and invited her to come to church. She asked her why she doesn't come and told us she didn't understand why she made up these excuses. Pamela is already fellowshipping people and she's not even a member yet!

This week we went out to this part of our area called Bulanan. It's like a 20-25 minute tricycle ride away from the city. We went on a serious adventure to find this LA family--their daughter contacted us on FB and asked us to visit her parents. We had a sister come with us to show us where they lived. It had rained like the day before, so it was super super muddy. (Sis Parada slipped pretty bad) 

This family lives super secluded, away from everything, in the middle of the jungle. We had to cross a river going over a bridge, which was sooo beautiful. We were seriously walking through the jungle.Indiana Jones adventure:) When we finally got to their house, the sister right away started climbing trees to get down coconuts for us. She was so talented oh my goodness! She just climbed these super tall coconut trees without anything, just her hand and feet! She was so fast! she carried a knife with her and then cut down coconuts for us. I was amazed. so cool. The coconuts were delicious! We drank the coconut water and then scooped out the coconut.

The work is moving forward in our area, which is super exciting! I'm so grateful to be here! Thanks so much for all the love and support! I have the best family and freinds ever!
I love you all sooo much! I wish you all the very very best for the year 2014! I'm excited for what this year holds in store for all of you cutie pies! Keep the faith! I love you:)

Love, Sister Malyon 

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