Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 18 in the Philippines - "tiki and ilaga"

Hi family!
It's so good to hear from some of you cutie pies! I love you all so much. It sounds like you all had a really nice Christmas break and got to really focus on the Savior and spending time with eachother. That's soo awesome. I'm so envious you spent time in the Olympic Peninsula! That sounds so beautiful and peaceful. It's probably a little similar to what some of my area is like:) I'm sending a pic of when we went to Bulanan, the area I talked about last time that where the sister was climbing coconut trees and stuff.

We still have the baptism date for Pamela for Jan 18! I'm so excited for her. We feel so close to her and her family. Yesterday she had her interview after church and she was just glowing when she got done with the interview. She's so ready! It's been raining a lot this past week and it's actually gotten kind of cold! I got out my cardigan for like the first time! It was pouring rain yesterday and whenever it rains, less people come to church because it's harder for them to travel in the rain, especially from the far places.

I was a little worried Pamela might not show up because she lives kind of far and her house is always super muddy, so I knew it would be really bad. We were sitting in the first class Relief Society, with like 4 other sisters, and she walked in! She told us it was really hard to get out because of the huge puddles/rivers and mud, but she made it! She's the best. I love her so much. She has so much faith, it's amazing. She has so much faith that her husband will change and will someday come to church with her. She has such a desire to so what's right, to trust God and do His will. She's such an awesome example to me. I really hope her children and grandchildren will follow her example.

A couple weeks ago, we went to teach one of our investigators and when we showed up at her house, her casket was sitting there in the middle of the room. It was crazy. She passed away on Christmas day, only 13 years old. She had heart failure and they couldn't get her to Bacolod in time to get help. Here, when someone dies, they set up the casket in their house with the body for people to come visit and then they gamble until they get enough money to pay for the burial and everything. So for a couple weeks, Nia's body was in her house and we would go visit her mom, who was always sitting there with the casket, and try to comfort her and share scriptures with her. One time, we gave the mom a Book of Mormon and taught about the spirit world, Alma 40, about spirit paradise. The next time we went, the Book of Mormon was open, sitting up on the casket. 

Anyway, this week, we got to hold a little service for her from our church. Her family is Catholic, but they said we could have a service for her. The bishop was really awesome about setting it up. So on Friday, the day before they had their service at the Catholic church and the burial, a group of maybe 15 of us members gathered at the family's house. The family joined us and Sister Parada gave a really great talk about eternal families and bishop talked about the Plan of Salvation. Nia's dad said a few words and they seemed touched and grateful for the support. 

On Saturday, Sister Parada and I went to the burial at the cemetery. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I know that Nia will accept the gospel in spirit paradise and I hope and pray her family will listen and accept our message as well. 

I'm so grateful for the gospel and the opportunity to share it with my beautiful brothers and sisters here in Bacolod mission! I'm so blessed. I'm grateful that God is so directly involved in this work and He is leading the way. He is so good to me, always giving me what I need to do His work. 

I'm so grateful for all of your support and love! Thanks so much!
Love, Sister Malyon

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