Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week 22 in the Philippines - "paglaum"

Wow, this week was great. But how are all of you? Thanks so much for all the emails and love and support. You are all just so great. That's exciting it snowed in Bellevue! WOOHOO!!! Just be careful and don't slide into any ditches...hahaha I'll do the same and try not to slide in the mud:) 

So we had another baptism this week! I love this work so much. I feel so blessed to be here! We've been teaching a group of people in this one neighborhood and this one mother and her son have been progressing so quickly. The son, Mark, who's 8, was baptized on Saturday. His mom, Rowena, is totally ready to get baptized, but we're waiting for her husband to come back from Manila so they can get married first. It's really hard for people to get married here because they have to pay the Catholic church lots of money to get married, so lots of people just don't. Thank goodness for the beautiful services of the LDS church that offer FREE weddings. We have a stake president here that is authorized to conduct marriages. It would be awesome if the father of this family will listen and accept the gospel as well so the whole family can be members! 

Anyway, about Markie, he's this crazy but super cute little boy and his BFF is a boy named Bonjoy who is part of a super active family in our ward. I'm sending a pic of the two cutie bums. We asked Bonjoy to speak at the baptism and he did! He was so nervous but he did it. It was the cutest thing ever. He got up in front of everyone with his mini Book of Mormon and talked about Nephi and faith and then bore his testimony. Then when Markie got in the water to get baptized, Bonjoy was right there as close as he could get to watch his friend:) Markie was so funny. As soon as he got in the water and the elder was holding his arm, he kept trying to go down in the water! He kept thinking it was time! He was so excited to get baptized! hahaha The elder had to keep him up until the right time. 

On Sunday, during sacrament meeting, I was in the back trying to help with some of the kids. Markie was running around so  I finally got him to draw me some pictures in my notebook. Then I gave him one of the pictures you sent me of Jesus getting baptized. I told him he got baptized just like Jesus and he was just staring at the picture and said "Just like Jesus?" It was so cute. Thanks mom for sending me those pictures to give to people! They love them!

Remember Pamela who got baptized a few weeks ago? Well, this week she worked with us for a it! She came with us to visit this LA sister that we've been visiting ever since we got here and she has never come to church. Pamela came with us and bore such a powerful testimony to Arline, the LA, about how grateful she is for the gospel and the impact it has made in her life and in her family's life. She helped sort through the LA sister's different concerns and things that were holding her back from coming to church. It was amazing. And guess what? Sister Arline came to church!

Also, we started teaching two more of Sister Pamela's grandchildren. Remember Welche? Who got baptized with Pamela? Now we're teaching her two younger siblings. They are 10 and 8. The first time we taught them lesson 1 and invited them to church and they came with Pamela and Welche. The second time we taught them, we gave them Book of Mormons and they were so excited! They had both already started reading their sister's Libro ni Mormon and were so excited to get their own! We hadn't even asked them to read yet and they already had! They're so cute. Their mom is supportive, but believes she can just learn on her own from reading the Bible and doesn't need religion. I'm sure she and their father will come around at some point:)

This week we went to this far area and met the family of one of our ward missionaries who helps us  a lot. On our way, we were riding in this super packed tricycle and then we stopped and the driver told some people they had to get off. A little ways up ahead, there were some police men doing a police check. Apparently having people ride on top of the side car and hanging off the side was "overload", so that's why the driver left them. So we passed the police check, went a little farther, dropped off some more people around the corner, then went back and picked up the other people, passed the police check once more and then picked up the other people around the corner and continued on our way. I just found it really funny:) Working the system!

Another funny cultural thing that happened this week...:) So this week was Sister Parada's birthday! I made her a sweet poster and the other sisters bought her this awesome superman pinata and stuffed it with soo much candy. For lunch, Sister Shakespeare had told me they had this idea to get candles and roast marshmallows and hot dogs for fun. So lunch time came and Sister Shakespeare was getting the candles and stuff and then Sister Buban (filippino) was over at the sink cutting up the hot dogs. Sis Shake told her we didn't need to cut them up and Sis Buban was all confused. Long story short haha, Sister Buban and Sister Shake had diff ideas of what marshmallows and hot dogs meant. Sis Buan wanted to make SIs Parada this thing that's tradition for kids here, where you stick a marshmallow and a piece of cooked hot dog on a bunch of little sticks. Sis Shake thought marshmallows and hot dogs meant roasting them over fire like we do in the states. So we ended up doing both!
Life is so funny here. I just love it so much. I hope you are all finding "joy in the journey" too!!!! If not, just try to imagine poor Sister Malyon working so hard to overcome her fear of chickens. It's a constant battle:)

I love you so much! Keep holding on to the iron rod! The word of God, the Book of Mormon is so powerful in keeping us on the strait and narrow path that will lead us to everlasting life in the presence of our loving Heavenly Parents! Think of how awesome it is that you get to have your very own Book of Mormon, just like Pamela's grandkids, Cyrill Jane and March, that I wrote about earlier.

Lots of love,
Sister Malyon   

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