How's everyone? Kamusta kamo? Happy Valentines Day!!!! What did you all do to celebrate V-day? I hope you spread the love:) They celebrate V-day here pretty much like we do. All the red paper was sold out and bakeries were selling cupcakes with hearts on them. One of our cutie bum investigators, Cyrell, the little sister of RC Welche, gave us each a Valentine's card that she made. It was the cutest thing ever. She wrote mine in English and Sis Parada's in Tagalog. I will definitely save it forever. We also had a member give us these little fake roses. So cute! We cut out some hearts and stuck them on our glass door to add to our Christmas snowlflakes that are still up. Maybe I'll still be here for Easter and we can add some eggs!
We had another awesome baptism this week! Ruel, who is dating a member, got baptized. He's 19 and super awesome. We had exchanges this week so Sister Shakespeare who is a STL, came to work with me in our area. We went to teach Ruel earlier this week and she asked him why he was getting baptized. He then bore his testimony that it's because he knows this church is true and that it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. It all goes back to the restoration:) I love how pure and simple and beautiful his testimony is-- Like, of course I will get baptized because I know this is the true church! The baptism was pretty small because he was the only one getting baptized this week but we had some members come support and it went really well.
Every third Sunday in this ward, the missionaries are supposed to speak. So this month was the sisters' turn. Yesterday Sister Parada gave an awesome talk about the Book of Mormon and how important it is that we read from the Book of Mormon everyday. I decided to sing instead of speak this time:) Sister Shakespeare was super awesome and played the piano for me and we performed the "I Believe In Christ" arrangement that Mom sent me. It turned out really well even though we only got to practice once. Because we were bearing testimony of Christ through the song, Heavenly Father helped touched people's hearts through the song. Our RC, Pamela, told me it brought tears to her eyes. She's so sweet and so receptive to the spirit. It's so great. Thanks Mom for the music!
One more spiritual experiece and then I'l share a funny story. So when I was on exchanges with Sis Shakespeare, which I really loved, we went to teach the moms that I talked about quite a while ago. They came to church one time, the three moms with all their kids. Anyway, we haven't been able to visit them in a while and this time when we went, the only one there was Sister Rowena. She was doing laundry on the river so we just called from across the river and said we'd come back in a couple days. We started to leave and then I had this feeling we should go back, cross the river and share with her while she was doing laundry. So we did! (I've been working really hard to pay more attention to the spirit and follow it's promptings lately.)
We got a banana leaf to sit on and told her she could keep doing her laundry if we could just share with her. Oh my goodness, it was such a testimony to me that I need to always follow the spirit. She opened up and told us all about a couple weeks ago when she had to go to the hospital and she thought she was going to die. She told us about how she was just praying so hard and God spared her life. We talked to her about the doctrine of Christ, faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end and it was just what she needed. The spirit was so strong and we felt prompted to commit her to baptism. We found out that she has her daughter read to her the Book of Mormon every evening. She can't read so she encourages her kids to because she wants them to be smarter than she is. She is so amazing and I'm so excited to help her progress to baptism!
The gospel is so beautiful! I love the hope and peace it brings into our lives, everyone who humbles themselves, to accept the glorious message into their minds and into their hearts.
Real quick, just last night, Sister Parada and I were getting a ride home on a tricycle. So we were sitting int the little side car, in the front with the plastic window of the side car right in front of us. There was this HUGE spider seriously as big as my fist, on the plastic window right in front of our faces, maybe a foot away. But then it started climbing up, getting closer to our faces because the front is slanted. And then it dropped! We were freaking out but trying so hard to be quiet so that we wouldn't disturb the driver. It was night and super dark, so we couldn't see where it went. I just started shaking around hoping that it wasn't on me anywhere. It was so freaky. Finally we shone our flashlight and we saw it crawling out through a crack under our feet. Oh my goodness, it was so terrifying.
Fun times in the Philippines!!!! I love being here, but I also miss your cutie pie faces! I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week! Love, Sister Malyon