Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 43 in the Philippines - "Happy 4th of July!"

What did you all do for the fourth???? Watch fireworks? Have a picnic? Or maybe everyone was off doing their own thing. Sounds like everyone has lots of crazy summer plans! I LOVE the emails about the cutie pies in South America. Oh my goodness, sounds like a dream. I read Jaimie's emails out loud to Sister Moser and she loves it. She was asking me all these questions about how they're traveling and everything. I was like "I don't know. All I know is from their emails." And she was like "I gotta know so I can make this happen in my life!" She's so excited to meet all of you someday haha. On the 4th of July, for companionship study, we sang all three America hymns in the back of the hymn book and celebrated by making salsa and eating salsa with pita chips (no tortilla chips):)  

Thanks so much for all the emails and updates and love! You are the best!

SO many awesome things happened this week. First, I want to share about Romeo. He is a recent convert, about 29? years old, single, parents have both died, reads the Book of Mormon all the time. The experience with him this week taught me about how important it is to hold on to the truth we know and the power of the Book of Mormon. We hadn't seen Romeo in weeks. Every time we would visit him, he would be gone for some reason, like this past month, and he hadn't been coming to church. We finally caught him at home on Tuesday. He opened up to us about how he had gone to church with his aunt and uncle at the Seventh day Adventist church because they are the only family he has, they always want him to come with them, he wants to make them happy, he doesn't like feeling so alone as the only member of our church...etc. He was even having doubts about our church being the ONLY true church and things like that.

It hit us like a ton of bricks because he has been like our strongest RC-reads the Book of Mormon everyday, going to church every week...etc that we couldn't believe it was him saying all these things. Don't worry, we stayed calm. So then we visited him Thursday and read the account of JS-H with him. We talked about Joseph Smith and asked him to think and pray about it before we came back, AND to keep reading the Book of Mormon. Then on Saturday, we came back with a member who is a RM and the only member in his family. It was the coolest thing ever. We started out asking Bro. Romeo about his reading. He had been reading in Alma 38:5 and he told us about his experience when reading, how he felt like Heavenly Father was talking to him and when he read it, he had started crying. It talks about putting our trust in God. He then proceeded to tell us about how he could relate to some of the feelings Joseph Smith experienced and things like that. The Spirit was so strong and he and the member connected as well. It was amazing. He told us at the end that he would be at church the next day and he was! He was one of the first people to show up at church on Sunday morning! And during Sacrament meeting, other SA brothers sat by him and he looked so happy all day at church. I love the gospel so much and the Book of Mormon!

The other awesome experience this week was with our really recent convert, Brother Rodel, the 13 year old. I attached a picture of us with him:)

He has the cutest smile. So, we saw this change in him after his baptism, where he seemed to completely close up to us, like starting all over. Satan seemed to be working on him and it was so sad to us. He missed a couple weeks of church and did not seem himself when we would visit him. But then, this week, something changed. We have no idea what happened, but something did. We had this amazing lesson with him. He opened up to us, was talking to us more than ever before, answering our questions and he even agreed to read a verse. He struggles with reading and has always been so shy to read, but he's been learning in school. When he read a verse out loud for us during the lesson, when he finished, he looked up at us with the biggest grin on his face and we were so proud of him! He seemed so much more confident. It was so cool. We brought the gospel picture book for the lesson and he loved it. He was looking through it and found the picture of Christ;s Second Coming and could not stop staring at it. He asked if he could borrow the book until we came back on Saturday and when we agreed, he looked like the happiest child on Christmas morning. When we came back on Saturday and asked him what picture was his favorite from looking through all of them, he took us straight to that same one again. so cute. Even his prayers have changed. He used to mumble them so quiet and be shy to pray, but now he confidently prays so we can hear and his prayers are so sincere. It's so beautiful and incredible to see this change in him!

I love the gospel so much and how it blesses everyone's lives so much-- whoever accepts it!

One adorable thing that happened this week, is we were walking through our far area in Napoles, finding that no one was home, when we saw this one Nanay, the cutest little grandma in the world, taking down her laundry. We came up to greet her and she took our hands and was all happy to see us and then gave each one of us a kiss on the cheek! We helped her take her laundry down and she sent us on our way so that we would get under cover before it started raining:) It was the most tender, cutest thing ever. We had only met her like one time before haha. 

Well, I hope you are all reading the Book of Mormon, like Bro Romeo, saying sincere prayers, like Bro Rodel, and giving Jonnypots sloppy joes! like sweet nanay:) Hold on to all the spiritual experiences you have ever had and don't ever forget the truths you know! The gospel is true and I know it without a doubt of my mind. I still have questions and there are things I don't understand, but that will come in time. I do know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Spirit has testified to me of that truth multiple times, and very powerfully when we actually visited the Sacred Grove. I hold that experience so dear to my heart. I love you all so much! You are amazing! 

Love, Sister Malyon

P.S. The other picture is with the Beler family. We had FHE with them:) They are hilarious!


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