Monday, February 23, 2009

Email February 15th, 2009 (#2)

Hello again...I've been checking out the BYU website while waiting to see if you would email me before we leave but there still isn't anything so I thought I'd just write another short letter of sorts to make of for my lack of hand written ones (?) sorry...they are coming :)

By the way, President gave me permission to look at the site to check when I need to register etc. He said that BYU sent him a sign to form so that I can start school again and that told me that I need to plan to start school again in September -- that's going to be crazy! Well, I think I leave the Philippines August 9-11 and I'm not sure what that means about which date I get home, but that's an awfully LONG ways away so I'm not worrying about it too much, just looking at the BYU page...haha. There wasn't a lot there for me yet, however...I'll probably look again in April I think that's when I can register.

I'll get my sixth companion in the field on Friday and I hope that our work just continues to progress. I feel that's what has happened with my last couple of companions, it just keeps getting better. My transfers with sister pasi have definitely been high finding ones. We usually find more than twenty new investigators a week and talk to more, of course. With sister Victorino I probably reached my highest lessons in one week -- somewhere around 40. Our missions standard is twenty and that's not counting recent member and less active lessons. We've been good and busy, besides teaching a good twenty new people lessons one and all about Joseph Smith and the riches of the Book of Mormon in our lives we get at least more than five LARC (and one week our goal of ten recent member and less active lessons) plus 25-30 other lessons taught -- it's busy here in Pola and I think I know almost all of the people in this small town (not even close, but it sure seems that way!) I can't tell from what president said at interviews if I will be here for six more weeks or for twelve -- if twelve I really might know all of the people in Pola :)

We had our new member give a talk at our baptism on Saturday and he did amazing. He had it all written out and read it and I was surprised by him. Even President Marco (our branch president) said it was a really beautiful baptism.

Sister Pasi and I spoke again on Sunday. Here we speak in sacrament meeting every third week -- I had no idea what I wanted to speak on this week until that morning before we left. I talked about missionary work my first time, the book of Mormon the second and this time I took a strange route and went for the importance of our agency in this life and how to use our time wisely. Our area has a gambling problem and I had been trying to think of how to address it but nothing was coming. I was planning to speak on recognizing the spirit and seeking answers but that morning it just jumped out at me to speak on agency and in a sense the not gambling thing fit well into it. Sister Pasi ended up speaking on making goals in our lives, like going on a mission or getting to the temple and in the end both our talks were almost exactly what President had planned to speak on, their goals for having a chapel here next year, getting to the temple, sending out missionaries etc. and choosing to do those things that will get us there. It's amazing how when you pray for help and just act the things you need to help others just come out perfectly. I can tell when I'm speaking on what I was really meant to because it seems to flow out better, even with my sometimes choppy Tagalog.

Well, Sunday night we went to teach a new member lesson to a family that was baptized just before I came to the area and they were there with two of their friends who are members of a different church and have been trying to convince our new members to join them. He had some questions for us so we asked if we could start by teaching him our first lessons and promised it would answer some of his questions. He took time to explain his position, but would also listen and didn't have a contentious spirit which was nice, he also thanked us for the same, he seemed to be expecting us to debate with him as many other religions try to. I have really been praying for help in using the Book of Mormon in each of my lessons and trying to have faith that although I may not know all the scriptures by memory and perfectly that as i diligently study and ponder them the promise that what each needs in each moment will be brought to my mind to teach them through the spirit. I really felt that happened in this lesson. It seemed each question he brought up came with a new scripture pressing into my mind and although I wasn't sure where that scripture was or rarely used it I was able to find them all quickly and use the Book of Mormon to teach him our doctrine and principles.

We also met a new family the last couple of weeks who we are thinking will progress. At our last lesson the father came home drunk so we ended promptly and left with a promise to return. As we were closing up his wife started telling me that at our first visit he had told her he thought maybe our lessons and our church would be what helps him change because he really wants to. At at the same time he was telling sister pasi that he really wants to change and that we should come back "tomorrow" we told him a couple times that we couldn't return "tomorrow" but would come back. Even while drunk he knew he didn't want to be. I told sister that his desire is the first good step, many don't have it, and that I know our message will help them change their lives. That's who we're looking for, people who want to change their lives for the better, and I know as I have seen it in my own life, even in small ways, that we change as we learn faith in Jesus Christ and follow his commandments.

Well, I guess that's all for now, I'll check one more time to see if you emailed and if now...I'll here from you next week -- that is if I get to email since I'll be in a different area for that week I'm not really sure what will happen.

Love - Sister Landrum