Monday, May 7, 2012

May 6, 2012 - Mabilis yun linggo na ito! (This week went by fast!)

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and whoever else may be reading,

Well, I can say this has been one of my most paradigm shifting weeks here in the Philippines. And what I mean by a paradigm shift is that my definition of success has changed. I sometimes forget that this mission is not a numbers mission. We aren't looking to get the most numbers possible, such as so many baptisms and so many lessons a week. Rather, we're looking to have quality lessons and planning in order to help people come unto Christ. Although our number have been low this week, in regards to lessons taught,  Elder Barrow and I have spent a lot of time this week getting into the homes of less actives, getting referrals and setting up Family Home Evening (FHE) with them. We've also been having very miraculous and spiritual lessons with Sister Donita, Alice and other people as well. So, from what we've done this week next week is going to be extremely busy. We have 3 referrals for investigators we're going to meet at an FHE and have Sister Alice help us teach them. Then, we have 4 less actives we're going to visit for the first time next week including one RM (returned missionary) who wants to come back so we're excited for that. We've been meeting a lot of people for the first time (that I couldn't meet before last transfer) and we just sing a hymn to leave the Spirit and go. That was our plan for a few people just so they can feel that Spirit. It doesn't count in the numbers, but I think it's more successful in cases with 1st contacts than trying to force a lesson on some people.

Everything else is fine over here. Elder Barrow and I have been planning and preparing a ton this week prayerfully and miracles have been happening. The people we plan and role-play for have had intense spiritual experiences…Sister Janine for example. She was not reading the Book of Mormon because of school and homework and such. But after a very spiritual lesson, she started crying because she was feeling the spirit and we recommitted her to read the book of Mormon every day, and now she takes it to school!  She's now at 1 Nephi chapter 9…just after 5 days!  Yes!!!

Elder Barrow finally was able to meet Sister Alice and he loves her testimony and desire to serve.  We're having her try to share the gospel with her friends and such. Actually, we didn't even ask her to. She just asked us, “Hey elders, I just have this strong desire to share the gospel, can you help me out?” AHH!!!! So, we're going to see if she can come with us to teach Sister Janine. Mom, Dad…it's like this area has been just so prepared for the gospel.  I can see much success coming out of it.  It has a ton of potential! Elder Barrow and I are so excited!  We don't think that one transfer is going to be enough to finish all that we have planned for the area right now.  Haha! Hopefully, we'll go another transfer together because there is so many fruit that just needs to be prepared a little bit more before it can be plucked. Elder Barrow keeps saying how wonderful this area is. The ward is very participatory, except for the low home teaching.  Haha! But Brother Ormond, our ward mission leader is doing so much to help us.

Many Miracles have been happening this week to us. I've learned from personal experience now that blessings are waiting for you if you only but ask the Lord. Then he will prepare a way for you to be able to accomplish what you ask, if it be righteous.

1. Earlier this week, we set a goal to get an LA1C on Tuesday, which is a less active 1st contact. It was one of our daily goals. Earlier that day I had decided, you know, this is going to be a great day! We had all of our appointments answer their door and we taught a few good lessons. Then, it was around 6 o’clock and we just had our dinner plan canceled so we decided to go to the church to attend a baptism and confirm appointments there. On the way to the Church in a jeepney, a guy across us asked if we were Mormons, we said yes, and found out he was a less active who was baptized in ‘06. Boom!!! First contact right there! We got his name and we'll be following up with him. Once we got to the church, we met our two new zone leaders and talked to them for a bit and I informed them about the zone. Then afterwards, a food caterer, who is a member, invited us to have dinner with them before the baptism. He catered the baptism party. LEGIT!!! We had dinner! Everything that day was just grand.

2. This week I had the opportunity to teach the Restoration to a taxi driver who was very receptive and Elder Barrow gave him a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet. What I mean is Elder Barrow gave me the nudge that helped me realize I should give the message of the restoration to him…in Tagalog.  It was a lot easier than I had expected so I knew it was from God and I just kept going with it. ^_^  It ended up working very well!

3. We had an FHE with a recent convert family.  We had the Arduo's, a less active family, Sister Ortega and her kids, and an investigator and her family, the Viray family. It was a great opportunity to bring many people together, share a quick powerful message and play Filipino games. Haha. Everyone had a great time. The miracle was that It rained hard an hour before and everyone still showed up!

4. Elder Barrow was thinking that we should really work with the members more in order to get referrals and locations of less actives in the area. I agreed and was like okay. So then, we went to a member's house who we thought was less active, but it's okay because one of the daughters of the member came out and said, “Elders!!! There are some friends I have that I want you to share the gospel with!” Then, she spent an hour talking about them and how scared she was to share the gospel with them.  So, we decided on a friendly FHE activity night so that we could build trust through that. Then, she also gave us the names of 3 or so less actives in the neighborhood.  We're going to go with the Mom to teach on Thursday. So, we're really excited about that! After wards, we were like... Oh my gosh, what just happened?  We just had a small desire to get referrals and less actives and we were handed a bunch without even bringing it up! So, that was another great miracle that happened just by asking for it. Of course, it was the right place at the right time. So, I know that Lord had just prepared the way for that to be accomplished.

I remember reading Jacob 5 about the Allegory of the Olive Tree. What I noticed was that the Lord called workers to work in his field. What I didn't realize the first time was that the Lord is already in the field when he calls people to help His work in it. Principle: The Lord is already in the field and knows where the ripe fruit are.  Ask him and he'll show you where the prepared people are. ^_^  I know that this is true because I have experienced it myself here in the field…in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

And especially if you do good planning…prayerful planning. This week I've also learned the importance of planning!!! Many great miracles have happened because of it too. Our number may be a bit low this week but it's all in preparation of the weeks to come!  Just you wait, Elder Barrow and I have many plans in the works with the area and I believe that great things are going to come from it.  Just you wait!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Wow, so that was the great part of my week. Here are some Filipino worldly observations:

There is an obsession with Angry Birds here.
There is also an obsession with the song, Teach me how to Dougie.... >,<  I hated that song before my mission!!!  I hate it more now!!!  Haha.
What else? Oh it’s been raining lately, nothing too bad though…I'm expecting worse in the coming months.
Oh!!! OUR HOUSE IS CLEAN!!!  Elder Ochavo asked us all to clean it on P-day last week and we’ll clean again today. I can feel a greater spirit from a clean house!

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