Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 92 (April 18, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Dearest Mother of Mine,

We haven't had much happen this week either. It's onion season, and so just breathing seems to burn your eyes and nostrils. All the field workers eyes are bloodshot, so they kind of look high. They're never home either, so we haven't had a lot of people to teach lately. We have a lot of free onions though Yum :)

We're still teaching Amparo and Mateo, and slowly but surely getting them prepped for Baptism. Mateo is back to Sundayshifts with his guard duty, so it'll be harder than we expected, but no good thing ever came without a price, and it's a price we're willing to pay. Lots of hardwork and member coordination, but it'll all pay off in the end. I just hope I'm here :/ I just wanna taste of my own dang potatoes!! (mini rant )

We did find a new investigator family this week, and they're sort of the coolest people ever. It's sort of an extended family thing, so I don't have all of the last names down yet, but we're teaching Che, Jack and Jenny. Jack and Jenny are in the 30s, but Che is only 12. She was the one we originally found though, and then asked if we could meet her parents. She took us to their home, and we met a whole bunch of people, but I don't think any of them are her parents. We met her aunts and uncles and cousins and stuff. Still don't know the parents. We taught them the Restoration. and they were super into it. The Spirit was so strong, and it just flowed! We spoke a lot in terms of onions, because that's what they really know, but it worked, haha! We compared the Gospel and Christ's church to an onion field, full of big healthy onions ready for the harvest, but then introduced the Apostasy and how it's sort of like this disease that the onion's get called "spag" (short for spaghetti: the onion leaves get all limp and twisty like noodles. super contagious). The truths or onions started to go bad, and would affect other doctrines, spreading the disease. Truth seekers tried to remove the spag onions, but even after that, the field was no longer full. There were still a bunch of correct doctrines, or healthy onions, but a lot of it was missing. But then God fixed it, because He can do that :) It was sort of the coolest analogy ever, and I'll prolly use it when I teach my friends and future kids about the Restoration. Onions and spaghetti seem to be universal, so it works! :D They were super stoked to learn about the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith and everything and so we put them on for June 11th. I know it's not that easy though. Because they're farmers, the field is SUPER important to them, and it'll be hard getting them to stay away for a day to go to church and remember the Sabbath. That's where Members come in handy :) We, as two white American Missionaries who've never planted an onion in our lives, don't know what it's like to have an entire field in your care, and our investigators know that. However, the Members DO know, because a lot of them have the same kind of work, and they seem to keep the Sabbath alright. Hopefully, we can get a few strong testimonies and encouragement from them. Well, more than a few, of course, but you get it :)

I have another spiritual thought/scripture this week. Sorry I haven't been doing it anymore lately. I'll try to repent :)

This comes from the Old Testament!

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.

2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Look Up. Prayer has become a HUGE part of my life, these past two years, and I don't plan on changing that anytime soon (or ever for that matter). It's those last two words that really hit me though. Before I left, a group of friends and I really wanted to go Star Gazing, so we threw down a blanket on the front lawn and just chilled. A few weeks later, one of the coolest people in the world, and most definitely one of my best friends, Corrina Carter, gave me a bookmark she made for me with a starry background and the words "Look Up" in the middle. I probably just thought it was a reference to our star gazing adventure, but she knew what she wanted me learn from it. (Sorry Corrina, I'm a little slow :P). So ya. Always remember to "look up."
Also, to take it one step further (just thought of this), it's ALL about where we're looking. Remember my scriptural thought from a long time ago about the tents? Lot's tent faced Sodom, and that's where he ended up (Genesis 13,14). The people of King Benjamin faced their tents towards the Temple, and became the "Children of God" (Mosiah 2, 5). When people spend their time walking around looking down at their feet and the super fascinating dirt and concrete, it's usually not because they're preparing to go into geology. On the other hand, looking up at the birds and the trees and the clouds and the stars, we see the beauty of the world, and of life, and the hope of a brighter future. See the difference? If not, look up :)

Love you Mom!! Forgot to bring my camera, but I'll try next week Love you!!

Elder Syphus

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