Monday, August 26, 2013

Week #15 (Aug 26, 2013)

Dear Family, 

This week was really fun. Our zone had specialty training with
President Lopez where we learned that we are a Facebook mission. So
this week we created a Facebook account for our Magsungay Ward.  It’s
been a little weird to get used to. First of all, Facebook has changed
a little, and second of all, for the first few days I totally felt
like I was breaking some sort of rule.  Haha, but we have scheduled
Facebook proselyting time every day (except Sunday). Since we have two
companionships though, we alternate days. So three days a week Sister
Manosig and I do it, and the other three are for the other sisters.
Anyway, right now we are still figuring it out, so we have just been

trying to friend everyone in the ward and all of our investigators and
post stuff from the LDS website and so on.

This week I came to the realization that I am always wet. I am either
sweating or it’s raining, so I probably won’t be dry until I come
home, but all is well.  I have actually had moments where I have been
cold. Last night it was only 82 degrees and I had goosebumbs and I had
to pull out my blanket.  I know, it’s pathetic, but my body
temperature was weird ever since I got to the MTC. I was always
freezing even when everyone was hot. And I really have not been very
hot here even though everyone else is dying. 

I know for a fact that the Lord helps us with temporal things AND spiritual things. I know
that he has helped me adjust to the temperature and is also helping me
to stay regular healthwise so far. I know that it is a miracle that I
have not gotten sick, even when a lot of the natives are getting sick.
 August is the hardest month for the Philippines both with illness and
financially, but I have made it this far alive!  I know that the Lord
looks out for us as missionaries and rewards our diligence. I am so
grateful to have a personal protection as a servant of the Lord.

Sister Manosig and I have really gone through a lot together and even
though we have different backgrounds culturally, socially,
linguistically, and even in regards to the church, I have learned so
much from each other and are working together so well. It’s going to
be weird to leave her, but I know that’s just a part of missionary
work. There was this one family and they gave us the same excuse every
time for why they didn't come to church. Sister Manosig kept saying
they said they were too ashamed. So every lesson I slipped in things
about how we can become clean and the church is a place of healing
like a hospital and it’s for everyone. Finally, Sister Manosig used
“ashamed” while talking about herself. I asked her what she was
ashamed of and she got really confused. We then discovered that she
meant “shy.” So this whole time I thought this family was ashamed,
when really they were saying they were too shy to go by themselves. I
just had to laugh! We are now helping these longtime investigators with ward
members and friends to go with so it’s not so scary.  

There are a hundred little examples of miscommunication, trials, frustrations… but
there are billions of examples of how we have worked in unity, found
success, helped entire families, created spiritual atmospheres,
cheered each other up, learned from each other both spiritually and
otherwise, and grown close to the Lord as we grow close to each other.
Let’s just say, this is the best marriage preparation class I will
ever attend.
This week, Brother Lope (our recent convert) was able to baptize his
10 year old son. It was the first time he has used his priesthood and
he was a little nervous, but he did so well. We practiced with him
during one of our lessons and he felt better about it. (It’s hard
because the ordinance is in English). He also was excited to baptize
our other investigator, Sister Lea. I love Sister Lea!! She’s 20 and
we have been teaching her for 6 weeks. She has so much faith and
regularly bore her testimonies during our lessons and is so dedicated
to the Lord.  She is so cute and since we are the same age, we really
connected on a friendship level that has been a little harder for me
to do with other investigators. She’s teaching me how to better
express myself in Ilonggo.  I’m so sad she is moving next week to a
different Island, but she is moving with members of the church so she
will still have support in the gospel. 
She was even excited to tell me that their home was right next to a “Mormon church building.” The
baptism was so exciting and I’m learning more and more how much the
Lord’s hand is in everything.  I am not responsible for their success
in the gospel, I was just trying not to mess things up. I always
thought missionaries were just being falsely modest as they said they
didn’t do anything, it was the Lord. But now I understand what they
are talking about. Some people are just ready and willing and faithful
and so close to the Lord and I am just the mouth that is giving them
the missing pieces.  I know that some investigators are a little
trickier than others, but Sis. Lea and Brother Lope are two of the
most prepared people I have met, and I know the Lord is so excited to
have them in His fold and now can give them all these blessings that
He’s been waiting to give them!
        I know that this church is true and I’m so grateful for the
opportunity to share my testimony every day. I know that as I bare my
simple/broken-Ilonggo testimony, it is growing stronger and stronger.
I love seeing lives change while also witnessing the change in my own
life. I hope all is going well back home! I love you all!
Sister Smoot

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