This week we were teaching one of our recent converts, Melrose, who has never had schooling. She only knows Ilonggo and the really deep old Ilonggo. She also doesn't understand any english. Sister Remund is still learning Ilonggo so she is teaching in English. Half-way through Sister Remund's section of the Lesson, sister Melrose just speaks out.. "I don't know what she is saying." Sister Remund started feeling sad so I gave a speech to Melrose about how Sister Remund is an angel because she is a missionary, so even if Melrose doesn't understand what she is saying, she will be able to feel them through the spirit. I asked Sister Remund to keep teaching and at the end, Sister Melrose held her hand up to her heart and pounded it against her chest while saying, "I felt it." It was such a precious, sweet, moment that made me chuckle a little afterwards. She just has such a horrible living condition and a horrible family life, but she still has a testimony of the spirit and the church and she continues to show us that she is a child of God. She is a very special girl.
A very funny and might be innapropriate thing that happened this week was with the Corro Family. They are a family of all girls. The mom has 4 girls and the husband left a while ago. So it's just a family of girls! We were teaching about the priesthood and how men and women have different responsibilities but we are all important and apart of God's plan. Then I asked them what are some things that women in the church do? (looking for something like teach, help, cook, they love people, have children .....) The oldest daughter reminds me of myself as a Know-it-all, very factual 12 year old and says "nagamense?" I didn't understand the word so I asked her what that meant, and she said, "menstrate?" I almost died trying not to laugh. Well, now we know what woman in the church do. :)
This week when we visited the Aliponga family, they asked us if we could teach some of their friends. Of course we were happy too, but it is an area that we are not allowed to go to at night and it was starting to get dark. So I told her to talk to her friends first, and we would come back on Sunday to meet them if it was okay with them. Yesterday on Sunday it rained all day and very heavy rain. The area where they live is just a mud pit so it's hard to get out there, let alone in the rain. But we just knew we couldn't let them down. So we prepared ourselves for the hike and half-way there saw our shoes caked in a 3-inch layer of mud. We just laughed and kept hiking until we got to their house. When we got there, sister Delia Aliponga (who was baptized on March 1) saw our feet and rushed us over to her laundry buckets and washed our feet. I was so shy at first to let her wash my feet and tried to do it myself, but she insisted and washed my feet and my shoes. Her love and her motherly love for us made me feel safe and at home and I know it's just a small thing, but it just made me love her and her family so much more, even though they are basically already my family. I love this area because I have been able to be apart of the whole conversion process with so many families. I was the first missionary to teach their family, and I got to see it all the way through even to the point where they are the fellowshippers for others. We went and taught their friends and they were able to teach their friends how they came to know of the truth and they were so excited. Their spirit and testimonies are continuing to grow and I am so lucky that I just get to witness it! We were able to teach the whole family (the neighbor) and they all have a lot of potential. I just love being a missionary. :)
I just want you to know that I know that the church is true and I know that missionary work is from the Lord. He is the one directing and overseeing everything. We just have to have the faith to follow through and follow the promptings and become examples of obedience and kindness. I hope you are all doing the small things in life that bring happiness and peace. I love you so much and I am so grateful that you are my family! Love you! Palangga ko kamo!
Love, Sister Smoot