Monday, April 28, 2014

Week # 47 (4-20-2014) Elsie Litsado's Baptism Photos-Easter letter

Elsie Litsado's Baptism! April 19, 2014
My companion and I decided to take a picture of our beautiful WETNESS!! (Always)

More of Elsie's baptism

Happy Easter! I hope you are soaking up the spirit and love this holiday season! We have been trying to teach the people here what Easter is. Even the members are not familiar with the word... let me explain.

Easter was always such a neat holiday back home, but for this year, it was a little simpler.  Since the Philippines is mostly Catholic, I thought they would celebrate Easter, but no one I met knows what Easter is. They celebrate Holy Week. It is a whole week devoted to the Savior. They don't work, and they focus on church service and reading the bible. It is basically like our version on Sabbath day, except only one week the whole year. We get to celebrate the Savior every week on Sunday. This week was Holy Week so we tried to take advantage of all the families staying home and their extra spiritual focus so they would listen to us. It kind of worked. We were able to get into a few more homes than usual. Since Easter is well known in the Church, for sacrament meeting, Bishop scheduled all of the missionaries to participate.  Sister de Leon led the music, Elder Paano spoke on the suffering in the garden, I spoke about the suffering on the Cross, and Elder Nielsen spoke on the Resurrection.  It was a really neat sacrament meeting because as missionaries, we were all united. The spirit was really strong and we were so grateful we were able to have six investigators in the congregation.  It was nice to focus on Easter, even if it was only for one hour! All week we have actually been bringing the Easter spirit! We have been teaching an Easter Lesson to all of our less-actives and even the active member families. I hope they were able to better feel the blessings of sacrament and feel the spirit of our saviors love this Easter Sunday!

On Saturday we had a baptism for Sister Elsie. She is a mother of five kids and had rough persecution from friends, family members, and neighbors for her desire to join the church.  I met her my first week in the area and her scheduled baptism was actually for my first Saturday here. On the day of her Baptism, she got sick and couldn't leave her house. We were worried she was faking or backing out, so we went to her home and found her unable to leave the house. We prayed for her and invited her to seek a priesthood blessing. We were able to teach the blessings of priesthood and having priesthood power in the home. The next day, a Sunday, she was able to make it to church where the Elders gave her a blessing. This made such an impact on her that she continued to share her good experiences with all of her friends and even in her testimony at her baptism. She called it "her healing." Before I got to the area, her husband didn't even want missionaries near the home, he said that they could teach her, but they had to teach her in the members home. It worked out better for her personal growth. Step by step they were able to talk to her children and talk to the husband, and have started growing a relationship with the family. After I got here, we were able to start teaching in the home and have started teaching her children as well. Her husband now talks to us and calls out to us if he sees us first, and I am excited for the potential of this family. Her two oldest kids are boys and I feel they will be able to be great priesthood holders for the family and for their area. It will still take some time, but I'm excited for the potential. I've found that when we view our investigators or potential investigators with their potential in mind, we work harder to reach that potential. No matter what happens, Sister Elsie will be a great strength to her family! 

I just saw the picture of Lilly... she is five times bigger than the last picture I got, she is so tall, and standing on her own? Haha, even though I'm missing things at home, I am so grateful I am here for the Lord. I know we will all be blessed for our sacrifices. Thanks for helping me and supporting me! Love you lots! Palangga ko kamo. Pinaka-da-best kamo!
Love, Sister Smoot

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