Friday, May 30, 2014

Letter # 52 (May 25, 2014)

This week was a little slower than the last, but we are repenting for our lower numbers and setting plans to get them back up again. We have a new district leader who was just an AP a couple weeks ago, so reporting the numbers was a little painful, but it will keep us moving.  I'm still learning to love the area, which means I am going to be here a lot longer. :) We have a lot of miracles and lot going on... I just really miss female investigators.  I know it's such a blessing that we found so much priesthood potential, and that is exactly what this area needs, but sometimes I just feel uncomfortable. I can't really explain it, I just am praying that we can find some priesthood potential who also have families that we can teach. I don't know if this makes sense. 

This week I have been feeling really heavy. That is the only way to explain it. I'm not sad or over-stressed, just heavy. All of the concerns of our investigators are sometimes very dark and confusing from past sins or past experiences and trials and their questions about the gospel very deep involving the bible and church history. I know my faith is firm in the fact that this IS the Church of Jesus Christ. But Satan is so good and feeding doubts. Over and over again I can hear in my mind the talk from Elder Uchtdorf, "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." And that is always the first thing I do. On Wednesday, one of our investigators (the one who was a Catholic Minister) looked me in the eyes and said, "are you sure this is the only true church?" I was immediately able to say, "YES, not only is it true, but it is straight from our Savior Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven."  I could literally feel the spirit testify of what I was saying and I could feel the calming buzz surrounding us. Not only was my heart burning, but my arms and head and toes could feel it too. I know that must seem dramatic, but I am always ever thankful for the testimony that our Savior has helped me to build and the gift of faith that He has given me. Regarding all doubts and regarding all so called "deep doctrine," the invitation is always the same- Read the Book of Mormon, and ask for yourself it is true. We will always receive a witness that it is true from the Holy Ghost and that this is the only true church on the earth.

This week we taught one of our investigators, Brother Nadi. He actually has a lot of potential and a real desire to be baptized, but he is a 15 year old teenager.  He has times when he is really serious and mature, and other times when I really remember that he is... a 15 year old boy.  One day we walked up to his house and he was on the side of the house just sitting in the chair with big dark sunglasses on trying to look like the coolest kid on the block.  We asked him what his hobbies are and he said computer hacking and parkour.  I almost started laughing with the computer hacking comment (napoleon dynamite anyone?) ... especially since he said it in English... but then I laughed out loud about the parkour because we had just found out last week that he fell off his wall trying to pick some mango's out of his tree... I guess he is not that good yet. He is so sweet though and very sincere about the gospel. He has a really funny sense of humor so it gives a lot of light to our day.

I am technically not supposed to tell you about problems because President doesn't want you to worry, but I'm only telling you this because it really is not something to worry about because I am learning a lot and having some fun too. So don't freak out and call the mission president or anything. :)  We have not had running water for 5 days! 
The first two days, we used our drinking mineral water for sponging our armpits and brushing our teeth and just let the dishes pile up thinking that surely the water would turn on... it didn't. So by day three we did some research and found out that outside of our neighborhood there was a spicket that would give you about 1/2 bucket of regular water (not drinkable) for 1 peso.  SCORE! So every morning for our exercise, we make the half-mile trek a couple of times and fetch our water for the day. Do you know how many times we need water? Dishes? Washing our bodies? Cooking? Cleaning? Laundry? Flushing the Toilet? (don't think about that one too hard) DO you know how heavy water is? My back/shoulders felt like they were going to crack after the first day, but now I'm getting stronger. Don't worry, I'll be a pro when I come home.  For Sunday, we just went out saturday night and got extra.  I really feel like my body is getting stronger and healthier from the great work-out! It's like, Survivor... Philippines-in-the-city addition! Haha, it's a lot of fun and really keeping us humble. I love you all so much and make sure to take a shower using extra water for me! Love you lots!

Sister Smoot

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