This week has been good. A little bit hard since we are new to this side of the ward, but still exciting. We have been trying to find all of the old investigators (they didn't leave any maps, the area book is not updated, the area consists of lots and lots of walking through fields). I'm not complaining, maybe I'll lose some weight before I get home :) It's been a fun challenge to find everyone, but it's been fun to meet some new people along the way. Our goal is always to find new investigators EVERY DAY. It seems every person we have talked to this week has said, nope, I'm really Catholic. (Katholiko gid ako). But even some of those people have started listening to us. We have just been praying every day for an opportunity to find some families and get the work really moving. I'm not sure what was going on in this area before we got here.... but it was pretty stagnant. I was able to receive some revelation about how to better use the members in the area, but it will take a few weeks to see the results from it. In the mean time, we are just talking to EVERYONE. Whenever we have a new person who is not at all interested, we ask them for referrals, and go find those people, then those people are not interested and we go find their referrals. It's a lot of fun... with not a whole lot of success yet. But we are working each day to better improve our finding tactics. As a result of our hard work this week with limited results, we had a huge miracleNight.
A couple weeks ago, our ward had a Reactivation day. All the active members go out and find all the less active members and invite them to church. I was paired with another relief society member and assigned in the Elders area (which is our area now) and we went to the wealthiest less active member in the ward. The Elders had never visited her. She went on a mission when she was 21 somewhere near Manila, Philippines. She and her husband and her two olders kids are members, but they went less active about 5 years ago, so her younger kids are not members. When we went to her house her cousin who is a Catholic Nun from Italy, showed up at the same time, so she told us she was busy. We didn't get to teach her, but I remembered the house. (They are so wealthy. They have a car, a maid, and the children go to a really expensive private school and only speak English). Well,, almost all of our appointments fell through. No one was home when they said they would be home, and a few people even frankly told us never to go to their home. Lets just say I was a little stressed about how the day was going. But night, I kept thinking about this Less-Active family. I was a little apprehensive about going because of the last time, and because rich people are kind of intimidating and I was already a little bruised, but I know that if it was on my mind, it was from the spirit...so we went to their house. It was late (around ), so I was worried the kids were already asleep, but when we walked up to the gate, the oldest son was sitting out on the porch playing an electronic game. We called out to him and he ran inside to get his mom. She seemed calm and happy and invited us in. I figured we would share and invite her to church, but before we could speak (because it's hard to speak to people in English), she invited us to eat dinner with their family because they were just about to eat. I was trying to politely decline, but she insisted. So we ate an extremely delicious Tinola with some fresh Rambotan. While eating, she said that earlier that day, her boys (she has 5 boys and no girls from the ages of 3 to 15) asked her if they could go to church the next day. She then realized that she too missed church. The youngest boy who is only 3 told her that they needed blessings, so they needed to go to church. They had prepared to go to church and were planning on asking us at church to visit their family so that the younger kids (9 and 10) could be baptized. She started crying as she talked about her goals to be sealed in the temple and be active again. As we shared the message of the restoration, she started crying again talking about the sweet spirit she felt and how she missed it so much. I am so grateful that I listened to the prompting to visit their family. Even though it's hard to teach in English, it is so fun to teach a family of all boys and their loving mom. (Their dad is working out of the country). I love missionary work! I love the spirit!
Another Miracle! While I was typing this letter, a little boy came up to me and was reading the letter as I typed. He doesn't know english, but he was just watching the screen. He mumbled something quietly and I asked him what he said. He said he wants to go to church. He said his brothers and sisters are "mormons" and he wants to be mormon too. I just wrote down his address, so we will visit them this week. OH, how glorious are these miracles. He is so cute, Brother Joshua.
I love you all and hope you are following all the commandments! They truly bring miracles and blessings and peace and happiness. If you don't believe me, test it out! I love you!
Love, Sister Smoot