Monday, July 21, 2014

20 July 2014 -- Raining Blessings

    Welcome to the Philippines. This is a picture at the market at the beginning of the storm (Henry)- it flooded but not wind so it was ok (=

BASTA vball... bball..... the moral is the same hahaha.

    We had a little fun playing Bball. You will notice the incredible difference in my two inch vertical and Elders 3 foot vertical.... but thanks to lots of practice and work ... the ball still goes down on the offensive side. What are we to learn from this picture? By small (or short) and simple things are great things brought to pass. Never Fear- David slayed Goliath (= hahahahaha 
This is the Demeterio family- the super poor one with triplets that I talked about last week or the week before. We went and had FHE with them and look at those faces (= The gospel is sooo very true. Not coming back to church yet but we got them happy for the night. Baby steps, mom, baby steps.
 This is my zone with my new mission president. We all got to meet him for the first time. He is a sweetheart. It was crazy.... he has a very paternal feeling about him. It was like he automatically took the place of my 2nd Dad-- It's hard to explain, but I am excited to get to know him. President Maurer but pronounced MOR-A. They are young and good and happy. I think Sister M (Sister Maurer... my sister mission president) really would rather be with her children - I don't blame her. They are still a young family but all great!
Sister Tierra and I walked about 2 miles up hill... there is a picture with me holding the umbrella in order to get to their small house out in the bukid. ....Miracles are everywhere!
    Last Monday the storm began and we were in a store that I would compare to Wal-Mart when the POWER went OUT literally... everything! Imagine being in Wal-Mart and the power go out... hahaha it was hilarious, scary and just weird all together. 
Due to having to do this all day on Saturday- being soaking wet the entire day, I am now tired and got a runny nose. But we made the most of it and enjoyed the day teaching as many people that we could reach

It's been colder and PURE rain this week-
so yes we walk and now run in the rain haha. 
That is my feet after Saturday walking with soaking wet shoes all day,
 hahaha. I LOVE missionary work.
    Well I don't know about miracles but here is my week...  Something I would consider a miracle is Brother Pansiano. He was baptized a year ago and then stopped coming to church. Missionaries went to visit him, but he did not receive them- some of the nicest missionaries I know were so very frustrated with him. But we were blessed and the timing was right. We showed up and right away he received us. He helps us teach his neighbor now, joins us in random FHE's, is coming to church and other activities and preparing for a mission. I am so happy for him and Love watching the spirit work in him, especially as he bears testimony in lessons. He writes notes about his scripture study and talks to us about it when we see him. I LOVE the GOSPEL so much!
So the cute little Filipina with me in the green and brown and her family. She is a recent convert as in RECENT June 21 but she is going to school in Manila. She was online FB and clicked LIKE IT on a Mormon ad and got all these comments-good and bad. That caused her to look for a church in her area. She searched -walking for 7 hours in her area until she finally found the church. The spirit told her not to leave. She went inside and felt so good. She came back ALL by herself to church, met with missionaries and got baptized a month later. She is now preparing to serve a mission and flew all the way here to Ormoc just to bring the missionaries to teach her family. She is going back to Manila today. She is AMAZING! 
   I have a funny story. Sooo mom... you remember (probably you don't but its true) how I would have this thing at home about tasting mold in random foods. I would try something like bread or milk and I would be the only one who could taste it and no one else would. The sisters in our apartment bought bread and I took a piece and put PB on it and put it in my mouth and right away spit it out because it was sooo nasty- I could taste mold. Even though I couldn't see it. I told the sisters and they decided that they would go ahead and eat it. Sister C had two pieces and Sister D had 6........ 2-3 days later Sister C is sick and has a runny nose and nasty... Sister D was SO sick they took her to the hospital. She came back and they told her it was bacterial. I did not put the pieces together, until later Sister C randomly came up into our room and said "WAIT a Minute... Sister Ralph that bread you told us not to eat... bacteria is mold right?" I just DIED of LAUGHTER! literally... I fell asleep laughing. I know that's terrible but... Sister Ralph has the magical taste buds.... Do not doubt, only believe, hahahahaha.
Current picture of me and Sister Tierra.
    Another Awesome investigator we got this week is Nildie! No real details yet but she is amazing! She just is one of those investigators that just GETS it! We committed her to baptism and the Spirit was a spirit of Learning and Power. We have not been able to go back yet because their neighborhood is one big swimming pool but we have HIGH hopes for her. She has been prepared for sure.
    The last thing that I can think of, that happened this week, was just yesterday.... because it rained the attendance at church was like half, including the speakers. So guess who got asked to speak 2 seconds before the opening prayer. Believe it or not I still get SO nervous giving talks and ESPECIALLY Very unprepared talks. So of course I had my first reaction freak out of "That's a JOKE right???" No, Sister Ralph, you are speaking. I took a deep breath, prayed and remembered that my focus for this month is increasing my Trust in my Savior, not in myself. So I prayed more and thought back on my personal study. At first I was confused and unsure what to share, even when I went to the front. But slowly it just came until the Atonement just seemed to speak to me. I got up to the pulpit and in my broken Visaya gave a talk. I literally had EVERYONE's attention (another miracle in the Philippines) and by the end there were smiles and wet eyes in the audience. I do not always understand the Spirit, how it works or even how the Atonement works. I simply know it does. I know there is power and blessings from our personal sincere daily study of the scriptures. I can't tell you how many times I studied exactly what I needed to share with a LA or investigator that same day. I know that the talk was inspired and more than anything- I needed to hear it and feel it for myself. I love the Spirit. I love the covenants we are able to make with our Father in Heaven- that we never need doubt he will support us, comfort us and ENABLE us. I love being a missionary and I plan on being one the rest of my life!
    I also have another story but its for journals not for emails..... But for you I will just say.... SOMETIMES.... Elders ..... are.......... whats the word I am looking for?..........................RIDICULOUS.
You have NO idea mom... I'm not even going to try and explain it. That's HOW bad it is. BASTA! We are still happy and just keep pushing along. 
    I will do my best! Daddy! I showed a bunch of people a picture of you this week and they ALL think you are gwapo! haha, it always made me laugh. Mom, you look amazing in those pictures! Please get some sleep! Enjoy the rest of your dinner.... I only can dream about those foods for now. Until I come home and you all get to try MY creations, hahaha. I love you all and pray for you! Be safe!!! All my Love,
Sister Ralph

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