Monday, December 2, 2013

Matagal at masaya na linggo (Long and Happy Week)

Dear Family,

Well this week has been great! This week also felt like it was like a month long but I guess that's fine when things are going good. :) Tuesday we got to meet this great new family of investigators and we are so excited about them and their progression in the gospel.  Tuesday was also a really... mixed emotions experience.  After the new family we went to 3 appointments at which people shared with us really big problems with their family or their faith.  Like the father in an active family who tells us the minute we sit down that he won't be coming to church because he has gone back to Catholic church because of his parents and siblings. Another family that has marital problems after being sealed in the temple and an investigator who is getting pressured not to investigate.  It was just a lot of blows to the heart and spirit but it was also a wonderful experience as we as a companionship strove together to follow the Spirit and share what Heavenly Father wanted this people to hear.  It was amazing to feel the trust that He had given to us and the trust that these people were giving to us by opening up to us about their struggles.  It is amazing how much (After just 2! weeks in the area) I love these people.  And I know that that love comes from God and is just a piece of what he feels for them. Grateful for the opportunity to serve Him and grateful that even though I am totally inadequate He uses me anyway. :)  

Wednesday we had Zone Conference which is always great. Saturday was awesome... starting with a small hike and crossing of a stream to find what we thought was a new investigator (referral from a new member) but turned out to be a mother who was baptized 13 years ago and really wants to come back to the church.  Her husband and children aren't members. She and her kids came to church on Sunday!  We actually had a lot of people come to church that we were hoping for which always puts a huge smile on my face as we sing the sacrament hymn.  So awesome to see people sacrificing in order to change their lives to be more in line with God's will. :)  And then to top it off on Sunday night we went to contact another referral and they are this cute little christian family with 3 kids (one is a 5 day old baby!!) who have lots of questions and an open mind.  We are so excited to get back to them and share what we have!  So pretty much Heavenly Father blessed us immensely this week.  The miracles just don't stop coming!

As for questions:
Most people do not have lawns. Almost none. When you do have a "lawn" it is usually quite small. Some people (very few) have lawn mowers but I think many use weed wackers? not really sure on that.  Like I said very few have lawns so it's not like I see people out mowing on Saturday mornings as we walk around.  For some that have little flower beds of grass in front of their house they literally use bush cutters... you know like the scissors for plants in order to cut the lawn!  I would die from lack of patience but they seem to do okay. haha.  Leaves do fall off some trees but there are usually green leaves still on them as well.  Crazy right? haha  It's like fall and spring combine or something.  I don't know.  Sometimes answering these questions makes me feel very "ignorant"... but we are just gonna go with very "focused" instead. haha!

As for things people do for fun.  Well there is a lot of TV depending on the house but almost no video gaming systems.  The super popular thing is computer games online.  The computer shops... like right now.. are FULL of kids in school uniforms here to play online shooting games.

However, also very popular is basketball and almost every "neighborhood" has a basketball court in it. and some street corners have wooden hoops hanging up so they can play have court.  Lots of people recognize our church as, "the one with the basketball court" because every Mormon church here has an outdoor court.
Yes all 3 of us sleep in the same room. Sister B claimed the floor over the top bunk so I am up there. :)
I carry one copy of the Tagalog Book of Mormon everyday so we can give it away in a lesson.  Other than that we carry pamphlets. Those are what we give away like crazy because pass along cards don't exist in the Philippines. :) Like really they don't have them here.  The pamphlets though are awesome!

Spiritual thought for the week is really short. (Preface first--I have been reading the New Testament-- highly recommend it- go figure. And I love Acts 2+3 where Peter is just so full of the Spirit you can feel the power as you read the words) Stay close to the spirit. It is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.  We learn in Preach my Gospel that it is a foretaste of eternal life, the joy we will feel when we receive eternal life. I testify that I have felt that.  The overwhelming, incomprehensible joy, peace and contentment that comes from the Spirit of God.  Those feelings I had did not come from outward circumstances (because trust me the circumstances would not have brought joy or contentment) but from a loving Heavenly Father reminding me that He is always there, that He loves me and that if I endure I can feel that way ALL the time after this life is over.  I know that feeling this is possible for every person on earth and that it will come when we truly repent, read the Book of Mormon and pray.  Heavenly Father loves you, He wants you to return home and He has given us this  Church and the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we can be successful and "finish the course".   Please turn to Heavenly Father and His only true church.  Have a great week!

Sister Hamm

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