From: Mandy Elsmore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: June 2, 2013 11:41:17 PM CDT
This week has been one of the CRAZIEST Weeks of my life. so tired, but I've learned so much...
Walked in on a Funeral for one of our Less Active's father. RJ is the only member in his family. The rest are Catholic. So it was done in the Filipino Catholic way.
They rented a canopy, tent thing, with a huge picture of the deceased on it. Then people were gambling away the deceased little fortune. For this funeral, RJ's father's coffin was inside the house. (sometimes people will have it outside with them on the street). They decorated it with pictures or statues of Christ's crucifixion and do prayer chants around the body every couple hours. Its such a different expereince. RJ was just miserable... We shared with him about the Atonement and the Spirit World. That one day, he would be reunited with his Father who would have a perfect body. The Illness he once had, is gone. That Jesus Christ knows our sorrows and if we turn to him, we will gain peace and comfort. And one day, through him, all will be made right in this world. We left him feeling of peace and comfort of the holy ghost.
Sister Tingey's grandfather died when she first got here on the mission. This week she got a recording of the funeral and I was able to listen to some of it. There is such a drastic difference. Talks of hope, peace, gratitude, love, and of Christ. I'm so grateful for the gospel and the comfort that it gives us knowing that because of our Savior Jesus Christ, this life is not the end. We can be together as a family forever, if we do our part, he takes care of the rest.
Then the next day, I was asked to help plan and prepare and Less Active's Reception. WHAT!?! Oh man... For those of you that know me, you know how much I really don't like weddings. HA HA HA! Oh goodness. Perhaps that's why I got asked to help out with this one. Jomar and Maria Lee were married at the Church by the Bishop in Angono. It was a nice wedding. Simple, just with close friends and family. Then they returned to the house for the reception and had TONS of FOOD and Videoki (all celebrations here seem to have Videoki). I got to use my floral arranging skills and made a bouquet for them out of borrowed fake flowers. :) Then made a simple mango float cake. (mangoes, evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream, and gram-crackers.)
All this has made me think the importance of family. That with the gospel, things are so much better. You can just see and feel the difference when you enter a home based on gospel principles. You see how the family is so united and the love they have for each other is so apparent. They still have their trials, but they are so much more prepared to deal with them. There is a un-explainable peace in their homes. I just will all homes could experience and become like this.
After hours of tracking, asking everyone for referals, and OYM, we were ready to give up. I prayed in my heart to the Lord saying, "Lord, we have tried everything we possibly can. I know that you know that there is someone here that is prepared to hear the gospel. Please lead us to them." I tell Sister Velasco that we will try one more house.
We turn the corner and there is a old man sitting on a chair outside his house. I say hello and ask for his name in Tagalog. He was hard of hearing and after a few awkward moments of trying to understand each other hes starts yelling for his family that they have a visitor. His granddaughter comes out, takes one look at us and invites us in. Yelling at the family that "We have visitors! A Foreigner" (very grateful for my ancestry at that moment. HA HA HA! ) We sit down and say, "your missionaries right? Of what religion?"
So yah, we found a family. YAY!!! They have 12 children! They all have different religions, but their mother said it would be much better if they were all of one faith. Well, we can help with that... ;) They are pretty receptive, we shall see how things go with them.
Learned the power of prayer, and that the Lord is more willing to listen after acting on ones faith and trying all that you can do. After seeing our determination and devotion to him, he blesses us in ways we never expected. :D
Meet some people roasting a pig outside. They let me do it for a couple minutes. It was pretty awesome.
Got to go!
Love Ya Lots!
PS: Sorry no Pics. The Computer Hates me. O.o