Thursday, November 13, 2014

October 12, 2014

Mekenna:  What you see here is the result of stress trying to catch a frog that's harrassing you.  Mom:  Another life skill you would have not otherwise learned....frog catching.  Up for spider wrangling when you get back?  ;)

Spiders? PFFT! That's the easy part! I crush at least 5 every day. They're in my bed sometimes and it's gotten to the point that I don't even care, I just brush it away with my hand. Does no use killing them.
During our weekly planning, a frog jumped through the window onto our desk menacingly. Enjoy this photo

Her District.  Notice she is the only American.  When I asked if they Spoke English or Tagalog, she responded:  "Tagalog. The mission president and wife are annoyed because they put Americans in all Filipino districts to help them learn Enligsh better through practice but they won't do it."

My anak!
I can't stop buying it.  
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Editor's Note:  I asked if those were power lines or clothes lines.  She said, "HA!  Both."
In case you wanted a visual of when the rice fields flood.  I wasn't kidding. 
It just breaks my heart when the family members of people we teach deny them the use of their agency. We've been forced to drop a great majority of our most progressing investigators because of the rift it has caused in their families. We understand and respect that their families are more important but it's so hard to hear that they are no longer permitted to listen to us and then they regretfully hand us back The Book of Mormon. I just hope the seed in them stays planted so it can be harvested some day. Fun fact: One of them was a 1/2 Iglesia ni Cristo family. In this church they believe that once you join Iglesia you're saved despite what you do in your life and being a member is the only way to be saved. You're charged money if you miss a meeting and they take attendance. They've built an arena (called "The Philippines Arena") here in Manila for when Christ comes again, probably as big as a football stadium. They're all going to flock to it at the second coming and that way all the members of Iglesia will be saved and everyone else in the world will die and go to purgatory. Go figure that one. 

I'm grateful for the guidance of the spirit in missionary life! We were having a lesson with a sister we were considering dropping until she brought over her friend. The friend did NOT want to listen to us and she made that very clear so we just talked to her and tried to be her friend. After we had established the trust we casually gave her a pass-along card and told her where to search to learn more about the church if she ever became interested. Hesitantly she replied, "Well, I do have a few questions..." We answered a few right there and then the questions continued so we asked her if we could have a short 10 minute lesson. That lesson turned into a 45 minute lesson teaching the whole restoration and her accepting a baptismal date. If people don't accept the gospel immediately, have patience and love. That's something really important I've learned here. 

Wasn't General Conference AMAZING? I wasn't expecting to be able to relate to Elder Holland's talk about poverty but it really helped me as I'm teaching people who live in the lap of poverty. I won't go into details because I know everyone watched conference... (right? ;) ) but I know that we have inspired leaders guiding this church. Never before my mission has my testimony and my faith in this gospel been attacked so much as it has been here on my mission. I was strengthened by the talks given on very basic subjects, such as not doubting your testimony of Joseph Smith and being assured that the apostles are chosen by God. I know this church is true. I was given immediate and direct answers to concerns I didn't even know I had. I invite everyone to study the messages given and find out what your Heavenly Father wants you to hear.


Sister Wilson

Editors Note:  Later that evening, a more personal from Mekenna came to the family.  Kenna has commented how the people speak Taglish, not Tagalog, a combination of Tagalog and English.  I asked her to explain the difference.  Then, she explains how she has grown on her mission and is so glad she is serving:

So for us, Shakespeare is complicated to understand right? That's straight Tagalog for them. And many people aren't educated so they don't know it purely because of their low levels of schooling. I don't regret anything! I needed this and I didn't even know it, I'll be so prepared for everything when I get home. I'm realizing everything that I really want and need and life. It's helped me realize that I can do really hard things and conference helped me to realize that I can achieve my full potential. One of the talks, I think the Portuguese one, really helped me when he said, "Is what you're doing right now fulfilling the blessings in your patriarchal blessing?" That really changed things up for me. I will go to BYU and pursue my dream of music. I want to contribute to the growth of the church through music. 

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