Monday, November 22, 2010

Hello ang mga tao doon :)

First off, the weather here is crazy. We were just walking around in the heat of the day when all of a sudden it started raining really hard, and within 30 seconds, we were soaking wet. I think I'd rather have the nice white snow than the pouring rain.

Despite the rain, we had two people get baptized on Friday. One of them is only a 14 year old boy but he already has a great amount of faith in this gospel. He referred us to one of his friends this week and now that friend and his family are investigating. We've only been able to teach them one time so far but they came to church despite some... hadlangs? I can't think of the word in English... it means they had stuff that would prevent them from going to church but they came anyway.

The members are also starting to help us do the work by giving us referrals. I think about 70% of people that I've been able to baptize, including the two this week, have been from member referrals. Tracting is fun and all but most of those people drop after a week which is sad to see. But when members tell us about their friends, we see a lot more people come to the Lord. We had eight people come to church this week and each one was a referral from a member.

I hope you guys are helping the missionaries back home... hint hint :) Other than that, the time is just flying by; I can’t believe it’s already November 22nd! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you; eat extra turkey and pie for me and I’ll eat extra rice and ulam for you. Ingat.

Love, Elder Smith

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hey everyone,

We had a transfer announcement this week, but I'm still in the same area with my companion. At the end of this transfer, I will have spent 14 months in two areas, but I prefer it this way. I've seen some elders transferring all the time so they can never learn to love the area or the people they are teaching. We also have a lot of really great investigators in this area that I'm hoping to see get baptized this December.

I wrote a while ago about a guy named Marton who we found while my companion was in the hospital. We taught him and his family this week and it was an amazing lesson. The spirit was directing everything we were saying. I was teaching and I knew everything I should do and say to help them, and then I felt prompted to have my companion speak about Joseph Smith. I didn't say anything to my companion about what I felt, but he started speaking in exactly the way I felt the spirit wanted us to teach. We knew that the spirit had touched them and at the end of the lesson, Marton told us that he knew Joseph Smith was a true prophet.

We taught him a second time later in the week and he accepted a baptism date without any hesitation; along with his wife and sister. He has really strong faith in this church and he is so excited to learn more. He has a few things he has to take care of before he gets baptized, but I know with the Lord's help, he will be able to overcome his trials and weaknesses.

My companion and I are sure we have found the reason Elder McGowan got Dengay. If my companion wasn't in that hospital, I don't know if we ever would have found Marton. I’ve already seen the gospel begin to change his life. I know this church is true and I'm so grateful to be out here serving the Lord.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hello family,

This week has been a little harder as far as getting work done. No one was home but I think it was just because it was a big holiday; so hopefully, things will go back to normal next week. Most of our investigators are doing really well and the Lord keeps providing new people for us to teach after we have investigators get baptized. I was talking to one of the people I baptized last week, and he told me he had an interesting experience when I baptized him. He said that as I was saying the prayer to baptize him, he heard a voice confirming that I was doing the Lord's will by the Lord's power. I didn't hear anything or feel anything different, but I know that the Lord does testify to our investigators of the things that we teach. I know that if He wasn't doing that, we would have absolutely no success in this work.

We got to go to the Mall of Asia today to go bowling as a zone which was a lot of fun. There is so much stuff up for Christmas already; I can’t believe that it’s almost that time of year again. The time is really flying by; I almost feel like I can’t keep up with it. There is so much to do but only a little time left. I feel like my companion and I just got assigned together like a week ago, but this could actually be our last week together if I get transferred. But I’m hoping we can work together one more transfer. That’s about it for my week. Thank you for the letters and the prayers.

Love, Elder Smith

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hey everyone,

This has been a crazy week for us! First thing, we have been working on getting two of our investigators married so they can get baptized but that’s actually a pain to do. They have laws here that you can't get divorced, so we had to apply for papers to make sure that they didn't have a previous marriage even though we were sure they didn't, but that’s just what you have to do. They told us it would take 2-3 weeks to get the paper work back, but if it was later than two weeks, we would have to move their baptism date; so we had a fast that it would get done in time. The Lord really blessed us and the papers got done in less than two weeks, but after that there is still a lot to do. All the time added together, I think I spent about a full day of work just running around trying to get this stuff done. To make matters worse, my companion got so sick he couldn't leave the house. We got all the paper work for the marriage and their interviews done in time for them to get baptized. I was blessed enough to be able to baptize four of our investigators last Saturday :)

Before that however, I ended up taking my companion to the hospital because it had been three days and he wasn't getting any better. We took him in for a check up and found out that he had Dengay Fever from a mosquito bite. He is ok now but I was in the hospital for four days with him while he recovered. We were stuck in the hospital but the work of the Lord still moved forward. We gave out several pamphlets and two Book of Mormons during our stay at the hospital.

At one time during our stay, I was going to my companion’s room after getting him some water when I saw a lady sitting outside of her room reading the Bible. I had a strong impression to talk to her about the church. She was very interested in the things I told her and she accepted a Book of Mormon and said she would read it. I thought that was awesome and then she came back a few hours later with her 21 year old son who had questions about the Book of Mormon. I taught him also and answered the questions he had and as we finished our conversation, he had tears in his eyes and I knew the spirit had touched him. I was so happy and excited because he has such a strong desire to know if it is true. He said he feels like there is something missing in his church.

I thought the day couldn't get any better but it did. An hour later, he came back with his sister who wanted to hear our message. When they left they gave me three different numbers to contact them so we can teach them again. I was really sad that my companion got sick, but I think through that the Lord has taken us right to his children whom He has prepared for His gospel. I know this gospel is true and it is so great being a part of it.

Love, Elder Smith