Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hey guys,

I've got some good news for this week; we have survived the “end of the world” that everyone has been talking about haha. It's crazy there were people all over the world that believed that guy. We actually met a lot of people that thought it really might be the second coming on May 21. We really are blessed to have a real prophet that receives real revelation from God. Whenever someone asked us if it really was “judgment day,” I couldn’t help but quote the scripture “beware of false prophets.” I guess that was his second time being wrong so you can just read the next verse that says "ye shall know them by their fruits."

Elder Taylor and I are doing great here in Pasay. We can't believe that this transfer is already half way done. The work here in the city has been a lot slower but I feel like it's picking up a bit now. We are finding some really great people with the help of the members. We taught one inactive and she has now come to church twice. She then asked us to teach her mom who is a devoted Catholic. We thought it might be a little hard to teach her because of her strong beliefs, but as we taught, she opened up and realized we had answers to questions that she had anxiously been searching for for a long time.

We had a little problem this week with one of our investigators that ended up turning into a blessing. Our investigator and some members started disliking each other because of some gossip that was being spread in the area that they live. This problem spread to our investigator's older sister to the point where she didn’t like the church or us. We have a great ward missionary that came with us to help resolve the problem of our investigator and the members. The next day after everything had been resolved, our investigator's sister wanted to hear the gospel because of the way our ward missionary took care of the gossip problem. That investigator will be getting baptized this week and we are hoping that her sister will soon follow. It’s really great how much the Lord has been blessing us.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hello po ulit,

It has been a pretty crazy week for my companion and me. We had a few investigators that we have been teaching that are a part-member family. The mom has been inactive for a long time, but she wants her kids to be baptized so we have been working with them. Things were going great until the mom got in a fight with her brother. When I say fight, I mean a real fight. A few teeth got knocked out, a big rock got thrown at someone; it was just a mess.

They ended up having to go to the barangay which is like the local police. Because the mom was going to be at the barangay for one to two weeks, she made her kids go stay with their dad, which means we can't teach them and they can't go to church or get baptized for a while. We didn't know what to do so we just prayed that the Lord would do something to help. Luckily, their aunt is a great member who got things worked out for them to come back so we are teaching them again and they should be getting baptized pretty soon.

In other news this week, people have started to give us money. We had just gotten out of a lesson when we got a phone call from some missionaries. My companion was talking to them trying to help them with their problem when a guy came up to me and started saying that he likes the beliefs of our church. While I talked to him and got his number and address, he went to a tindahan and got us drinks and a snack. That's not too weird because everyone here is really nice and like to buy us snacks, but then he started to try and give us the change too. We explained that we don't take money and politely rejected his offer but he wouldn't listen to us. He then grabbed my companion's arm, put 50 pesos in his hand, then said "a gift from the Lord" and left.

We thought that was weird but a few days later, today, we were buying groceries when another guy walked up behind us and said "to support what you are doing" and slipped 1000 pesos into an elders' hands. We were all so taken off guard that we didn't even have time to say anything before the guy had slipped around the corner. So that was my week of weird events, but of course we have also been receiving spiritual blessings; not just people trying to give us money and snacks :)

Love, Elder Smith

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hey mga tao doon,

I had a really fun week. It was transfer day this week but Elder Taylor and I will stay together another week :) We have some really good plans to help our zone get stronger and get the work moving even better. We have some great missionaries so I'm really excited to work with them this transfer. Because it was transfer day yesterday, this means that the new missionaries from Utah came. One awesome benefit of being in the city is that you get the opportunity to take the new missionaries out to work their first day in the Philippines.

I worked with Elder Spencer and it was a lot of fun seeing how shocked he was. I was a little surprised when I realized that that was me eighteen months ago. I can’t believe how much has changed since that was me. The new missionaries were so excited to get out to work. Even with their broken Tagalog, they gave their very best effort and just wanted to help the people they had never even met.

After working, we took them out for a Halo-Halo, which is a tradition we have here in our mission. For those of you that don’t know, a Halo-Halo is a dessert made of ice, condensed milk, ice cream, jello like cubes, and a few other random things; it’s pretty good. By the end of the night, the elders were half asleep as we took the jeepney ride home. When we got them home, one of the elders fell asleep in his clothes haha.

This week was also the Jubilee celebration. The church has now been in the Philippines for 50 years! To celebrate, thousands of youth made costumes and spent months preparing dances to show the culture. On Sunday, there was a devotional with talks by Elder Teh and some quorum of the twelve. It’s awesome to see that the church has grow so much here.

Thank you for all your prayers and letters. I love you all.

Love, Elder Smith