Dear Mom, Dad, and Cole Family,
"You try you fail, you try you fail. The only time you really fail is when you stop trying". Some times when the pathway looks bright and clear, there are always a few pot holes that we don't quite see until we trip and lose our balance. Let me just say that there have been quite a few pot holes in our work this past week. Yesterday while Elder Key and I were walking to Tominawog, we got a text from Nica and Theresa Pasiona saying that they thought that it would be better if we didn't come back to their house because they haven't been able to attend church. My heart just dropped at the thought of possibly losing these wonderful people. I don't listen very well so we're going to go visit them anyway later this week and try to see what their concerns are. I can't sit back and do nothing while there is a possibility that we can get them back. We've also been struggling with being able to teach some of our investigators because either they aren't there or because there isn't a male present. But we had a solid meeting with the Ward Council yesterday so we should have a lot more people working with us this following week.
On the sunny side of the work, we have had greater access to the hearts of the people thanks to my dear companion Elder Key. He's always smiling and waving at people which makes it so much easier for us to approach people. Of course sometimes some people just want a picture with him or they want to compare height but most of them time we're able to get a good conversation about the gospel and we can get a return appointment (which almost never goes through :(. We also have met a wonderful new investigator named William Prado. He's about 58 years old and has nine kids. He drives a pudyak for a living unless it's anihan (harvest season) then he works part time in the rice field. Any way we OYM'ed him while he was sitting in his pudyak and got a return appointment with him. When we showed up at his house his kids kind of hid from us because they were scared of Elder Key (that happens quite often). But we were able to have a good solid lesson with William even though his kids wouldn't come into the lesson but he told us that we were always welcome at his home. We are finally seeing the fruits of just opening our mouths to people.
Being the "Nice" tatay's that we are, Elder Green and I put Elder Watene and Elder Key up to the balut challenge. Might I just say that it brought a lot of memories back to mind of when I first was introduced to the Philippine culture. But I'm sad to say that not even my good Samoan friend was able to swallow that Filipino delicacy. Although it was very entertaining to watch because now I know how every one felt when I ate balut for the first time.
This week I have truly realized of how much we need trials in our lives in order to grow. Being with Elder Key reminds of how hard missionary life was when I was still new in the mission. I can tell you that not being able to communicate with people is hard; there were nights that I almost cried... and actually did cry because I couldn't talk to people. But being in the opposite situation I truly feel of how much the Lord has helped me through my struggles and through my weaknesses. Without trials there would be no way for us to know of the power of God. Sure He has the power to make everything good, but just like with the Nephites if life is always easy and there aren't mountains to climb or seas to cross; we will forget of how much we need God in our lives and our faith will be weakened.
Mahal na mahal ko po kayo :) May God be with you till we meet again.