Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chicken Feet and Balut!

Happy Day! How are you? Thanks for all your happy emails, they sure do brighten up my day! Wow, thank you so much for that exciting package you sent to me! I love the calendar you made - how delightfully creative! thank you so much! And the CDs too!
This week I've felt very buoyed up! Thank you so much for all your prayers. I sure have felt them. I love you! I absolutely love the Philippines. It's a pretty sobering & melancholy thought that someday I'm going to have to leave all of this behind. I feel I could keep doing this work for the rest of my life. Oooh one very very wonderful piece of news--I found out this week that sister Chona (one of my very favorite investigators from Dagupan) has finally gained a firm, unwavering testimony that the Book of Mormon/what we taught her is true. When I heard that, I nearly cried. It took a little while, but it's there now, and she's on her way home, and I am soooo happy for her!

Well it's the news you've been waiting for: I finally ate Balut. And guess what? I loved it! Sister Dolojan was craving it, and so we bought some that a lady was selling on the roadside and ate it right then and there. And yes, you do eat the whole sisiw (duck embryo). Hehe, it probably helped that it was at night, so I couldn't really see what I was eating. I also ate chicken feet adobe, which is interesting, but not as delicious as balut.

One new investigator we found this week while trying to find the house of a member - Arnel Espada. He met the missionaries when he was working in Africa, and saw the church building there too, but has never gone inside. We taught him the first lesson, and he was very intrigued and listened intently. We invited him to read the Introduction before our next appointment, but to our surprise, when we came back two days later, he had read all the way up to 1 Nephi 19! He even invited two of his neighbors to come to his home to listen to what we were teaching. It is great to see how people who are prepared for the gospel really are placed in our path.

Brother Juan Ordonez, 64, is having some challenges. A couple of weeks ago, he told his children we wanted to be baptized. They were angry with him and don't want him to leave their faith (Jehovah's Witnesses). Well, in the face of family persecution and depression, he started drinking. Every time we've gone to visit him, he has been drunk, so it's been really heart-breaking to see. because he is the purest, sweetest old man, and he has a testimony. We found out that after his wife died, he drank constantly (like he is now), but that during the couple of months that we've been teaching him, he completely stopped. He told us that he has had a wonderful feeling of warmth and lightness. He knows it's true. I hope that we can help rescue him again with the help of his member friends.

About a week ago, I lost my voice for a few days - needless to say, it was interesting trying to teach. My voice is now restored thanks to my companion's loving kindness in making me drink some nasty ginger-tea-mixture. :)

I love the people I am teaching so much. I love the Filipino people so much. Many of them are so poor that they don't know if they will have food the next day. But they are still faithful in paying their tithing. and they live off the bare necessities. And their family means everything to them. They are so happy. They really know what matters most. They teach me so much by their example. My companion, sister Dolojan, is such a wonderful sister to work with.

Well that's it for this week.
I love you!
Love, Rebecca

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