Monday, April 11, 2011

Magandang Hapon sa Inyong Lahat!

Hello my favorite people in the world!

All right, well here's the news. So Brother Reynaldo Balagot unfortunately had a family emergency - his daughter-in-law had her baby prematurely and so he had to go out of town to help. We found out just hours before the baptism. But he's still anxious to get baptized, but after talking to him we decided that April 23 would be the new date. Please pray for him.

Also we received big news last week. We're no longer giving away Books of Mormon for free. We now are selling them for 10 pesos each. This is a 60-day trial - we're on a special assignment from President Jensen (just our zone and Dagupan). It's a different approach, but it seems like it will be a good thing to help us center everything we do more around the Book of Mormon, and I think it will also help those who buy one have a greater appreciation for the book because it places a value on it. I'm really excited because if this works, we may be able to give out more Books of Mormon out than ever before. (The amount allotted to us has been somewhat limited because of a lack of funds).

Brother Danilo Ordona, 49, is doing great! He's getting baptized on April 30, or possibly April 23 if he's ready. He attended all 4 sessions of general conference, and loved every minute of it! I wish you could see how he has changed just in the past month. It's incredible. He always talks about how ever since he met us, he had a complete change of heart and no more desire to bad stuff, like before. I think he's probably the most humble and truly converted investigator I've ever taught. He is always waiting outside on his porch for us when we come to teach him, with his Book of Mormon already open. He's reading the Book of Mormon everyday, and talks about how everything he reads seems to have a direct application to his own life. The other day he smiled as he reflected, "You know, I've discovered that living the commandments really is the best way to live. It feels so good!" Every time he makes the choice to exercise his faith and apply what we teach, he feels the spirit confirm to him that what he's doing is right. And one thing that makes me really happy is how determined he is to endure to the end. On Saturday, very few attended the sessions of conference, and brother Danilo prayed very earnestly that night that more people would come to hear "the messages of God's servants." Well on Sunday morning the entire stake center was filled all the way back to the stage. Even me and sister Ledesma were surprised at the turn out. Brother Danilo always brings his Book of Mormon with him when we drives his tricycle (kind of reminds me of a little boy with his teddy bear), and often asks us to hold it so it doesn't get all bent up while he drives.

Sister Myrna Esquerra is also progressing! She told us excitedly that she really wants to be baptized. Her 2 teenage daughters are also reading the Book of Mormon, and her husband has lots of questions. I can see their entire family becoming really strong members of the church soon. Yay!

Wasn't General Conference great? I think I'd have to say that Elder Hales talk was my favorite, along with the talks by Elder Perry, Utchdorf, and Scott. :) I also liked what one of the spirit said about how we can overcome false traditions and worldly culture by establishing celestial traditions in the home. I thought it was interesting how many times the different speakers referred to covenants. I also gained a greater understanding of the law of consecration. I think the mission experience is the best laboratory to learn about how to live and find joy in a consecrated life.

I love being a missionary! It's the greatest thing in the world. It brings so much fulfillment and joy every day! I wish everyone could experience serving a mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! It changes your life forever.

I love you, Mahal na mahal ko kayo, especially you,

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