Happy Birthday, Elder Dunford!
For our preparation day today, our zone leaders, Elder Knutson and Elder Faasootauloa decided to have our zone/birthday/farewell activity, because their batch of sisters in our zone are going home this transfer. So we're having food and playing games and things later. Then later, we are going to the house of the Ocarisa family, a member family in our ward, where I asked them to cook bulad, utanong bisaya, and mais; or fried, dried fish, vegetable stew and corn grits that are cooked like rice! that's a real common "common" food, we were always fed that in Ayungon, but not at all here in cebu yet. It's nice and tasty, so I'm happy to have it for a birthday meal. So that's looking over the day ahead!
But going back to this last week, on Wednesday night, I got a call from Elder Gaerlan, one of the Assistants to President, who said "Come to the mission office tomorrow morning, we've got a companion for you." There I met Brother Vergara! Yay. He is from Capitol ward, in the next stake over, right in the middle of Cebu City, and he is headed out on a mission on April 24 to Quezon City Mission! So he has not yet served a mission and isn't set apart yet, no nametag yet, but in preparation, he has been assigned as my companion, and is living entirely as a missionary. And he is super cool. He is really fun and kind of quirky, to use a word that I haven't in over 15 months.But he is really prepared for his mission! Wow, he has pretty much just jumped straight into being my companion, a full time missionary, from no MTC, or anything, to teaching and being really really cool.
People we're teaching, we taught this week to Yenyen and Donald, two 19 year old cousins we found a few weeks ago, who have absolutely embraced this gospel, though they have difficulties from being able to go to church and really trying this out. But we have invited the both of them to baptism, and they have accepted super whole heartedly. I felt yesterday really just kind of hit me what it means to be an intsrument in the hand of the Lord, as sister Yenyen prayed yesterday, she thanked our Heavenly Father for "among mga elders," which is to say, "our elders." When I realised that, it really hit me a little bit. I need to be worthy to be called someone's Elder.
I tried my hand at cooking. I've learned the basic steps of making adobo, which is a soy-sauce based food. I called this filipino chili. It's got potatoes, pineapple, and canned luncheon meat (think spam, but cheap.) It was more palatable than I expected it to be.
We visited a funeral of a member who was bedridden for many years, and as we were hanging around, the neices and nephews of this man were hanging around. Our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Clarito, started talking to one, 14 years old, who was asking a lot of questions, about if he would see his uncle again, and other considerable questions. I joined in the discussion, and our WML graciously backed out and turned the lad over to us. As we talked to him and his cousins, a lot a questions came up about chruches, about confusions, questions coming from 14, 13 year old boys. We were reminded of a certain young man who had such questions, and shared to them about Joseph Smith. A group of about 10 youth, ages 10-16 circled around, listening and asking and answering questions. We shared about Joseph Smith's prayer, and invited them to do as he did, ask God about these confusions. We are going back later to see how their prayers went, but it was a really unique, interesting teaching experience, to see the spirit really work on these youths.
I have felt again this week the reality of being a tool in the hands of Christ. We visited a recently returning member who had a lot to share about how she fears that her characteristic blunt honesty is a weakness of hers. I felt I wanted to teach her about how we follow Christ, that he's the reason we go to church, we repent, and that he's the one we follow. I could not think of what scripture to use, though. Sister was talking, and instead of searching the scriptures to see what to share, I remembered and trusted the saying to "listen to the person you're teaching, and scriptures and the things to share will be given you." I trusted this and Listened to Sister for a minute when she used to word "kinaiya," which means personality, or characteristic, and is used in Mosiah 3:19 as the "natural man," or "kinaiyahon nga tawo." We shared this, and we could see as Sister read this, it was changing her mind about a lot of things. That scripture turned out to mean a lot to sister and I know that was entirely out of the spirit.
I love this week. Linao Ward is working, and I am so glad to be able to work with it.
I got the package. All is good. All the jelly beans were eatenm before the ants got there, Thank you for all the kind words.\
I love you family so much.