Well hello family and friends of all sorts! Sounds like you've all had a great week. Congrats to the champions. (referring to Kolsen and Mia's Mayor's cup wins).
Philippines is treating me like it treats everyone. I got a haircut from an American that lives here (for free :) ) and I can relate to some things that he misses from America, but it's still pretty amazing here. It's supposed to be getting cooler but so far it's still hot. Yes I got the package! Just like I said, got it on Tuesday along with some mail. Thank you so much! It was wonderful. Now maybe I failed to clear this up but it would probably be better to send things that are individually wrapped. That way you just freeze all the things individually and it's easy to eat one when you want. The unwrapped things just melt together and then all the apartment mates have a rough time trying to split it into equal parts. For me whatever is fine; for everyone else though they say sharing would be easier if it was individually wrapped :) I guess I might have forgot to mention that I'm out of the clear care contact solution. I can get the other saline stuff here so it's not a huge deal. Just for future reference.
What to say about this week...it was somewhat rough. We taught a ton of investigator lessons this week. We really ended up focusing on that since we haven't seen very much progression in our investigators yet. We committed a lot of people to church and we had a lot of people say they were coming. Sunday came around and no investigators came. That's right, none. Absolutely no progression for our investigators because none of the formerly progressing investigators have come in at least 3 weeks. We worked so hard, we prayed, we fasted, we had faith, hope, charity, and love with an eye single to the glory of God. But it seemed like nothing came from it. I hate to admit it, but I was really discouraged and feeling really down about it. I love these people so much and I know that the Gospel will help them. I want so badly for them to be able to be baptized in order "to open the doors of the Celestial Kingdom to the sons and daughters of God." This area is so different. Everything is really far and there's only 1 or 2 members in 4 of the 5 areas we go to. In the 5th area there's a lot of members, but we mainly focus on teaching the less-actives out there. It's hard for the investigators to get to church when they don't really know anyone else that's a member and they live so far away. So I guess we just keep going.
No matter what happens, I'm going to keep doing everything I can and working my hardest. We're going to fix any problems that we find and keep improving everyday. More work, more prayers, more fasting, more faith, hope, charity and love with an eye single to the glory of God. More diligence, patience. Perhaps that's what the Lord wants me to learn. I'm sure there are many things I can learn from this and I'll make sure I come out of these hard times better than I was before. I really want to keep a positive and optimistic attitude all the time. Love the Lord's work 24/7. We are being successful missionaries even if we can't immediately see the success. We had 9 less-active members attend church. A family and some other returning less-actives. I don't know why some of them decided to come to church this week and not other weeks. We didn't focus a ton on less-active lessons, very few actually, yet the Lord knew what they needed to hear and His Spirit was able to help guide the less-active members to make the right choice and come to Church. We'll keep working hard and if I end up leaving here, the next missionaries will get to continue to have success. There are some families that are truly ready for the Gospel, but they are taking a little longer than I want to actually take the steps of faith necessary to prepare for baptism. Patience. I know the Lord is still a Lord of miracles and he will have everything done in His time and His way.
Here's kind of an example. Denver's family. They love us so much and they so want to come to church, but they're really poor and think they need to work on Sunday to survive. So I have them wash my clothes and I'm able to give them enough money that would cover half of the cost of going to church and the rest is up to them. Well they were really set on going this week, but for whatever reason they decided to wash my clothes on Sunday instead of Saturday. That's what we call a palpak (fail). So I'll have to give them my clothes a whole week in advance and tell them not to wash on Sunday. Pick any other day but Sunday. They're still reading the Book of Mormon and praying, they really are just lacking in going to church. Next week. For sure! The Golden family. They're really awesome. They want to be baptized, but brother knows he needs to find a new job so they can go to church and so he isn't tempted to drink (it's a pretty bad situation). So we need to keep praying for him and we know that they would be so blessed if they took every opportunity to go to church. There's just a little lack of faith right now.
Thank you for everything. The encouragement and advice is just what I need every time. It really helps me to keep going. I'm at a year now and I think I've got the hang of everything now. I need to increase the fire a little bit more and climb that next step. I'm always striving to be a better missionary and that will ultimately help me be a better person. The mission is so great!
Mahal at mamiss din,