This past week has been great! Time is really starting to fly by. There is this great family that we have been teaching named the Lastimosas. They have two kids and seem genuinely interested in our message. During one of our appointments we taught them the Plan of Salvation and I was supposed to teach the majority of the lesson. I was teaching about our life on earth when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something fall from the ceiling behind Brother Lastimosa. Then while my companion was teaching I saw what that something was… The BIGGEST spider I have ever seen in my whole life! And it was just kinda walking around in the back of the room. I decided I probably couldn’t stop the lesson and get up and go and try to kill it or ask one of them to kill it so I just tried to ignore it. After my companion finished teaching and it was my turn to teach again I had to look the investigators in the eye so I lost sight of the spider which meant it could be anywhere…like above me on the ceiling, or behind me on the couch! I was very happy when the lesson was over and I could go outside. The funny part was that afterwards my companion mentioned that I don't need to look up if I am trying to pray about what to say.... I was a little confused and he said he saw me looking up at the ceiling often. I laughed and explained I wasn't looking up to pray, I was checking for the spider!
This week we also got to go on exchanges with the the district leader and I learned a whole lot about about Filipino culture and laws, in particular trespassing. There was a big area with lots of houses where we were tracking and lots of people outside. There was big open gate on the street where we were walking and it seemed inviting, so I said to the DL, "Let’s go talk to these people!" I walked in and suddenly everything and everyone stopped and looked at me... I could tell something was wrong but I was already invested and decided to talk to them anyway, I figured maybe they were just looking at me because I am white. I went to shake one of the dad’s hands and introduce myself when my companion ran up and apologized and told me we needed to leave. It turns out that the area is a called a compound or like a gated community in America. A compound is usually composed of extended families and it is very illegal to trespass there, even if the gate is open! The DL thought it was pretty funny and said that I would be safe from getting sued because they understood I didn't know but said it would be smart to not do it again.
On Thursday we also found a new investigator! We ran into him while he was working on his car and he said we could teach it him. It turns out that his wife is an inactive member and that he has had the discussions three times before. During the lesson he told us that he was ready for a change in his life and he felt that we were the elders to baptize him!! It was great experience and showed me that God really does prepare people and even if investigators don’t work out now they may later on down the road.
I hope you all have a great week! Happy Birthday to my cousin Cole in Columbia and Congratulations to my cousin Megan who’s getting married this week!
Elder Hayden Merrill
Philippines San Pablo Mission
Brgy San Juan, Alaminos