Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sister Ramos

Kamusta Everybody,

 This past week has gone really well! I hope everyone had a good Christmas.
 On Wednesday we had our ward Christmas party which was pretty fun! There were a lot of games, performances by the youth /single adults, and a gift exchange.  We even had a lot of investigators come. I scored big with the gift exchange, I got a pink mirror, flower shaped comb, and a baby blue polka dot face towel…It was great! Later on I noticed that one of the investigators who had came didn’t get any gifts. Luckily I found one that was perfect for her! A pink mirror, flower shaped comb, and a baby blue polka dot face towel... She was really happy with it, so i was happy too. 
 Then on Friday we had the Baptism of Sister Ramos. Her Son Jerrold baptized her and then her two other kids gave the talks. It was very spiritual and is something that I won’t forget.  During her testimony she talked about a dream she had where she saw herself with her family together and she testified to them about Joseph Smith and how that was when she knew what we were teaching her was true. 
 On Saturday the kind members in the ward even put together a Family Home evening to celebrate my Birthday. We played some fun games and it was a really good time. I didn't receive any gifts but it is one of the best birthdays I have ever had because of their kindness and wanting to do what they could to help me have a good day. 


Elder Hayden

Monday, December 16, 2013

Zone Christmas Card

Kamusta Everybody!
 This past week has flown by! We’ve had some great lessons with all of our investigators and have many are getting close to baptism. One of our investigators, Sister Ramos, will most likely get baptized on the 27th! She has been coming to church and really studying the scriptures and it has been amazing to see her transformation. Before she was really shy and didn’t like to say much but now she actively participates. She even, after a little bit of persuading, came to the Christmas devotional at the stake center!
 Our recent convert Joey has also been working with us and is becoming a contributing part of the lessons. He really enjoys sharing his newly found and growing testimony. 
 I am really excited for Christmas here, while there might not be any snow people here do their best to decorate with what they have. I saw a really neat star made out of soda bottles and paper. Most people here just enjoy the time that they get to spend with their family. 
 We have been trying in our area to help the ward missionaries that are preparing for missions to be comfortable teaching. Most of them have friends or family that we go and teach but often times they are  too "shy" to say anything. I am trying to help them understand that people can’t hear what’s in their heart unless they share it, so sharing what they know and feel will bless them and their friends and family. I would encourage you all to try and share the gospel with your friends and family! It seems scary at first but the feeling that comes when you see them come unto Christ is well worth it.  
 Sadly this week I don't have any funny stories! But I’ve attached our zone Christmas card!! It’s pretty great I think. 
 I hope everyone is doing well and has a great time getting ready for Christmas. 
 Mahal Kita
    Elder Merrill

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chickens are biting me!

Kamusta Everybody!
 This past week has been great! We have been super busy but things are going well. 
 We had the baptism of our two new converts on Saturday and they got confirmed yesterday. The service was great. The younger one, Joshua, is 14 years old. He has been waiting a long time to get baptized but because he is so young and was the only member of his family interested, we had to get his parents to attend church first. It took a lot of prayers but his Mom now is coming on a regular basis. The other one, Joey, is 17 and is one of the first people I really knew here. On my third day here, when everything still seemed a little hectic his member friend (Jerold) said to me “Elder, here is my referral". It’s been amazing to see the changes in Joey. He gave up smoking, drinking coffee, and is now going to seminary and mission prep. 
 Our other investigator, Sister Ramos (Jerold’s mom), is also doing really good. She has read a lot in the Book of Mormon and is studying the Gospel Principal book. We are trying to get the kids more involved in the teaching which has been tough, in the Philippines if somebody says “I'm shy" it is a good enough excuse, in their minds, to not have to talk anymore. We have been practicing teaching with them though and its getting better!
 Other than that I don't really have any funny stories this week! My Tagalog is getting better. The ward for Mosquito is Lamok, and the word for chicken is Manok….I had the two confused. So for the past six months I have been killing mosquitoes  saying "there are lots of chickens biting me!!" It makes me worry about what else I have said not knowing what it actually means...
  I hope everyone has a great week!

 Elder Merrill