Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hastening the work of Salvation

Magandang Tanghali po ang pamilya ko!
This week has been pretty difficult. Sis Duque my companion has been mega sick so we haven't been able to get a lot of work done. I'm doing my best at playing the role of mom while she is experiencing this, but all I'm really good at is giving her medicine and water haha cause my cooking skills are still developing. It's okay though, we've both been practicing a lot of patience as we wait for her sickness to pass. We both just want to get back to work! 
We were still able to have our baptism this last Saturday. Kimberly, a part member, was baptized and confirmed this weekend! Yay! Dad was asking about the kind of work here, and really a lot of the people we teach come from either part-member families or member referrals. There are still baptisms that come from street contacting of course, but really most come as referrals from those who are already members. Also, there are a lot of people who have been baptized, but they end up becoming less active and their younger kids don't end up being baptized when they are eight. That's why quite a few of those we've been teaching are kids. Our focus is on reactivating the families and getting them back to church, and then we teach their kids who weren't baptized. It's medjo hard because with the kids they are still treated as convert baptisms, so we have to go through all the missionary lessons with them. It's good though because we want these families to be active in the church, and reactivation is a huge part of what we do here. 
We had a crazy baptism experience on Saturday. One thing you should know about the Philippines, is nothing ever starts or ends on time. We had our baptism scheduled at 4, but when we got to the chapel at 3, some elders in our zone were there just filling up the font for their baptism which was supposed to start at 3. Their investigator to be baptized hadn't showed up yet, and the font was still an hour away from being full. So we ended up having a combined baptism with them. Then our kabahays, who's area is a different ward, had their baptism scheduled at 5, which we were attended with our investigator. The problem was their presiding authority didn't know he was supposed to be there so he was late, and their baptism didn't start until 7. Then, when they opened the font they looked in and realized the font had been slowly draining this whole time! So it was only like half full. So we sang hymns for 20 min while we waited, but it was not filling up fast enough (by this time it's like 7:30) so they decided to go ahead and try baptizing anyway because it was late, and the candidate was a kid so they figured it would be fine. But then the kid's knee kept coming out of the water since the font wasn't completely full, and aahh the poor guy got baptized like 6 times before they finally called it good! Haha everyone there cheered when he was finally completely immersed. It was so crazy. I guess everything's funner in the Philippines :) 
Things are fun, going well. I figure as long as we have a positive attitude about things, they will always work out :) The important thing is that the work is progressing, in fact, our area presidency upped the standards to weekly baptisms. They are really hastening the work! We will continue working hard, I know the Lord's on our side :) 
Love ya!
-Sister Behunin 

Hellloo Tandang Sora!

Magandang Umaga po galing sa Quezon City!
I have been transferred to the Quezon City Zone, the Tandang Sora 2nd ward. My senior companion is Sister Duque, from Baguio Philippines. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know, and I can tell we are going to have a whole lot of fun this transfer :). It's only been five days here and I'm already LOVING this area. It's busy busy city area, super duper crowded, hot, lots of pollution, so it's an adjustment. Pero I can really see there is a lot of people who are ready to accept the gospel. We have a baptism this Saturday and two more next week so YAY!
I still can't help but think and worry about our investigators back in Antipolo, but I figure that's a feeling that will stay my whole mission haha. 
As far as new things, well everything is new. It's an adjustment trying to learn a new area, but the great thing is the gospel is the exact same everywhere you go :) 
My companion, sister Duque, just celebrated her 1 year mark yesterday. As she was telling me about all her experiences this past year I couldn't help but reflect on my past year and where I'm going to be a year from now. Heavenly Father is really refining us, little by little. It's amazing because I know I'm changing, but the changes are so small that I don't even realize how far I've come until I stop and look back. Just thinking about how more more far I will be in a year from now (when i'm on my last transfer WOW)....it's just so crazy. I'm learning so much. I'm learning a new language, how to manage time, how to talk to strangers, to stretch myself physically, mentally, spiritually. I kind describe the way it feels to sit in a strangers home for the first time, and the feeling of knowing that no matter what they've gone through before, the gospel of Jesus Christ is there to help them. I feel Heavenly Father's love everyday, all the time. And I just want everyone in the world to feel that too! Ahh my heart is just so full today :) 
I love you all, and I can't thank you enough for the things I learned in my time at home growing up. There was this big sign in my last area that had Proverbs 22 verse 6 (cuz everyone here is Catholic haha) : "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." So THANK YOU family for training me up in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because I know it's true and I'm NEVER EVER going to depart from it. Alam ko na lahat ng ebangelhyo ni jesu cristo ay totoo, maraming salamat para sa lahat na nagturo kayo sa aking. Mahal na mahal kayo ko. 
I love you! 
-Sister Behunin