Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 58 in the Philippines Laoag Mission - Conference & Barbies

At the Church for General Conference

MLC Interviews and General Conference, these are a few of my favorite things... when you get sick, when the dog bites, when your inbox is empty.... i simply remember my favorite things and then i don’t feel soooo baaaaad!  I'm kidding my mission is incredible and there are no biting dogs. (and my inbox is always pleasantly full)
MLC (Mission Leadership Council) is always fun and with tons
I've also realized God has quite the sense of humor, because I am just about fluent in Tagalog now and I can understand Ilocano… but the thing is they will go off on tangents and I'm standing there with the buffering  wheel on my face. And then it's like someone whispers ‘they said their father is a member’ even though I didn’t recognize a single word from their spiel. I can’t translate word for word but I can get the gist which is freaking cool. Why does God have a sense of Humor? I only have ever prayed to speak Tagalog and now I only speak Tagalog (and obviously English) but I can ‘translate’ Ilocano which is an interesting bonus point.
So like I mentioned in my previous emails my area has not had a baptism in about a year. At first I thought it was 2 years but now the most recent convert was baptized July 2016 so he is getting up to his year mark now. The thing is though several people- including members- now think the area is cursed. So we have been trying to help the area have a new perspective. We actually found two baptismal potentials (they will be baptized April 29… and we first arrived here in March) who actually both live just across the street from us. They are both part members and we found them by going through the old area book and looking up LA and RC members. Vanessa is super cool and has actually been going to church for a long time before we arrived- maybe the other missionaries thought she was a member already, and that’s why they didn’t teach her? Who knows, all I know is she is just soaking up the gospel and is honestly golden. Mark Adrian knows nothing about the gospel and only just started coming to church last April 2nd. His mother is LA but she is the one who introduced us to her son. We are working to help her realize that her role as a mother is the same as us missionaries. We are encouraging her to teach her son as we teach her and her son since it’s been 9 years since she last went to church.
We also had a somewhat surreal lesson with Ivy and Florence. Apparently they had been debating about the purpose of life and heaven and hell when Ivy picked up the Plan of Salvation Pamphlet we left with them and Florence opened her Bible and they both ended up reading the same scripture! Then Florence also told us how she was randomly flipping through the bible when she stumbled upon a scripture in the New Testament that said basically ‘prepare yourself for the Lord is coming’ and then 5 minutes later she saw us walking down the street. We weren’t even going to her house, and we were in a different community that she happened to be in and we found her RIGHT AFTER SHE READ THAT SCRIPTURE. Mycroft Holmes inquired “What do we say about coincidences?” To which his brother Sherlock replied “That the universe is rarely so lazy.” Yeah that happened. ALSO while we were discussing the ‘pre earth life’ Florence pointed out that if we all lived in the pre earth life we must have had pre earth friends. She then said “Sister Bustarde, we must have been friends before this life because from the very first moment I saw you I knew you were familiar- despite never having met you before.” Freaking goosebumps!  That is cool.
Besides that it mostly has been me preparing for Conference by doing a lot of reminding and inviting. I got to see the Gonda family from Santo Domingo (my RCs) and KC, the little neighbor girl sat next to me during the conference. She is about 4 and thinks I'm a living Barbie. When the conference started and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir starting singing she just sat with her jaw dropped and said “There are so many Barbie’s…” apparently all foreigners are Barbie’s. Hahaha it was adorable.
From the sister who is striving to inspire,

Sister Eldredge

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