Monday, March 16, 2015

Mar. 15, 2015 --- Every Member a Missionary!‏

Hello family!!  How are you?  What's new in America??

The Philippines and Filipinos are of course amazing!  One of my favorite things is when people are so willing to listen.  This week, we went to teach Janet, a member, but she was leaving soon and didn't have time for the  lesson.  But before we left, we asked Janet a few questions about some of the less active members nearby who we had not been able to find.  While we were talking with her, her neighbor came up and help point out the direction to some of the less active's houses.  Then her neighbor began asking questions about the church and told us, "whenever you want to teach me I live right there.  But I have to go now so it will have to be another time."  After a couple minutes though, he came back and said, "okay, you can teach me now."  And then, even though she needed to leave, Janet invited us all in to her home and we were able to teach her neighbor.  I love, love, love when members help in missionary work because what the prophets say is true, "every member a missionary."  Janet knew how important the gospel is in her life and was willing to put her plans aside to help her neighbor to learn more about the gospel.

There have been so many times this week when Sister Lim and I just end up where we need to be.  On Thursday, we were in our far away areas, visiting the Barangay Halls to try and find addresses of our less actives.  Our last area to go to was Lambac and we had two people to find there.  It was 6pm and we knew the Barangay Hall would probably be closed but we still needed to go to it because we were already on that side of our area.  It was SO far away, as in really, really far. When finally got there, as we walked to the door of the Barangay Hall a man who had just walked near the Barangay hall to throw something in the garbage (which is super uncommon almost no one uses a garbage) told us "wala tao" (no people).  So we asked the man if he knew the two people we were looking for.  Turns out, one was his classmate and the other his next door neighbor!!!  He knew both of them and was able to help us even more than the people at the Barangay Hall would have been able to!

Another time like that was on Saturday when we went to teach a lesson and the people we were going to teach weren't there.  So we tried to find the home of another less active, Eva. We'd never met Eva yet but with help and directions from a lot of people we found her.  Turns out, she moved a while ago but Saturday she'd come home to visit her family (which is rare because she live so far away) and we were able to teach her.  Also, the last time she came to visit home (again for just one day) Sister Bautista and Sister Taylor (the missionaries here before me) had shown up on her porch as well.  Those are not coincidences.  I know that Heavenly Father is so aware of each of His children and He loves us so much.  He knows and understands everything that is going on in our lives.  Because of His love, He has prepared a way for each of us to return to Him.

I love you all dearly!!!
Sister Marshall :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mar. 9, 2015 --- Around and Around

Hello family!!  How are you all doing?  Who's super excited for Spring Break coming up!!  I am because everyone has fun plans!  Is it cold in Logan?  I keep forgetting that it's March and not summer right now because it's really warm here all the time.  Apparently it hit 41' Celsius recently and everyone was freaking out a little but I don't know how that converts so it was just another hot day.  The sun is so bright but luckily I've never really gotten a sunburn!  You should see the tan line on the back of my neck haha it's gross.  For some reason the back of my neck is two shades darker than my face or my arms so look forward to seeing that one day haha it's going to be so bad next year!

This morning Sister Anien went home.  It was so weird because we've been kabahay (housemates) since I got here, and now she's on her way home to the Marshall Islands.  I think one of the things that makes me miss home is seeing people finish their missions.  I always get so excited/sad for them, because they get to be with their families but they won't be missionaries anymore.  This is already my fifth month!!!  WHAT?!  I miss you all but really my mission is going by too fast and I want it so slow down already!!

One of the things that makes the mission go by so quickly is probably all the funny things people say.  I think my favorite this week is was when one of the Tatays (dad/or actually just a name for every old man) was asking me what a "buhawi" is in English.  Well, I've never heard that word before so the conversation went like this, "what is that called?" and spins his finger in a circle and describes it like this, "around and around and around, oh what's that I see, woweee!"  Haha apparently a buhawi is a tornado but it took a long time and help from Sister Lim to figure that one out.

This week we went to a family who have been such awesome investigators so far but things totally got turned around...When we went to their house, the youngest daughter was outside playing and we asked her who was home and if we could come teach.  She ran inside to get her parents and siblings and didn't come back out.  They turned their lights off and the grandma came and told us that we've taught them how to pray and they read the Bible so we don't need to teach them anymore.  It was so weird.  Probably the most frustrating time being punted because of how well they were learning/growing as a family in the Gospel.  But I think if we give them a little time, they'll be more prepared, and realize they need more in their lives than knowing how to pray. ;) But prayer's a good start for them.

One of the recent converts (he was baptized a couple months before I got here) has been wanting to go on a mission.  He's the only member in his family so he wasn't sure what kind of support he'd have or if his parents would let him go on one.  But his parents totally support him!  Yesterday we were talking to his dad and he said that the reason he's supporting his son in his decision to go on a mission is because of the changes he saw in his son ever since he met the missionaries.  He said his son used to drink all the time and wasn't a very happy person.  But now his son wakes up every morning and studies the scriptures and is a completely new person.  It's so amazing to see how the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ truly changes people.  One of my favorite parts of being a missionary is seeing the changes happening in so many people.  He can't leave on his mission until August, but for now he is such a great missionary and example in his home.

Our biggest project lately is cleaning the records of the branch here.  There are 6 missionaries in the branch (so three areas).  We're responsible for updating where each person is in our area, plus getting an actual address and phone number.  Right now our list of people in our area has 450+ names and most of them have an address that just says Guagua, Pampanga (which is as broad as just saying Cache Valley, UT ) or if we're really lucky it says the town name (like Logan, UT) so it's been interesting trying to find all these people.  We've been going to all the members asking if they remember them and the Barangay Hall (or City Hall) to try and find records of the people, and then some people we just ask about them everywhere we go.  Haha it's a lot of work but really good.  Our deadline is March 31 and so far we've completely finished maybe 20 names so Sister Lim and I will be really busy these next couple weeks.  But it's been a lot of fun and we're really getting to know the area and people here even better!

I love you all dearly and I'll try to send pics next week!

Sister Marshall

Mar. 1, 2015 --- That One Time We Went to a Concert..

Looking through my planner, I've been trying to think of what funny stories or interesting things I can tell you this week.  But I don't know if there really are any.  Maybe I'm just so used to everything that goes on here that I don't catch on to all the funny things anymore.  But the food is always interesting.  In the plaza there's a waffle stand that always smells so good so we went to it.  Filipinos love some random things, especially "Eden" cheese.  It looks a little like cream cheese but differentish texture, it's weird and they put it on everything or just eat it by the chunk!!! EW!  But the best seller at the waffle stand is the caramel and cheese waffle, so that's what I had and it was actually pretty good!  If you can find Eden cheese at home make one and try it, just a waffle with caramel on it, cheese grated on top of that, and then fold it like a taco and eat it!!  Tell me what you think of it. :)  On our way home from getting waffles, the road was BUSY and loud!  Turns out we were about to walk into the 6 Cycle Mind concert...oops!!  It sounded like fun music so look it up and let me know what I missed out on!

Some of my favorite lessons are when we're teaching the pogi (handsome) old guys, the old people here are just so cute!  We went to teach Evanuary with one of our recent converts Tatay Jun.  We were all sitting on the porch for the lesson and as their friends walked by they'd join in on the lesson.  Pretty soon it was us and a bunch of old guys in their white tee's asking us question after question about the gospel.  They were all different religions so they had a lot of questions.  It was so fun though!  And you should have seen them all squished together on the bench, I wished I could have taken a picture!  It looked like one of the pictures you would see on a cheesy birthday card haha.  Something that I love about the Philippines is that people are always out and about or sitting on their porches so we constantly have curious neighbors joining in on our lessons, it's great!

My other favorite lessons are when we're teaching "Bruce Lee."  This guy watches Bruce Lee or something kung fu every single day.  Anyways, when we go in there he's standing in front of the TV imitating the people on the movie Tai Chi Master as the do their kung fu sequences or whatever.  He has it memorized!!  But my actual favorite thing with him is when he tells stories!  Most the time I still have no idea what he is saying but he acts out his stories, and when they're about kung fu oh it's so funny!!!  The sound effects are great!!  I asked him if I could video it but he said it was bawal (forbidden) because I'd probably post it on Facebook and then everyone would know his techniques, haha so sorry fam, no video, yet...

We have another investigator Emerson who was super hard for me to teach at first because he wouldn't listen and my Tagalog is just really ugly, so after I would say something or ask questions he wouldn't say anything and just ask his sister or Sister Lim, "Ano daw?"(What did she say?) and then not really give much of an answer.  For the first little while he wasn't reading the Book of Mormon but this week, when we asked him and his sister if they'd read he smiled and excitedly got his Aklat ni Mormon and showed us the notes he'd taken while he read!  The lessons are completely different now!  He's listens so intently, now he's the one translating my Tagalog for his sister.  I love lessons with them now!!  

I know that this change happened through reading the Book of Mormon.  There is so much power in it.  We are so blessed to have the Book of Mormon in our lives.  Every day I begin to love it more and more!!  At home, when I read, it was usually just because I knew was just something I was supposed to do, so usually I wouldn't read until I was going to sleep and realized I hadn't read yet.  By then I'd usually be half asleep as I read or skimmed a page or two so and called it good.  But every now and then I'd actually read when I was awake and pay attention to what I was reading and it was always so much better!  Here on the mission, each day I really read to learn and understand, no more half asleep reading, and it is amazing how much I've missed over the years.  The Book of Mormon has so much greatness within it!!!  Seriously though, just READ IT! :)

Love you lots!!  
Sister Marshall

Feb. 22, 2015 --- Sometimes missionaries turn little kids into corned beef and sell it...

Every week there's so much that happens.  We've had a few really stellar investigators just drop the missionary lessons.  They won't answer our calls or hide from us, or if we see them walking on the street they'll turn around and RUN!  I don't think we're that scary???  It's been super sad because they tell us how much they want the gospel in their lives and that they know it's true, and then wala, they're just up and gone.  The most sad thing about it for me is that I know whenever life gets hard, when we stick to the gospel and what we know, everything will be okay.  So while it's been sad to see people run from the gospel, it's been incredible to see what happens in the lives of people who stick to what they know.
One of the recent converts here, Tatay Jun, was baptized last year.  He loves the gospel so much and even though it's really hard for him to walk, he walks by himself to church each week.  And though his family will be friendly to us (smile and say hello on their way inside) they refuse to listen to us missionaries and think Tatay is crazy for being a Mormon.  But Tatay has been steadfast in his testimony and has stuck to the gospel even if his family won't listen.  This week miracles happened.  :)  We were able to teach his son and in a later lesson, his son and his wife listened!!

Another experience similar to that was at Janet's.  She's been a member for years and we've been teaching her son for the past little while and she really wants us to teach her husband as well.  But whenever we come over, no matter how much she asks, her husband stays upstairs and refuses to talk to us.  This week though, Janet didn't even need to try and persuade him.  She told him we wanted to meet him and her husband came right down and talked with us!  We were a little scared, and didn't know if he was mean (because none of the missionaries we know had ever met him), but he was super friendly!

I've really been learning so much here.  I know that as we stay steadfast in our testimonies, and keep going, we'll be blessed.  It's been amazing seeing the hearts that have been prepared and softened just this week.

Friday was so cool.  It was just a spiritual high kind of a day, and we really knew we we're being led everywhere we went.  We started off the day in Bancal where we were getting punted(when we go to a planned lesson and they make up some kind of excuse for why they can't listen) left and right.  We just couldn't find anyone who would listen to us, except the two 10-year-old boys who'd been following us for an hour.  So we started talking with them/asked them where they were from and the boys just started leading us down streets we'd never been to, towards their houses so we could meet their parents.  (By the time we got there, we had a little groupie of 15 kids following us, while we talked to the parents two of the little girls stood there saying "puti" (white) and rubbing the hair on my arm the whole time!!  Haha kids are crazy!) Both of their parents were super interested and really want us to come back!  It was so cool because who knew two little boys could be such missionaries!  

Honestly, missionary work is amazing!!!  I hope all of you at home are looking for and taking hold of the missionary opportunities that surround you.  They are everywhere!  A missionary opportunity isn't just walking up to somebody and saying "Hey I'm a Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is really cool!  Want to learn about it?!"  You can totally do that if you want to but I've come to learn that the most simple way to be a missionary is just by sharing simple truths.  I know Heavenly Father loves us.  I know that He listens to and answers our prayers.  I know that the gospel has blessed my life and my family's life immensely.    I know where I came from, my purpose on earth, and where I'm going.  I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can find comfort and peace.  What do you know that you can share with others around you?  I know that the more you're a missionary, the more your own testimony and love for the gospel grows.  It's so great!! :)

I love you all and hope you get LOTS of missionary experiences.

Mahal ko kayo!

Sister Marshall

sorry no pictures this week, so just picture this story in your head;)
P.S. go out with the missionaries if you can!  It's fun!!  This week one of our members helped us out a lot when our investigator asked us "why are people afraid of the Mormons?" she told him a story about when she was growing up: "When I was little someone told me that the missionaries had candy in their bags.  But then more people told me that that was a lie and when little kids ask missionaries for candy they turn the little kids into corned beef and sell it in America!!!  I was so scared!  6 foot, 7 foot, missionaries with green eyes were always in our town!  I didn't want to become corned beef!!!!  But I'm a survivor of Yolanda (one of the huge storms here) and when we didn't have any food the Mormons gave us some.  The Mormons helped us all so much after the storm so I decided maybe they're nice.  But I didn't know yet, so I asked one of them to show me what was in his bag (if it was chocolate they were nice, if it was corned beef they were mean) and he just had a lot of Aklat ni Mormon!!  Then I started to take the lessons and I love the missionaries!  And they didn't turn me into corned beef!"  Haha it was great!

Feb. 8, 2015 --- Assorted People

HHHEEEEYYYY FAM!!!  How was Brinley's birthday?!  Ah she's two!!  I hope the cake was delicious and you realized how blessed you are to eat American birthday cake, cake is way better at home! ;)
Even though every week is the same schedule, I'm with the same person all day long, and the weather every single day is just HOT ("hot" season hasn't even started yet), it amazes me how different each week and day are.  We meet so many people, have so many new experiences, and siempre (of course) always have so much fun!!

So one of my favorite things about being an American here are the things that people say to us.  Like the man who was selling pizza and says to me (because everyone knows how much American's love their butter) "Try! It's better than butter!"  or the man to called out to Sister Lim (whose half Chinese/Filipina but moslty looks Chinese) and I "Hey good morning assorted people!"

#1 scare of the week...four letter word, starts with an L, end with an E...and it's definitely not love.  During a lesson, one a little girl kept trying to snuggle up to me, play with my hair, and run her fingers through it (I don't know how though because it was in a bun).  Then, after the lesson, she asked me to do an "Elsa-braid" in her hair (which of course all the little girl's think I can do because they all call me Elsa) so I started doing the braid and saw lots of little critters...aka lice!!  So far I'm pretty sure I don't have it...but it's probably inevitable and at this rate I'm sure one day I'll have it.  YIKES!!!

#2 scare of the week...We were in a tryke and the driver didn't quite slow down for the speed bump so Sister Lim almost fell out of the tryke!!  Haha we actually thought it was really funny!

It's really just so much fun here!  So last week when I tried balut it was dark and I couldn't see it.  This week Sister Lim and some members who were coming with us to the lessons wanted some so I tried it again (sorry to pic to prove it but it really happened) but this time it was daylight and I could see it.  AH SO PANGIT(ugly)!!!  It was an 18-day-old egg, same as last time, and it had feathers, a beak, eyes, feet...all of it was there but when I closed my eyes and took a bite it tasted the same, still just like a super soft hard boiled egg.  Maybe I'll make you some at home in 2016. haha ;)

Here's some other random stories from the week:

A lot of people here call us "ate" (pronounced ah-teh and means older sister).  So one night we were walking home and a man starts right his bike after us calling out "ate! ate!" and asked us if we sell Bibles.  Apparently a woman who is literally super crazy broke into his house and stole his Bible.  He really wants to change his life around and is trying to buy a new Bible.  Well we don't sell Bibles but we told him we'd give him an Aklat ni Mormon.  He wouldn't give us his phone number, tell us very clearly where he lives, or let us tell him what Ang Aklat ni Mormon is, but he gladly took it and our phone number.  Hopefully he reads it and wants to know more!!  Haha plus what a great conversion story..."it all started when a crazy lady broke into my house and stole my Bible..." haha

I've been so good at never losing my water bottle or leaving it anywhere.  But this week I left it at someone's house and was so sad because I left it in an area we don't go to very often.  A couple days later we were near that area and it was so hot so we decided to go pick up my water bottle.  Well, when we got to the house, there was a less active man there who we can NEVER get a hold of, or is always gone, or something to that effect.  But he was there!  And we were able to teach a really good lesson!!  Every day I see more and more how Heavenly Father guides our footsteps...even through something as simple as losing a water bottle.

There's another family who we went to visit and while we were at the door saying "tao po" (people) a little boy ran and his bright orange chick (the kids here spray paint baby chicks after they hatch so there are blue, pink, and green all over the place) up to us to tell us they weren't home.  As we were talking to him he told us he had an Aklat ni Mormon then told us the missionaries used to teach his family last year.  We asked if his family was home and they were!!  We were able to teach them and they want us to keep coming back.  This week we've met a lot of people at the most unexpected times in the most random places who used to take missionary lessons, and stopped, but want them again. 

Every now and then we have a day where it seems like we teach the same lesson all day long.  Not on purpose but that's just what they need to hear, or how far they've progressed in the lessons.  This week there was a day when we taught about the Plan of Salvation all day long.  I absolutely loved it.  I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to know where we come from, why we're here, and where we're going.  It is such a blessing for us to know God's plan for us and not be left here on earth in oblivion.  I'm so grateful to know that families can be together forever.  I know that we have the gospel on earth because God loves us.  He sent His Son here, because He loves us and He wants us to return to Him.  

I love the the gospel, you, and the Philippines all so much - and never forget it!!!!!  Speaking of love, Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Marshall

FHE this week was CRAZY!!!  And so fun!!!
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First big spider I've seen...luckily it's outside or I might have DIED!!  SPIDERS ARE GGGRRRRRROOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
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Sister Lim and I with our yummy halo-halo!!
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Feb. 1, 2015 --- Literal Cat Fight

Kumusta kayo!!  How was your week???  I hope all was well and that mom's birthday was a PARTY!!!!

So you'll never guess what happened at Family Home Evening this week...literal cat fight.  We were just trying to sing "Keep the Commandments" and then under one of the chairs, we hear a loud "rawr" or whatever that super mad sound is that cats make.  Then we hear two cats make that sound WAY LOUD as the cats run under all the chairs and benches everyone is screaming and jumping up onto chairs, the cats ran out from under my chair and something got my foot wet...hopefully it wasn't cat's blood or anything, and then they fought and hissed in the middle of our FHE circle.  It's was way scary and weird but some of the boys got brave and tossed the cats out the window into the alley.  So basically cats are freaky and I don't like them, but that's nothing new.  So that FHE was crazy!

On Tuesday we found out Sister Bautista and Sister Laguerta were getting transferred so we went to a few of the investigators and members houses so she could say goodbye.  I'm so grateful that I get to stay here in Guagua for a little while longer.  Everyone hear is so great.  Now I'm understanding why everyone's mission is the best mission.  It's incredible here.

Wednesday were Transfers so we went to Olongapo and Sister Bautista went to get her new trainee and I met my new companion Sister Lim.  She's so cute!  She's Chinese/Filipino and looks like Hello Kitty.  Haha and because she looks just like Hello Kitty everyone gives her Hello Kitty stuff and she had tons of it!  Bags, books, stickers, pencils, etc. but she actually really, really doesn't like Hello Kitty so it's super funny.  She is so, so nice.  Really one of the nicest people I''ve met.  It's so fun being with her in lessons, she cares about every new person so much.  Because she's new to the area, I lead us everywhere we's weird!  The first couple of days, I felt like so much time was wasted because I just know what people's houses look like and had no idea what town's people live in so we did a whole lot of walking around looking for their house...but I've been able to make a little map and now I think I almost know all of the area!!

Thursday was a day that was literally setup for failure.  We were going to Maquiapo, an area that was really far away and I didn't know AT ALL.  But we knew we had to go so after we made all the plans, studied the maps we had which are not very helpful at all, invited certain members (who knew the way around) to come with us and were on our way, everything started going wrong.  The members couldn't come, I forgot to text the people first to make sure they'd even be home, and just so many little things were going wrong.  On the way out there I was trying to mentally prepare myself for one of the hardest days ever and praying so hard that at least one good thing would come from this day.  But, of course Heavenly Father knows best and as we work our hardest and do our best to fulfill our purpose, he fills in the gaps.  I learn this more and more everyday.  Especially now.  By the time we got there, the members who cancelled could come, the people we needed to see were home, when we needed to find a house and didn't know where is was, we found it, we met new investigators, and everything went 100 times better than I could have ever planned myself.  I know for a fact that Heavenly Father is aware of each of His children and guides our lives to where we need to be when we need to be there.  Another fun, unexpected thing that happened on Thursday...I ATE BALUT!!  Mom, I hope you were enjoying your birthday cake while I enjoyed balut. ;)  I thought it'd be way gross but it was actually kind of just tasted like a hardboiled egg that wasn't cooked all the way.  So maybe it was the wrong kind of balut, or I like weird food, or I just got a good egg...we'll see next time I try it.  

Remember Boyet that I told you about last week?  The basketball player.  Sister Lim and I taught him again and it's so cool seeing how excited he is to learn!  He told us that the first time we met him on the street, he was actually super excited when we talked to him and asked if we could share with him.  And he told he was surprised that we came when we showed up for the first lesson.  He wasn't expecting us and apparently he'd been really busy but decided to listen to us instead of doing whatever it was he was doing.  He's been looking for the truth for awhile and it's so exciting being able to share the gospel with him.  We've also been able to teach his mother, who came to church even though we were only able to share with her for a couple of minutes.  Last night we taught his kids too.  His oldest son, just like Boyet, has been reading the Bible a lot and looking for the truth and is super interested in the Aklat ni Mormon.  So far the lessons have all been separate but I;m really exited for when we can teach them as a family!!!

Missionary work is SO rewarding.  It makes me so happy to share with people about the biggest blessing in my life.  It's amazing to see and help people find the answers to the questions they've been asking themselves for years.  I know that as we have questions about our lives, the answers our souls have been yearning for can truly be found within the Book of Mormon.  Not only do I love to see other's testimonies grow, but I also love the way that I've seen my grow more and more and through study and bearing testimony of the Gospel everyday.  I know that Ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling-Araw (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is true.  What more can I say?  I hope that we all take hold of the time we have to study and apply the gospel in each of our lives daily.

Mahal ko kayo!!!!!

Sister Marshall 

Red lipstick on the loser's faces today...
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Sister Lim and I stuffed in a tricycle!  She had a suitcase on top, one on the back, and a couple bags and boxes in our laps! 
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Jan. 26, 2015 --- Chickens Perching While We're Preaching....

Hello Hello!!!

As always lot of funny things happened but here's the top three....
1) During every single lesson with Tatay Jun (a recent convert) when we ask him who should pray he points at me and just says "the Americano" and chuckles to himself every single time.  And when we read from the scriptures he always has me read it so I can practice my Tagalog.  Haha he a super funny and super cute old man!
2) THIS WAS ACTUALLY NOT FUNNY, JUST HORRIFYING: As we were walking, I thought a leaf fell on me, until it started crawling on my neck.  Then I tried to smack away whatever this HUGE bug was, but then it landed on my shirt and it was a COCKROACH!!!  The size of my thumb!  AH I wanted to cry!
3) Many people we teach have chickens and during the opening prayer of one of the lessons, one of the chickens named Ikay jumped up on my lap!!  Then during the lesson, Ikay jumped up on my foot and just perched there nestled up to my leg.  Haha the animals here are one of a kind.

I don't have my planner with me and I don't really remember what exactly happened this week but, yesterday was definitely one for the books!!!  Naturally, as with every Sunday mornings, we started out at church.  We have an investigator, Rovi, who we've been teaching for a couple weeks and always invite to church.  He never really gives a "real" answer about whether or not he'll come, but yesterday HE CAME!!  We were so excited!  And then, there's a 15-year-old girl, Jonabel, who we haven't even taught yet, we've just gave her a little overview about the Restoration of the Gospel, but she came to church too!  She's so absolutely the sweetest girl, always smiling, and interested in learning.  It was great having her come.  I think my favorite part though was when we took her to the Young Women's class.  Jonabel was a little shy and nervous about coming to a church where she didn't know anyone, but all of the young women were so inviting and excited to meet her.  Afterwards we were asking her how church went and when she told us about Young Women's she just told us she met a lot of really fun friends and is excited.  Young Women - you really do have such an influence, so make sure to use it for the best!! :)  I can't wait to really start teaching her!  

After church though wasn't as great for the looooooooooongest time.  The people we were going to teach were all sick or gone or had some kind of excuse for not listening.  Or the people we met on the street would refer us to the home of someone and when we went there the kids told us that the person was actually super it was just one of those blah kind of couple hours.  Plus, my bag was super heavy.  Which was really weird because I had the exact same stuff in it as any other day...I was so confused.  I was trying to think of what I had in there that was making it so heavy because I had all the same things as usual: planner, notebook, pens, Missionary Handbook, a couple of papers, my Book of Mormon, plus an Aklat ni Mormon to give away.  I was so confused why I was heavy and trying to think of something I could take out.  Then I realized what it was, Ang Aklat ni Mormon and I knew I needed to give it away real soon.  So Sister Bautista and I talked to the next person we saw.  Her name is Norma and she was super excited to talk to us.  Then her husband, Dan, came out and was very willing to talk too and had fun taking pictures of his wife and the American haha they invited us in and we taught them.  It was awesome!  The Spirit was SO strong.  They have such a desire to learn and had so many questions about the gospel and especially Ang Aklat ni Mormon.  Clearly, right before we met them, my bag got real heavy right then for a reason!! 

Honestly, I was absolutely for sure the day couldn't get any better than that moment.  It is such a blessing to have people who are so prepared put in right in our paths.  After leaving that lessons absolutely elated, we went to our next lesson which was with a man we met a couple weeks ago.  His name is Boyet, we met him on the street for maybe 20 seconds because he was in a hurry to get to a basketball game (contrary to the typical Filipino body type, he's pretty tall and looks like an NBA star), so we weren't sure about how interested he was,  if he'd be home, or where he even lived.  A bunch of little kids ran up to us for an "apir" (literally pronounced just like "up-here" and which is what they call high-fives) and started talking to us/asking us where we were going.  We told them we were going to Boyet's and if they knew where it was.  Apparently he's a super awesome guy in the neighborhood because all of the little kids knew exactly who we were talking about and led us straight to his house, plus, he was there!!  He was super willing to listen this time and invited us in to teach him and his daughter.  We noticed a picture of Jesus Christ on the wall, and realized it was actually a page from the pamphlet about the Restoration of the Gospel.  We asked him about the picture, if he's ever met with the missionaries, where he got it kind of a thing...he didn't even know where it was from.  The message of the Restoration has been in his house for years and he didn't even know it! ;)  As we taught him the Spirit again was so strong, so, so strong!!!  When Boyet was a kid, his dad read the Bible a lot especially with him so he was vary familiar with the Bible and it's teachings.  He also knows that his past religions don't even follow many of the teachings of the Bible.  During the lesson he had so many questions for us and right when we told him about the Book of Mormon he immediately asked us if he could get one!  Sister Bautista and I are beyond excited to continue teaching Boyet and his family (who one by one, joined in on the lesson until almost all of them were there listening)! !! :)

It is absolutely amazing and such an blessing being able to meet people who have been so prepared by the Lord to learn about the Gospel right now.  I am so grateful for the way that Heavenly Father guides each of our lives.  Everyday I love the Philippines more and more, especially as I see my purpose being fulfilled.  Some days can be long, or hard, even though I'm only at the start of my short 18 months as a full-time missionary, missionary work is the absolute most satisfying and fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life.  I am so grateful for the gospel being in my life.

I love you all....almost as much as I love the gospel ;)

Sister Marshal