Trainer Sister Allen and new missionary Sister Escalante
Hello po! Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat!
I don't have pictures again this week....sorry! I gave my memory card to Brother Mark, a member in Burgos 2. He's going to try and restore my pictures that got lost last week! Hopefully he will be able to do that. Sorry again that there's no pictures…… (editor note: Yay for the mission blog! I was able to include some cute photos of Anna.)
This week was another good week. We are working hard, heat and all! Training is going well. Sister Escalante is improving a lot, and she is getting more and more confident in teaching and missionary work every day.
After the wonderful baptisms last week, things have slowed down a lot in this area. The baptism was a peak, and now we're on a downward slope. Everything's slowed down and kind of settled. We don't really know what to do next! We are continuing to find and search for investigators who are ready for our message and are continuing to strengthen the investigators and less actives that we have. We're working hard every day to find new people to teach. We really need some new investigators!
One thing that's very effective for finding new investigators is referrals, especially when that referral comes from a brand new member. We have been asking our recent converts, including those that got baptized last week, for names of their family, friends, and neighbors that we could teach and introduce the gospel to. With the help of those recent converts, we have been having success. We were able to teach a new investigator, German, who was a referral from our recent convert, Jason. German is a one-eyed, quiet, sixteen year old boy who is very sweet and kind. During our first lesson with him, we talked about the Restoration, and then taught him about prayer. He told us he has never prayed in his whole life! It always breaks my heart when I hear people say that. Prayer is such a blessing, and I can't imagine what my life would be like without it. Sister Escalante and I tried and tried to have him pray with us at the end of the lesson, but he was too shy. He kept saying, "hindi ko araw ito" - "it's not my day." I told him: "It's always your day to pray. Every day. Every hour. Every minute even, if you need to! Heavenly Father is waiting for you to talk to Him. He loves you and He wants to hear from you." For each of you - for each of us - it is the same. Heavenly Father wants to hear your prayers. He wants to hear what you did today, your fears, your hopes, your dreams. No matter how seemingly insignificant the details in our life may be, Heavenly Father wants to hear about them because He loves us. I have come to realize that God is in the details. It's often times the small things that matter the most. German agreed to try and pray on his own first, and in our next lesson would try to pray. At the end of the lesson, Jason - the recent convert - piped in and told German about the first time he prayed and how much prayer has changed his life. His testimony and experience were powerful, and I could see that German was catching onto every word. The recent converts truly are powerful and have powerful testimonies. We have had several other experiences with other recent converts and their referrals this week.
On Wednesday, we also got to go to Cauayan City to the mission home for the "New Missionary and Trainers Training" with President and Sister Rahlf and the senior couples. On our way, we drove through my first area. It was fun to see all the places I used to go and teach. It made me feel "old" as a missionary! The Training was wonderful. We were taught and had discussions with the assistants to the President, President and Sister Rahlf, and the senior couples. We spent time with all the missionaries together, and then split off into groups of trainers and trainees. We talked about how the training was going, training tips, went over a few rules and procedures (for the newbees) and had a question and answer session with President Rahlf. We also got free lunch. Whoohoo! It was a great day! I especially loved getting to see some of my friends, especially my batch mates from the MTC, at the training. It was so much fun. Going to the mission home kind of feels like coming home. President and Sister Rahlf and all the senior couples are so loving and kind, the mission home is so lovely and homey, and the atmosphere there full of love. I can't believe President and Sister Rahlf go home so soon! The mission will definitely change a lot after they leave, but I know that President and Sister Hiatt, the incoming mission President and wife will also be wonderful.
Yesterday night, we had a dinner appointment with the Cariaga family. We started talking about weird things that people eat here. The Filipinos eat everything! Frog, snake, dog, rat (yes, RAT! blech!!!), lizard, and much much more. They said they would cook rat for us next time. Ahhhhh!! No thank you!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Always remember how much I love you, but more importantly, remember how much your Heavenly Father and Savior love you. I miss you everyday. I hope you are all always happy and smiling and that you are always trying to find the joy in everything.
I love you to the moon and back and all the stars
xo Sister Allen
Cauayan Zion Missionaries
Going forth in faith.
Great friendships in the mission field!