Sunday, November 1, 2015

Week 2 in Sablayan

Hello my amazing family! 

This week was so great. I'm still a little homesick and still trying to adjust to the missionary life but it's getting better. This week I've learned a lot. I've realized that I need to change as a missionary and realize my purpose here. I need to be facing Jesus Christ and serve him with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. 

This week Elder Santiago taught me many things. I learned how to get better at "How to begin teaching," which means to establish expectations, invite the spirit, and to help others recognize that we represent Jesus Christ. My attitude needs to change, my faith needs to grow, and I must give all of myself to this work. So I continue to strive for these attributes. I want to change. I need this mission because I want to become fully converted to the Lord Jesus Christ. I know it is a process and there's so much for me to learn. I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve these wonderful people in Mindoro and to "find myself by losing myself in the work." 

Last Saturday, Elder Santiago and I went up to this beautiful view of the island (its called Parola). You'll see in the pictures I send. It's beautiful here. I'm blessed! This is also where we have our district meetings. It's awesome. 

We had a cool opportunity this week where we walked by this house and were impressed to talk to the old Tatay (grandpa). Turns out he is 102 years old and has been praying for the missionaries to visit him for 9 years! He's a member, but is too old to come to church. We plan on visiting every week. 

Our investigators are progressing!! Brother Donald is going to get baptized on November 14! He's an incredible man, with so much faith. His wife is against him joining, but he knows it's true. He fasted yesterday and paid a fast offering!  He's 40 years old and is excited to be baptized! Brother Robert is progressing too! He's attended church twice now and knows Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Elder Santiago and I can see many of our other investigators progressing too. It's great to see them keep commitments and start to have the light in their eyes! We have high hopes for the next few weeks and hope that our investigators will continue to grow. 

The work here is moving fast!! They announced that they were going to start preparing to build an actual church building here! The members are so amazing. I love them. All the kids love me haha. It's so cute. They all think I'm a giant and love to make fun of my Tagalog and my white skin haha. We had FHE with the members and also a family day at the beach yesterday! It was so fun. The members have such strong testimonies. It's so cool to see. Most of the members are recent converts too! 

Yesterday the people celebrated "day of the souls." I guess it's their Halloween. They remember their dead ancestors by lighting candles. 

Great news...on November 16 all of us missionaries here in Mindoro get to go to the mainland for when Neil L Andersen comes!! We are so excited. 

Well that's it. I love and miss you all so much. Thanks for all the prayers. I will continue to become the missionary that Heavenly Father expects me to be. Talk to you next week!! 

Elder Johnson

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