Seriously, this whole time thing is getting out of control. Its going to fast! I know that you all want it to go fast but maybe you could pray that it goes fast for you but slow for me :) i love the Philippines so so much! Sometimes i look around and think how in a short time i wont be able to see all these beautiful faces and flowers and plants and mountains and waters... it makes me really sad!
This week has been the busiest finding week ever in my whole mission... maybe even just the busiest all around! President has really been pushing finding new investigators cause nothing happens till we have people to teach. So we made a goal of 25/week (the standard of excellence for the mission in 20/week). And guess what! We had a good start last monday with 11! We went to a family we have been trying to teach for 2 weeks and finally the kids wanted to listen. Then they invited some friends! It was a 2 hour lesson but so good! With that group we were able to add a few more at our return appointment. They are fun group of teenagers to teach. They range from ages 10 to 24! Then every day we worked hard, filling any open time we had for finding and teaching! Every day we found at least 2 new investigators and by Saturday we had achieved our goal. We were hoping to get a few more on Sunday to exceed our goal but all our appointments fell thru. We were happy to have met that goal tho! Achieving goals is like the coolest feeling ever... im such a nerd but that ok.
Michelle, our AMAZING investigator, had her baptism on Saturday! It was so special. She is 25 and after her baptism she told us that she felt like a baby :) She is so happy to be clean and is ready to just continue moving forward. She was so prepared and is already receiving so many blessings. She will be a forever friend to me.
This week the Philippines began their celebrations for their Jubilee! (50 years of the church in the Philippines)! What an exciting time for them and i feel so bless to be able to be here at this time to experience it with them. The dancing and music is so fun to watch. They started in Manila and had a big broadcast. Our stake celebration will be May 15 here in Tacloban. Cant wait to go! Our youth have been working so hard on their dances that they will be preforming. Yesterday we had a Area wide broadcast stake conference. Elder Teh gave such an amazing talk about studying the scriptures. I hope that we all will make studying the scriptures a daily duty. Then Sister Beck spoke about families, Elder Cook talked lots about history and Elder Packer gave a great talk. He told us how he spent time in the Philippines during the war and right here in Tacloban he and another member held the first sacrament meeting (as of record) that took place in the Philippines. The people here felt very special.
So our area is huge and the names of the streets and Phases help emphasize that fact :) The subdivision is split into 8 different phases (think of like all the different waterfields in Missouri). Each phase is classified with a different category for the street names. Fish, fruits, veggies, places, space, etc... Lets just say every day i take a universe tour. I can go from Pilipinas, to San Francisco, to Los Angeles, to New York, to Texas, to Jerusalem, to Israel, to Saudi, to the Milky Way, to Saturn, to Jupiter, etc. Its great... but very tiring!! :)
Ok so scripture of the week... 2 Nephi Ch. 33. Last night we used this in a FHE as we talked about the counsel from Elder Teh about reading the scriptures. We went around and had every one saying why that reading the scriptures was important to them (no one could repeat something already said). There were about 20 of us and at first they thot it would be hard to not repeat but by the end it wasnt at all. Everyone had great simple reasons and we could have gone around the circle again. I love the scriptures! They are such a blessing and a strength in my life! Reading helps answer my questions and brings me more in tune with the Spirit so that he can answer my questions. What a blessing. Remember what Nephi's last words were... "I must obey" And WE MUST OBEY too if we want to be happy and free!
I love you all so so much! Remember who you are... who Heavenly Father created.
Sister Carissa Jones