Amy's December 2nd, 2012 letter!
I have officially been in the Philippines for over a
week! How crazy is that??? Like Tyler said, as soon as I got off the
plane, I felt like I was definitely in the right place, but wow, it is
definitely humid! haha. It's actually not as bad as I was expecting. I
am completely used to it now. I'm lucky though, because I came in the
coolest part of the year, so I have time to adjust. :) It has only
rained once this week, and very lightly. We got to walk home in the rain
from church yesterday. It felt good! It's only about a 5-10 min walk
from our home. By the time we got home it had stopped completely.
Ok, to answer some questions. Christina buggety-wuggety, ;) you
asked how many investigators we have right now? Well, we are very busy.
We haven't hardly had any time for tracting because we have so many
investigators and even more less actives. Our focus right now is the
less actives, but we are always looking for opportunities to find new
people. It's hard because I still am struggling to say a lot in Tagalog,
but I am understanding a lot more. So anyways, I'm not sure I could
give you a number, but there are a lot. We hardly ever have down time.
We are always going from appointment to appointment. The people are so
ready here. It's amazing.
Mom, you asked if my comp was Filipino/American. Nope. :) She is
Filipino height, but she's definitely American. Hopefully the picture
turned out great. She's awesome. As far as sleep, I am sleeping like a
rock. It's super warm, we have a fan that we keep on each night, and we
have really comfortable beds, so I rarely wake up in the middle of the
night. No, I have not had any ant issues thus far-I guess I'm not as
lucky as Tyler. ;) We always have ants in the house--they are
everywhere. You can't avoid it. But you just keep things clean, and
rinse your dishes before you use them, and all is well! You just deal
with it. I'm just glad we don't have a spider problem! I think I've only
seen two in our apartment so far, and they've been tiny. We do have
geckos! They eat the bugs, so they are welcome guests. Mom, you also
asked about the ward. It's still pretty small here, so we have a branch,
but it is growing. I'm not sure exactly how many people
come, but I'd say close to 100 or so.
We had one of our less-actives come to church yesterday!!! He hasn't
been to church in about 8 years, and he has a testimony, he just
struggles because he usually works on Sundays during church. We have
gone to his house quite a few times these last couple of weeks, and it's
been amazing to watch his faith and testimony grow as we taught him and
his family. I love this gospel so much!! It has been amazing to watch
the faith of these poor, humble people who have been prepare by the Lord
to hear His gospel.
There was one lesson in particular that really stuck out to me this
week. We taught a woman named Jane the lesson about the Restoration of
the Gospel. The spirit was so strong. I think we all cried at one point
or another during the lesson, including her. Her mom is a recent
convert, and she is a rock in the gospel. She bore her testimony, and
she cried. She is so amazing. Jane's heart was touched, and she is
willing to keep moving forward.
I love this work so much! I love teaching these humble people. I
still can't say a whole lot, but when the spirit is there and I put my
trust in the Lord, I find that I can say things more smoothly in the
limited vocabulary that I have. I am so glad that I am not the teacher,
but that the Spirit is the teacher, because if it was just me, I would
fail. This past week I had to continually remind myself that I needed to
stop thinking about me, but to focus my whole attention on loving the
people and invite them to come unto Christ by helping them receive the
restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement,
repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring
to the end. That's our purpose! I love this work. I know it's super
challenging at times, but I know that I can do anything that the Lord
wants me to do. I received a blessing this morning from the Zone
Leaders, and in it I was blessed that I would learn the
language quickly. I trust that, and I know it will happen. :)
I love you all so much!! Thank you for all your support, prayers, and love!!