Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week 13 Olongapo East, Branch 3

So the experience from last week about the less-active brother, has completely changed everything for me. He came once again to church yesterday and has committed to come every week. He comes straight from Catholic Church, every Sunday. I think that's my favorite that he is so committed to come. Sister Lucillo spoke for her last Sunday here in the mission and he came. He sat in the back, but I just wanted to cry I was so happy that he came again. I love that he was touched to the point that it's not a one time thing for him. After sacrament meeting was over, I saw him get up and I wanted to go and talk to him but I didn't make it but when I turned around Sister Lucillo had introduced him to the Branch President and we are working on getting him a fellow-shipper so that he knows how much we love him and want to help him. 
This week we decided that rather than go out to eat at a restaurant after our meeting we would instead make food and have a potluck. Since we are sisters, we got to bring the main meal except the rice. We requested the elders bring rice and they did! We had a ton of rice. Sister Lucillo made Bicol Express which is absolutely delicious and the best news ever... I got the recipe so I can make it for you at home. It is so spicy! But delicious. Everyone brought other things. We made graham balls. It's cute, they throw the H in the word graham so its gra - ham I just giggle every time. Some elders bought a cake and others brought drinks and we had a little potluck it was fun.

 The the other fun thing we got to do was a Service Project. The other Elders in our zone are in Morong. No clue how to tell you where that is but its more of what I expected the Philippines to be like. Sometimes I forget I am here since I live in the city and we have 3 groceries stores, a mall, and the base right here. We joke with the Morong elders that they teach relief society because with it being summer, all the men move for work and leave their families. For our project, we helped an investigator with his job of cleaning the streets. I though picking up garbage, but no, we were weeding and people were using machetes to cut vines and then we burned everything. We have 3 missionaries who are going home this transfer and some who are pretty trunky.  One found a dead dog and decided to offer it as a burnt offering in the fire. It stunk so bad! Also we burned so many piles of garbage that we couldn't watch them all and so we almost started several forest fires.. We joked the new MORMON MISSIONARIES//HELPING HANDS GROUP start largest forest fire the Philippines has ever seen. But nope we got them put out before anything bad happened. 
We also tried to have a couple missionaries eat balot, I was not among them luckily, one day for me, but not yet. Poor Elder Bray has had to eat it 2 times cause he can't finish it. I got absolutely fried at the service project, it's funny, they don't know what a sunburn like I got is. They told me to put petroleum jelly on my skin, I just told them I was alright. But the miracle is that I went tan, at least I think tan they still tell me I am red which is true compared to them.  We watched the RM with Sister Lucillo before she left and joked with her that that will be her life now but it won't be she will be great. Our favorite line right now with each other is "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord". Also, we had the coolest experience this week. We were out proselyting, when a lady called out to us saying she had something to return to us. We were like what do you need to return to us? She pulled out a Book of Mormon and we said, "what, you've been taught the gospel and we have no clue who you are". Turns out, she saw the missionaries everyday going to an appointment, said to them, why aren't you coming to teach me like you do this other person. So she began being taught to the point of having a baptismal goal date but because of transfers and no records, she had been lost for a year before we met her. We told her the book is hers to keep and that we will come and teach her now. Also, a less active member, who has not been all that thrilled to have us over, found out that her friend who has been a member for a year was able to receive her endowments and be sealed to her family. She told us she worries for her son that he will ask her why his father is not in his life and why she is not active in the church. So, she has decided to try and get back with his father, be married so that she can be sealed to them forever. We referred the father to the missionaries and are working with her to help her receive her endowment here soon. Timing is so crazy here, and we never know when someone will be ready for the gospel or the next step. Also, last thing, the experience I told you about last week was sent to our mission president and he is including it in our weekly hand off for the whole mission to see. I can't believe I have already been here for 1 transfer or that I am this far in. Time is so strange on a mission, the days really never end and then suddenly you have been here for 3 months! 
Yesterday, before I forget was so fun since it's Sunday and Sister Lucillos last day here, we went to lunch at a members home in their area, then to a meeting where we were fed dinner and then a second dinner. It was so strange to me I am not used to being fed so many times. It's funny too there is a missionary here who is the size of a 10 yr old boy but is over 1 yr into his mission and all the elders just pick him up by his arms and carry him around it's so funny to watch. I'm sure he hates it but it's funny. 
I love you all and will let you know all about transfers this week as soon as I can! 
Sister Hansen 

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