So this week was ridiculous. The plumbing in the Philippines doesn't take too well to tissues...so our bathroom got messed up. we had to endure and shower at a member's house - the Madriaga Family (they're our landlord) - until our they got permission to open up the second floor for us to use, and we were SO grateful! Literally 5 minutes after the Madriagas left, Sister Table and I heard screaming from the upstairs bathroom - the bathroom knob had broken off AND WATER WAS SPRAYING EVERYWHERE flooding the whole bathroom. We all jumped in, hopelessly trying to shove the knob back to where it was and simultaneously using the bathroom buckets to shovel the mini-sea into the shower, to keep it from flooding the whole second floor. The Madriagas came back to find us soaking and desperate for help. It took 2 hours to fix, but thankfully, Brother Madriaga was able to fix the problem. We were so relieved....then yesterday, our shower faucet broke off so, y'know, all the water pipes have been messed up and I've just been taking tabo showers out of this little bucket. IT'S BEEN A CRAZY WEEK, MAHALLIES!
Missionary work this week was brilliant. Sister St. Gelais and I finally got to teach brother Maximo, the husband of a recent convert, Sister Jen Gonzales. We'd been wanting to share the gospel with him for forever, but he'd always get so shy whenever we'd come by, he'd run off! During our last lesson, however, he told us that he really wanted to go to church and be baptized! He loves his family tons, and watches them go to church every sunday, and I think he's ready to take the steps he needs to to make his family his forever. We're going to continue our lessons with him, and I am sure the day will come when he will be ready and willing to accept the truth of this gospel, or God's plan for us, for himself, and for his loved ones.
We've also started teaching a friend of Brother Padlan's (recent convert), Antonio Gile, who became interested in the church because he saw the strength it had given brother Padlan, both physically and emotionally. Brother Padlan's foot is swollen, black, and partially numbed due to diabetes, but he never fails to walk to church every single sunday. His sacrifice amazes me. Brother Padlan bore his testimony to Brother Gile about the blessings and strength he's gained for his obedience to God's commandments and obeying the sacredness of the sabbath day. Brother Gile can barely walk because of his arthritis, but was SO COMMITED to come to church, he came the sunday after we taught him is first lesson! (He's scheduled to be baptized on the 18th of February). I know the gospel of Jesus Christ can help us overcome any obstacle.
Sister Gizelle, one of our investigators, has also informed us that she's finally taken action to get her husband's birth certificate, so that they can be married and she can be baptized! I'm so excited for her, and am praying that everything falls into place. God is so good. The Lord always provides a way, if we're trying to do what's right.
I love the people here, and I am so blessed to be able to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ, or his plan for our happiness, has motivated them to better themselves.
I would like to leave my testimony with you. I know that this is the true word of God. I know it's easy to say, but what has strengthened my testimony is actually living it and seeing first hand the blessings it brings. Back at home, I didn't have a good study habit when it came to scripture reading, and now I find that the hours of study we have just aren't enough, because there's still so much more I want to learn, and still so much the spirit has to teach me! I think that when we stop looking at prayer and scripture reading and church going as a bore, and begin to see them for what they really are - blessings to enlighten our minds and bring us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ - we will learn to love it. I've grown such a deep love for the prophets of old, who sacrificed time, safety, and (for some) their lives to bring me their testimonies of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know these things are true. I know that Heavenly Father , out of love for each of us, sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us of our sins. I know that the Savior lives, and I know that the spirit will guide us and help us to understand the testimonies of the prophets about Jesus Christ, if we pray and ask for his guidance.
I'm grateful for all of you and invite you to read and pray, and ask for yourself if you really are a child of God, if He really does love you, and if the testimonies in the Book of Mormon are true.
I leave you my witness that they are.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.