Ok well this week was a weird one. It is my last week in Agoo 3rd branch. It is a weird feeling to be a missionary and know that you have so little time and yet you get so close with the families you teach. If you are working hard to be diligent in your calling they will trust you with their struggles, successes, concerns and dreams. As Missionaries, we are here to help people progress in the Gospel and to draw unto Jesus Christ. When people make it to church, or make big landmarks in their spiritual growth, we are so happy and share their joy. When they fall or have big problems and stressors in their lives, we worry and stress right with them. The Missionaries here in the Philippines are often times very close with the members because our areas are relatively small and we visit the members for FHE and the less actives to tell them to get their butts to church. Last night we ate dinner for the last night at Nanay Bautista's house, and when we had to say goodbye at the end of the night there wasn’t a dry eye around. I encourage everyone to invite the missionaries over at least once a month, better if its every 2 weeks because they really will help to bring the spirit into your homes.
The old guy is Tatay Morada, he owns a Tindahan (little store) and we are currently working with him to become temple worthy so that he can take advantage of the Endowment; a special ordinance in the Temple that is a great gift to all who are worthy to the laws and standards of the church to receive it. His problem is selling cigarettes and alcohol in his store. These are against the Word of Wisdom so he would need to stop selling them from his tindahan. He also needs to stop having his store open on Sundays as we need to follow the 4th of the 10 commandments to keep the Sabbath Day holy. He likes to rationalize that it’s not really working cuz all he has to do is sit there and people come to him. But he understands why it is important to obey and has plans to close his shop completely to avoid the temptation of selling on Sundays. He reminds me of Grandpa Bill. Also he didn’t know about the Doctrine and Covenants (a compilation of modern day revelation (aka commandments) from Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith and other early leaders when the church was being organized.) before last month so When Brother liver went to Manila last week I asked him to buy a copy for Tatay. He reads from the Bible and Book of Mormon everyday and I know he will love the modern revelation and the stories included in the Doctrine and Covenants.
This picture is of a motorcycle accident of a less active member. The senior couple of the mission happened to pass by the accident and took a picture a little while after the people had left. They were astonished when I told them the guy on the motor was a member, and he did not have a scratch on him. He is an endowed member but not always the most faithful member. But when I heard the testimony Brother Manuel shared after the accident, I know I wanted to take a picture like the one above for him to hang on the wall in his 2 room home so he will always be reminded of what God has done to protect him. Part of our missionary work is teaching while we are in the areas, but also not forgetting the people we have met and helped to grow in the church. Hopefully this picture and inscription will be a good way for him to remember that "great is the worth of [ALL] souls in the eyes of God"