Alrighty. This week just flew by, but I still have a lot to say and not a whole lot of time to say it in. I realized that these emails are probably kinda of boring to read sometimes, so I am gonna change up the font and I am finally adding in some pictures this week.
The first thing that I want to share is a realization that I had: every day will have parts that are hard, parts that are easy, and parts that make everything worth it. I realized this has been true my entire life, but I am just starting to realize that I need to focus on the hard and how to fix it and improve. I really need to focus on what made my day worth it, because without that perspective I have little to work for and no way to improve.
Next, I will go right into prefacing some of the pictures I have, because before I didn’t have these. The spider was found a few hours ago outside of our apartment. That was really cool.
The balut I had a couple of days ago, and it was actually not even that bad, that is really young balut tho so it is not really grown that much. I ate it with some pig ear on a stick. That is apparently a real thing. We went to a person selling food on the side of the road – a bunch of different things – and I just bought some and took it home and then my companion said it was pig ear (after I had eaten like 2 of them). They weren’t so bad, but the texture was weird. The balut was much better, but appearance makes it look gross.
We got to go into the sister's area for a bit (that is where the fields come from). A lot of those are rice fields and it was really pretty out there. That isn't quite what my whole area looks like, but a lot of it is green like that. I love my area.
My struggles this week are mostly from OYMing (Opening Your Mouth: talking to people and sharing with them, then asking if we can return and teach them later.) My conversational Tagalog is pretty bad, so it is pretty terrifying to talk to people; especially when I don’t understand what they say back to me. But I understand that to make my time worth it, I have to open my mouth and talk to people. It can just be really scary sometimes.
This week I am thankful for one investigator in particular. His name is Kamarlon and he was prepared for us. The first lesson we taught, we shared two principles (God is our loving heavenly father, and the gospel blesses families). At the end, he told us he wanted to close with the prayer and he wanted to say it. He prayed that we would have strength and intelligence to teach him effectively and that we would be able to share with him the truth. The next lesson he prayed as well. Once we taught him the rest of the Restoration, he was close to tears by the end of his prayer. We extended the invitation to be baptized on February 11th and he said that he would. We encouraged him to pray to know of the truth and he said that he knew we were sent to help him change his life.
Tagalesson: beginnings, specifically "Pag". In Tagalog you can take a verb base of anything you want and then stick a different beginning on it to change the meaning "basa” = “read" "pagbabasa” = “reading" as a noun (ie "Did you do your reading?" Sometimes, you double the first syllable – like in that instance tho. If you are really sharp, you can catch almost anything people are saying if you know the beginnings well enough. They also use those same beginnings to turn English words into Tagalog words: ie "Pagpapray" means "prayer". In actual Tagalog it is "Pagdadasal", the root being "dasal” = “pray".
Speaking Tagalog is basically like putting a puzzle together, but doing it really fast. There are around 50 of these beginnings that do different things to the verb bases so there is a lot to listen for. But once you understand, you can say almost anything you want, and you can constantly make new words that people know what they mean.
This week I will struggle a lot with improving getting to know people and talk about their lives, but through OYMing I both learn how to speak better and also do what I was called to do. Hopefully, I will have the courage to open my mouth.
I leave you with a small spiritual thought from Mosiah Chapter 2 verses 30-31. God strengthens us, He gives us hard things to do, but when we start to do them and trust him we have the promise of help. Let God empower you in all things.