Monday, September 19, 2011

family! Well this week has been about the same as last week, but things continue to improve. Our investigators, although few in number, are doing great! I guess I should say progressing investigators. We teach lots of people, but there are a lot that don't progress at all, or just don't want us to come back. So thats that. The Lord himself in D&C said, "For mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts." Lots of people harden their hearts, but I know the Lord is constantly preparing people for us, we just have to find them. But everything is going well. Hard to believe how fast the time flies here. It feels like just a couple of days ago I was sitting here emailing you all. Anyway, we had planned on going bowling today, but that was a no go, we  were busy most of the day cleaning the apartment, and it was needed for sure.Especially in the bathroom, but that wasn't completely our fault, Ithink a cat peed in there.I guess I'll explain how a cat got into the house to pee in the bathroom. And really, it can all be blamed on dried fish. Disgusting, rank, dried fish. People here seem to think it's delicious, but even after eating it time and time again it I'm not so sure. Give me dog any day over that stuff!  But the whole story is that Elder Anac and Elder Lloyd (The other two elders in our apartment) brought home some of the stuff, and left in in the kitchen. We came back home later that night, and one of them was passed out on the couch and the other on a woven mat on the floor (guess which one the Filipino was on). We don't want to bother them, so we leave them there, finish our stuff, and go into the bedroom. We're woken up at around midnight to banging sounds from the kitchen, so we go to see what's up. We find that a cat had managed to sneak by them when they were sleeping, and had been munching on some dried fish (after a trip to the bathroom, I guess). They chased it for a bit, until it got stuck between the glass shutter/windows and the screen, and it doesn't want to leave. So we spend half an hour trying to chase it out, but when it finally does it flees to the top of the cabinets. So I  mentioned how animal control people use those poles with the rope, (all those good times spent watching the exterminator show on t.v) so we decide to try that. We get a loop over its head, and Elder Anac gets on the other end and drags it outside. He ties the other end of the rope to the security bars over our windows, and wecall it a night. But that's not the end of the story, because I heard a weird sound a few minutes later when I in the bathroom: the sound of rushing water. We go to investigate, and we see that somehow the cat managed to wrap his rope around a water spigot and break a water line, and now he's wet and even angrier. We cut him loose, promise to kill him the next time we see him, and spend another half hour trying to stop the leak. We got it stopped most of the way, but ended up just killing the water to the house for the night. And that's the story of
the cat in the apartment. A quick story about the importance of continuing our learning in the Church. We were working with some investigators, and we were teaching them the Law of Chastity. During the lesson, one of the principles we teach is that homosexuality is a great sin in God's eyes. At the end of the lesson, none of the investigators had any questions but one of the members that had come with us did. She asked for confirmation that homosexuality is a sin, which honestly concerned us a bit. She explained that she'd never learned that (it's really commonly accepted here), and that it was a good thing she learned it now. She said that her plan was to dress her youngest son in girl's clothes and try and make him gay, because she wanted a little girl but only had boys. So we explained to her that it would be best to avoid that. No matter how many years we've attended church of read the scriptures, there's always something new to learn. So our investigators are still doing well. Especially the Requirons, we're still waiting for the four church attendance limit to roll around for them to be baptized, they had no problems with the Word of Wisdom or the Law of Chastity which speeds things up. I'll put a little thing here about the requirements for baptism here in the Philippines. The requirements given to us by the area presidency is that investigators need to come to church four consecutive weeks (one week missed is excusable, but four total, and the count starts again if two weeks are missed in a
row)., they need to be free from any problems with the Word of Wisdom for four weeks (one brief slip-up is also permitted), they need to be free from problems with the Law of Chastity for four weeks (especially living in without being married, also a big problem here, but with a
good explanation), fast once before baptism (a struggle for a lot of people) and pay a fast offering, and a couple others. The requirements here for baptism are slightly stricter than other places, but it ensures that converts are truly converted, not just temporally or
temporarily converted. The reason living in is a problem here is because there's no divorce in the Philippines. Once you marry someone, it's for life, except under very exceptional circumstances. So a lot of people either shy away from marriage because it's such a
long-term commitment or have been married previously, separated, and are now living with someone else. So this is a problem, except for people that are married not just for life but all eternity and have an eternal perspective on marriage. So yeah. I suppose that is it for me for this week. But I know the Church is true and we should never be too comfortable with our current situations. If you're not growing, you're stagnant. Something none of us should be. Again, and as always, thanks for all the love and support. Love you all, Greg

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