Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Toledo Week 5‏

My dear family and friends,
Maayong udto! or, diha sa America, maayong gabii :) Kumusta mo? I have had such a great week here and I am so excited to tell you all about it!
Surprise! Last Wednesday night we had a baptism. We actually weren't aware of it either, it was a child of record baptism for a member's daughter who just turned 8. We texted, called, and visited our investigators and tried to get as many people as possible to this baptismal service. There was a great turn out, and the program was really great. Then it came time for the baptism. I guess someone forgot to check to see if the font was filled, because it was less than halfway full. Good thing this was a child baptism and that Filipinos are generally pretty small. They opened the doors to the font, and the dad of the girl being baptized yells quite loudly, "OH WOW!" At the end of the service, we enjoyed a fried chicken dinner, provided by the little girl's family. Definitely something I'll always remember.
We have been planning an English class for the past few weeks, and the day came for our English class last Friday, and nobody showed up! Hopefully we can have more success with that in the future...
Here in the Philippines, we watch conference the week after, and so that means that this weekend we will watch general conference, and that this last weekend we watched the women's conference. I LOVED the women's conference! I tried my hardest to find mom and Allie in the crowd, with no avail. It was really interesting to me to see the camera scanning the grounds of Temple Square and seeing the inside of the conference center, while being here in the Philippines. I know Salt Lake City like the back of my hand, I was there all the time before my mission, doing temple sessions and shopping at City Creek. But as I sat in this little chapel in the middle of Toledo City, Cebu, Philippines, I couldn't help but feel like Utah wasn't my home anymore. That THIS is my home, I still have my family back at home, but all of these people who I am here with in Toledo, are my family. My companion is my sister. All of these people who were foreign to me 8 months ago are now part of my family. I started to cry during the "I am a Child of God" video presentation when they showed the image of the jeepneys and then immediately after the cute Filipino kids started singing. This is my life- these are my people!
Sunday afternoon I was able to go on splits with Veronica, a really cute girl who is leaving on her mission next month to the Cavite mission, and Sam, our recent convert. I have said it before, and I will say it again, but I am continually amazed by the youth in the Philippines. They are amazing and have such strong testimonies. We worked for only a few hours, and decided to meet back with Sister Wechsler and her kuyog at the church at 5 pm. It was 4:50, almost time to go back, when Veronica told me she felt like we needed to visit a less active who lived kind of far away. I was worried we didn't have time but I felt the spirit and I felt like she was listening to the spirit, that this sweet lady needed a visit. We went to visit her and I was met with the absolute most humble circumstances I have ever seen someone live in on the course of my mission. She was sitting outside on a chair, opposite of her was a bedframe. I pointed to the "house" next door and asked her if this was her house? She told me no, and then pointed to the bedframe infront of her and told me that THIS was her house. She had nothing. I was so humbled by this incredible woman and her faith and how she has literally sacrificed everything she has for her children to have a good life and to recieve an education. We had a really great lesson, even though we were a little late getting back to the church. It didn't matter to me that we were late, because I witnessed multiple miracles that day. I saw a future missionary recognize the spirit. I saw a mom sacrifice everything for her children. I saw two people who were in such different stages of life doing everything they could to please their Heavenly Father. It changed my mission.
I love you all and hope you have a great week, and remember what truly matters in life. I am among people everyday who are the happiest people I have ever met, not because of worldly possessions, but because they understand all they truly need, they already have.
Love, Sister Joslyn Harris
PS This is a coastal town in the province of CEBU  it is on the ocean Toledo.

Members Bike

Boat in the harbor

On the dock looking to the north

Sister Splits

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