January 19, 2014
Well, it was transfer week this last week, and Elder Larson has been moved to the Alicia zone. Elder Merza has a new Jr. Companion now, Elder Costales, from Quezon City, near Manila. I have been able to access the gift of tongues readily this week! It is so fun! Elder Costales thought I had been out in the field for a matter of years. He freaked out when I told him Elder Manabo was my trainer. "Freak man!" It still is just all dependent on my worthiness how easily the language comes. And this week, I've entered a new level of Tagalog, I feel. Many people who had once been saying "Elder, just speak in English, it's ok." are now saying "Ay! Magaling sa Tagalog na! Maganda!" It has been really motivating.
Not only has the language entered new strides, but the work as well. We have been settling for nothing less of full effort every day this week. We've found many new investigators and have received better guidance for the ones we have. Do you know what has been a large part of our success? MEMBERS!
Let me tell you about a member of this ward. His name is Brother Riguinding. He is an old Ilocano man with glasses. He served for twenty years in the Filipino Military, involved in a war on the southern island of Mindanao. He tells war stories like they happened yesterday, and does so very animatedly. He is so awesome! He's telling us about how he's had to adjust the angles on mortar canons, and enacted to us how to use a bazooka the right way, all the while doing vocal impressions of his fellow soldiers. He is now deemed by us the Member-Present Ninja. Let me tell you why.
One day, we realized we needed more member-present lessons, and decided that while we were teaching in Balagbag, we should ask Brother Riguinding if he could help us out for a lesson with the Mercados. Well, we asked, and confirmed he was available to help. When the time came for the lesson, we waited at the Mercados, and Brother Ringuinding came down on his little scooter. He immediately began to fellowship Brother and Sister Mercado as if he had known them forever. We were teaching about the Ten Commandments, and associated doctrines for the lesson. During the lesson, we took turns reading each of the commandments and then discussing them. When it came time for Brother R. to share, he paused for a bit, and then looked up. He then proceeded to expound one of the most beautifully specific and powerful testimonies I had ever heard. It was perfect. It fit all of the needs and concerns we had had about the Mercados. It was incredible, and could only have been wrot by the power of the Spirit. After the lesson, Brother R. stood up, shook hands, and then looked toward us with the inquiry, "next target, sir!" He then walked with us to all of our appointments, and helped us the rest of the night.
Um, HELLO! CAN WE ALL BE LIKE HIM, PLEASE?! Talk about "every member a missionary"! Let's go out of the way to find ways to help our missionaries out, like Brother R.! Always be willing and ready to expound your testimonies!
The work is hastening, and so shall we! I really don't have anything else to say. Be like Brother Ringuinding!
BE LIKE HIM!