This week was another week here in Baesa. I think I mentioned it last email, but if not, we moved apartments, well switched apartments, with the sister missionaries in our district. So we live in their area, and they live in our area, and that means we have to take a 15 minute jeepney ride to get to our area. 15 minutes doesn't sound that bad, but one you have to get on a jeepney, and usually they are full at that time, and there is traffic, so sometimes it just adds up. Plus at night everyone is going home, so there are almost no jeepneys, it takes 15 minutes just to wait for one. So that was frustrating getting used to, and kind of wasting our time, but we keep on going. The new house is pretty nice so at least there's that.
This week was kind of challenging because the investigators we had been focusing on weren't keeping their commitments, and it gets kind of hard to teach when they haven't done anything we invite them to do, because they don't really show that they think it is important, or they don't understand how important is. We can't really convert people, they have to do that part on their own, which is kind of frustrating for me sometimes, because I know how important it is, so why can't they just see that? So that was kind of hard, I always think about what I could do for them, how I could help them better, but ultimately, it is always up to them. It is just sad sometimes, and I want to get discouraged sometimes, but maybe it just isn't their time yet, even though it would be so great to see them embrace the gospel in their lives.
The other challenge we are facing in this area is the many less active members we have here, and so many of them we are discovering have been offended by other people of the church. That is seriously the hardest thing for people to overcome here, and the thing they don't understand is that people are not perfect. The church is truly perfect in it's organization, but Heavenly Father works through imperfect people, and as Jeffrey R. Holland said "That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we." (Jeffrey R. Holland is the man) I truly sympathize with the people that have been offended, but they don't seem to understand is that people don't even mean to say anything to offend them. We are the ones that ultimately choose to be offended by someone. But the other thing, is as members, we need to evaluate ourselves, and do the best we can to always welcome people. Some people, especially ones coming back to activity or new converts, feel out of place, so when we notice new people, we should reach out to them, and show them that we really care for them. Take the time to see who might be feeling a little awkward or out of place and help them out.
I have been reflecting a lot on the challenges in the area, especially with baptisms. I was thinking about a simple solution, and then bam! We realized that a teenager we had taught once was going to seminary with his friends, and had been to church a while now! We had been trying to teach him with his mom, who is a less active member, and she had been canceling on us. So we just decided to teach him after seminary! BOOM, simple. So that is something really exciting, being able to help the area, but there is seriously so much work to do. There are SO MANY PEOPLE! They need to know what we know, and ulit, the members are the key to the work. I just can't stress that enough.
And just a cool little side note, we got a new investigator who lived in Washington state, and then in florida, and now here, and only speaks english, so that should be interesting. It was so weird talking to her in english. I talk to other missionaries fine in english, but when it comes to getting to know someone, asking them questions and things like that, I have no idea what to say, because Tagalog is so different and there is a different way to be polite which is so much easier than english. I can just ask any person on the street if they are married, how many kids, how old they are, where they live, ect. without being rude. It's the best, but in english, hindi pwede! It's annoying ha!
I hope everyone has a great week! Thank you for all of your support!