Because that was how we met the Morales Family. During first full day as a missionary, Sister Crystal and I were about to leave a village when suddenly, there was a woman kicking coconuts along the streets to bring those coconuts to their house. She was carrying a baby that time, so we decided to carry those rolling coconuts for her. When we reached their house, we met Tatay George Morales – the head of the family. I just want everyone to know that my love for this family grows every teaching appointment we have with them. Each appointment with them, I came to know and understand them better. So my love for them grows deeper, and deeper, and deeper.
Tatay George became an orphan when he was still in 3rd grade. He studied to become a catholic priest. Then he became a soldier. But when he tried to complain and fight against the corruption of an official in the military, he was discharged to his office. Long story short, he attempted to be one of those NPAs (rebels against the government’s military). He said that because of anger and frustration, he wanted to kill all those military. When he was discharged to the office, his life was back to zero. There was no good job for him to raise his family so he entered gambling, cockpits, “and all bad jobs the world could offer EXCEPT stealing”. His family told of how Tatay George became angry with the Lord. As far as everyone knows, Tatay George didn’t do anything wrong. Tatay George didn’t believe that there’s God anymore. He started drinking alcohols and cigarettes and now he’s sick. He has only one lung. And he can’t stand or sit for long. Yesterday, when we taught his whole family. He told to our fellow shipper that he didn't know God until Sister Crystal and I came to their house.
Tatay George cannot go to church because he can’t sit/stand for so long. So he always tells his son, Willieboy, to go to church instead. Willieboy is as awesome as his father. He went to church thrice already. He has developed friendships with the ward members even before was asked him to do that! He has attended activities. He reads the Book of Mormon. He is already in 1st Nephi 4. While Tatay George is already starting the second book of Nephi.
I love this family so much. Every time I feel sleepy during study hours, I think about Tatay George. When I think about Tatay George, I became enthusiastic about the work. I want to be exactly obedient so there can be miracles: I AM PRAYING TATAY GEORGE WILL BE HEALED. Yes, Tatay George has the faith NOT to be healed. He said if that's the Lord's plan for him, he is willing to submit. But I am still praying Tatay George will be healed. As well as the the father of Sister Crystal.
After we taught the whole family about the Plan of Salvation, Tatay said: “I have seen Sister Acosta before.” His family told him, “She has been here only for 2 months. She was in Mindanao before. You haven’t seen her before.” And tatay insisted that he has seen me before. I told him “Tatay, I am new in this area. But you’re right. We have seen each other before. I know we have met in the premortal world and God made ways for us to see each other here in this particular part of the earth. ”
As I basked in the calming and enlightening feeling we had experienced in their house, I thank Heavenly Father for helping me see His hand in His children’s lives. I thank Heavenly Father how the coconuts roll! How the coconuts rol!!
On the other side of the world, Sherwin Villanuava, is now a RETURNED LESS ACTIVE! He started reading 2nd book of Nephi. He went to church yesterday with suits and ties. He offered the opening prayer at the sacrament meeting. He bore his testimony about his goals this new year: LIVE THE WORD OF WISDOM. And his friend and referral – Kevin Avecillo – went to church yesterday. He’s going to be baptized this coming February 14. When we extended baptismal invitation to him, he said. “Wait. I have a question about baptism”. We said, “Okay go on. You are free to ask.” He said, “Why do I have to be baptized on Valentines day?”.. HAHAHA. I just love being a missionary!!
The Ramos boys (part member family) went to church yesterday. I just want you to know that these boys ARE WAY TOO SHY but now they are trying to overcome their fears. If they continue going to church, they will be baptized on 24th! They told us that they are having their family prayer and scripture study now. And their father, an investigator, who is the most shy among them all… asked them to help him pray. Tatay is just too shy to pray.. But he’s laughing with us now! I love this family so much.
And one of the Ramos’ boys friends: JIMBOY TELAN is doing great. He is praying and reading the book of mormon and is going to church. Young as he is (11), he already knows how to keep his commitments better than those older than he. He is an awesome boy. We met his mother along the way yesterday and she told us “I want to become a mormon!” Hahaha. She told us how she saw her son always reading the book of mormon. She said, her son was convincing her to listen to us! Hahaha. We just can’t underestimate the influence of these children to their parents. Aaaahh!! I love these people so much!!!
I love being a missionary!
And yesterday, during testimony meeting, all of those who spoke shared their goals for 2015: Family and Individual Prayer and Scripture Study. Bear Testimony every First Sunday of the Month, Doing Good EVERYDAY. I love this goal-oriented ward so much! So happy!
Okay. This has been a long letter. I am sorry. I just hope I could tell you all the wonderful things that happened this week. But I think this is more than enough, for now. Hahaha.
And my goal for 2015? Help these people have a strong relationship with Heavenly Father and our Savior by helping them make and keep their commitments that will lead to their CONVERSION. I do not want to leave them being baptized, receiving the ordinances..and then NOT ENDURING TO THE END. There has to be enduring to the end.
I love being a missionary. And I love how the coconuts roll!
New Year's eve. Share to each other our 2015 goals.
New Year with our Landlady :)
January 1st, we did some community service.
Mga magagandang magkakapatid. :)