Family and friends,
After spending a wonderful 6 months in Silay East Ward, I just got transferred today to Old Sagay! I am super excited!!
I should add more spiritual experiences in here. Maybe I'll tell you of a good lesson we had this week.
One very critical lesson we had was with J. He had told us the last lesson we had with him about how he didn't like that all of the members at church were asking him when he was getting baptized. When he said the 16th at the river, they got all excited and started planning an elders quorum activity at the river as well so that it could be a big thing. He got all nervous and felt pressured. So then last lesson, he told us he wasn't ready to be baptized. But he continued reading, and he read in 2 Nephi 9. He said, "Igo gid sa akon, mo?" Which means in a not so accurate translation, "It just really hit me." He still didn't want to go for the 16th, but will be baptized.
Another good lesson we just had yesterday with the sister of one of our recent converts. She and her partner are living together even though they aren't married. She was explaining to us why she didn't want to get married. I won't go into all of that ugly situation. But I remembered the story of the adulterous woman brought to Jesus Christ. We told her the story about how Jesus Christ, even though he didn't have sin, still didn't throw a stone at the woman. I told her that we, like him, do not condemn her, but we do invite her to "go and sin no more" by being married or completely breaking up with her live in partner. We encouraged her to pray about what God's will was and then follow it. But we told her that we didn't believe that God's will was that she continue living with him without being married. God cannot look at sin with any degree of allowance.
Sometimes when I look forward to teaching a lesson like that I think, "this is gonna be tough." But then it usually goes well. It helped that we practiced teaching that lesson in our companionship study.
Do you feel safe all the time?
That is a good question! I realized from being 6 months in Silay that I felt safer the longer I was there. One reason why is probably that there were so many people that I knew. Wherever we went, there was always someone that we had taught, OYMed, talked to, bought something from, or rode is his tricycle before, or something. I realized that I know a LOT of people in Silay. But yeah, I usually feel safe, but not all the time. We tend to steer away from places where there is drinking, basketball, or just a lot of men in general. You can just feel if the place is safe or not. There are places that we go during the afternoon, but don't go during the evening. You just feel it.
Love you all! I am SOOO grateful for all of you. The Lord has blessed me so much. More than I deserve.