Monday, August 25, 2014

Dreams Really Do Come True‏

Joan Garcia's Baptism
Did you know that miracles are real? They are. This was a week of miracles for me. Miracles and other things. Like the fact that my little brother turned 18. Happy Birthday Jaden! Or the fact that we randomly went all the way to Pakil just to have companionship study with our sisters there and like having exchanges with the Sta. Maria sisters! I got to go with Sister Cowley, who used to be my STL in Tayabas. I was kind of nervous since she is basically missionary perfection but she is also the kindest, most hopeful person I have ever met. I loved spending the day with her and I learned so, so much from her! I am still 100% convinced this whole STL thing is just for me to learn all the things I was supposed to learn long ago. But onto the miracles.

Miracle #1, Joan got baptized! I'm gonna be honest, when I first met Joan I didn't think that was ever gonna happen. She would hide from us when we would go and visit her and I'm pretty sure she didn't listen to a word we said when she did let us in. But somewhere along the way, she had a change of heart and I have loved seeing the changes in her life and the light that has grown in her eyes and the hope and happiness that just emanates from her. Her baptism will be a memorable one too. It was supposed to start at 5:30 but as is custom in the Philippines, disasters must happen before any baptism can take place. The font had been turned on, but also forgotten. So we spent some time bailing out the swimming pool that used to be the primary room. And then we spent some more time waiting for Bishop to show up so we could rescue the baptismal jumpsuits that were locked in a room upstairs. And finally, at 7:00 Joan Garcia got one step closer to having her eternal family :)

Miracle #3, Vergie and Gilbert have a tindahan. And it's been really hard for them to close it on Sundays because the nearest tindahan is really far away and they don't want their neighbors to be mad at them. But this week we showed up at their house Sunday night to a little handmade sign that said, "Closed on Sundays." And whenever people would come to ask them if they could just buy one thing really quick they would just shake their heads and smile. It was so cute and funny. They are really full of faith :)

Miracle #3, I can't tell you yet. So we taught Brother Pamilacan on Tuesday and we were surer than sure that he was going to tell us he was a changed man and he wanted to be baptized like tomorrow. We had fasted and everything. But we got there and taught him an awesome lesson and at the end, he told us he just couldn't promise us anything. We went home a little heartbroken, but catch a glimpse of my awesome companion. As we walked in the door she says, "Hey don't worry, we have faith in our fasting, right?" And I was like, "Yeah, she's right. Maybe it just wasn't supposed to be tonight." That's because it was supposed to be on Friday night. We taught him another awesome lesson about the atonement on Wednesday and how if we really love our Savior, we will follow him, no matter what it takes. Sister Burt asked him what it was he wanted from us because he'd been taught for a year now and he had 7 teaching records and he basically has the Book of Mormon memorized. And in the end he came to the conclusion that he actually really wanted his family to be sealed. And on Friday, we taught about temples. And he told us that he wanted his family to be sealed ASAP. So we asked him why it was that he didn't want to be baptized and the words, "Gusto ko," came out of his mouth. Meaning "I do want to." His wife, who had been reading the scriptures next to him whipped her head up and her mouth fell open and Brother Makulit went on to set himself a baptismal goal date and also committed himself to tell his friends he was no longer going to drink because he was going to be a Mormon. Brother Pamilacan is getting baptized on September 26! I don't know if I have ever been happier in my entire life. 

He came to church for the 3rd week in a row, which is a first. And just so you can get a glimpse of who Brother Pamilacan is, in gospel principles class, Sister Mahoni asked him what we needed to do to prepare for the 2nd coming and he said, "Make spaghetti! He's coming from really far away and He's probably going to be hungry." Haha :) The class got a kick out of that. But then there was the real Brother Pamilacan, "No, but really it's simple. We just have to follow Jesus Christ. We just have to do what He did."  I love that man and his family so much and I can't wait to come and see their little family be sealed :) Because I'm definitely coming back.

Miracle #4, my whole entire life I have been striving to grow my hair out to my bum. After a year in the Philippines (yeah, I got off the plane a year ago) it has finally made it there. 

Dreams really do come true. 

XOXO, Sister Brown

Garcia Family

Joan and Jon Ezekial
Exchanges with the Sta. Maria Sisters
Exchanges with my STL

Cool church in Pakil

FHE at Espiritu's

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