Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 7, 2014


Where do I start? I'm just loving my area. Elder T and I are having a lot of success together and have some baptisms coming up. I love the members here and the our investigators. A couple of days ago, Elder T and I were leaving our apartment and a bunch of school girls walked by (probably around the age 14). They all started to yell at me, "Hey One Direction!" I got that a lot back home so I wasn't really surprised. 

The language is coming along. Elder T has been great helping me with my Tagalog and I'm learning alot. Speaking of Elder T he's "astig!" (awesome) We've gotten along really well and been having so much fun. He's such a powerful teacher and  he has taught me so much. We had an awesome experience last week;

We were walking by and decided to visit a less active. Her name was Sister Lordes and she was in her late 60's and hasn't been to church in years. So we come by and start talking to her, introducing me and asking how she is. Well Sisiter Lordes leaves to make us some food and her grandson, Juan, starts to talk to us. Juan just was recently married and he and his wife just had their first baby. Well the baby has been having these repository problems and this poor 2 month old baby can't breathe on it's own most of the time. Well obviously Juan and his wife can't afford to take their baby to the hospital. Juan told us that they've had witch doctors come over (at first I thought he was joking but I guess that's a real thing) and they've have tried everything but their baby is still really sick. Elder T explained to Juan about the Priesthood. He explained how it's the power of God and as representatives of Jesus Christ we hold it and we are to use it to serve others. The look on this new, desperate father's face just broke my heart. He didn't know what to do and here are some Mormon Missionaries, that he hasn't met before, offering to give his new baby boy a blessing. He brought us in their small house that literally didn't have much of a roof. Juan explained what was going on to his wife, and in the corner we see the baby trying to sleep. In my broken Tagalog I told Juan and his wife if they have faith that their baby will be healed that through the grace of God, he would. And with that we anointed and blessed the baby. Elder T gave a beautiful blessing in Tagalog and though I didn't understand it, the Spirit was so strong. When we furnished, Juan's wife was crying and we shook their hands and left. We didn't come back in that area until another 4 or 5 days. We stopped by their house. Juan's wife came out holding the baby. I started to tear up when I saw how happy the baby was. His eyes were open and we was making those happy baby sounds. Juan's wife said that the next morning the baby decided to get better. She didn't really recognize the fact that it was the Priesthood that healed her boy. This really surprised me. Maybe I thought she was going to come to us and beg to be baptized. But it doesn't really matter to me. That was a miracle. I was there and I witnessed it. God is involved in our lives today and miracles still happen today. This experience might not have strengthen this little family's faith but it sure did mine. And I'm eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for letting me being apart of that and exercising the Priesthood that I hold. 

I've literally eaten chicken feet, goat's meet/intestines, and fish eyeballs. People feed us rice and when I look inside there are literally ants in them. I just eat it and smile....and then get seconds to be respectful. I have seen spiders that give me nightmares every night. I have seen poverty that I know that I won't ever forget. This mission has changed me forever. 

I'm loving it here. Don't get me wrong this is the hardest thing I've ever done. Sometimes I feel like I can't do it or I can't learn this language but I know I can through the atoning power of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I've learned so much about Him and myself. I love the Filipino people. I love this gospel. I love y'all. You're in my prayers. 

Your Valiant Missionary,

 Elder Strader

P.S. Here are some pictures; We were cleaning out our apartment and we found this huge mound under the stairs..It's a huge termite nest. IN OUR APARTMENT WHERE WE SLEEP. THOUSANDS OF TERMITES. We told our landlady and she just gave us a machete and shovel and gasoline to kill the termites. It's going to be a long 2 years

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