Well this week has been full of greatness in the making. It also ended with a sadness.
This week Brother Jesus (Jes) Tolentino and Cathy Victorio got married! We have been working with Bro. Jes for quite some time and he has been very diligent and faithful in preparing for his baptism. The last step in completing the repentance and preparation process was the seal of matrimony. the marriage was held at our stake center and a bishop from Ward 5 did the honors of marrying the couple for their time on earth. Both Jes and Cathy understood that their marriage would terminate with either of their passing. They have their eyes and hearts now fixed upon White Plains Manila, where the nearest temple of the Lord resides. They will continue to make preparations so that they can be sealed as a family for time and eternity 1 year from December 27. Cathy is already a member who has now returned to activity in the church. Her husband Jes, is a Roman Catholic but is now prepared to be baptized on December 27, 2014. Of their 3 children, 2 are baptized and active in the church (11 & 13 years old), while their youngest "TanTan" is nearly 2 years old. It is great to witness and be a part of the happiness they are experiencing. Their faith and dedication strengthen me.
We also hosted "Meet the Mormons" Stake Activity at the Stake Center. We had nearly 300 investigators from all of Tarlac Stake attend! It was a great turnout. Me and my companion were quite stressed out, but it turned out to be fruitful. Elder Monroe and I were delegated many duties...We assigned the AP's, ourselves, and the 2 Office Elders to present The Restoration, Plan of Salvation, and Book of Mormon, respectively. They were all a success. Sister Teresa who was baptized last week brought a friend to the event and approached us after and asked if she could read the Book of Mormon and if we could begin teaching her. I responded in the affirmative :)
That was part of the good news :)
The sad part is my companion has now returned to America. This morning I dropped hom off at the mission office. After some inside jokes and last hugs I walked away with Elder Birth and Elder Daylosan as my temporary companions. While walking away, I shed a few tears. I condescended to buying depression food - a salted caramel soft serve ice cream cone. One for myself and one for each of my 2 new companions. I have been spending the rest of the day trying to keep my mind occupied. Elder Monroe was an extraordinary companion. He is a very unique missionary and I was very fortunate to be companions with him. I learned a deal from him.
I am not sure if you were able to watch the splendid "Christmas Devotional" but it was delightful. While Elder D. Todd Christofferson was speaking, I was taught important truths, and brought to realizations. I invite you to read or watch the devotional. There was marvelous music and spiritual speakers.
Here is a link to a brief video the Church has come out with as a theme for this Christmas season, titled "He is the Gift." My companion and I used this video in a presentation to the Stake and I think it would be beneficial for all of us http://www.mormon.org/
Well family, here are some answers to some questions that may be circulating in your minds:
Transfers are this Thursday and (...). I still do not know who my new companion will be (...)
Yes I have some pictures I will be sending them in a separate email :)
The attached picture is Brother Jes and Sister Cathy after their wedding. Yes, my pants are oddly proportioned...blasted tailors here in the Islands ;)
Mom - I am happy, not sick, and I weigh 147 lbs. I actually have recommitted myself to working out. I have lost 4 lbs since my new workout routines. I got pretty chubby here in this area due to all the dinner appointments.
Last question - Where are the recordings?! There will be more next week. I'm sorry. I'll repent, forgive me. I'll do better next week
In concluding remarks I would like to again express my love to each of you, but also testify to you that I know Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior. I love him, and I love my Father in Heaven. I hope ad pray I can become more humble and that my will becomes one with his.
Merry Christmas :)
|Bro Jes and Sis Cathy after their wedding.|
|This is Teresa who was baptized on the 6th :) |
Super awesome convert :) She will do great things for the ward
|Christmas tree, Nativity, and Elder Christmas Stockings|
|"O Holy Night" Banner|
|Elder Watkins and Elder Birth|
|Last picture of Elder Monroe and Elder Watkins|